Things That Matter

A Stampede At A Nightclub In Peru Left A Dozen Dead After Police Raided The Underground Party

Although many cities in the United States are attempting to return to normal – with bars and clubs opening and often packed with partygoers – most cities across Latin America remain under lockdown.

For some, lockdown orders have been in place since early-March, meaning the nightlife industry has been shuttered for nearly six months. Reports of clandestine clubs and underground parties have circulated on social media but for the most part it seems that most bars and clubs are following official health orders.

But as the lockdown orders stretch into their six month, many people are starting to risk their own lives (and those of their communities) by organizing larger parties. Such is the case of a club in Lima which opened despite oficial lockdown orders prohibiting them from doing so, and the result is a tragic reminder of the importance of staying home.

At least a dozen people were killed in a stampede as police raided an underground party.

At least 13 people have been killed and three others injured in a stampede at a nightclub in Lima, Peru, as partygoers attempted to escape a police raid on the venue, according to Orlando Velasco Mujica, general of the Peruvian National Police.

At around 9 p.m., police were alerted to a large party at the Thomas Restobar by neighbors. According to officials, at least 120 people were attending the illegal party in the city’s Los Olivos district of Peru’s capital city.

In an official statement, the Ministry of the Interior reported that the police did not use “any type of weapon or tear gas to clear the premises.” When people began to flee the 2nd floor venue trying to get away from the police they were crushed on the stairs.

“I feel sorry for the relatives… but also anger and indignation with the business people who organized the event,” Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra said at a public event in the south of the country. He urged judicial authorities to punish those who had broken the law. 

Some 23 people were arrested, and 15 of those tested positive for the new coronavirus and will be quarantined, Claudio Ramírez, a Health Ministry official, told reporters. The party “was a breeding ground for the transmission of this disease, there was a viral load because it was a closed environment,” Ramírez said. 

Like most of Latin America, Peru is still under a wide ranging lockdown order.

Credit: Gilberto Aguilar / Getty Images

Peru was one of the first nations in the Americas to take strict preventative Coronavirus measures, but is now one of the worst affected countries in Latin America, with more than 576,000 cases, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. More than 27,000 have died of the virus so far, JHU reports.

Social distancing measures are mandated in Peru, large social gatherings are banned and there is a nationwide 10 p.m. curfew in an effort to slow the spread of the Covid-19.

Underground parties are becoming more common as people becoming increasingly bored at home.

In Los Angeles, the city has become overwhelmed with illegal gatherings – so much so that the mayor has threatened to shut off the utilities of repeat offenders. In fact, at least one house has already been targeted for repeat violations.

While in Mexico City, several clandestine parties have started popping up in abandoned warehouses, behind shuttered store fronts, or on rooftops. Police have tried to respond to shut them down but thanks to their overwhelming number, it’s been difficult to control.

Obviously, those who work in the nightlife, tourism, and entertainment industries have been impacted terribly by the shutdown orders. But several studies have shown that bars and clubs have been one of the biggest vectors for the virus. This appears to be the case because many forget social distancing norms once they’ve started drinking, most gatherings are taking place indoors to hide from authorities which increases the risk.

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These Are The Top YouTube Workouts To Try At Home To Help Keep Those Resolutions

Entertainment

These Are The Top YouTube Workouts To Try At Home To Help Keep Those Resolutions

Alexandra Durón / Getty Images

With the official start of 2021 – which will hopefully be so much better than 2020 – the desire to be physically fit and achieve that “beach body” (whatever that is) is at a seasonal high. Whether due to a new year’s resolution to get in shape, stay active, lose weight, or simply be more healthy, people are looking for ways to feel and look good despite being under stay-at-home orders.

Across the country, gyms are still closed thanks to the pandemic and many of us are looking for new ways to follow those fitness goals. Enter YouTube: it’s full of incredible, free workouts that are sure to get you motivated. Here are some of our favorites:

The Fitness Marshall

If you’re like me and hate working out, then The Fitness Marshall may be your answer. Fitness guru Caleb Marshall combines hit pop songs — like “Heat” by Kelly Clarkson and “Pony” by Ginuwine — with dance moves that help you break a sweat and have fun doing it. 

Fitness Blender

Run by husband-and-wife team Daniel and Kelli, Fitness Blender is a simple yet great channel. All of their videos are filmed with a white background so you can actually focus on what they’re doing. They have more than 600 full-length workout videos, and more than 150 of those are HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to get your body moving and blood pumping. All workouts range from 5- to 45-minutes. While some videos require some basic equipment, many can be done with your body weight alone.

Popsugar Fitness

Filmed in a fitness studio with at least three people, the channels feels a bit like an old-school ’80s workout video, without the signature fashion and hair of course…but it does bring that fun group attitude right to you. The channel has different categories: beginners, HIIT, dance cardio, plus workouts targeted at different body parts. You can also choose a class based on length (10 minutes, etc.) Plus, they have a section full of no equipment cardio workouts so you can get your heart rate up without leaving the house

The Body Coach

The Body Coach (aka Joe Wicks) believes that everyone should be able to work out, no matter their fitness level or budget. The channel has more than 250 videos, including challenges, time-based workouts, and workouts for specific body types. There’s a new HIIT workout every week. One of the coolest parts of the channel is that it also has workout for kids, including a daily P.E. class that might be very helpful for any parents who have basically started homeschooling their kids.

Blogilates

No list of YouTube fitness channels is complete without Blogilates. This widely popular channel has close to 4.5 million subscribers and focuses on POP Pilates, PIIT28 and Bootcamp Sculpting. If you have no clue what those are, don’t worry. You don’t need to understand it to enjoy these workouts.  

Certified fitness instructor Cassey Ho’s friendly demeanor makes laying on a mat and working your core, legs, arms and butt almost enjoyable.

Flightmaster Yoga

This channel is not about being a perfect yogi. The motto of the channel is “It’s not about the pose.” All Lesley Fightmaster wants from you is to show up and do your best. She has a number of full-length yoga practices for anyone at any level. You can start with the for beginner videos and then work your way up to 30-minute practices45-minute hatha practices, and full 1-hour practices. The tone is supportive, comforting, and non-judgemental. Show up and try your best to see what happens.

Roberta’s Gym

Think of Roberta’s Gym as the Alexa of exercising. This animated trainer doesn’t really have a personality, but her on-screen timers and rep counters help you keep track of what you’re doing better than any humanoid.

BullyJuice

Despite the name, this instructor isn’t a bully at all. He offers up super motivational videos that anyone can do from the comfort of their home. And he keeps it simple: 20 minute full body workouts that require no equipment. Yes, some of the workouts will kick your ass but what do they say? No pain, no gain!

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Just After Congress Approves $600 Stimulus Checks, Trump Threatens To Veto The Bill

Things That Matter

Just After Congress Approves $600 Stimulus Checks, Trump Threatens To Veto The Bill

Pixabay

Updated: December 23, 2020

Just days after the U.S. Congress approved legislation that would send millions of Americans much-needed stimulus checks – even though they were only $600 – Donald Trump has thrown the entire plan into chaos.

Donald Trump threatens to veto historic spending bill.

Trump is holding a veto threat over recently passed, bipartisan legislation that was aimed at stimulating a suffering economy. Trump says that he wants lawmakers to boost the $600 direct payments to checks for $2,000 but his own party is basically united against increasing the size of checks.

Many point out that Trump is simply holding up the legislation, not for the stimulus checks, but because he objects to other parts of the law. Within the spending package, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle approved spending for arts and cultural programs as well as aide to developing countries across the world.

Original Story Published: December 18, 2020

So it looks like millions of Americans may end up getting that long overdue second stimulus check after all. So long as Congress doesn’t screw things up again.

As part of the latest round of negotiation between Democrats and Republicans, it looks a like a proposal for $600 direct payments is back on the table. However, $600 is literally half of the amount that was sent out to millions of Americans back in April and May.

A new stimulus package could include direct payments to millions of Americans.

Congressional leaders are considering a new deal to help stimulate the economy which has been battered by the Coronavirus pandemic. And although it appeared, as recently as last week, that a second stimulus check was off the table, that seems to have changed.

The new deal under consideration included new stimulus checks and enhanced federal unemployment benefits, according to reports by Politico. Even President Trump said in a TV interview over the weekend that he wants stimulus checks in the deal, saying he wants to “see checks—for more money than they’re talking about—going to people.”

Millions of workers aren’t getting any help from the largest emergency aid deal in US history.

The bill, known as the CARES Act, delivers direct payments to most taxpayers, vastly expands unemployment benefits, and makes testing for the virus free, among other provisions.

But although unauthorized immigrants are no more immune from the effects of the current crisis, the stimulus bill conspicuously leaves them out in the cold — potentially putting them at greater economic and health risk, and impeding public health efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus.

There are an estimated 10.7 million undocumented immigrants in the USA who are ineligible for emergency federal benefits or state unemployment insurance because they don’t have valid work authorization. 

That’s left an extra layer of anxiety for immigrants without legal status who have lost their jobs or seen work hours reduced amid the statewide shutdown of “nonessential” businesses. Many turned to local organizations for help to put food on the table and pay other expenses. 

Undocumented residents are already at greater risk of being affected by Covid-19 because of inadequate resources and access to health care.

The unauthorized worker population is particularly vulnerable to the virus due to inadequate access to health care. Noncitizens are significantly more likely to be uninsured compared to US citizens, which may dissuade them from seeking medical care if they contract the virus.

Compounding matters are the Trump administration’s hardline immigration policies — including wide-scale immigration raids and a rule that can penalize green card applicants for using Medicaid — which have made noncitizens afraid to access care. These factors pose a problem for America’s efforts to slow the spread of the virus, which has killed more than 12,000 in the US as of April 7.

Where the government is failing, advocates and organizations are stepping up to help.

Some immigrant advocates lobby for the undocumented to be included by allowing payments to those who file taxes using individual tax identification numbers, which are often used by workers without legal immigration status. 

“They should include at least the individual taxpayers,” said Diana Mejia, founder of the Wind of the Spirit, an organization that helps immigrants in New Jersey’s Morris County.  “They are paying taxes,” she added in an interview with CNN.

Filers who use ITINs contribute about $11.74 billion in state and local taxes each year, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a Washington think tank.

Aside from millions of undocumented migrants, millions of others are also being left out of the stimulus:

Credit: Department of Treasury

College Students and 17-Year-Olds: If someone else claims you as a dependent on their taxes, you won’t get your own check. Parents will get an extra $500 payment per child, but that’s only for kids under 17.

Most 17-year-olds, some young adults and many of the country’s roughly 20 million college students are claimed by their parents as dependents. They won’t get checks, and their parents won’t get an extra $500.

Disabled People: People who get disability benefits from the Social Security Administration or Veterans Affairs are eligible for the payments — but not disabled adults who are claimed as dependents by their parents or other relatives on their taxes

Seniors Who Live With Family: Senior citizens who are on Social Security or make less than the income cap are eligible. But the “dependent” rule applies to them, too. Some seniors who live with their adult children or other relatives are claimed by them as dependents on their taxes. Those seniors won’t get checks.

Immigrants are eligible for some free testing.

Credit: Pixabay

Here’s one thing the bill does offer to unauthorized immigrants: free coronavirus testing at government-funded community health centers through a $1 billion federal program. But some community health centers have already reported shortages of tests.

There is also a larger, state-level testing program funded through Medicaid, but that’s only available to Medicaid-eligible immigrants — green card holders who have lived in the US for at least five years, immigrants who come to the US on humanitarian grounds such as asylum, members of the military and their families, and, in certain states, children and pregnant women with lawful immigration status. Those groups, however, make up only a small proportion of immigrants living in the US. 

US Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that it won’t consider use of free testing services when evaluating whether immigrants will likely end up relying on public benefits under the “public charge” rule, which went into effect in February

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