first_imgThe Supreme Court’s conservative majority on Wednesday seemed prepared to rule in favor of a Roman Catholic adoption agency in Philadelphia that argued that it is entitled to discriminate against potential foster parents on the basis of sexual orientation.Arguments in the case, known as Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, No. 19-123, concluded around 12 p.m. ET, as the votes from the previous night’s election between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden continued to be tabulated.The case was the first major dispute to come before Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was confirmed to the court late last month. Barrett’s views on LGBT rights and religion came under heavy scrutiny during her Senate confirmation process.- Advertisement – Police officers stand outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., Oct. 26, 2020.Stefani Reynolds | Bloomberg | Getty Images – Advertisement – Trump suggested early Wednesday morning that he would challenge the results of the election at the Supreme Court, though the topic of the 2020 race was not broached during the course of two hours of arguments. NBC News has not yet called a winner in the presidential contest.The adoption agency case arose after the city of Philadelphia learned in 2018 that Catholic Social Services, a foster care services provide affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, would not certify same-sex couples as suitable parents for children in the city’s foster care system.After Philadelphia learned about CSS’s policy, the city stopped referring the group new children, citing a city law prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination, and updated its 2019 contract with foster care services providers to explicitly forbid such discrimination against potential parents.- Advertisement –center_img Catholic Social Services argues that Philadelphia’s exclusion of it from the city’s foster care system amounts to religious discrimination.Two lower courts sided with Philadelphia, citing the 1990 Supreme Court precedent known as Employment Division v. Smith, which permits laws that affect religion as long as they are neutral and generally applied.Arguments featured a familiar clash between the court’s conservatives, who now occupy six of the nine seats on the bench and have proven deferential to religious interests, and its liberals, who are typically more protective of the rights of sexual minorities.The court’s liberal wing, which includes Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, seemed to latch onto arguments made by Neal Katyal, the attorney for Philadelphia, that the stakes of the case extended to virtually all government services. “I don’t think the framing of this as religion versus same-sex equality is the right one,” Katyal told the justices. Katyal said that if the court allows CSS to claim an exemption to Philadelphia’s non-discrimination law, it would “radiate far beyond foster care” and allow private contractors to refuse to provide services to religious groups from “Buddhist to Baptist.” Jeffrey Fisher, who represented two nonprofits siding with Philadelphia, suggested that the rule that CSS was pushing for could allow police officers to decline to enforce certain laws if they cite religious reasons. But the court’s conservatives seemed to think that Philadelphia had an ulterior motive. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was appointed by Trump, told Katyal it appeared Philadelphia was “looking for a fight” and “created a clash.”“If we are honest about what is really going on here, it’s not about ensuring that same-sex couples in Philadelphia have the opportunity to be foster parents,” said Justice Samuel Alito, an appointee of President George W. Bush. “It’s the fact the City can’t stand the message that Catholic Social Services and the Archdiocese are sending by continuing to adhere to the old fashion view about marriage.” A decision in the case is expected by the end of June.This is breaking news. Check back for updates.  – Advertisement –last_img read more


first_imgLakshmi Narayan Reddy’s home in the southern Indian city of Visakhapatnam has become a popular spot for the city’s ring-necked parakeets. Hundreds of them flock to his terrace three time a day, where he sprinkles grains of rice for them to peck.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – – Advertisement –center_img It’s now become a daily routine and one that he has perfected over the last 14 years – much to the delight of his neighbours who often peek out of their windows and watch as the parrots gather on his terrace every day. last_img


first_imgIn his first address to the nation as president-elect, Mr. Biden admitted his surprise at the spontaneous celebrations in the streets, which he called “an outpouring of joy, of hope, of renewed faith that tomorrow will bring a better day.”An unseasonably warm day across much of the industrial Midwest and Pennsylvania, with bright sun and temperatures climbing into the 70s, only added to the sense of euphoria. People poured into the streets of downtown Philadelphia, the birthplace of American democracy and a city not known to not take credit (“Gritty Did It” read a homemade sign paying homage to the city’s, well, unique hockey mascot). They celebrated reclaiming a system of government that they believed had been fundamentally at risk.“It felt like every half of every ’80s movie where the bullies are just winning and winning and winning, and you just don’t know if the world was the way you thought it was when you were a kid,” said Tom O’Connell, who, with his wife and three children, was among those downtown. “But it’s the second half now.”- Advertisement – On Saturday, a new calm set in.“I don’t think I need the Wellbutrin anymore — no more antidepressant for me,” said Ruth Briggs, 65, who was skipping down Arch Street in Philadelphia with her friend Stephanie Marsh, 40. “Four years of depression, just four years. It’s been horrible. And it’s lifted.”- Advertisement – If Mr. Biden were to carry the last two uncalled states where he is now leading, Georgia and Arizona, he would win exactly 306 Electoral College votes — the same number that Mr. Trump carried in 2016, which the president has long characterized as a “landslide.”Still, the 2020 election results tell a more complicated story for Democrats than a simplified Hollywood script. Mr. Trump lost, but Republicans gained seats in the House and kept control of the Senate for now with runoff elections looming for two Senate seats in Georgia. And Democratic hopes to make gains in statehouses were mostly dashed. The margins were razor-thin even pre-election, though some polls had Democrats dreaming (Texas! Ohio! Iowa!) of an emphatic repudiation of Trumpism that did not arrive.center_img – Advertisement –last_img read more


first_img– Advertisement – It’s been a difficult year for lots of retailers, who will be hoping Black Friday – and its bigger cousin Cyber Monday – will give them a much-needed boost.- Advertisement –last_img


first_imgPergam acknowledges that Americans will have to do their best this year to assess levels of risk and do their part to mitigate it. The guidelines aren’t always clear about what people should do in each specific circumstance, and there’s room for interpretation.In general, the more people who gather and the longer the interaction lasts, the higher the risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The highest risk of exposure comes from large in-person gatherings, where people aren’t generally able to stay 6 feet apart. Medium-size in-person gatherings that allow individuals to be at least 6 feet apart and that have attendees coming from outside the local area represent a “higher risk” of exposure, the CDC says.The agency recommends requiring guests who aren’t in your immediate household to wear masks, unless they are eating or drinking, and to stay at least 6 feet away.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Across the country, families like hers are deciding how, when and where to get together for the holiday season — if at all. It’s tricky and occasionally awkward since not everyone has the same tolerance for risk or willingness to follow the public health guidelines. Surveys have found that gender, education and political party preference play a role in an individual’s decision to take the coronavirus seriously, including to wear a mask.“It’s important to have these conversations with family members now and set expectations,” said Dr. Steven Pergam, an infectious disease physician and researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.Infectious disease experts say it’s important that individuals do their part this holiday season to reduce the spread of Covid-19. That might mean saying no to an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner or a Christmas party, which can be uncomfortable. If families do choose to gather in large numbers across the country, with or without air travel, they say it could cause worsen the outbreak. The situation is already highly concerning, they say, given spikes across many states, notably the Midwest, and the holidays could accelerate the virus’ spread.- Advertisement – “Encourage guests to avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors. Keep music levels down so people don’t have to shout or speak loudly to be heard,” the CDC says in its guidance on holiday gatherings issued Monday. “Encourage attendees to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds” or use hand sanitizer.Pergam’s advice for small indoor gatherings is for guests to wear masks at all times, which would require eating separately. That might feel strange, but it can go a long way to protecting others.All of this can be challenging, he warns, particularly when alcohol is involved.In general, he notes, outdoors is a better option whenever possible and the smaller the group, the better.Air travel also puts people at a higher risk of getting Covid, particularly longer flights. A recent study found that the almost 60 confirmed cases in Ireland were linked to one international flight.For those who are getting on a plane, Pergam recommends wearing a mask and avoiding taking it off at the airport or on the flight. Eating beforehand at home might help. He also suggests bringing hand sanitizer.Other doctors say that the holidays are forcing people to balance their individual desires with the collective interest. Getting together in person feels important to a lot of people for their mental health, particularly those who have felt isolated at home for months. But that might put family-members at risk, and potentially even a community depending on the size of the group.Dr. Wendy Dean, a Washington D.C. based physician, is currently being asked by a lot of her patients about safe ways to come together for the holidays.She recommends outdoor gatherings wherever possible, masked and physically distanced, but recognizes it’s not always feasible. In colder climates, remaining outdoors for long periods is a non-starter for some.For that reason, families may choose to form more intimate pods and agree to certain precautionary measures ahead of time, like laying low at home for ten days or getting tested. And some may want to consider a virtual event, like Dabb, to interact with a larger group.Ultimately, said Dr. Dean, “each family unit has to weigh both the risks of transmitting the virus to others and the risks to themselves should they contract it.” The Dabb-Hawkins family Facebook group has been buzzing for the past few weeks. The big question: How to handle the holidays this year.There was a big push by some family members in October to get together in person for Thanksgiving. The other half of the family wanted to make Zoom dinner plans instead, according to Rachel Dabb Hawkins, 28. A recent surge in cases in Utah, where she lives, ended the debate. Everyone has now agreed to a virtual gathering.- Advertisement –last_img read more


first_imgJan 10, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – As Vietnam grapples with the implications of a third human death from H5N1 avian flu in less than 2 weeks, neighboring countries are ramping up surveillance and intervention.The 16-year-old girl from Tay Ninh province had been hospitalized on a respirator for weeks before dying on Jan 5, according to the online newspaper China Daily. Her death was preceded by that of a 6-year-old boy Dec 30 and a 9-year-old-boy Jan 4. Like her, both boys were from southern provinces.Now an 18-year-old girl from Vietnam’s Tien Giang province is hospitalized with a suspected case of avian flu, according to Xinhua, the Chinese news service. Her case brings to at least four the number of confirmed or suspected avian flu cases in Vietnam since late December.The World Health Organization (WHO) updated its count of H5N1 human cases Jan 7, listing 47 total cases and 34 deaths in Vietnam and Thailand since Jan 2004.Despite the avian flu threat, tourists who had planned to travel in Thailand, Indonesia, and the Maldives before the recent tsunami disaster are seeing Vietnam as an alternative, the Vietnam News (VNS) reported. About 10,000 tourists arrived in Ho Chi Minh City in the first 5 days of 2005, which is more than three times the arrivals for the same days in 2004, according to tourism companies in the city. Further north, some Hanoi hotels were reporting unusually high numbers, with occupancy rates of up to 70% or 80%, VNS said.In Ho Chi Minh City, more than 1,000 ducks tested positive for H5N1 flu, VNS said. Three pets had reportedly died of avian flu, VNS added, but the story didn’t list the species.The WHO has urged Vietnam to tighten controls on poultry transport and trade during the coming traditional lunar New Year fete, VNS reported.The municipal veterinary agency on Jan 6 urged Ho Chi Minh City to close illegal slaughterhouses and increase supervision of poultry processing, VNS reported. There are about 796,000 poultry in the city, with another the 30,000 birds imported daily.Long An province has set up three mobile quarantine stations on the way to Ho Chi Minh City, VNS said.Vietnam’s neighbor to the north, China, is taking emergency steps to prevent the spread of H5N1 across its 1,200-kilometer border with Vietnam, Xinhua reported. A local animal husbandry department set up a 30-km wide “immune protection zone” along the border, with disinfecting stations for vehicles and people at entry points to China, Xinhua wrote on Jan 8.Some Chinese were encouraged to vaccinate poultry, sources told Xinhua. The practice has been controversial, because experts say that vaccinated chickens can still carry and spread the virus without themselves showing signs of illness.Vietnam reported eight new outbreaks of avian flu between Dec 24 and Jan 4, according to the World Organizations for Animal Health (OIE). Thailand reported seven outbreaks between Dec 30 and Jan 6, involving more than 25,000 birds.Hong Kong is on yellow alert for avian flu, which entails temperature screenings at the airport, health messages broadcast on flights from Vietnam, and letters sent to doctors and hospitals alerting providers to avian flu, according to the government of Hong Kong.See also:New outbreaks report in Vietnam (OIE)New outbreaks report in Thailand (OIE)Hong Kong activates alert levellast_img read more


first_imgOct 5, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – An international research team led by the University of Wisconsin at Madison (UW-Madison) has identified a key mutation that would arm the H5N1 avian influenza virus with one of the tools it needs to more easily infect and spread among humans.The mutation consists of a single amino acid change that improves the virus’ ability to infect cells in the upper respiratory tract of mammals, according to a press release today from UW-Madison. The research group, headed by virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka, published its findings today in the online journal Public Library of Science Pathogens (PLoS Pathogens).The change promotes better viral replication at the lower temperatures found in the upper airways of mammals, the press release said. Once the H5N1 virus is established in the upper respiratory tract, infected patients can more easily spread the disease to others through coughing and sneezing, making the infection more contagious.The authors write that the hemagglutinin protein’s specificity for avian- or human-type receptors on airway cells is thought to be a major factor governing the efficient transmission of H5N1 viruses. Yet the disease still doesn’t spread easily among humans, though scientists have isolated from humans some H5N1 viruses that had specificity for human receptors.To determine what other amino acid substitutions are needed to make the virus more transmissible among humans, they explored the role of the amino acid at position 627 of the PB2 viral protein, one of the key proteins involved in viral replication. The scientists used two H5N1 viruses—one from the lungs and one from the upper airway—that were isolated from a single patient in Vietnam. They found that the virus from the patient’s upper airway exhibited a single amino acid change at position 627 of PB2: from glutamic acid (Glu) to lysine (Lys).The researchers then compared the growth of the two viral strains in mice and in different cell types. They found that viruses with Lys at position 627 replicated more efficiently in mammalian respiratory tracts, at temperatures as low as 33°C [91.4°F], and in a wider range of cells than those with Glu at the same amino acid position.Kawaoka said in the UW-Madison press release that the H5N1 viruses circulating now are more “mammalian-like” than the ones that circulated in 1997, when the first human infections were identified.”The viruses that are circulating in Africa and Europe are the ones closest to becoming a human virus,” he said.However, the researchers say in their report that additional genetic changes are probably needed to equip the H5N1 virus with full pandemic potential. “Indeed, multiple amino acid changes have been identified in the so-called Spanish influenza virus, which is thought to be derived from an avian antecedent,” they write.Kawaoka and his team believe it’s only a matter of time before the H5N1 virus evolves into a strain that’s capable of launching a pandemic, the UW-Madison release says.”I don’t like to scare the public, because they cannot do very much,” Kawaoka was quoted as saying in a Reuters news report today. “But at the same time it is important to the scientific community to understand what is happening.”Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, said the Kawaoka group’s findings are important for understanding the pandemic potential of H5N1. Given what is known about currently circulating H5N1 strains, the changes described in the study are of concern, said Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, which publishes CIDRAP News.”The billion-dollar question is how many more changes are required and will H5N1 ever achieve this,” he said. “We must plan as if it will.”Hatta M, Hatta Y, Kim J, et al. Growth of H5N1 influenza A viruses in the upper respiratory tracts of mice. PLoS Pathogens 2007 Oct 4;3(10):e133[Full text]See also:Oct 5 University of Wisconsin press releaselast_img read more


first_imgAug 11, 2009WHO confirms 2 new H5N1 cases in EgyptThe World Health Organization (WHO) today confirmed two new human cases of H5N1 avian influenza in Egypt, bringing the number of Egyptian cases this year to 32, far more than any other country. The first case is in an 8-year-old girl from Kafr El Sheikh governorate. Her symptoms started on Jul 24, and she was admitted to a hospital the following day, where she received oseltamivir (Tamiflu). She is reported in stable condition. The second case-patient is an 18-month-old boy from Menoufia governorate. His symptoms started on Jul 28, and he was admitted to a hospital on Jul 29, where he also received oseltamivir treatment and is listed in stable condition. The WHO said both patients had close contact with dead or sick poultry. Of the 32 Egyptian cases this year, 4 have been fatal, and, of the 83 cases confirmed overall in Egypt, 27 have been fatal. The WHO has now confirmed 438 H5N1 cases, including 262 deaths, worldwide.[Aug 11 WHO report on new cases]Scientists say H5N1 avian flu may boost risk for brain diseasesA study of mice infected with a strain of H5N1 avian influenza virus suggests that the virus may increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease and possibly other neurologic problems later in life, according to researchers from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the researchers infected mice with the A/Vietnam/1203/04 strain of H5N1 virus and traced the virus’s movement into the animals’ nervous systems, according to a St. Jude press release. After 3 weeks the surviving mice had no signs of the virus in their nervous systems, but they had brain inflammation that persisted for months and resembled inflammation caused by inherited forms of Parkinson’s disease. After 60 days the mice had a 17% loss of certain dopamine-producing neurons that are also lost in Parkinson’s, and they showed a buildup in certain brain cells of a protein implicated in both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. But Dr. Jeffrey Taubenberger, an influenza expert who was not involved in the study, called it “a bit extreme” to suggest on the basis of the study that flu viruses might be linked to these diseases in humans, according to a Canadian Press report.[Aug 10 St. Jude press release][Aug 10 Canadian Press story][Full text of PNAS article]California firm recalls beef in wake of multistate Salmonella outbreakBeef Packers Inc. of Fresno, Calif., recently recalled more than 825,000 pounds of ground beef because of an apparent link to an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Newport infections involving 21 cases in Colorado and others in other states, according to US and Colorado officials. The ground beef products, bearing “EST 31913” on the label, were produced between Jun 5 and 23 and distributed to retail stores in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Utah, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in an Aug 6 statement. An epidemiologic investigation indicated a link between the Colorado cases and the products. The Colorado cases also shared a common DNA fingerprint, and the S Newport strain involved is resistant to several commonly used antibiotics, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) said on Aug 6. The agency said four people had been hospitalized and all were recovering. In a Jul 31 statement, the CDPHE said cases were found in eight states besides Colorado.[Aug 6 USDA news release][Aug 6 CDPHE news release][Jul 31 CDPHE news release]Case count in E coli outbreak linked to cookie dough reached 80The number of cases in a recent Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to raw cookie dough reached 80 in 31 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said recently in its final online update on the investigation. Seventy cases had DNA fingerprints matching the outbreak strain, the CDC said in its Aug 7 notice. Most of the cases occurred in May and June; 35 people were hospitalized and 10 had hemolytic uremic syndrome, but none died. An epidemiologic investigation pointed to prepackaged cookie dough as the likely E coli source, and most of the patients reported eating Nestle Toll House cookie dough. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found E coli in a sample of the cookie dough in late June, but it didn’t match the outbreak strain. The company issued a recall, and consumers were warned not to eat any of the products subject to recall. In July the FDA said Nestle Toll House cookie dough products saying “new batch” on the label were not subject to the recall.[Aug 7 CDC update][Jul 15 FDA statement]last_img read more


first_imgThe number of foreign visitors to Turkey has risen for the first time since the conflict with Russia deepened the crisis in Turkey’s tourism industry. Official figures show Turkish tourism revenues rose 8,7 per cent to $ 5,41 billion in the three months to the end of June, compared to the same period in 2016.Tourist arrivals rose 18 percent from a year earlier to just over 2 million in April, halting a decline that began in August 2015. After the incident with Russia, then the second largest source of visitors, it responded by banning Turkey from traveling to tourism. carried Bloomberg. The expected growth was also estimated at the beginning of the year by tour operator Thomas Cook, who pointed out that tourists are starting to return to the countries with terrorism, Egypt and Turkey. “After a slow start to the season and a difficult year in 2016, we see early signs that customers are starting to return to Turkey and Egypt“They pointed out in March from Thomas CookTourism recovery is crucial for Turkey, which is based on foreign exchange earnings. Nearly a year after Turkey apologized to Russia for the aerial incident, April data are the first sign of a possible turnaround, Muammer Komurcuoglu, an economist at IS Investment in Istanbul, told Bloomberg. If the positive trend continues, tourism revenues could jump more than expected this year, Komurcuoglu said, estimating that it overlooks 10 percent growth. “This will have a positive impact on the gap and growth of current account growth”He said. According to the central bank, last year’s gross travel revenue was about $ 18,7 billion.Source: Turkish statistical institute 04/08/2017However, the data indicate how much tourism is important for Turkey and that is still a long way to historical income and the number of tourists before the crisis. Except for comparison from 2016, the number of visitors in April, was still the lowest for that month since 2010. The number of foreign tourists who visited Turkey in the first six months in 2017 increased by more than 14 percent compared to the same period last year. According to the Turkish Ministry of Tourism, 12,25 million tourists visited Turkey in the first six months. Russians accounted for almost 14 percent of foreign visitors, followed by Germans around 10 percent, while tourists from Georgia to almost 9 percent.The positive trend and recovery of the market, which is primarily based on low prices, has its high price, according to the Turkish Association of Tourist Hoteliers and the Association of Investors. While the average hotel occupancy rose to 61,2 per cent last month from 52,9 per cent a year earlier, the average daily rate in a key Istanbul market fell from 111,9 euros to 78,5 euros over the same period.It will be interesting to further suffer the situation, especially to draw the line after the summer tourist season, and especially at the end of the year. But one thing is for sure, Turkey is waking up and has stopped the decline and stagnation.Source: Turkish statistical institute / Bloomberg / HrTuirzam.hrlast_img read more


first_imgHow much is the tax burden on the private sector does not need to be told in more detail, except that we are one of the most tax-burdened countries in the EU as well as VAT rates. As if that wasn’t enough, another reason for concern is the administration and various regulations, so it is common knowledge that every company should hire another person who would just follow the laws. And the various laws that burden the hospitality industry are not controlled by one, but by as many as nine State Inspectorates. Often the inspectors themselves do not know all the Laws, nor does the Tax Administration itself, but that is why all entrepreneurs must know everything and pay attention to every letter.Of course, we are all for the regularity of the market and respect for the Law, but the goal of the State should be to help the private sector to develop as well as possible, and not to put a weight on its feet. We can witness various absurd situations every day, a The cult of the Blue Oyster conveys a new story about the restaurant and the absurdity of our administration and inspection.So recently, a Zagreb restaurant had to remove part of the terrace, because of the furniture. After adding several different tables and chairs to the terrace, which they did not expand, for the new part of the offer, the inspector warned them that they were in violation. If the inventory from the restaurant is moved to another space, he explained, for each individual piece of furniture and equipment, the entire documentation must be re-created, even though all the documentation has already been made when purchasing the inventory. Moving one’s own property from one place to another is, therefore, treated in the bureaucracy almost as a new acquisition. Repeating all these bureaucratic details was too demanding for the daily amount of work that the team of that restaurant is facing and the fines are too high, so they simply decided to temporarily give up the new offer on the terrace. This absurd situation, unfortunately, is not even a part of what caterers, especially restaurants, face every day when it comes to bureaucracy.We talk to restaurant owners and managers almost every day. When you hear some details about the work and powers of inspections and the way regulations are passed and enforced, if tax policy towards catering is added to that, the fact that Croatia has this small number of excellent restaurants borders on wonder. It is even more amazing how many people who are complete amateurs of catering, embark on the opening of restaurants and bars, convinced that this is a business that brings big profits, and in a short time. Neither can be further from reality. One of the main problems highlighted by restaurateurs, in addition to the number and frequency of inspections, is the tragic misunderstanding of the nature of the hospitality business and the chaotic system. Powers have moved between different services several times, so in many cases they overlap. Sometimes it can happen that two different inspections come to the same restaurant for the same thing, for example sanitary and fishing inspections that have taken over some former powers of economic inspection and the like. Another, bigger problem that is more difficult to solve is the fact that a large number of non-binding recommendations of the European Union are directly incorporated into the Consumer Protection Act and the laws on the basis of which inspections work.  “What a restaurant owner in Italy or Spain can apply if they want is an obligation for us. This constant fear of inspections, tax policy towards catering, the amount of energy that bureaucratization takes away from our work and limiting the impact on the offer of restaurants, prevent the actual development of the scene. Not only does all this make us less competitive, but some are wondering if it makes more sense to do this business at all, ”say the restaurateurs we spoke to. This is certainly an incomplete, in fact anecdotal list of the various inspections and controls that Croatian caterers face. The list does not specify the requirements for the minimum technical conditions without which the restaurant can not work at all, and which are a topic in themselves.Tax inspectionSanitary inspection – checks general sanitary conditions, protection against non-ionizing radiation, application of the GMO Food Act, general health safety of food, utensils, equipment, waste disposal, health safety of imported food and inventory, etc. Work inspection – Labor inspectors at the entrance to the restaurant can show badges as police officers, interview employees, check whether reports and documentation related to employees correspond to the actual situation in the restaurant. Water inspection – checks whether the restaurant has a prescribed system of drainage and water protection, for example mandatory restaurant greases (all water from the kitchen passes through a device in which grease is deposited so that they do not get into the water supply system).Agricultural inspection – thanks to the fact that the menus of some restaurants are adorned with long lists of foods and ingredients of their dishes with allergies that could cause, control the origin, declarations and documentation for meat, new products in the restaurant, indications of origin and protected geographical origin, declarations and documentation for dairy products and olive oils, eggs, etc.Fisheries inspection – restaurant documentation on fish, declarations, freshness, origin, etc. It should be taken into account that fishermen are obliged to make their own documentation on the place of catch, weight, size, etc. for each fish they catch. Tourist inspection – checks whether all minimum technical conditions are met, whether the working hours of the restaurant are highlighted, where and what are the notices about the smoking ban, non-dispensing of alcohol to minors, etc. Each of these inspections can mean problems for the restaurant business, if the owner has not met all the requirements that change frequently. At one time, for example, the regulation was changed that a restaurant must have a prominent complaint book in a visible place. Instead, restaurants are required to inform guests in any other way that they have the right to complain and how they can do so. The seemingly simplified regulation, in practice, further complicated the lives of some restaurateurs, because the inspectors caught them in misdemeanors because the notices did not state which articles which laws guests can complain about, etc. Bureaucratization, as a favorite method of governing Croatia, is chronically stifling local entrepreneurship. And the situation is especially absurd when you consider that some of the biggest pressures of the state bureaucracy are in the sectors related to tourism, a branch on which the weak Croatian economic model directly depends and which is quite expensive, complex and difficult even without absurd regulations and implementation methods. business, especially when you take into account that direct Croatian tourism competitors work in much simpler and more rational conditions. Source: The cult of the Blue Oysterlast_img read more