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John Kerry: COP26 is creating ‘more climate ambition than the world has ever seen’

The US climate envoy says he’s heading to the Glasgow summit as an “optimist.”

John Kerry, the US special envoy for climate, calls COP26 the “last, best chance” for solve the climate crisis.

With four days to go until the UN climate summit known as COP26, John Kerry, the US special envoy for climate, has already declared the conference a success — at least when it comes to ambition.

“Glasgow has already summoned more climate ambition than the world has ever seen,” said Kerry, speaking at an event at the London School of Economics on Thursday. “And in that regard, Glasgow has achieved success.”

Kerry has already called COP26, which will take place in Glasgow, Scotland, the world’s “last, best chance” to solve the climate crisis. The goal of the summit is to gather the world’s leaders together to support the goal of hoka shoes ensuring temperature change remains “well below” the 2 degrees Celsius agreed to by UN signatories in the Paris Agreement in 2015.

Kerry conceded that not all of the world’s countries are fully aligned with what the science says they must do to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis, but added that more countries than ever before are stepping up. He had previously stated that he thought it was possible that countries may not be able to meet the target for cutting fossil fuel emissions at the summit, but said on Thursday that he’s heading into Glasgow “an optimist.”

The former US secretary of state spoke of how being in public life meant making hard decisions every day, where cost and benefit are often closely balanced. “This, my friends, is not a hard choice,” he said. “Addressing the climate crisis is the only choice, and in every way, the cost of inaction is far greater than the cost of action.”

Reiterating President Biden’s commitment to helping developing countries meet climate targets with a $100 billion fund and increasing support sixfold by 2024, Kerry said it’s important for wealthy countries to stand together with those in the most vulnerable nations. “They did not create this crisis, but they and their people are on the front lines,” he said.

Without equitable, inclusive adaptation plans, said Kerry, it may be that 150 million people a year by 2030 need international humanitarian assistance as a result of climate-related disasters. If those plans are put in place, that number could be hey dude shoes cut to 10 million by 2050 — which, he conceded, is still “too many.”

Kerry also spoke of his own roots as a climate activist back in the 1970s, and “having doors slammed in my face.” He appealed to today’s young climate activists to not let the fight stop after COP26.

“Glasgow is the new beginning of this decisive decade,” he said. “The day after Glasgow, we need you to keep this fight going. And together my friends, let’s get this done. It’s doable.”

Why Many Black Americans Changed Their Minds About COVID Shots

TUSKEGEE, Ala. — By the time vaccines for the coronavirus were introduced late last year, the pandemic had taken two of Lucenia Williams Dunn’s close friends. Still, Dunn, a former mayor of Tuskegee, contemplated for months whether to be inoculated.

It was a complicated consideration, framed by the government’s botched response to the pandemic,brooks shoes its disproportionate toll on Black communities and an infamous 40-year government experiment for which her hometown is often associated.

“I thought about the vaccine most every day,” said Dunn, 78, who finally walked into a pharmacy this summer and rolled up her sleeve for a shot, convinced after weighing with her family and doctor the possible consequences of remaining unvaccinated.

“What people need to understand is some of the hesitancy is rooted in a horrible history, and for some, it’s truly a process of asking the right questions to get to a place of getting the vaccine.”

In the first months after the vaccine rollout, Black Americans were far less likely than white Americans to be vaccinated. In addition to the difficulty of obtaining shots in their communities, their hesitancy was fueled by a powerful combination of general mistrust of the government and medical institutions, and misinformation over the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.

But a wave of pro-vaccine campaigns and a surge of virus hospitalizations and deaths this summer, mostly among the unvaccinated and caused by the highly contagious delta variant, have narrowed the gap, experts say. So, too, have the Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of a vaccine and new employer mandates. A steadfast resistance to vaccines in some white communities may also have contributed to the lessening disparity.

While gaps persist in some regions, by late September, according to the most recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a roughly equal share of Black, white and Hispanic adult populations — 70% of Black adults, 71% of white adults and 73% of Hispanic adults — had received at least one vaccine dose. A Pew study in late August revealed similar patterns. Federal data shows a larger racial gap, but that data is missing demographic information for many vaccine recipients.

Since May, when vaccines were widely available to a majority of adults across the country, monthly surveys by Kaiser have shown steady improvement in vaccination rates among Black Americans.

How the racial gap was narrowed — after months of disappointing turnout and limited access — is a testament to decisions made in many states to send familiar faces to knock on doors and dispel myths about the vaccines’ effectiveness, provide internet access to make appointments and offer transportation to vaccine sites.

In North Carolina, which requires vaccine providers to collect race and ethnicity data, hospital systems and community groups conducted door-to-door canvassing and hosted pop-up clinics at a theme park, a bus station clarks shoes uk and churches. Over the summer, the African American share of the vaccinated population began to more closely mirror the African American share of the general population.

In Mississippi, which has one of the country’s worst vaccination rates and began similar endeavors, 38% of people who have started the vaccine process are Black, a share that is roughly equal to the Black share of Mississippi’s population.

And in Alabama, public awareness campaigns and rides to vaccination sites helped transform dismal inoculation rates. A store owner and county commissioner in Panola, a tiny rural town near the Mississippi border, led the effort to vaccinate nearly all of her majority Black community.

Today, about 40% of Black Alabama residents — up from about 28% in late April — have had at least one dose, a feat in a state that has ranked among the lowest in overall vaccination rates and highest in per capita deaths from COVID-19. About 39% of white people in the state have had one dose, up from 31% in late April.

Health officials and community leaders say that those who remain unvaccinated have pointed to concerns about how quickly the vaccines were developed and what their long-term health effects might be, plus disinformation such as whether they contain tracking devices or change people’s DNA. The damage wrought by the government-backed trials in Tuskegee, in which Black families were misled by health care professionals, also continues to play a role in some communities, helping to explain why some African Americans have still held out.

“It’s less about saying, ‘This racial ethnic group is more hesitant, more unwilling to get vaccinated,’ and more about saying, ‘You know, this group of people in this given area or this community doesn’t have the information or access they need to overcome their hesitancy,’ ” said Nelson Dunlap, chief of staff for the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta.

When the U.S. Public Health Service began what it called the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male,” 600 Black men — 399 with syphilis and 201 without the disease — were told they would be treated for so-called bad blood in exchange for free medical exams, meals and burial insurance. In reality, treatment was withheld. Even after penicillin was discovered as an effective treatment, most did not receive the antibiotic.

The experiment began in 1932 and did not stop until 1972, and only after it was exposed in a news article. The surviving men and the heirs of those who had died were later awarded a settlement totaling about $10 million, and the exposure of the study itself eventually led to reforms in medical research. Still, the damage endured.

“Few families escaped the study. Everyone here knows someone who was in the study,” said Omar Neal, 64, a radio show host and former Tuskegee mayor who counts three relatives in the study and who wavered on a vaccine before finally getting one, his mind changed by the rising number of deaths. “And the betrayal — because that is what the study was — is often conjured whenever people are questioning something related to mistrusting medicine or science.”

Rueben C. Warren, director of the National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care at Tuskegee University, said the study was a real example in the long line of medical exploitation and neglect experienced by Black Americans, eroding trust in the government and health care systems.

“The questions being asked about the vaccine should be understood in the larger context of historic inequities in health care,” Warren said. “The hope, of course, is they finally decide to get the vaccine.”

A national campaign led by the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative, a coalition of experts, tackled the hesitation. This summer, a short-form documentary including descendants of the men in the Tuskegee study was added to the campaign.

When Deborah Riley Draper, who created the short-form documentary, interviewed descendants of the Tuskegee study, she was struck by how shrouded it was in myths and misconceptions, such as the false claim that the government had injected the men with syphilis.

“The descendants’ message was clear that African Americans are as much a part of public health as any other group and we need to fight for access and information,” she said.

In Macon County, Alabama, which has a population of about 18,000 and is home to many descendants of the Tuskegee trials, about 45% of Black residents have hey dude shoes received at least one vaccine dose. Community leaders, including those who are part of a task force that meets weekly, attribute the statistic, in part, to local outreach and education campaigns and numerous conversations about the difference between the Tuskegee study and the coronavirus vaccines.

For months, Martin Daniel, 53, and his wife, Trina Daniel, 49, resisted the vaccines, their uncertainty blamed in part on the study. Their nephew Cornelius Daniel, a dentist in Hampton, Georgia, said he grew up hearing about the research from his uncle and saw in his own family how the long-running deception had sown generational distrust of medical institutions.

Cornelius Daniel, 31, said he overcame his own hesitation in the spring because the risks of working in patients’ mouths outweighed his concerns.

His uncle and aunt reconsidered their doubts more slowly, but over the summer, as the delta variant led to a surge in hospitalizations across the South, the Daniels made vaccination appointments for mid-July. Before the date arrived, though, they and their two teenage children tested positive for the coronavirus.

On July 6, the couple, inseparable since meeting as students on the campus of Savannah State University, died about six hours apart. Their children are now being raised by Cornelius Daniel and his wife, Melanie Daniel, 32.

“We truly believe the vaccine would have saved their lives,” Melanie Daniel said.

The Greatest Killer in New Orleans Wasn’t the Hurricane. It Was the Heat.

National Guard members distribute ice outside a community center in New Orleans on Sept. 1, 2021. The city was without power for days after Hurricane Ida made landfall. (Johnny Milano/The New York Times)
National Guard members distribute ice outside a community center in New Orleans on Sept. 1, 2021. The city was without power for days after Hurricane Ida made landfall.

NEW ORLEANS — In many ways, Iley Joseph’s one-bedroom apartment was an ideal place to ride out a hurricane. It was on the third floor — much too high to flood — of a building that was sturdy and new, part of a sleek, gated community for older residents like him.

But in the days after Hurricane Ida, his home began to feel like a trap. nike store The huge power failure that cut off electricity to New Orleans rendered Joseph’s air-conditioner useless and his refrigerator nothing more than a cupboard. Even worse, the outage froze the complex’s elevators in place, sealing him inside the building because his health problems prevented him from using the stairs.

Joseph, 73, insisted in telephone conversations with his sons that he was doing just fine. But in his apartment, No. 312, it kept getting hotter. On Sept. 2, the fourth day after the storm hit — the hottest yet — a friend found him lying still on the side of his bed.

“I call his name, he doesn’t respond,” said the friend, Jared Righteous. “I realized he was gone.”

Only in recent days, as the last lights flickered back on in New Orleans, have officials here discovered the true toll of Hurricane Ida. Unlike in the Northeast, where many who perished were taken by floodwaters and tornadoes, heat has emerged as the greatest killer in New Orleans.

Of 14 deaths caused by the storm in the city, Joseph’s and nine others are believed to be tied to the heat. Experts say there are probably more. And friends of those who died have begun to ask whether the government or apartment landlords could have done more to protect older residents before they died, often alone, in stiflingly hot homes.

“Heat is a hazard that we simply haven’t given sufficient attention to,” said David Hondula, a professor at Arizona State University who studies the effects of sweltering temperatures. “All cities are in the early stages of understanding what an effective heat response looks like.”

In New Orleans, officials set up air-conditioned cooling centers across the city and distributed food, water and ice around town. But for residents like Joseph who could not leave their buildings, the aid might as well have been worlds away.

All 10 people whose deaths have been tied to the heat were in their 60s and 70s, and they died over four broiling days, the last of which was Sept. 5, a full week after the storm.

Among the first was Corinne Labat-Hingle, a 70-year-old woman who had fled to Memphis during Hurricane Katrina but returned to New Orleans and was living at an apartment complex for older people near Saint Bernard Avenue, a short walk from the city’s largest park. She was found dead on Sept. 2, when the temperature reached 93 degrees outdoors and was most likely higher inside her apartment.

Two days later, another 93-degree day, four people were found dead, including Reginald Logan, 74, whose body was discovered after a neighbor saw flies in his window. On Sept. 5, the heat index reached 101, and one of the last victims of the heat was found dead:asics shoes Keith Law, a 65-year-old man who lived in the Algiers neighborhood.

Heat most likely contributes to more deaths each year than are officially recorded, Hondula said. Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports fewer than 700 heat-related deaths a year, some studies have estimated 5,000 to 12,000. Last month, The New York Times found that 600 more people died in Oregon and Washington in the last week of June, during a heat wave, than normally would have, a number three times the state officials’ estimates of heat-related deaths.

This comes as heat waves are growing more frequent, longer lasting and more dangerous. The 2018 National Climate Assessment, a major scientific report by 13 federal agencies, notes that the number of hot days is increasing, and the frequency of heat waves in the United States jumped from an average of two per year in the 1960s to six per year by the 2010s.

People who die from the heat may not recognize their symptoms as life-threatening, and heat-related deaths can also occur suddenly, with little warning. The most frequent cause is cardiovascular failure, when the heart cannot pump blood fast enough. Less frequent are deaths from heat stroke, when a person’s internal temperature rises by several degrees and the body cannot cool off, causing organs like the brain, heart or kidneys to fail.

Laura Bergerol, a 65-year-old New Orleans photographer, died on Sept. 5. She had planned to evacuate to Florida before the storm but told friends she had trouble finding a hotel room. By the time she arranged plans, it was too dangerous to leave. After the storm, an errant $400 charge on her bank account had left her without enough money to get out. She stocked up on candles and hunkered down in her second-floor apartment in an affordable complex built for artists in the Bywater neighborhood downriver from the French Quarter.

“Missed my window of opportunity,” she wrote on Twitter. “Curse you #HurricaneIda.”

Neighbors said Bergerol largely stayed in her apartment with the doors and windows closed. Still, she seemed to be surviving. On Sept. 3, she texted Josh Hailey,keen shoes  a neighbor, asking if she could visit his cat while he was out. “I have plenty of treats,” she wrote. The next day, she joined neighbors in the building’s courtyard for a showing of “Cinderella.”

On Sunday, Hailey let himself into her apartment when she did not answer the door. He found her lying on the floor and tried to resuscitate her, but it was too late. That evening, the neighbors played brass-band music in the courtyard and danced for Bergerol, recalling her vivid blue eyes and frequent, wide smile.

By then, city health officials had begun to realize the danger that older residents were facing. A day before Bergerol’s death, they evacuated eight apartments for older residents, including several where people had died. Now, city officials are considering mandating, during natural disasters, that subsidized apartments serving older or disabled residents have generators, conduct welfare checks or have a building manager on the property at all times, a spokesperson said.

The proposed measures are gaining momentum partly because of deaths like that of Joseph, the man stuck in apartment 312.

Joseph was well known at Village de Jardin, a relatively affordable complex in New Orleans East for people 55 and older. It is owned by the Louisiana Housing Corp., a state agency, and managed by Latter & Blum, a large real estate company that manages properties across several states. The housing agency said Latter & Blum had encouraged tenants to evacuate and then, after the storm, brought cooling buses to the property and supplies to tenants who chose to stay.

Joseph had retired years ago from a job selling car parts. He frequently chatted with neighbors, and his routine included grabbing coffee and beignets around town. He was known for his faith, his love of his family and, to some, his trademark reply, “Yes, indeed,” which led his grandchildren to call him Grandpa Yes Indeed. Many more people knew him for his humor, which is how he became friends with Righteous, 45, who was drawn to Joseph when he was cracking jokes at an event hosted by the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church.

In the days after the hurricane, neighbors looked out for Joseph, who was subsisting on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. One friend brought him a warm plate of food. A neighbor across the hall charged Joseph’s phone using a car battery and an inverter.

But Sept. 2 was the most grueling day yet. Around 1:45 p.m., the heat index was nearing 103, and Joseph’s phone had died again. He poked his head outside his door and motioned for a woman in the hallway to come closer. The woman, Rhonda Quinn, thought he looked unwell and asked if he needed some air. He brushed her off, joking that after days in the heat, he smelled too bad to go out, she said.

What he did need, he said, was to charge his phone to make a call. Quinn found someone to help, but when she tried to return the phone sometime before 3 p.m., he did not answer her repeated knocks. She assumed he had gone out, and she left.

Shortly after, Joseph’s friend from church, Righteous, pulled into the complex’s parking lot with a bag of oatmeal cream pies and other snacks. He, too, received no answer after knocking on Joseph’s door. When he opened it, he found Joseph slumped to the side of the bed, as if he had been sitting on its edge and looking out the window.

His death has left his two sons grief-stricken and stunned, unable to understand how their father could make it through the hurricane’s wrath without a scratch only to perish in the heat that followed.

“He didn’t die from flooding, he didn’t die from a lightning bolt,” said his oldest son, Iley Joseph Jr., 45. “It’s just, he’s gone.”

Florida grapples with COVID-19’s deadliest phase yet

MIAMI (AP) — Funeral director Wayne Bright has seen grief piled upon grief during the latest COVID-19 surge.

A woman died of the virus, and as her family was planning the funeral, her mother was also struck down. An aunt took over arrangements for the double funeral, only to die of COVID-19 herself two weeks afterward.

“That was one of the most devastating things ever,” said Bright, who also arranged the funeral last week of one of his closest friends.

Florida is in the grip of its deadliest wave of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, a disaster driven by the highly contagious delta variant.

While Florida’s vaccination rate is slightly higher than the national average, steve madden shoes the Sunshine State has an outsize population of elderly people, who are especially vulnerable to the virus; a vibrant party scene; and a Republican governor who has taken a hard line against mask requirements, vaccine passports and business shutdowns.

As of mid-August, the state was averaging 244 deaths per day, up from just 23 a day in late June and eclipsing the previous peak of 227 during the summer of 2020. (Because of both the way deaths are logged in Florida and lags in reporting, more recent figures on fatalities per day are incomplete.)

Hospitals have had to rent refrigerated trucks to store more bodies. Funeral homes have been overwhelmed.

Cristina Miles, a mother of five from Orange Park, is among those facing more than one loss at a time. Her husband died after contracting COVID-19, and less than two weeks later, her mother-in-law succumbed to the virus.

“I feel we are all kind of in a weird dream state,” she said, adding that her children are grieving differently, with one shutting down, another feeling inspired to pass a hard swimming test, and the oldest going about her life as usual.

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten tours a classroom at the New River Middle School, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Weingarten is on a nationwide tour of schools to stress the importance of safely returning to five-day-a-week in person learning. Broward County is one of numerous school districts in Florida with a mask mandate for students. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten tours a classroom at the New River Middle School, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Weingarten is on a nationwide tour of schools to stress the importance of safely returning to five-day-a-week in person learning. Broward County is one of numerous school districts in Florida with a mask mandate for students. 

Hospitals have been swamped with patients who, like Miles’ husband and mother-in-law, hadn’t gotten vaccinated.

In a positive sign, the number of people in the ecco shoes hospital with COVID-19 in Florida has dropped over the past two weeks from more than 17,000 to 14,200 on Friday, indicating the surge is easing.

Florida made an aggressive effort early on to vaccinate its senior citizens. But Dr. Kartik Cherabuddi, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Florida, said the raw number of those who have yet to get the shot is still large, given Florida’s elderly population of 4.6 million.

“Even 10% is still a very large number, and then folks living with them who come in contact with them are not vaccinated,” Cherabuddi said. “With delta, things spread very quickly.”

Cherabuddi said there is also a “huge difference” in attitudes toward masks in Florida this summer compared with last year. This summer, “if you traveled around the state, it was like we are not really in a surge,” he said.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has strongly opposed certain mandatory measures to keep the virus in check, saying people should be trusted to make decisions for themselves. He has asserted, too, that the spike in cases is seasonal as Floridians spend more time indoors to escape the heat.

At his funeral home in Tampa, Bright is working weekdays and weekends, staying past midnight sometimes.

“Usually we serve between five and six families a week. Right now, we are probably seeing 12 to 13 new families every week,” he said. “It’s nonstop. We are just trying to keep up with the volume.”

He had to arrange the burial of one of his closest friends, a man he had entrusted with the access code to his house. nike sneakers They used to carpool each other’s kids to school, and their families would gather for birthday and Super Bowl parties.

“It is very, very difficult to go through this process for someone you love so dearly,” he said.

Pat Seemann, a nurse practitioner whose company has nearly 500 elderly, homebound patients in central Florida, had not lost a single patient during the first waves. And then the variant she calls “the wrecking ball” hit.

In the past month, she lost seven patients in two weeks, including a husband and wife who died within days of each other.

“I cried all weekend. I was devastated, angry,” she said.

Overall, more than 46,300 people have died of COVID-19 in Florida, which ranks 17th in per-capita deaths among the states.

The majority of the deaths this summer — like last summer — are among the elderly. Of the 2,345 people whose recent deaths were reported over the past week, 1,479 of them were 65 and older — or 63%.

“The focus needs to be on who’s dying and who’s ending up in the hospital,” Seeman said. “It’s still going after the elderly.”

But the proportion of under-65 people dying of COVID-19 has grown substantially, which health officials attribute to lower vaccination rates in those age groups.

Aaron Jaggi, 35, was trying to get nike store healthy before he died of COVID-19, 12 hours after his older brother Free Jaggi, 41, lost his life to the virus. They were overweight, which increases the risk of severe COVID-19 illness, and on the fence about getting vaccinated, thinking the risk was minimal because they both worked from home, said Brittany Pequignot, who has lived with the family at various times and is like an adopted daughter.

After their death, the family found a whiteboard that belonged to Aaron. It listed his daily goals for sit-ups and push-ups.

“He was really trying,” Pequignot said.

‘Punky Brewster’ star Soleil Moon Frye ‘feeling so many feels’ after revival canceled

Soleil Moon Frye is “feeling so many feels” today, after NBC’s streaming service, Peacock, pulled the plug on a revival of beloved sitcom Punky Brewster.

“We just got the news yesterday that they made the hard decision to not pick up our Punky for another season,” Frye shared Friday morning on social media. hey dude “I am so grateful for your constant love and support. I am feeling so many feels about what to say to all of our friends, family, and fans that have supported us so I will share what I wrote to my Punky family last night which all of you that have loved us have been a part of.”

Soleil Moon Frye first played Punky Brewster when the show premiered in 1984. (Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Chrysalis Butterfly Ball)
Soleil Moon Frye first played Punky Brewster when the show premiered in 1984.
Frye originally played the role of Punky, an irrepressibly sunny little girl who lived with her foster dad and her dog, Brandon, during its original run of NBC from 1984 to 1988. She was just 8 when the show premiered. Now 45, the actress pulled back on her brightly colored ensembles for new adventures that first premiered in February. So her note to the Punky team was understandably emotional.”I want to start by saying I love each and every one of you from the depths of my heart. I am so incredibly grateful for all balenciaga shoes of the beautiful stunning gifts you gave to me and the way in which you touched my heart and so many others. The best way I can put this experience is that it has felt like lightning in a bottle, a comet of joy, heart and love that I will hold closest to my heart forever and always. You helped me find my inner strength and Punky Power once again. This has always been more than a show, it has been the collective of spirits coming together to help make the world a better place and create change by sharing our stories.”

She asked that people continue to follow their passions and to make their dreams happen.

Many of Frye’s online followers reassured her that another streamer would pick up the ’80s favorite. And she seemed open to the idea.

“I feel in my heart our paths will continue to come together again,” she added.

Meanwhile, her co-star Cherie Johnson, who played Punky’s best friend Cherie in both the original and the new version of the sitcom, gave her own statement.

Soleil Moon Frye and Cherie Johnson played best friends for the first time in 1984. (Photo: NBC/Courtesy: Everett Collection)
Soleil Moon Frye and Cherie Johnson played best friends for the first time in 1984. 

“Life is about memories and we all made great ones. I am super proud first that everyone who grew up with us continued to grow with us once more!” she said. “I am proud of everyone involved it was a lot of hard work and dedication to bang out the season with the challenges of Covid!”

She thanked the hundreds of people involved with the steve madden shoes show and gave special recognition to Frye.

“And my Dear sweet BFF you are a whole entire legend boo @moonfrye,” Johnson wrote, “a job you booked at 5 years old you worked your booty off to come back as a EXECUTIVE PRODUCER talk about Punky Power!!”

In a statement, Lisa Katz, the president of scripted programs at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, said, “Punky Brewster was a beloved series that tackled meaningful storylines with so much heart. It was a bright light for so many viewers and we are forever grateful to Universal Studio Group, the producers, the cast and crew and especially to Soleil Moon Frye for reigniting the Punky Power within everyone.”

Frye herself called the 2021 version of the show “a dream come true” during a March interview with Collider. She said at the time that she had “wanted to bring Punky back for so many years.”

Part of the reason, she explained, is that she’s “never known where Punky ended” and she began, because the two are alike in so many ways.


‘This is real’: Fear and hope in an Arkansas pediatric ICU


They Waited, They Worried, They Stalled. Then They Got the Shot.

A person receives a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine near Portland, Ore., on July 22, 2021. (Tojo Andrianarivo/The New York Times)
A person receives a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine near Portland, Ore., on July 22, 2021.

CHICAGO — They acknowledged that they could have showed up months ago. Many were satisfied that they were finally doing the right thing. A few grumbled that they had little choice.

On a single day this past week, more than a half-million people across the United States trickled into high school gymnasiums, pharmacies and buses converted into mobile clinics. Then they pushed up their sleeves and got their coronavirus vaccines.

These are the Americans who are being vaccinated at this moment in the brooks shoes pandemic: the reluctant, the anxious, the procrastinating.

In dozens of interviews Thursday in eight states, at vaccination clinics, drugstores and pop-up mobile sites, Americans who had finally arrived for their shots offered a snapshot of a nation at a crossroads — confronting a new surge of the virus but only slowly embracing the vaccines that could stop it.

The people being vaccinated now are not members of the eager crowds who rushed to early appointments. But they are not in the group firmly opposed to vaccinations, either.

Instead, they occupy a middle ground: For months, they have been unwilling to receive a coronavirus vaccine, until something or someone — a persistent family member, a work requirement, a growing sense that the shot was safe — convinced them otherwise.

How many people ultimately join this group — and how quickly — could determine the course of the coronavirus in the United States.

Some of the newly vaccinated said they made the decision abruptly, even casually, after months of inaction. One woman in Portland, Oregon, was waiting for an incentive before she got her shot, and when she heard that a pop-up clinic at a farmers market was distributing $150 gift cards, she decided it was time. A 60-year-old man in Los Angeles spontaneously stopped in for a vaccine because he noticed that, for once, there was no line at a clinic. A construction worker said his job schedule had made it difficult to get the shot.

Many people said they had arrived for a vaccine after intense pressure from family or friends.

“‘You’re going to die. Get the COVID vaccine,’” Grace Carper, 15, recently told her mother, Nikki White, of Urbandale, Iowa,skechers shoes as they debated when they would get their shots.

White, 38, woke up Thursday and said she would do it.

“If you want to go get your vaccine, get up,” White told her daughter, who was eager for the shot, and the pair went together to a Hy-Vee supermarket.

Others were moved by practical considerations: plans to attend a college that is requiring students to be vaccinated, a desire to spend time socializing with high school classmates or a job where unvaccinated employees were told to wear masks. Their answers suggest that the mandates or greater restrictions on the unvaccinated that are increasingly a matter of debate by employers and government officials could make a significant difference.

Audrey Sliker, 18, of Southington, Connecticut, said she got a shot because New York’s governor announced that it was required of all students attending State University of New York schools. She plans to be a freshman at SUNY Cobleskill this fall.

“I just don’t like needles in general,” she said, leaving a white tent that housed a mobile vaccination site in Middlefield, Connecticut. “So it’s more like, ‘Do I need to get it?’”

Many people interviewed described their choices in personal, somewhat complicated terms.

Willie Pullen, 71, snacked on a bag of popcorn as he left a vaccination site in Chicago, one of the few people who showed up there that day. He was not opposed to the vaccines, exactly. Nearly everyone in his life was already vaccinated, he said, and although he is at greater risk because of his age, he said he believed he was healthy and strong enough to be able to think on it for a while.

What pushed him toward a high school on the West Side hey dude of Chicago, where free vaccines were being administered, was the illness of the aging mother of a friend. Pullen wanted to visit her. He felt it would be irresponsible to do so unvaccinated.

“I was holding out,” Pullen said. “I had reservations about the safety of the vaccine and the government doing it. I just wanted to wait and see.”

‘I’m still not sure if it’s safe’

The campaign to broadly vaccinate Americans against the coronavirus began in a roaring, highly energetic push early this year, when millions were inoculated each day and coveted vaccine appointments were celebrated with joyful selfies on social media. The effort peaked April 13, when an average of 3.38 million doses were being administered in the United States. The Biden administration set a goal to have 70% of American adults at least partly vaccinated by July 4.

But since mid-April, vaccinations have steadily decreased and in recent weeks plateaued. Weeks after the July 4 bench mark has passed, the effort has now dwindled, distributing about 537,000 doses each day on average — about an 84% decrease from the peak.

About 68.7% of American adults have received at least one shot. Conservative commentators and politicians have questioned the safety of the three vaccines that the Food and Drug Administration has approved for emergency use, and in some parts of the country, opposition to inoculation is tied to politics. An analysis by The New York Times of vaccine records and voter records in every U.S. county found that both willingness to receive a coronavirus vaccine and actual vaccination rates were lower, on average, in counties where a majority of residents voted to reelect Donald Trump.

Despite the lagging vaccination effort, there are signs that alarming headlines about a new surge in coronavirus cases and the highly infectious delta variant could be pushing more Americans to consider vaccination. On Friday, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said there had been “encouraging data” showing that the five states with the highest case rates — Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri and Nevada — were also seeing higher vaccination numbers.

In Florida, a clinic in Sarasota County was quiet, a brightly lit waiting area full of mostly empty chairs. Several people wandered in, often no more than one or two in an hour. Lately, they are vaccinating fewer than 30 people there a day.

Elysia Emanuele, 42, a paralegal, came for a shot. One factor in her decision had been the rising case numbers in the state, which she had been watching with worry.

“If everything had gone smoothly, if we had shut down immediately and did what we needed to do and it was seemingly wiped out,” she said, “I think I would have been less likely to get the vaccine.”

Some people said they had heard snippets that worried them about getting shots on social media or on cable television — misinformation about vaccines has circulated widely — but they said they ultimately dismissed the rumors.

In the shade of a freeway underpass in South Los Angeles, volunteers and would-be vaccine patients tried to talk over the roar of passing cars.

Ronald Gilbert, 60, said he did not really believe in the vaccines and has never been a fan of needles, but with an uptick in cases he reasoned that it was “better to be safe than sorry.”

“I feel better having this now. Seriously, I do,” he said. “I’m going to be walking like a rooster, chest up, like, ‘You got the vaccine? I got the vaccine.’”

News of the delta variant also changed the mind of Josue Lopez, 33, who had not planned on getting a vaccine after his whole family tested positive for the coronavirus in December.

“I thought I was immune, but with this variant, if it’s more dangerous, maybe it’s not enough,” he said. “Even now, I’m still not sure if it’s safe.”

‘We have to fight for every one of them’

At a vaccination site at Malcolm X College in Chicago, Sabina Richter, one of the workers there, said it used to be easy to find people to get shots. More recently, they had to offer incentives: passes to an amusement park in the north suburbs and Lollapalooza.

“Some people come in, and they’re still hesitant,” she said. “We have to fight for every one of them.”

Cherie Lockhart, an employee at a care facility in Milwaukee for older and disabled people, said she was worried about the vaccines because she did not trust a medical system that she felt had always treated Black people differently.

She was not anti-vaccine, she said, just stalling until something could help her be sure. Her mother ultimately convinced her.

“My mom has never steered me wrong,” said Lockhart, 35. “She said, ‘I feel this is right in my heart of hearts.’ So I prayed about it. And ultimately, I went with my guiding light.”

Many of the people who newly sought shots said they had wanted to see how the vaccines affected Americans who rushed to get them early.

“I do know people who have gotten it, and they haven’t gotten sick, so that’s why,” said Lisa Thomas, 45, a home health care worker from Portland, Oregon. “I haven’t heard of any cases of anyone hurting from it, and there’s a lot to benefit from it.”

For Cindy Adams, who works for a Des Moines, Iowa, insurance company, it was her job’s requirement to wear a mask as an unvaccinated person that pushed her into the Polk County Health Department drive-up clinic for her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Adams, 52, said she had been concerned about possible long-term effects of the vaccines. But now her husband, children and most of her extended family have been vaccinated, as have most of her co-workers.

“I just honestly got sick of wearing the mask,” Adams said. “We had an event yesterday, and I had to wear it for five hours because I was around a lot of people. And I was sick of it. Everyone else is healthy and hasn’t had any side effects, gravely, yet, so I decided I might as well join the crowd.”

James Michael Tyler, Gunther on ‘Friends,’ reveals he has stage 4 prostate cancer and can no longer walk

James Michael Tyler, the actor who played Gunther on Friends, reveals that he has stage 4 prostate cancer.

The 59-year-old appeared on Monday’s Today show to speak about his cancer journey. He was diagnosed in September 2018, he shared, but it was not caught early. It has since spread to his bones and he can no longer walk. He’s undergoing chemotherapy.

“I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, skechers shoes which had spread to my bones,” Tyler told Craig Melvin. “I’ve been dealing with that diagnosis for almost the past three years.” However, “It’s stage 4 [now], late-stage cancer, so eventually, it’s gonna probably get me.”

Tyler’s cancer was detected through a routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test — his first at age 56. A normal PSA number is around 1; Tyler’s was 654. (Doctors recommend that Black men or men with a history of prostate cancer get their first at 40. All others, at age 45.)

At first, he was treated with hormone therapy and he felt well. However, things took a turn amid the pandemic when he “missed going in for a test, which was not a good thing,” His cancer mutated and he suffered fractures in his bones, and tumors up and down his spine. It led to paraplegia, or paralysis of the lower body. He’s currently undergoing chemo, which is “aggressively” fighting the disease.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Actor James Michael Tyler attends the Central Perk Pop-Up Celebrating The 20th Anniversary Of
James Michael Tyler, of Friends fame, has advanced prostate cancer.

Tyler said he regrets not listening to his wife, who has been his “strength in all of this. I would have gone in earlier. It would have been hopefully caught earlier. Next time you go for a just a basic exam or your yearly checkup, please ask your doctor for a PSA test. Caught early, 99 percent treatable.”

He added, “I don’t want people to have to go through what I’ve been going through. This is not … an easy process.”

Dr. Matthew Rettig, a research scientist and oncologist at UCLA who treats Tyler, said, “With prostate cancer, it’s a little bit different from other cancers in that when it is diagnosed early, it’s almost always cured. When it’s diagnosed late, it’s rarely if ever cured.”

Rettig did genetic testing to determine that Tyler’s illness was genetic, not environmental. hey dude The actor later learned that his sibling had prostate cancer, but hadn’t shared his diagnosis.

Tyler says his goal “this past year was to see my 59th birthday,” he said, fighting back tears. “I did that. My goal now is to help save at least one life.”

Tyler recently appeared in the Friends HBO Max reunion special — but via Zoom. He said he didn’t want to make it about his illness.

“I didn’t want to be like, ‘Oh, and Gunther has cancer,'” he said. “I didn’t wanna bring a downer on it, you know?” He said he was “very happy to be included.”

He noted David Schwimmer and the producers were aware of his illness. On the mega-hit show, he played Central Perk fave Gunther, who carried a torch for Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel.

He’s appeared on episodes of Scrubs and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. He also Matt LeBlanc’s post-Friends series Episodes.

‘Friends: The Reunion’ Censored in China as Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and More Removed

“Friends: The Reunion” got off to a rocky start in the U.S. with middling reviews for the HBO Max special, and now hey dude shoes comes a report from The New York Times detailing the reunion’s censorship in China. The “Friends” special launched in China on the same day it began streaming in the U.S., only the three Chinese video platforms carrying the special each streamed a version of it with pieces missing. Fans were disappointed to discover highly-touted appearances by Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and BTS in “Friends: The Reunion” were removed.

As The New York Times reported: “Each missing cameo involved a star or group that had been a past target of Beijing’s ire, and fans suspected the show was stuck in censorship gear…Lady Gaga has been verboten in China since she met with the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, in 2016. Justin Bieber’s troubles with China began in 2014, when he posted a photo from the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honors Japan’s war dead, including war criminals from World War II. And the South Korean music group BTS neglected last year to mention the sacrifice of China’s troops when recalling the pain of the Korean War — even though the troops fought on the side of North Korea.”

“Friends” is a sensation in China because an entire generation fell in love with the series on DVD and used it to learn English. skechers outlet As The Times notes: “The sitcom was so popular that in major Chinese cities, it spawned look-alike fan cafes of the show’s coffee shop, Central Perk. Some fan accounts on social media noted that the lengths of each version of the special varied, depending on which streaming site users watched it, a likely indication that the online video platforms had cut the show on their own to avoid any potential grief with China’s watchful internet regulator.”

The censorship of “Friends: The Reunion” is only the latest news to come out of China this week regarding popular American franchises. John Cena found himself at the receiving end of backlash in China after he gave an interview promoting “F9″ and said Taiwan would be the first country to see it. Referencing Taiwan as a country angered those in China who claim Taiwan as a sovereign territory, which is the policy of the government in Beijing. Cena was forced to apologize.

“I’m sorry for my mistake,” Cena said in a video posted to the popular Chinese social media platform Weibo. “I must say now, [it’s] very, very, very, very important [that] I love, and respect even more, China and the Chinese people.”

“Friends: The Reunion” is now streaming on HBO Max in the U.S.

Jennifer Aniston responds to Mariah Carey’s ‘sad’ attempt at the ‘Rachel’ haircut

Mariah Carey revealed she once rocked
Mariah Carey revealed she once rocked “The Rachel” haircut inspired by the television series “Friends.”
Mariah Carey’s “Rachel” haircut, inspired by the television show Friends, has gold-star approval from hey dude shoes Jennifer Aniston herself.

“A sad attempt at the Rachel hairdo,” the 51-year-old Grammy winner wrote on Instagram Friday, following the Friends reunion special which aired on HBO Max. Carey’s photo, which caught Aniston’s eye, depicted her at the microphone, her hair styled with a headband. “LOVE IT,” wrote the 52-year-old actress who played Rachel Green on the sitcom.

In the early season of Friends, which aired from 1994 to 2004, Aniston’s character rocked a layered look created by hair guru skechers outlet Chris McMillan that inspired salon copycat cuts.

However, in 2015, Aniston revealed that she actually disliked the iconic trim, even by her favorite stylist. “I was not a fan of the ‘Rachel,'” she told Glamour. “That was kind of cringe-y for me. Looking back—honestly, even during that time—I couldn’t do it on my own. I needed Chris attached to my hip. Left to my own devices, I am not skilled with a hairbrush and blow-dryer.”

Jennifer Aniston's
Jennifer Aniston’s “Friends” character Rachel Green popularized the “Rachel” haircut.

Aniston’s hair wasn’t the only memory triggered by the reunion special, which was hosted by comedian James Corden. The rest of the cast — David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and Lisa Kudrow — reflected on the show’s best-kept secrets including the real-life flirtation between Aniston and Schwimmer, who played Ross, Rachel’s on-again, off-again boyfriend.

“The first season, I had a major crush on Jen,” Schwimmer said during the special, with no objection from Aniston who added, “We channeled all of that passion and love for each other into Ross and Rachel.”

Schwimmer continued, “We were both crushing hard on each other. It was two ships passing, because one of us was always in a relationship. We never crossed that boundary — we respected it.”

The cast revealed other behind-the-scenes secrets such as LeBlanc showing up for his final Friends audition with a bloody nose (the result of a drunken incident the night prior) and a blooper reel that had the gang in stitches.