Holiday Spending

first_imgThe holiday shopping season starts earlier every year. Long before Thanksgiving dinner has been reduced to leftovers, shoppers will be looking for bargains.Serious bargain hunters get excited about all the sales on the day after Thanksgiving. To make the most of the big day, they sort through advertisements and go online to compare prices. They plan to hit stores for time-specific sales and map out routes to cut down on time wasted in traffic or looking for a parking spot.Many others avoid the chaos by shopping early or online, and still others get caught up in the moment, joining the spending frenzy with no plan or shopping list.While shopping smart is important every month, the stakes are especially high after Thanksgiving. Start holiday shopping early. With a little forethought, even procrastinators can benefit from these shopping tips.Spend SmartDevelop a spending plan for the holidays. No one wants to start the New Year facing a huge credit card bill. Know how much money you can reasonably afford to spend and make a budget.A holiday spending plan is not just about the gifts. Remember to include parties, greeting cards and postage, charitable giving, clothes to wear to holiday functions and other things that add joy to the holiday season.Be creative. Belt tightening is in, and wasteful spending is out. Remember, the thought is what counts. Homemade gifts, whether food, clothing or crafts, may be appreciated more than something purchased at a local big-box store. Gifts of time for babysitting, car washing or house cleaning are also good options.Think carefully about each and every purchase. At the store, keep the spending plan and shopping list in hand. Avoid making a spur-of-the-moment decision about an item.Use sales circulars and advertisements to plan purchases. Compare offerings from different stores to find the best deals. Once a particular item is selected, compare features, quality, prices, installation charges, delivery and service. Sometimes the cost to use and maintain an item makes selecting a more expensive model the cheaper option.Conserve GasolineAvoid running from store to store. Instead, use your phone and the internet to scout price information before heading out. You may consider directly shipping gifts to out-of-town friends and family instead of buying them and shipping them yourself.  Shop online to locate special or unique gifts. Use a secure browser, shop with known companies and keep your passwords creative and private. Pay particular attention to shipping charges. Be sure to print out receipts and keep records of purchases.The best deals may come late in the season, and shoppers can wait for last-minute price cuts for items that are not in short supply. Retailers have rolled out holiday items earlier than ever this year, so the sales may also start earlier too.Expect to pay a fair and reasonable price for goods and services. Bargains that sound too good to be true are usually just that. Read labels, seals, tags and instruction booklets. Ask questions about the product. Ask questions about each store’s return policies, and save your receipts.Overspending can ruin the holidays and the months that follow. Plan ahead and stick to the plan. Spending only as much as you can afford will make the holidays better for all.last_img read more

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Another Vietnamese boy reported dead of avian flu

first_imgJan 6, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The death of a 6-year-old Vietnamese boy from avian influenza was reported today, marking the second fatal case reported in Vietnam this week.The boy, from the southern province of Dong Thap, died just 3 hours after being hospitalized with a high fever and respiratory failure Dec 30, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report.The Jan 4 death of a 9-year-old boy from Tra Vinh province, also in southern Vietnam, was reported by news services yesterday. If tests confirm H5N1 avian flu in both cases, they will bring the number of such deaths in Vietnam in the past year to 22.The World Health Organization (WHO) said today it had been notified that initial tests in both cases identified the H5 subtype of flu virus and that further tests were under way.The deputy director of the Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, Tran Tinh Hien, said tests have already shown the 6-year-old boy had the H5N1 virus, according to the AFP report.An official at the provincial hospital where the boy was treated said it was not clear how the boy had contracted the virus, because there was no evidence that he had had contact with infected poultry, the AFP story said.Another avian flu patient in Vietnam, a 16-year-old girl, remained hospitalized today in critical condition, according to the WHO. Her case was reported in late December.Meanwhile, Vietnam News, a government-controlled newspaper, today published a report that the 9-year-old boy who died this week did not have avian flu. The story quoted an official at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Min City as saying the boy, named Thach Phung, had died of hepatitis.The story said doctors at the hospital “have rejected initial fears” that the boy had avian flu, but it gave no explanation for the conflicting reports.The WHO said, “All three of these most recent cases have occurred in the southern part of the country, where poultry outbreaks have been recurring since December of last year.”The agency said close contacts of the three case-patients are being monitored for signs of illness and health authorities in Vietnam have taken steps to improve case detection.See also:Jan 6 WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2005_01_06a/en/last_img read more

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Kareem Hunt video: NFL investigation into assault still impacts Browns RB

first_imgWill Kareem Hunt be suspended?The NFL stipulates a suspension of at least six games for first-time offenses involving assault, meaning the league could (and likely will) still impose a suspension upon the Browns running back once its investigation is complete.The league placed Hunt on the Commissioner Exempt List, for which the policy states, “In cases in which a violation relating to a crime of violence is suspected but further investigation is required, the commissioner may determine to place a player on the Commissioner Exempt List on a limited and temporary basis to permit the league to conduct an investigation. Based on the results of this investigation, the player may be returned to duty, be placed on the Commissioner Exempt List for a longer period, or be subject to discipline.”Now with the Browns, Hunt is expected to remain on the Commissioner Exempt List as the league continues its investigation into all three off-field incidents. (Editor’s note: This story was updated from its orginal version after the Browns announced they signed Kareem Hunt on Feb. 11, 2019. Hunt remains under investigation and could still be suspended by the NFL.)A video that appears to show Browns running back Kareem Hunt shoving and kicking a woman at a hotel in February 2018 was released by TMZ in early December. Hunt, who played for the Chiefs at the time, was cut by Kansas City soon after the video surfaced. In footage captured by security cameras, Hunt, 23, can be seen from multiple angles trying to physically attack a woman, pushing through several men and other women attempting to restrain him. At one point, Hunt knocked one of the men into a woman, causing them both to fall over.Police responded to the altercation, which occurred inside a hotel in Cleveland. No arrests were made, and Hunt did not face criminal charges.MORE KAREEM HUNT: How the NFL failed under its own policyThe Feb. 10 incident was known to the NFL, Chiefs team personnel and the public based on earlier reporting. Hunt addressed reporters about the accusations and a separate assault allegation prior to the 2018 NFL season, but the video had not been made public until TMZ released it.Shorly after the video surfaced, the NFL announced it had placed Hunt on the Commissioner Exempt List and would resume its investigation into the Feb. 10 incident, plus the separate assault allegation and, after a TMZ report made it known to the league, a third off-field incident that took place at a nightclub in January.Hunt may not play, practice or attend games while on the Commissioner Exempt List.What do we know about the Kareem Hunt video incident?The incident that was captured by surveillance and released by TMZ occurred Feb. 10 between Hunt and Abigail Ottinger, 19, inside The Metropolitan at the 9, a hotel in downtown Cleveland. Ottinger told police Hunt assaulted her about 3:45 a.m. outside a hotel apartment, according to Cleveland.com.One police report listed Hunt as a suspect; another police report listed Ottinger as a suspect for allegedly assaulting another woman present at the scene, the Cleveland.com report said. Ottinger told police she refused to have sex with a friend of Hunt, which set off the scuffle. Other witnesses claimed Ottinger used a racist slur toward Hunt.Charges were not filed, and no arrests were made “because officers say they were unable to determine if a crime had been committed,” according to TMZ.How has the NFL responded to the Kareem Hunt video incident?The Chiefs claimed they did not see the footage until it was released, according to The Athletic, but several members of the organization had previously commented on the incident, mostly in an attempt to move on from the situation. Team chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in August, “The team’s made up of a bunch of young men. . . . They’re not always going to make the best decisions, but we have a strong support system, both with the coaching staff and also with our player development department that works with young guys and talks to them about the situations that they want to be in.”At the time, Clark Hunt did not believe Kareem Hunt would face a suspension from the NFL. Chiefs coach Andy Reid declined to comment on the specifics of the incident when asked about it in June.Kareem Hunt also addressed the incident with reporters in August, saying he had “learned from it” and was “focused on football.” After he was signed by Cleveland in February, Hunt released a statement:Statement from RB Kareem Hunt: pic.twitter.com/JPRFnkRdCy— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) February 11, 2019In December, ESPN reported the NFL felt it did “everything possible from a legal standpoint” in its investigation into the incident. However, according to the report, the NFL never requested an interview with Hunt as part of its investigation. The league reportedly attempted to contact Ottinger and her friend “on multiple occasions, but they did not respond.”Also per ESPN, “the league said it spoke to as many witnesses who were there as possible and that they said Hunt was not involved, which the video that TMZ released Friday clearly contradicts.” The NFL in its investigation reportedly spoke to the Chiefs following their conversation with Hunt about the incident.Pro Football Talk reported that “the league made multiple attempts to obtain the video. … The hotel at which the incident occurred explained to the NFL that it would give the video only to law enforcement. … The Cleveland Police Department did not provide any video to the league.”After the Browns signed Hunt in February, they released a statement from general manager John Dorsey:Statement from GM John Dorsey: pic.twitter.com/TUgoBalvkg— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) February 11, 2019What is the NFL’s personal conduct policy?The NFL’s personal conduct policy explicitly grants the league freedom to punish players even if they are not found guilty of a crime.According to the policy, “Even if the conduct does not result in a criminal conviction, players found to have engaged in any of the following conduct will be subject to discipline.” It lists “actual or threatened violence against another person” and “disorderly conduct” among potential reasons for sanctions.last_img read more

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