Tag: return

Timeline: Documents reveal the Pac-12’s struggle with California government over return for football

When the Pac-12 announced a deal with Quidel Corp. in early September to acquire daily antigen tests, commissioner Larry Scott hailed the partnership as a “game changer” that could lead to the return of football sooner than expected.

But 11 days later, the conference had made little progress and, according to documents obtained by the Hotline, was immersed in bureaucratic back-and-forth with the state of California that threatened to overwhelm efforts to play football before Thanksgiving.

“So we are starting in the right place, and the next step will be a conversation with the California Department of Public Health,’’ Pac-12 executive Erik Hardenbergh wrote to campus officials.

That email was written on Sept. 14 — a week-and-a-half after the Quidel deal and with the Big Ten on the brink of announcing its return.

Later in the same email, which was the most instructive of the documents obtained, Hardenbergh added:

“This could take some time.”

But the next day, everything changed. The USC players went public with an appeal to California Governor Gavin Newsom, and suddenly Pac-12 football had the momentum required to return sooner than later.

A Hotline investigation into two of the most important weeks in conference history suggests the football restart might have been delayed until late November — and might not have happened at all — without the USC players stepping forward with their plea.

The documents and interviews reviewed by the Hotline indicate that even after striking the deal for antigen tests, the conference was focused on basketball, targeting a football restart after Thanksgiving and making only incremental progress in efforts to ease state restrictions and allow the California teams to practice.

The Pac-12 declined to comment on the specifics of discussions with state or university officials that are outlined below.

However, it’s important to note that the conference office typically serves as a coordinator on policy matters, not as an advocate.

For that reason, the string of internal emails cited below included members of not only the four athletic departments but also the universities’ government relations teams.

Those teams, along with the conference office, had been working with state and local authorities for months during the pandemic, providing regular updates on matters that impacted athletics and the universities as a whole.

*** List of people referenced in the timeline:

Scott: Pac-12 commissioner
Hardenbergh: Pac-12 chief of staff (liaison to athletics and campus government affairs)
Maggy Carlyle: Pac-12 general counsel
Lande Ajose: Senior Policy Advisor for Higher Education (state of California)
Jennifer Simon-O’Neill: chief of staff for Cal athletics
Mike Bohn: USC athletic director
Brandon Sosna: chief of staff for USC athletics
Kim Harmon: UW football physician; member of Pac-12 medical team

*** Background on this article:

Our request for public records was submitted to Cal in the early afternoon of Sept. 14, in an attempt to better understand the Pac-12’s strategy for convincing the state of California to expand cohort limits to a level that would allow the four teams to practice. The requested was

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Dutch Committee Advises Government to Return Looted Art to Former Colonies

You may recall the early scene in Black Panther, in which Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger organizes a heist (or, depending on your point of view, repatriation) of art from a Western museum. This is in no way a new debate, but a change in attitude at some of the world’s great exhibition spaces may indeed be coming.

An advisory committee has just delivered a report to the Dutch government one year in the making, according to The New York Times. It recommends the return of artwork to the Netherlands’s former colonies in Indonesia, Surniame and the Caribbean. Should the Dutch government follow the guidelines, it would mean an investigative body will look at an object’s provenance when requests are made, and create a publicly accessible national database of all the colonial collections in Dutch museums.

This follows the spirit of something begun in France in 2018, but has seen, in actuality, very little movement. The Times reports that only 27 restitutions have been announced, and only one object, a traditional sword from Senegal, has been returned to a former French colony. The sluggish action in France has led to a Congolese activist named Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza making something of a Black Panther-esque move at a Paris museum in June. (He’d carried out similar actions at museums in Marseille and Amsterdam.) Diyabanza is currently on trial.

But The Netherlands, which, through the centuries, has enjoyed a reputation of being among the more tolerant of European economic powers, may work more quickly than France. There are, of course, complications like what to do about artwork taken from the colonies of neighboring countries (those decisions will be made on “the basis of reasonableness and fairness,” committee chair Lilian Gonçalves-Ho Kang You said) and how to engage in dialogue with what would be the recipient nations.

“It would almost be neocolonial to presume to know what’s good for Indonesia or Suriname,” Stijn Schoonderwoerd, director of the Netherlands’s National Museum of World Cultures

Last year, Amsterdam’s Hermitage Museum cancelled its use of the term “Golden Age” to refer to Dutch 17th century advancements in art and science, citing that it obscured its economic entanglement with the transatlantic slave trade.

“Every generation and every person must be able to form his or her own story about history,” the museum’s 17th century curator Tom Van der Molen said. “The dialogue about that needs space, the name ‘Golden Age’ limits that space.”

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Trump to return to public events with ‘law and order’ address at White House

Defiant in the face of slipping opinion polls, and determined to justify his implausible claim of a full recovery from his encounter with Covid-19, Donald Trump will return to public events on Saturday with a “law and order” address to 2,000 invited guests from the White House balcony.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Related: ‘A surreal reality show’: Trump’s terrible week after his Covid diagnosis

Questions about the president’s health are still swirling following the refusal of doctors or aides to reveal when Trump last tested negative for coronavirus, and today’s lunchtime in-person event – just six days after he left Walter Reed medical center following a three-night stay – appears to counter his own government’s health guidelines over large gatherings and social distancing.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Donald Trump walks from Marine One after arriving on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington DC, on 1 October.


© Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Donald Trump walks from Marine One after arriving on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington DC, on 1 October.

But after another tumultuous week in which Trump lost further ground to his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, and with the 3 November general election little more than three weeks away, the president is seizing an opportunity to try to reposition himself in the race, despite the apparent health risk to attendees from a man likely to still be contagious.

In a Friday night interview on Fox News, Trump, who was given a cocktail of antiviral drugs and strong steroids during his hospital stay, insisted he was “medication-free”.

“We pretty much finished, and now we’ll see how things go. But pretty much nothing,” Trump said when Fox medical analyst Dr Marc Siegel asked the president what medications he was still taking.

Earlier in the day, Dr Sean Conley, Trump’s personal physician, issued a letter clearing the president to return to in-person campaign events, but omitting any medical justification, including crucial information about any negative coronavirus tests.

In the Friday interview, Trump said he had been tested, but gave a vague answer about it. “I haven’t even found out numbers or anything yet,” he said. “But I’ve been retested and I know I’m at either the bottom of the scale or free.”

Trump’s speech today at the White House South Lawn will address “law and order” and protests around the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd and racial issues, sources revealed on Friday.

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Return Looted Art to Former Colonies, Dutch Committee Tells Government

The Netherlands should return looted art to its former colonies: That’s the official recommendation of an advisory committee to the Dutch government.

After a year of research, including interviews with people in former Dutch colonies such as Indonesia, Suriname and several Caribbean islands, the committee released its report in Amsterdam on Wednesday.

The lawyer and human rights activist Lilian Gonçalves-Ho Kang You, who led the committee, said in an interview that the government should acknowledge the injustices of colonialism and be willing to return objects without conditions if it can be proven that they were acquired involuntarily, and if their countries of origin ask for them.

The report calls for the creation of a body of experts to investigate objects’ provenance when requests are made, and a publicly accessible national database of all the colonial collections in Dutch museums.

Credit…Gero Breloer/Deutsche Presse Agentur, via Associated Press

The decision on whether to return an object, however, would ultimately rest with Dutch government.

Ingrid van Engelshoven, the Dutch minister of education, culture and science, who commissioned the report, said in an emailed statement that it offered “clear starting points for a new way to handle colonial collections.” She said she would present draft legislation based on the advice in early 2021.

The Netherlands owns hundreds of thousands of objects that were acquired during the country’s colonial history. But the exact number is unknown.

Creating a database and researching the background of all these objects would be a huge undertaking, said Jos van Beurden, an independent researcher who has specialized in restitution since the 1990s.

“The principle is fantastic,” he said. “But I’m worried about the execution.”

A similar report commissioned by the French government shows that the path from ideas to action can be a long and winding one. After a high-profile 2017 speech in which President Emmanuel Macron promised to return much of Africa’s heritage, the report he commissioned from two academics said that items brought to French museums without the permission of their counties of origin should be returned, if they were requested.

On Tuesday, France’s National Assembly passed a bill that would allow the official restitution of those 27 items, including 26 which would be returned to Benin, within the next year. The bill now has to be considered by the French Senate.

Bénédicte Savoy, one of the authors the French report, said in an interview that the bill, which was passed unanimously, proved that France now positively welcomed the restitution debate. Tuesday’s vote would set a useful precedent for future restitutions, she added.

“Perhaps the steps are small, but it seems to me that they are symbolically big,” she said.

Ms. Savoy said that the Dutch report was the “logical continuation” of the Netherlands’ longtime constructive dialogue with its former colonies regarding potential restitutions. “It seems to me that the debate is

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HCA Healthcare to Return $6 Billion in Government Virus Aid

(Bloomberg) — HCA Healthcare Inc. plans to return $6 billion in emergency virus-relief aid received earlier this year, after the immediate business squeeze caused by the pandemic waned for the largest publicly traded U.S. hospital operator.



graphical user interface: In this photo illustration the HCA Healthcare logo is seen displayed on a smartphone.


© Photographer: SOPA Images/LightRocket
In this photo illustration the HCA Healthcare logo is seen displayed on a smartphone.

The company will return its federal relief funds, which include $4.4 billion in accelerated Medicare payments and a $1.6 billion distribution from the Provider Relief Fund. Under the latter program, Congress allocated $175 billion for hospitals and other medical providers, largely in grants that don’t need to be repaid.

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The relief grants allocated under the CARES Act were initially sent to help medical providers deal with lost revenue and additional expenses related to Covid. In guidance last month, the government said lost revenue would be calculated as a drop in year-over-year net operating income.

The change would require providers to show declines in bottom-line profits, rather than top-line revenues, attributable to the virus, so companies that reduced expenses as volumes fell may have to return some money, Spencer Perlman, director of health care research at Veda Partners, wrote in an Oct. 6 report.

A company spokesman said HCA could retain all of the provider relief grants through mid-2021, and possibly some permanently, and it could hold on to the accelerated Medicare payments for 29 months, based on the company’s current understanding of the guidance.

Since the initial outbreak of Covid-19 in the U.S., the company has gained experience managing through the pandemic, and “we believe returning these taxpayer dollars is appropriate and the socially responsible thing to do,” Chief Executive Officer Sam Hazen said in a statement.

HCA’s repayments will be funded through available cash and future cash flow. The company’s balance sheet is also less leveraged than its closest peers, with total debt of 3.23 times earnings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

HCA also reported preliminary results for the third quarter, with adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $2.03 billion, missing analyst estimates. The results reflect a reversal of $822 million in stimulus income recorded during the second quarter, the Nashville, Tenn.-based company said in a statement.

HCA said hospital volumes in the third quarter were still down compared to the prior year, with same facility equivalent admissions expected to decline by 9%. The company plans to report full results on or about Oct. 26.

(Adds additional comment from company in fifth paragraph)

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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Premier League urge UK government to plan for fans’ return

The Premier League and the leaders of governing bodies across English soccer have pleaded with the UK government to speed up plans for fans to return to stadiums amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters was joined by David Baldwin (EFL chief executive), Mark Bullingham (FA chief executive) and Kelly Simmons (FA director of women’s professional game) as they penned an open letter with regards to fans returning to stadiums for the first time since March.

The statement urged the UK government to allow fans back in stadiums soon, as 11 test events were successful in August and September but more test events were canceled due to a huge spike in COVID-19 cases in September and October.

Fans were due to be able to return in small numbers from October 1 but that was canceled.

Restarting the test events

As per new regulations, indoor events will be allowed to have fans in the UK during the next few months but outdoor stadiums are still banned from having fans present.

“We will continue to urge Government to allow us to return fans safely to stadiums. It is positive progress that major arts and music venues have been told they can run socially-distanced events indoors. And now football should be allowed to do the same – in highly regulated and stewarded outdoor environments.”

“And in light of the postponement of test events we will intensify our efforts to pioneer new approaches – working with epidemiologists, scientists and medical experts in areas such as public health, clinical processes and occupational hygiene. This will make sure stadiums are COVID-safe by considering best-practice screening and hygiene methods to ensure that fans and the general public will be safe and drive the Government’s sporting plans to move faster.”

How could Premier League fans return?

They added that the following changes could be made to allow fans to return to stadiums:

  • Screening spectators before they enter the ground
  • Installing temperature checks
  • Requiring masks to be worn
  • One-way systems
  • Providing a code of conduct for all those attending on a matchday.
  • Deep-cleaning practices to help further reduce the risk of virus transmission

The statement ends by saying:

“We all know why caution is needed, and we ask Government for consistency in their policy so sport is treated as fairly as other activities currently allowed to welcome spectators. So, we will continue to urge the relevant authorities to let us, together, use innovative ways to bring fans safely back into football grounds, starting with a return of the test event programme.”

How is it working elsewhere?

The Bundesliga in Germany have taken a general approach of having 20 percent of fans returning to stadiums for the 2020-21 season, with each region in Germany responsible for overseeing how fans are allowed to attend.

Borussia Dortmund had 11,000 fans in attendance for a game at their 80,000 capacity Westfalenstadion at the weekend.

The lower leagues in English soccer

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Irish government rejects return to full coronavirus lockdown

The Irish government has rejected a recommendation to return the country to a full lockdown in the first clash with health chiefs since the Covid outbreak began.



Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

The surprise recommendation by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) late on Sunday to impose the highest of five levels of restrictions possible with immediate effect had led to sharp criticism from some of the country’s most senior politicians, including the former taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

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While the rising spread of the virus is causing alarm and has led to partial lockdowns in several counties, most of the country is still on level 2 restrictions, involving fewer limits to social and economic activity.

Ministers faced opposition from politicians and business to what would have amounted to Europe’s first major second-wave national lockdown.

On Monday night, the cabinet opted to move the country to level 3 from midnight on Tuesday. This involves a ban on visits to houses by more than one other household and no more than six people, restrictions to restaurants and pubs, most of which remain open, no outdoor events, no matches or events unless elite sports and weddings restricted to 25 people.



a man and a woman sitting on a bench: A waiter serves customers at a pub in Dublin last month.


© Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images
A waiter serves customers at a pub in Dublin last month.

The taoiseach, Micheál Martin, said central to discussions about moving to level 5 was looking at the wider implications for the economy.

“What happens next is in our own hands,” Martin said in a televised address, saying some businesses may not be able to recover from a disproportionate reimposition of more severe restrictions. “It’s about protecting lives and livelihoods.”

Varadkar, who is now the deputy prime minister with responsibility for jobs, went further, telling RTÉ on Monday night that NPHET’s level 5 recommendation “hadn’t been thought through and there hadn’t been prior consultation”.

His was also critical of how NPHET has acted, saying “landing something on a Sunday night … without prior consultation” was not the right way to do things.

The decision will be debated in the Dáil on Tuesday and is expected to prompt clashes with the main opposition party, Sinn Féin, led by Mary Lou McDonald.

Varakdar said a move from level 2 to level 5 would have amounted to an “experiment” not tried elsewhere in Europe and that the body in charge of Ireland’s hospitals disagreed with the health chiefs’ capacity concerns.

The Irish Times said the decision had meant “the relationship between the government and NPHET has been fundamentally reset”.

As the fallout from the breakdown in the relationship with medical chiefs was beginning to hit, the government minister Thomas Byrne said on RTE radio on Tuesday morning that moving to level 5 would have created financial difficulties.

He said Varadkar has been “typically blunt” but he had “absolute confidence” in the chief medical officer, Tony Holohan.

The political editor of the Examiner said Varadkar had “not only thrown Dr Holohan under a bus but reversed

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Will the Morrison government learn from its Covid success or return to trickle-down economics?

Reality constantly reminds us that the biggest risk the pandemic poses is to those who think it is less than it seems. From the White House to the safe house, this is a virus that locks on to system weakness and exploits individual arrogance.



Scott Morrison wearing a suit and tie: Photograph: Mick Tsikas/EPA


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Photograph: Mick Tsikas/EPA

The US presidential race is paralysed because one of the candidates believed he had the power to wish it away and let freedom reign, while countries like Sweden that chose to let it run are paying a higher economic cost than those whose governments swung into action.

Closer to home, Victorians have been living the repercussions of the previously unchallenged orthodoxies that you can outsource public safety and transform the care for our oldest and most vulnerable from a public service into a market.

Related: Essential poll: tax cuts brought forward but only 25% of voters think budget will benefit them

It’s as if the virus is engaging in a real-time critique of the free market ideology that decrees big government is bad, taxes are a burden, caring for others is counterproductive and the market will always determine the best course of action.

As Kurt Anderson has outlined in his excellent new book Evil Geniuses, these assumptions lie at the heart of a political model ruthlessly promoted for the past 50 years by an organised cabal of wealthy industrialists, libertarians and the “useful idiots” they seconded to their cause.



Scott Morrison wearing a suit and tie looking at the camera: ‘The levers the government is pulling seem geared to getting the economy back to where it was before the current crisis hit.’


© Photograph: Mick Tsikas/EPA
‘The levers the government is pulling seem geared to getting the economy back to where it was before the current crisis hit.’

Now, as the world thinks through a recovery to the pandemic’s shock, the Friedman model of trickle-down economics, deregulation and rabid individualism is finally coming under scrutiny.

This context takes centre stage as the Morrison government releases its delayed budget later on Tuesday. Like so much of what this government does, the plan has been broken into so many pre-packaged announce-ables that it’s hard to see a bigger picture. But there is one.

While there is no hiding the fact that the prematurely celebrated budget surplus is history, the levers the government is pulling seem geared to getting the economy back to where it was before the crisis hit. It’s business as usual with a deferred payment plan.

Related: Budget 2020: Coalition hopes to drag Australia out of recession with tax cuts and big spending

We caught this thinking in the government’s initial response to the forced lockdown: incentives for small businesses to invest in expansion when all they were thinking about was survival; incentives for home renovations when a new pagoda is the last thing on anyone’s mind.

These were textbook Freidman-inspired attempts to bookkeep our way through a downturn, giving business and individuals financial incentives to do things that were against their disposition. Unsurprisingly, they were undersubscribed and fell flat.

It wasn’t until the crisis prompted the government to put money directly into the pockets of those most vulnerable that the

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Will Morrison government learn from its Covid success or return to trickle-down economics? | Peter Lewis | Opinion

Reality constantly reminds us that the biggest risk the pandemic poses is to those who think it is less than it seems. From the White House to the safe house, this is a virus that locks on to system weakness and exploits individual arrogance.

The US presidential race is paralysed because one of the candidates believed he had the power to wish it away and let freedom reign, while countries like Sweden that chose to let it run are paying a higher economic cost than those whose governments swung into action.

Closer to home, Victorians have been living the repercussions of the previously unchallenged orthodoxies that you can outsource public safety and transform the care for our oldest and most vulnerable from a public service into a market.

It’s as if the virus is engaging in a real-time critique of the free market ideology that decrees big government is bad, taxes are a burden, caring for others is counterproductive and the market will always determine the best course of action.

As Kurt Anderson has outlined in his excellent new book Evil Geniuses, these assumptions lie at the heart of a political model ruthlessly promoted for the past 50 years by an organised cabal of wealthy industrialists, libertarians and the “useful idiots” they seconded to their cause.

Now, as the world thinks through a recovery to the pandemic’s shock, the Friedman model of trickle-down economics, deregulation and rabid individualism is finally coming under scrutiny.

This context takes centre stage as the Morrison government releases its delayed budget later on Tuesday. Like so much of what this government does, the plan has been broken into so many pre-packaged announce-ables that it’s hard to see a bigger picture. But there is one.

While there is no hiding the fact that the prematurely celebrated budget surplus is history, the levers the government is pulling seem geared to getting the economy back to where it was before the crisis hit. It’s business as usual with a deferred payment plan.

We caught this thinking in the government’s initial response to the forced lockdown: incentives for small businesses to invest in expansion when all they were thinking about was survival; incentives for home renovations when a new pagoda is the last thing on anyone’s mind.

These were textbook Freidman-inspired attempts to bookkeep our way through a downturn, giving business and individuals financial incentives to do things that were against their disposition. Unsurprisingly, they were undersubscribed and fell flat.

It wasn’t until the crisis prompted the government to put money directly into the pockets of those most vulnerable that the strategy began to work. Doubling unemployment support and providing struggling businesses with a Keynesian lifeline may have been anathema, but it got money circulating in a shocked economy.

The big question for today’s budget is: can the government can learn from these successes? Early indications suggest not.

The choices the government is making speak to a desire to go back to the way things were. Tax cuts

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