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When President Trump took office, the number of Americans on food stamps exceeded the total population of Canada. During the previous eight years, the Obama administration had implemented a steady stream of policies that promoted dependency, discouraged work, and made it easier for fraudsters to scam resources away from the truly needy. By 2016, more than one in six American households were receiving food stamps, whether they needed them or not. The situation was a mess, and it had all developed under the watch of Tom Vilsack, longtime agriculture secretary under the Obama administration. Four years later, here we go again. The food stamp program has never had a funding problem. It has always had an accountability problem. President-elect Joe Biden has selected Vilsack to serve as head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees the food stamp program. While the USDA was originally created to support farmers, food stamps now make up half of the department’s entire $150 billion budget. Food stamps are also the main expense of the massive Farm Bill passed by Congress every five years. Of the $867 billion in federal spending included in the 2018 farm bill, 76 percent — three out of
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka faces the danger of new coronavirus variant entering the country as the government has allowed the foreign tourists to return to the country, a senior epidemilogist warned on Tuesday.A group of Ukrainian tourists became the first batch of holidayers to visit Sri Lanka last month in more than eight months after the island nation put curbs on international travel due to the Covid-19 outbreak."We have to make sure that all health protocols are strictly followed. Those who come in are actually touring the country during their mandatory quarantine period," said Dr Sudath Samaraweera, the chief epidemiologist.Since last week, at least 3 groups of tourists form Ukraine have arrived under a pilot project to revive tourism in the island nation. The authorities have ensured they are on a bio bubble.However, the government's decision to allow over 500 tourists from Ukraine into the country sparked a controversy after drivers of the wild safari the tourist had been on were forced to be under quarantine.They claim that the tour organisers had cheated them by forcing them to go under quarantine.The England Cricket team also arrived on Sunday for a 2 Test matches and it was announced on Monday that one
SHANGHAI/BEIJING: Chinese authorities shut down some entry and exit ramps of a highway connecting Beijing and Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital of Hebei province, which is fighting a cluster of coronavirus infections.The closings were implemented to help stem a new Covid-19 wave, Beijing Daily newspaper reported on Friday.Tongzhou district in Beijing, which borders Hebei province, also declared that it was entering a "wartime state" to prevent infections. Such a measure is usually followed by contact tracing and testing to track down any infections at the local level.Shijiazhuang on Thursday barred people from leaving. The city of 11 million people accounted for 31 of the 37 new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases and 35 of the 57 asymptomatic cases reported in mainland China on Jan. 7Though the number of new cases remains a small fraction of what China saw early last year at the height of the outbreak, which first emerged from the central city of Wuhan in late 2019, authorities have taken aggressive measures whenever new clusters emerge in order to prevent another national outbreak.Shijiazhuang has already launched a citywide mass Covid-19 testing drive, banned gatherings and ordered vehicles and people in high-risk Covid-19 areas to remain in their districts to keep