Bob Weir Leads All-Star Friends At The Warren Haynes’ Christmas Jam [Watch]

first_imgLast night, Warren Haynes hosted his annual Christmas Jam in Asheville, NC. Among the many great performances of the night was one from Bob Weir, who hosted a sensational lineup of musicians throughout his set. Among those performing with Weir were Warren Haynes, John Medeski, Holly Bowling, Branford Marsalis, Don Was, Steve Kimock, Duane Trucks and so many more.Weir first appeared during a funk jam set before his own headlining effort. He joined Eric Krasno, George Porter Jr., John Medeski, and more for a rocking take on “Sugaree” before bringing out his own band.Fortunately, a series of videos allow us to experience this one-of-a-kind set. Check out the footage from rohbear1, streaming below. Stay tuned fo more coverage from the Xmas Jam!last_img read more

Iraq has confirmed thousands more COVID-19 cases than reported, medics say

first_imgThe new coronavirus has hit Iraq’s neighbor Iran worse than any country in the region. Iraq has close trade and religious ties with Iran and a large border, which Iraq shut in February over fears of the spread of the infection.Iraq’s healthcare system, among other infrastructure, has been stretched by decades of sanctions, war and neglect, one among several problems that spurred mass anti-government protests in recent months.Pilgrims Governments across the world have struggled to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. The United States, Italy and Spain are the countries worst hit by the disease, which has infected nearly a million people worldwide and killed nearly 47,000.The three Iraqi doctors and the political official said national security officials have attended health ministry meetings and urged authorities not to reveal the high figures because it could create public disorder with a rush on medical supplies, and make it harder to control the disease’s spread.The health ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment on any such discussions.One of the doctors said the death toll was also likely higher than the official toll, but not by much. “On Saturday last week alone, about 50 people were buried who died from the disease,” he said. At that time the official death toll was 42.Testing facilities are limited and Iraq has publicly acknowledged that the actual number of cases must be higher than the number of confirmed cases.Many doctors blame the accelerating spread of the disease on people refusing to be tested or isolated and on the flouting of a nationwide curfew, including by thousands of pilgrims who flocked to a Shi’ite Muslim shrine in Baghdad last month.The three doctors and the health official said many new cases were from eastern Baghdad where those pilgrims live.Separately, some Shi’ite pilgrims returning to Iraq from Syria have tested positive for coronavirus, a senior Iraqi official and health officials said on Sunday. The ministry said in its latest daily statement on Thursday that the total recorded confirmed cases for Iraq were 772, with 54 deaths.But the three doctors, who work in pharmaceutical teams helping test suspected COVID-19 cases in Baghdad, each said that confirmed cases of the disease, based on discussions among fellow medics who see daily results, were between about 3,000 and 9,000 although they each gave different estimates.The health ministry official, who also works in testing for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, said that there were more than 2,000 confirmed cases from eastern Baghdad alone, not counting the number in other areas or provinces.The political official, who has attended meetings with the health ministry, also said thousands of cases were confirmed. Iraq has thousands of confirmed COVID-19 cases, many times more than the 772 it is has publicly reported, according to three doctors closely involved in the testing process, a health ministry official and a senior political official.The sources all spoke on condition of anonymity. Iraqi authorities have instructed medical staff not to speak to media.Iraq’s health ministry, the only official outlet for information on the COVID-19 disease, could not immediately be reached for comment. Reuters sent voice and written messages asking its spokesman if the actual number of confirmed cases was higher than the ministry had reported and if so why.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Americas economies led by tourism WTTC

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H Tourism to the Americas is worth a total $1.9 trillion dollars, says WTTC Highlighting the significance of tourism to the area, a new study has found that the travel and tourism industry in the Americas region is three times the size of automotive manufacturing and a third larger than the global chemicals and mining industries. Released at the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) inaugural Regional Summit of the Americas in Riviera Maya, Mexico, the WTTC study revealed that the sector’s direct contribution to the Americas GDP in 2011 was US$666 billion, while its total contribution to GDP was valued at around $1.9 trillion. This compares favorably to the automotive, mining and chemicals industries, which contributed six, six and seven per cent to GDP respectively. In addition to this, the research found that travel and tourism’s contribution to GDP was increasing more rapidly than most other sectors in the region – according to the survey, the industry will grow by 3.6 per cent over the next ten years, compared to the growth rates of mining (1.5%), education (2%), chemicals (2.5%) and financial services (3.4%).  On the jobs front, the research undertaken by Oxford Economics, found that travel and tourism directly employed some 15 million people, easily surpassing the job creation of mining (2.5m), chemicals manufacturing (2.5m), automotive (4m) and financial services (10m). Proving that expenditure on travel was “more powerful” than that of most other sectors, the study showed that for every US$1 million spent on tourism and hospitality in Mexico, the industry generated a further $1.5 million to the overall national economy as well as 66 jobs (compared to an average of 42 for all sectors).Case studies on the United States, Canada, Jamaica, Brazil and Argentina drew similar conclusions. WTTC president and chief executive David Scowsill said the findings were “extraordinary”.“These figures prove that it is time that the governments really sit up and take notice of the travel and tourism industry,” he remarked. “As a driver of economic recovery and growth in a very turbulent time, the industry stands apart for the sheer scale of its ability to create jobs and growth in every part of the globe and especially in the Americas as shown by this study.”In related news, research by UNWTO and WTTC presented at the T20 Ministers’ Meeting in Merida, Mexico, has revealed that improving international visa processes may create an additional five million jobs in G20 economies by 2015.According to the study, better visa processing could see G20 economies boost their international tourist numbers by around 122 million in three years, generating an extra $206 billion in tourism exports.last_img read more