Day: November 11, 2020

Vaccine Trials to Boost Leisure and Recreation Space: 5 Picks

Rising coronavirus cases along with Presidential election-related concerns weighed on investors throughout the past week. However, news on progress on a COVID-19 vaccine helped some of the worst-hit sectors gain traction.

Vaccine Trial Fuels Hopes of Returning to Normal

Scientists, researchers and pharmaceutical companies have been working around the clock to come up with a viable vaccine or treatment amid the pandemic so that people and businesses can return to normal globally. While the procedure of making a vaccine is time consuming and requires several phases of testing before actual use, markets are getting restless as restrictions and social-distancing norms hamper lifestyle and businesses constantly.

Several businesses that require outdoor engagements like traveling, sports, recreation and tourism have been facing the brunt of the pandemic and any news of progress on the vaccine development front should reignite hopes. On Nov 9, BioNTech and Pfizer reported that their COVID-19 vaccine candidate can protect most people from symptomatic infections. The vaccine is in a Phase 3 clinical trial and BioNTech and Pfizer are now the first to introduce a COVID-19 vaccine to the U.S market. BNT162b2, BioNTech and Pfizer’s experimental mRNA vaccine has an efficacy rate of 90% in the Phase 3 clinical trial, where patients were assessed seven days after the second dose was administered. This is higher than the 60% threshold which has been cited in the original study protocol for the vaccine.

On the same day, Eli Lilly & Co. announced that the FDA has approved a COVID-19 antibody treatment, called bamlanivimab, for emergency use. Bamlanivimab has been seen as a potential treatment for those patients with mild to moderate infection and leads to reduced viral load as well as lower rates of symptoms and hospitalization.

While positive news on vaccine development put stay-at-home winners under pressure, it lifts companies hit hardest by months of travel bans and lockdowns. Lower-income workers in the leisure and recreation industry have already bore the brunt of the crisis. A breakthrough in coronavirus vaccine will not only allow the industry to return to business but also lift the broader economy.

5 Top Picks

With progress in coronavirus vaccine trials, it seems that theleisure and recreation space will return to its normal soon. Here are five stocks that carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and can make the most.

Camping World Holdings, Inc. CWH operates as an outdoor and camping retailer. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter is more than 100% against the Zacks Leisure and Recreation Services industry’s projected earnings decline of more than 100%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for this Zacks Rank #1 company’s current-year earnings has been revised 20.6% upward over the past 60 days.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Vista Outdoor Inc. VSTO designs, manufactures, and markets consumer products for outdoor sports and recreation markets. The company that belongs to the Zacks Leisure and Recreation Products industry has an expected earnings growth rate of

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Byrd Theatre Will Re-Open With Showing of NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION

The showing takes place on December 7.

The Byrd Theatre will reopen with a showing of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, along with a Sing-A-Long with the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ and Bob Gulledge.

This year, due to the health crisis, the number of attendees is limited to 50. Tickets and concessions will only be sold online. The showing takes place on December 7.

Tickets are $10. This is higher than the theatre’s normal price, however, the venue needs more people to keep its audiences safe, and can have less people in the theatre.

They will be selling concessions, which will only be for pre-purchase with your online ticket. This will help to reduce the touch points. Just bring your receipt with you or show it on your phone.

Learn more and purchase tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/national-lampoons-christmas-vacation-holidays-at-the-byrd-theatre-tickets-128548946359.

About the Film

As the holidays approach, Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) wants to have a perfect family Christmas, so he pesters his wife, Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo), and children, as he tries to make sure everything is in line, including the tree and house decorations. However, things go awry quickly. His hick cousin, Eddie (Randy Quaid), and his family show up unplanned and start living in their camper on the Griswold property. Even worse, Clark’s employers renege on the holiday bonus he needs.

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How FBI agents posed as Cincinnati hotel developers to catch suspects in 2 Ohio bribery scandals

COLUMBUS – Columbus lobbyist Neil Clark didn’t realize – while chatting with hotel developer clients after a Reds game – that he was talking with undercover FBI agents working to uncover two bribery schemes. 

Bribery case explained: What you need to know about Larry Householder, FirstEnergy, HB6

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The first was against Cincinnati City Councilman Jeff Pastor, a Republican, who was arrested Tuesday. He is accused of accepting $55,000 in bribes in exchange for his vote on development projects. Pastor pleaded not guilty to charges Tuesday afternoon.

The second was against Clark, former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, a Republican, and three others. They are accused of orchestrating a nearly $61 million bribery scheme to seize control of the Ohio House, pass a more than $1 billion bailout for nuclear plants and defend those subsidies against a ballot initiative. 

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Those two apparently unconnected, widespread bribery investigations converged in Cincinnati.

Two agents posed as Cincinnati hotel developers with Monarch Development Inc. and offered bribes to Pastor between August 2018 and February 2019. 

One of the projects at the center of the Pastor investigation was 435 Elm St., the former Convention Place Mall that had become an eyesore. The FBI asked former Cincinnati Bengal Chinedum Ndukwe, whose company is trying to develop the former mall site, for help.

In January 2019, Clark met with Ndukwe and the two hotel developers, introduced as Brian Bennett and Rob Miller, in Clark’s Columbus office. Clark told The Enquirer that the men said they had the votes on Cincinnati Council for a boutique hotel at 435 Elm St. and wanted to offer sports betting there. 

Sports betting isn’t yet legal in Ohio, but lawmakers are considering legislation to allow it. The key debate remains where should it be permitted and who should regulate it.

Clark now believes his hotel developer clients were actually FBI agents or informants. Federal documents in the Pastor case back that up. At least one “undercover law enforcement agent” posed as a business partner to Ndukwe and another, unidentified developer, according to Pastor’s indictment. 

In June 2019, Clark and his clients watched a Reds-Houston Astros game in Cincinnati and then met politicians at the penthouse of 580 Walnut St. Clark said he met city council members there but wasn’t sure if Pastor was one of them. 

Clark met with his clients in Nashville in July 2019 and at a suburban Columbus dinner club in September 2019. Conversations from those meetings later appeared in the federal indictment against him, Householder and three allies. Clark, Householder and lobbyist and former Ohio Republican Party chairman Matt Borges pleaded not guilty to racketeering charges.



a man wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a crowd: Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder walks out of U.S. District Court after charges that he participated in a racketeering conspiracy in Columbus, Ohio on July 21, 2020. Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four colleagues were arrested by federal officials Tuesday as part of a bribery investigation involving the state’s $1 billion nuclear plant bailout and Householder’s maneuverings to secure support to lead the legislative chamber. [Kyle Robertson/Dispatch]


© Kyle Robertson, Kyle Robertson
Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder walks out of U.S. District Court after charges that he participated in a racketeering conspiracy in Columbus, Ohio on July 21, 2020. Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four colleagues were arrested

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Hong Kong, Singapore OK quarantine-free travel

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong and Singapore will start an air travel bubble at the end of November, allowing travelers from each city to visit the other without entering quarantine in a first step to stimulate tourism amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting Nov. 22, visitors from either city must have a negative virus test result before they leave, when they arrive and before they return. Flights designated to carry passengers in the bubble will carry a maximum of 200 travelers each. It will start with one flight a day to each city and increase to two designated flights Dec. 7.

The bubble will be suspended for two weeks if either Hong Kong or Singapore reports a seven-day moving average of more than five untraceable coronavirus infections, according to the Hong Kong government.

“Hong Kong and Singapore are similar in terms of epidemic control. Both are regional aviation hubs and international cities, enjoying strong trade, investment, finance, tourism and people-to-people ties,” said Hong Kong’s secretary for commerce and economic development Edward Yau. “The revival of cross-border air travel between the two places is of utmost importance.”

He said that he hopes the aviation, tourism, hotel and retail businesses will benefit from the bubble, and that it would gradually help Hong Kong’s economy to recover.

Separately, government officials also announced that Hong Kong residents returning to the city from Guangdong province or Macau will be exempted from quarantine from Nov. 23, as long as they register in advance and test negative for the coronavirus.

However, the exemption from quarantine is only one-way, and Hong Kong residents travelling to the mainland must still serve 14 days of quarantine on arrival.

A temporary daily quota of visitors is in place. This is to ensure it can be handled smoothly and without overcrowding, according to Tommy Yuen, director of special duties at the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

— Vanuatu has recorded its first case of the coronavirus after a citizen who had been repatriated from the United States tested positive while in quarantine. The Pacific nation had been among the last few countries to have avoided the virus altogether. Health authorities say the 23-year-old man was asymptomatic when he returned on Nov. 4 and his infection was confirmed Tuesday after routine day 5 testing. Authorities say they plan to keep everyone from the same flight in quarantine and to trace the man’s close contacts but don’t need to impose any broader measures in the nation of 300,000 people.

— India’s capital has recorded a new peak of 7,830 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours as festivals and weddings attended by large crowds fuel a resurgence. Authorities targeted testing in shopping areas, workplaces and religious places with New Delhi’s tally continuing to be more than 7,000 daily this week after dropping to nearly 1,000 in September. India’s infections overall have held steady recently with 44,281 new cases reported Wednesday. The Health Ministry also

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Bryan Co. Parks and Recreation leader helping minorities grow, connect in industry

BRYAN COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) – A Georgia Southern graduate started a new organization within the Bryan County Parks and Recreation Department to help promote minorities to the program.



a sign on a pole: A Georgia Southern graduate started a new organization within the Bryan County Parks and Recreation Department to help promote minorities to the program.


© Provided by Savannah WTOC-TV
A Georgia Southern graduate started a new organization within the Bryan County Parks and Recreation Department to help promote minorities to the program.

From mentoring opportunities to professional development, Bryan County’s Parks and Rec director says the Minority Recreation Leadership Academy he started is designed to provide opportunities for people to network with professionals across the country.

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For Samose Mays, it all started out as just a thought soon after he became director. He says he noticed that there was a lack of minority representation within the department when it came to director positions.

Mays says the leadership academy will provide everything from scholarly research, educational sessions, opportunities for awards and so much more.

He says ultimately, he wants people to see that minorities can be diverse in the parks and rec department and he wants to highlight individuals who can bring that vision to light.

“Bryan County is actually very diverse, I mean we have a diverse community. We have a diverse staff here and it was so important because I felt like we need to see more minorities in positions of leadership in Parks and Rec. We have the representation of minorities in Parks and Rec, but just not the rec directors, so I said I want to take this opportunity that I have to show people that it’s a possibility that it can be done. So that’s why the organization was so important here in Bryan County, because they have a diverse staff and I want to use its diversity as a platform for the organization,” Mays said.

Minority Recreation Leadership Academy

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Realtimecampaign.com Gives Tips on Planning One’s Vacation to Turks and Caicos Villas

(MENAFN – GetNews)

Nothing says vacation quite like a relaxing stay on the beach, sitting on the balcony sipping coffee as one watches the tide roll in. The sound of the waves will put one to sleep each night. What a revigorating stay one will experience… that is if one takes the following steps to ensure one’s stay is perfect.

Choose a Destination and Time of Year

While the winter months may be the ideal time of year to visit the Turk and Caicos islands, not everyone wants to face the crowds. So, as an alternate, it’s often best to plan a trip in the spring when the weather is warm, and the cost-saving deals are ripe for the picking. While many think of vacationing at the beach in the summer months, travelers should remember that hurricane season lasts from June until November, so it’s wise to keep this in mind during the planning stages. Furthermore, costs for flights, Turks and Caicos villas, as well as activities, rise in the December-March time-frame.

How Long Will the Trip Be?

The answer to this question is not as simple as it may seem. While one may get the two-weeks’ worth of vacation to travel to Isle Blue or some other resort, one should ask one’s self and party if one wants to spend all of the vacation in the same spot. Does one want to make it back home in time to rest before going back to work? Does one want to split up one’s two weeks into multiple trips? Would a long weekend trip be more appealing this year? Once one has answered these questions, one can better select the right accommodations and begin planning one’s stay.

Plan the Activities

While it’s common to think if one is staying at quality resorts or villas, one will never want to leave, after a couple of days of splendor, it’s possible one will want to get out and see the sites. Utilize some extra resources to loosely plan some things one is interested in doing during the stay, making a list that serves as a guideline, not a contract. One day, one may want to sight-see, taking in some of the  Turks and Caicos Beachfront Villa Lists for $4.995 Million and the next day go snorkeling. For the romantic, check out the romantic champagne sunset cruises in the evening.

Start the Countdown Timer

According to realtimecampaign.com, part of the fun with any trip is the anticipation. By planning ahead and making reservations for must-do activities well in advance, one avoids the disappointment that comes when some activities are already booked. This is especially true if one is planning on visiting during peak season. By planing in advance, one will avoid the rush of having to make reservations and plan everything in the first few moments of arriving.

Sometimes the fun is planning to do nothing. If that’s what one is looking to do during the vacation, one will be set from the

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Gordon Ramsay has reportedly returned to his vacation home amid the UK’s second shutdown, after angering locals by spending the first lockdown there



Gordon Ramsay, Tana Ramsay posing for a photo: Chef Gordon Ramsay has five children with his wife, Tana Ramsay (right). David M. Benett/Contributor/Getty Images


© David M. Benett/Contributor/Getty Images
Chef Gordon Ramsay has five children with his wife, Tana Ramsay (right). David M. Benett/Contributor/Getty Images

  • Gordon Ramsay appears to be spending the start of the UK’s second lockdown at his country home in Cornwall. 
  • The chef and his family left London for their seaside vacation home at the start of the November shutdown, which is slated to last four weeks.
  • Ramsay’s first trip to his Cornwall home during the early months of the pandemic reportedly sparked controversy with the locals. 
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Gordon Ramsay appears to have returned to his Cornwall home as he and his family prepare for round two of the UK’s pandemic lockdown, Cornwall Live reports — and his neighbors might not be pleased about it, based on how some of them reacted when he quarantined there earlier this year.

Chef Ramsay and his family spent time at their country home in Cornwall, which is 246 miles from London, during the spring and summer months this year. His earlier trip sparked controversy with locals as the temporary move and his public outings while in Cornwall conflicted with the rules of the first COVID-19 lockdown, which took effect on March 23 and began to ease up in May.

The Mirror reported that the chef returned to his primary London residence in June. But after he shared an Instagram photo of his youngest son at the beach on Monday, The Scottish Sun reported that he’s returned to his home in Cornwall. 

“Happy first Monday lockdown @oscarjramsay this time it’s going to fly by!” Ramsay captioned the photo of his toddler.

Ramsay’s daughter, Matilda “Tilly” Ramsay, also appeared to confirm that the family is currently in their vacation home when she posted a photo to Instagram of celebratory balloons for her and Ramsay’s joint birthday celebration there on Sunday. She’d last posted a photo in London on October 7. 

Ramsay is well aware of the new lockdown measures. According to Hello!, on November 4, the chef posted a heartfelt video informing followers of his UK restaurant closures due to the lockdown and apologizing for the cancelled reservations, noting that they were set to reopen on December 2.

“London …. we may be saying goodbye for now. However, we can’t wait to see you in December,” the celebrity chef captioned his post.

Based on the timing of the posts, Ramsay and his family appear to have departed London for Cornwall just as the second lockdown went into effect

England’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on October 31 that the country would enter into a second lockdown to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. He said in a statement that it would stretch from November 5 through the start of December — though The New York Times reported that experts don’t see that being enough time to control the outbreaks.

While the Ramsays’ recent Instagram posts have received positive comments from followers so far, locals in Cornwall may not be feeling

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Should I Use Miles to Book Holiday Travel in 2020?

By Sam Kemmis

Many frequent travelers haven’t stepped foot on a plane for months. Yet, with the holidays approaching, it might be time to dust off the old airline mile account and start booking award travel.

Or is it?

Setting aside the question of whether it’s wise to travel at all this winter, here we’ll dive into the question of using travel rewards like airline miles and hotel points to book holiday travel. Do award bookings offer good value compared with paying in cash in 2020? And do they offer greater or different flexibility in case plans change?

By the Numbers: Airline Mile Value

As part of our updated 2020 airline mile valuations, we compared cash and award booking prices across many dates, including “peak” holiday travel at the end of December. This lets us compare the average cent-per-point value for these bookings during the holidays compared with other times.

This shows us that there is no simple answer to the question, “Is using miles during the holidays a good idea?” American  (AAL) – Get Report, Southwest  (LUV) – Get Report and United  (UAL) – Get Report offered better-than-average value for holiday reward bookings, in our analysis, while the other airlines offered average or slightly below-average value.

Also, these are average values, and individual cases will vary. Some United redemptions will offer lousy value, while some Delta  (DAL) – Get Report redemptions will (presumably) offer good value during the holidays. The best bet is to compare the cash and award booking prices for your own route and dates, using a calculator like this one.

Keep in mind that the “value” of an award redemption depends not only on the number of miles needed to book it but also the equivalent cash price. And one of the interesting variables making this year unlike others is that cash prices for holiday travel remain historically low.

Make Sure to Check Cash Prices

Usually, the allure of using miles to book holiday travel comes from the sky-high cost of normal cash fares. That is, when faced with a ludicrous cash ticket price, many travelers wonder whether points and miles offer a better value. But that’s not the case this year.

According to airfare tracking app Hopper, Christmas airfare is 40% lower in 2020 than 2019, with an average round trip airfare costing just $222. And unless demand increases soon, those prices are likely to remain low until the last minute.

The price of Christmas airfare has actually decreased as the holiday approaches, tracking well below the 2019 average.

Importantly, low cash prices usually mean lower “value” for miles, since the cost of award bookings is often more fixed than cash prices. That is, the lower-than-average value shown above for some airlines may simply be the result of lower-than-average cash prices.

Again, it’s important to check the relative value of your own route before booking. If the cash prices are low, you might not need to

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University students in Wales offered rapid Covid testing before Christmas travel

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Students at Welsh universities will be asked to undergo rapid coronavirus testing before returning home for Christmas, the Welsh Government has said.

Universities will also end the majority of “in person” lessons in the week ending December 8, allowing time for students who test positive to isolate for 14 days before reuniting with their families.

Students will also be asked to minimise their social contact with others in the run up to the end of term and told to sign up for the new Lateral Flow Test pilot from their university if they plan on travelling home.

PA infographic showing daily confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK
(PA Graphics)

The self-administered test delivers results in 30 minutes and uses a nose and throat swab.

The test should be taken within 24 hours of a student’s intended travel date, with testing facilities set to become available at participating universities within the next few weeks.

Travel should be planned for no later than December 9, the Welsh Government said, allowing time to rearrange plans in case students need to self-isolate.

Welsh education minister Kirsty Williams said each of the UK’s four governments had worked together on university Christmas travel but would announce their own plans separately.

Ms Williams said: “We have been working with the other nations to ensure that all students, no matter where they live or study, are treated fairly and can travel home as safely as possible.

“We are also working with our universities to roll out the asymptomatic mass testing pilot before the end of term.

“I would encourage students to sign up for the testing pilot to make returning home at the end of term easier.

“I have been determined that students here in Wales are able to spend the holidays where they most want to, in a safe way, and these arrangements will allow that to happen.”

The Welsh Government will also communicate directly with Welsh students at universities elsewhere in the UK.

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Much-loved travel bookshop Stanfords is fundraising for survival

This year has been tough on everyone, but it’s been especially challenging for independent businesses. We’ve already seen a bunch of London pubs and restaurants close for good this year, while shops across the city are struggling, especially now that we’re in the middle of a second national lockdown and ‘non-essential’ businesses are being forced to close their doors. 

One of them is long-standing travel bookshop Stanfords, which in its own words, has been ‘an essential first port of call for adventure and armchair travellers alike since it was founded in 1853 by Edward Stanford’. Despite its status and history, the store, which is based in Covent Garden, is now fundraising for survival after being hit particularly hard by the events of 2020. 

‘Unfortunately we are in grave danger of 2020 being the final year of our 167-year history,’ reads a plea from the shop, explaining that its current woes have been caused by the fact that travel bans have impacted the sales of maps and travel books, reduced footfall in their central London location and the hefty expenses – ‘rent, taxes and expert staff (many of whom have worked for Stanfords for over 25 years)’ – that come with being an IRL independent bookshop. 

New Stanfords shop at 7 Mercer Walk, Covent Garden (Jan 2019)
Photograph: Stanfords

Stanfords is crowdfunding for £120,000, as part of the Mayor of London’s Pay It Forward scheme, which will enable the business to survive until spring 2021, when it hopes that ‘our customers will be able to start travelling again and more people will get on public transport to visit us’. 

You can chose to donate purely to the cause, or to give money and get a reward, such as five hot drinks in Stanfords café for a £5 donation, or a print of an aerial view of any location in the UK as a thank you for a £50 donation. A donation of £1,000 will help save the job of one staff member. 

Find out more and donate here. 

Soho’s Crobar is also crowdfunding for its future.

This new website is supporting your local bookshop in time for Lockdown 2.

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