WSVN-TV(MIAMI) — The afternoon rumbling sent Tiona Page running to her apartment window in Miami.“It felt as if there was an earthquake,” Page told ABC News on Wednesday. “Me and my roommate jumped up and looked out.”What Page saw from her 15th-floor window was a plume of rising dust. When it cleared, Page said, she saw the steel-and-concrete pedestrian bridge lying in pieces across busy 8th Street at Florida International University.She could see slabs of concrete from the collapsed University City Bridge lying on top of smashed cars. Then, Page said, she heard piercing screams coming from one car with its back end smashed under concrete.“The screams that were coming from the car were just terrifying,” Page said.She said she immediately saw people who had been working on the bridge scrambling to get to people trapped in cars underneath the rubble.“I watched two people had to have CPR done on them,” she said.The bridge connecting Florida International University in Miami to the neighboring town of Sweetwater suddenly collapsed about 2 p.m.Officials said there were multiple fatalities. The 950-ton, 174-foot span is a prefabricated structure that was erected in just a matter of hours on Saturday. The $14 million bridge wasn’t expected to be open until December, officials said.ABC News producer Scott Whither was at the scene and said he could see at least four cars, including a minivan and a large panel truck, smashed under slabs of concrete.Paramedics and rescue workers were seen digging through the rubble to find people possibly trapped in the debris.One woman was seen on a stretcher sitting up and talking to paramedics, while another man was lying on a stretcher in a neck brace.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
FBI Pittsburgh(PITTSBURGH) — What’s a two-year wait for a 400-year-old Bible.The Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh unwrapped its Geneva Bible, dating back to 1615, on Thursday, two years after it was stolen. The Bible was recovered in the Netherlands — purchased by the American Pilgrim Museum in Leiden — and sent neatly to the U.S. in a small metal box and tucked in a decidedly post-17th century invention: bubble wrap. The owner of the museum, dedicated to the refugees who fled England over religious persecution, discovered the book had been stolen when it was announced last year.“This Bible is more than a piece of evidence in a case,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Jones said at a press conference. “It is a priceless artifact of religious significance to people of many faiths.”The thefts — as well as many books that were not stolen, but damaged — were discovered in July 2018. There were a total of 288 rare, historical books either stolen or damaged at the Carnegie Library, according to the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office. Some were worth tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars.The thefts, allegedly an inside job and conducted over two decades, resulted in the arrests of archivist Gregory Priore, and a bookseller, John Schulman, who allegedly conspired with him, according to The New York Times.The stolen and damaged material was worth a total of about $8 million, according to authorities.Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala commended the museum owner for being “an honest person” and contacting authorities.“Since the investigation was initiated, with the help of the FBI, 18 books have been recovered, 293 associated maps, plates and pamphlets have been recovered from areas all over the United States of America, as well as London and now the Netherlands,” Zappala said.The recovered edition is a rare version of a Geneva Bible, called a Breeches Bible. The word “breeches” refers to a printing change in the story of Adam and Eve that refers to them wearing breeches.The investigation and recovery of the missing books continues with authorities asking anyone with information to get in touch with the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office.Carnegie Library’s main location and five smaller branches were established in the late 19th century thanks to a $1 million donation by steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, once acclaimed as the richest man in the world. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
BlakeDavidTaylor/iStockBy ANTHONY RIVAS, ABC NEWS(EL PASO COUNTY, Co.) — The stepmother of an 11-year-old Colorado boy who went missing before his body was found across the country two months later is facing a new charge of solicitation to escape the jail where she’s being held for his murder.Letecia Stauch sought help from a fellow inmate at El Paso County Jail through both a conversation and letters in which she laid out a plan to break through her cell window with a broom handle, according to a probable cause affidavit.The inmate who reported Stauch said she was probably asked for help because she was “Italian and kind of the bad boy.” Staunch also offered to give money to the inmate, who had access to a broom, in exchange for help, according to the affidavit.“You have my word to make sure we are MIA,” Stauch said in the letter, according to the affidavit. “I got us covered!”The inmate said she wasn’t going to help Stauch because she didn’t want to make “her own situation worse” and because she knows about Stauch’s charges and “doesn’t want to be involved or have anything to do with her,” the affidavit said.A shakedown of Stauch’s cell uncovered a letter addressed to her daughter saying that if “something comes up on the news like she is no longer in the jail or is missing to not be afraid.” She also urged her daughter to keep normal and focused.Stauch is being held for first-degree murder in addition to other charges related to the death of Gannon, who went missing Jan. 27 and was found 1,400 miles away near Pace, Florida, on March 20.Stauch was the last person to have seen Gannon. She told police he had stayed home from school, but that he’d left to go to a friend’s home in the afternoon.One of Stauch’s neighbors came forward with surveillance footage a few days after Gannon went missing. It appears to show Stauch entering a red pickup truck around 10:13 a.m. and Gannon entering soon after. The video showed Stauch returning with the vehicle four hours later, without Gannon.Gannon’s father, Al Stauch, was on deployment with the National Guard from Jan. 25 to 28 and has cooperated with authorities. He filed for divorce from Letecia in March. Gannon’s birth mother, Landen Hiott, had spent months pleading for her son’s safe return.Letecia Stauch faces life in prison without parole if she’s convicted of first-degree murder. She has yet to make a plea, but is set to appear in court for a status conference on Friday.ABC’s Clayton Sandell contributed to this report.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. A revolution has taken place in Russia’s labour laws. But, says Ben Hooson,employees have made little fuss, despite the balance of power firmly shiftingto employers Photos by Paul MillerRussia’s new Labour Code, which took effect in February this year,revolutionises the country’s labour relations: among other things it curbs therole of unions, strictly qualifies the right to strike and extends the groundsfor dismissal. The new code replaces one that had been in force since 1970, theheyday of Soviet power. It is surprising that private employers have managed to survive 10 years ofcapitalism with a work charter written for a state-owned economy. Just assurprising has been the lack of response to the new code. Lawyers and HRmanagers report neither an upsurge of labour law cases nor a feverishredesigning of labour relations by companies One reason for this, perhaps, is the difficulty in understanding the code,which runs to 100 pages of A4 paper. It is not the most user-friendly piece oflabour legislation in the world. “It is smaller than the French Code, but it is pretty dense, and mostemployers are not going to decipher much without plenty of legal consultation:it has not been clarified yet and there will need to be a lot ofclarification,” says Felix Kugel, head of the Manpower office in Moscow. Previous governments tried to win approval for Labour Code amendments sincethe mid-1990s, but ran up against implacable opposition from acommunist-dominated parliament. The communists were punished for theirstubbornness when they lost their majority in parliament, and the governmentput through a draft more biased towards employers than anything proposedbefore. Irate demonstrators with a forest of red flags picketed the parliamentbuilding in downtown Moscow when the draft was approved last July, but theycould not stop the inevitable. The new code has also been criticised by the International LabourOrganisation, which found some provisions incompatible with its conventions,and recommended that the Russian government change them before final readingsof the draft law in parliament last December – but to no avail. While some may argue that the code has gone too far, it is clear that somerebalancing in favour of employers was needed. The labour legislation thatRussia inherited from the USSR was written for a country in which employers andtrade unions were both controlled by the state, making conflict unthinkable.The old law gave unions right of veto over top management appointments, made itimpossible to fire any union official (however humble), and required unionconsent for dismissal of an employee who was a union member. “There were legal cases where a sacked employee went to a court, provedhe was a union member and automatically won a judgement that the sacking wasunlawful,” says Evgeny Reyzman, head of the labour relations department atthe Moscow office of legal company Baker & McKenzie. The new code leaves no vestige of union interference in managementappointments, severely curtails the ability of unions to defend their membersfrom dismissal, and gives employers the choice of five grounds for firing eventhe most senior union official. Dominance of first one side and then the other ought to have created plentyof work for the lawyers in the past 10 years and three months – particularlywith Russia struggling with the legacy of massive over-employment in the Sovieteconomy. But labour disputes rarely make the courts or headlines in Russia. GalinaMelnikova, HR consulting director at Ernst & Young CIS in Moscow, explainsthe disincentives for settling labour issues by recourse to the law from theemployee’s perspective. “Employees have been afraid to go to court.Because of their built-in Soviet psychology, they tend to believe that theemployer will win in the end and create problems for the employee if he makestrouble. It is better to go quietly,” Melnikova says. The motivations for the employer are quite different, but also discourageuse of labour legislation. Says Melnikova: “The courts tend to beprotective of the employee – he is in front on the court and can tell a storythat wins sympathy, while the employer has to produce documented proof ofdismissal grounds. There is a lack of precedents – for example, in the US itwould be clear that unethical use of the internet in work time would justifydismissal, but that is not necessarily true here.” The new code rules that discovery of false information in a job applicationprovides grounds for dismissal, but the code’s provisions on what constitutesproper qualification for a job are hazy – inevitable in a country where a lotof people are doing jobs (in private banks and so on) for which training didnot previously exist. The impact of labour law is also limited by the scale of Russia’s blackeconomy, and the widespread practice of paying wages under the counter to avoidpayroll taxes. All these reasons encourage informal regulation of disputes (mutualagreements), by which an employee quits with no fuss in return for a cashpayment. “Most of the time, termination is just a question of price,”Melnikova says. According to Kugel of Manpower, cash is also the main tool for resolvingissues between companies and unions. “In Russia, most corporationsinvolved in production, where unions are present, simply buy off the unions.That is true under the old and the new systems – everyone needs to make money andunions are no different,” he says. In fact, it is dubious whether large parts of the union movement trulyrepresent workers’ interests in Russia. The Federation of Independent TradeUnions (by far the biggest union organisation) is a direct descendant of theSoviet trade union movement, which was simply an appendage of the state. “The Federation and its member organisations do not represent workers.That is known, though it is hard to prove. My opinion is that it reflects theinterests of the nomenklatura and government bureaucrats,” says TatyanaKosmarskaya, an economist specialising in labour relations at the EU-backedRussian-European Centre for Economic Policy. This would explain the failure of the Federation, which helped draft the newLabour Code, to force the inclusion of more safeguards for employees. Thereseems to have been a trade-off, with the Federation tolerating employer-biasedprovisions in return for provisions that will make it easier for the Federationto prevent the development of competitor unions. Employers won their biggest victory in the new code over the right tostrike. Under the old system any union had the right to declare a strike. Inthe new system, a strike is only legitimate if it is declared for a fixedperiod of time, and if it wins majority approval at a meeting attended bytwo-thirds of the workforce. This makes strikes in some professions and tradesimpossible. “The 1990s showed that genuine strikes – not strikes organised bybusinessmen in order to seize control of a company – always involved arelatively small part of an enterprise’s workforce. Suppose that trolleybusdrivers at a depot have a grievance, but it does not concern other staff. Thedrivers are a small part of the workforce at the depot so they cannot legallystrike,” says Oleg Shein, parliament deputy and head of the LabourSolidarity party, which maintains that the new code effectively abolishes theright to strike in Russia. New provisions on collective bargaining and agreements at enterprise level implythat unions that include half or more of the workforce will be the solenegotiating partner with management, excluding any smaller unions. If no unionor other worker organisation can muster 50 per cent of the workforce, theemployer is largely free to choose who he talks with. “If a union is doing a good job representing employees, the employercan organise a campaign to get union membership below 50 per cent of theworkforce and then refuse to deal with it,” says Irene Stevenson, labourspecialist at The Solidarity Center. The centre promotes the role of tradeunions in countries making the transition to democracy. According to Stevenson, this is exactly what McDonald’s has achieved inRussia. The fast-food chain had a major headache with a minority union andtried banning it a couple of years ago, which led to it losing a court case anda run of bad publicity. Thanks to the new code, this particular headache iscured. Despite the criticism, the new code does resolve some problems within theRussian workplace. It regulates, among other things, accident responsibility,paid leave (minimum 28 days per year), maternity leave and training. Employmentcontracts, which could be verbal under old legislation, must now be written andtheir required structure is set out in detail. Temporary contracts are nowallowed for a larger range of professions and posts, including CEOs and chiefaccountants, though some HR managers think legislators could have gone further.Labour mobility and serfdomRussia badly needs increased labourmobility to relocate workers to new jobs from moribund Soviet-era factories,which are often sole employers for whole towns and even cities. Defenders ofthe new code say that simpler rules on workforce reduction will help. Unfortunately,the code has no impact on the infamous system of propiska (registration), bywhich individuals have no access to education and health services or even theright to remain in a city or region unless they are registered at a fixedaddress there. Getting registration in a new place is beset by bureaucraticobstacles. Propiska was introduced by Stalin, who effectively revived theserfdom of Tsarist times to ensure strict control of labour flows for hismassive industrialisation effort. Post-Soviet politicians are maintaining itbecause of huge income differences that have appeared around the country in thepast 10 years. Administrators in resource-rich regions (particularly oil-richWest Siberia) and prosperous cities are worried about the pressure on theirinfrastructure from an influx of migrant workers. “Labour mobility is unworkable as long as you havepropiska,” says Irene Stevenson. “If the main plant in a one-factorytown lays off workers, those workers cannot move to another town because they willlose all health care rights, the right to send their kids to school, they willnot even be able call an ambulance. You need money or connections to getregistered in a new place. So if people do move, they become fodder for theinformal economy, because they have to remain unofficial.”The Russia Constitutional Court has ruled propiska unlawful,but local administrations have so far simply ignored the ruling. Wages and wages in kindBy far the biggest cause of labourunrest in post-Soviet Russia has been wage arrears, which grew to huge levelsin 1998 because of the government’s monetarist policies and the diversion ofcash to financial markets by crooked managers. Arrears stood at a staggering$10bn at the end of 1998 (about $150, or the average monthly wage, for everyworking Russian), although they have since tumbled to about $1bn due to roubledevaluation and settlement of the debt. The new code allows employees to quit work and sue theiremployer if wages are withheld for more than two weeks. It also limits paymentof wages in kind to 20 per cent of overall salary. (Until recently peopletrying to sell their ‘wages’ – anything from car parts to huge sacks of popcorn– were a common sight along roads throughout the country.)Employees on low salaries, mainly in the public sector, seemedto have won a major victory under the new code with the creation of a minimumwage, which must be no less than the official subsistence minimum (about $50 amonth). This would translate into a $2.7bn increase in the Government’s wagebill, according to Labour minister Alexander Pochinok – but, not surprisingly,the Government has given itself an indefinite reprieve. “There is no lawon the method of setting the subsistence level, and the minimum wage provisionin the code cannot operate until such a law has been passed,” says EvgenyReyzman of Baker & McKenzie. Previous Article Next Article RevolutionOn 1 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today
View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 31, 2016 Time to see if David Mamet was telling the truth when he said his new play “is better than oral sex!” Tickets are now on sale to see the legendary Al Pacino return to Broadway in China Doll. Directed by Pam MacKinnon and co-starring Fran Kranz, the production will begin performances on October 21 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre and officially open on November 19.”China Doll is a play about a wealthy man, his young fiancé, and an airplane,” Mamet has been quoted as saying. “The man has just bought a new plane as a wedding present for the girl. He intends to go into semiretirement, and enjoy himself. He’s in the process of leaving his office, and is giving last minute instructions to his young assistant. He takes one last phone call…The characters are Mickey Ross, a billionaire; Carson, the assistant, and a telephone. I wrote it for Al. It is better than oral sex.”The production will feature scenic design by Derek McLane, lighting design by Russell H. Champa and costume design by Jess Goldstein. China Doll Related Shows
University of GeorgiaMaryAnn Parsons, JohnR. Hayes and MarieTruesdell each received a University of Georgia College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences Alumni Association youngalumni achievement award Sept. 16 in Athens, Ga.Parsons is a 2002 UGA graduate with a bachelor’s degree inagricultural communications, minoring in agribusiness, and isworking on a master’s degree in agricultural leadership. She isthe development coordinator and assistant executive director ofthe Georgia 4-H Foundation.Hayes received his bachelor’s degree in environmental economicsand management from UGA in 1995 and his master’s in agriculturaleconomics in 1997. He is general manager and partner of LasseterImplement Company in Hazlehurst, Ga.Truesdell, a 1999 UGA graduate with a Ph.D. in agriculturaleconomics, chairs the department of business and is an assistantprofessor at Marian College in Indianapolis, Ind.
Wyeth Announces the Sale of its Georgia, VermontManufacturing Facility to Affiliate of PBM ProductsMadison, N.J., November 4, 2004 – Wyeth (NYSE:WYE) has announced that a definitive agreement has been signed with an affiliate of PBM Products Inc. for the sale of its Georgia, Vermont, infant nutrition manufacturing facility.Under the terms of the purchase agreement, which is subject to customary conditions to closing, including certain regulatory approvals, Wyeth will receive an undisclosed amount in cash at closing in exchange for the manufacturing facility.The buyer is expected to retain employees currently working at the site.Wyeth is one of the world’s largest research-driven pharmaceuticaland health care products companies. It is a leader in the discovery, development, manufacturing, and marketing of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, biotechnology products and non-prescription medicines that improve the quality of life for people worldwide.The Company’s major divisions include Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare and Fort Dodge Animal Health.###
Visiting the Cranberry Wilderness in the Monongahela National Forest of southeast West Virginia is like going back in time. Ancient red spruce cast their shadows over mountains and ridges, peat bogs, and ice-cold streams teeming with native trout.The Cranberry Wilderness, which stretches over some 48,000 acres and sits in a pocket created by the convergence of Pocahontas, Greenbrier, and Nicholas counties, also happens to be the largest federally-protected wilderness area in the east. Hikers, campers, anglers, mountain-bikers, bird-watchers, tree-huggers, hunters, and others have mounted their excursions into the wilderness for years from nearby gateway towns like Marlinton, Richwood, and Lewisburg.But a specter has recently been cast over this unique treasure: West Virginia’s natural gas industry is booming faster than people can make decisions about how to deal with it. West Virginia is, after all, a literal mine of natural resources. It sits atop the prolific Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale. While coal has long helped fuel the state’s economy, it is the rise of fracking, or the extraction of natural gas, that has begun to worry some about its potential impact on the Cranberry Wilderness and the headwaters located there. While there are currently no plans on the table to frack inside this corner of the forest, there are several proposed interstate pipelines that would run through it.That has a diverse group of West Virginians worried—especially in the wake of the disastrous Elk River chemical spill in January 2014 that contaminated the drinking water for some 300,000 people near Charleston. What if something similar would happen in this area, which happens to be the headwaters of six major rivers—the Cranberry, Cherry, Gauley, Williams, Greenbrier, and the Elk?“The water people use downstream starts up in our mountains,” says Angie Rosser, the executive director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition and one of the leaders of a three-year-old proposal to turn the Cranberry Wilderness and thousands of acres surrounding it into a National Monument.That proposal, dubbed the Birthplace of Rivers National Monument, would add another 70,000 acres to the protected parcel for a total of nearly 120,000 acres. It’s being championed by a coalition of local politicians, hunters and anglers, mountain-biking and whitewater enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and others who, far from being anti-energy, are focused on preserving access to the wilderness for generations to come.“There are some places that should simply be off the table when it comes to development or heavy energy extractions, and this area should be one of those,” says Lee Orr, chairman of the West Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited.What is a National Monument Anyway?A national monument is federally protected land that can be designated directly by the president. There are currently 117 national monuments in the U.S. spanning 30 states. The first one was Devils Tower in Wyoming, which President Theodore Roosevelt created in 1906 after the passage of the Antiquities Act, which gives the president the power to preserve landmarks or structures with historic or scientific interest. Most U.S. presidents have followed Roosevelt’s lead in adding to the tally. But it is President Barack Obama, who has created 19 monuments covering some two million acres, who is the current record holder.That’s given members of the coalition hope that the president, who created three new monuments as recently as July 2015, would look westward from D.C. to the country roads of West Virginia to create his next one.More realistically, the coalition hopes that their former governor and now senator, Joe Manchin, will step up to the plate since the U.S. Congress can also create National Monuments through legislation.But the path to getting from here to there promises to be a rocky one politically. For one, the decision to pursue the designation of a national monument has admittedly created some confusion among locals about what a National Monument really is. While the state of Arizona has 30 of them, for instance, West Virginia has none.That’s led some residents to question whether the designation will somehow restrict activities like hunting and fishing or that sections would be paved under and turned into paid parking lots. Some of that mix-up might result from a failed attempt by then Governor Manchin several years ago to create a National Park in a different part of the state—an effort that failed to attract the support of just about anyone.That might also explain why a common catchphrase among skeptics today is: “Why not just leave things the way they are?”Strangely enough, the goal of the Birthplace of Rivers coalition is, in fact, to do just that: to keep things exactly the way they are. That includes continuing to allow timber harvests within the boundaries of the proposed monument and ensuring that outdoorspeople of all types will continue to have access to the wilderness regardless of any political maneuvering that might occur in D.C. or Charleston in the future.“We jumped on board in support of this monument a while back,” says Orr of Trout Unlimited. “It’s basically a name change. If angling or hunting would be restricted in any form, we would pull our support. This area contains some of the best native trout fishing anywhere on the east coast. Some people think that keeping a resource serves to protect it. We feel the monument designation would serve to promote the area, which could use an economic boost.”Indeed, an economic impact study commissioned by supporters found that designating the wilderness as a National Monument would attract some 42 percent more visitors from all over the country, create more jobs and lead to a net economic impact of more than $4.3 million a year.Those are encouraging numbers to John Manchester, the long-time mayor of Lewisburg, a town of 3,800 residents in Greenbrier County that sits just about 60 miles outside the proposed monument boundaries. Manchester says his town already serves as a basecamp for visitors who may want to relax in a comfy hotel bed or grab a hot meal at one of many restaurants that line Lewisburg’s downtown before heading into the wilderness.He thinks the National Monument designation would spur even more people to visit his town and also to take advantage of the many outfitters who also make their home there. “There are clear benefits to the community both in job development and economic impact that would accrue from such a designation,” says Manchester, adding that the city council in Lewisburg has already passed a resolution in support of the Birthplace of Rivers proposal.The Path AheadSupporters continue to rally for the National Monument designation. They all share the hope that Senator Manchin will step up and sponsor the legislation needed to get there before it’s too late. “This is a special place,” says David Lillard, special projects manager for the West Virginia Rivers Coalition. “If ever there was a place that deserved to shine, this is it. Whatever else goes on, we have to protect this place. Let’s deal with the uncertainty of the future now. This would be a real shot in the arm for the state. We deserve this.”
Hollywood is full of power couples such as Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez, but there are also plenty of stars who have found love outside the spotlight.In fact, some of Tinseltown’s longest-standing twosomes are those who either met ahead of their life-changing fame, such as Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman, who met in college, or childhood sweethearts Jon Bon Jovi and Dorothea Hurley.- Advertisement – As for writer McNearney, she explained to Glamour in February 2014 of her now-husband, “All the writers would socialize after the show, and we would just hang out more and more.”Jennifer Garner, for one, who finalized her divorce from famous ex Ben Affleck in November, is thrilled to be with a man who’s not in her field. “[Jennifer] loves that [boyfriend John Miller is] not in the entertainment industry and is just a simple guy,” an insider shared with Us Weekly in March.Scroll through to find out which other stars have found love with regular people.- Advertisement – “I didn’t meet my husband and think, I’ve met the man I’m going to marry,” Banks told Allure of her spouse in May 2015. “I was like, He’s cute. I’ll f—k him, because I’m 18 and in college.”Others, including Christina Aguilera and Matthew Rutler, Julia Stiles and Preston J. Cook, and Jimmy Kimmel and wife Molly McNearney, met on the job — Rutler was as a production assistant on the set of the Grammy winner’s 2010 film Burlesque, while Cook was a camera assistant for Stiles’ 2015 flick Go With Me.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –
Treatment has vastly improved since the height of the spring outbreak, when more than 2,200 people were dying per day. Even so, deaths, which tend to lag a few weeks behind new infections, are now trending upward. The country has averaged about 900 deaths a day over the last week, compared with about 700 a month ago.Mr. Biden is in line to inherit one of the most serious and complicated national crises that any incoming president in more than half a century has faced.While other presidents have entered office during an economic slowdown, including President Obama and Mr. Biden as vice president in 2009, not since Harry Truman in the final months of World War II has a new president faced a situation as “complex and multiheaded” as the pandemic, said Bruce J. Schulman, a political historian at Boston University.- Advertisement – Though the country is conducting far more tests now than it was in the spring, the soaring case numbers now reflect accelerating spread of the virus, not simply wider testing.Hospitalizations, which give a clear picture of how many people are seriously ill with the virus at any given time, grew by 63 percent over the past month, according to data collected by the Covid Tracking Project. More than 55,000 people are now hospitalized with the virus, approaching earlier peaks of more than 59,000 in April and July.- Advertisement – Mr. Biden has said controlling the pandemic is the necessary first step to bringing back jobs, and has said that on his first day in office, he would move rapidly to appoint a “national supply chain commander” and establish a “pandemic testing board,” similar to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s wartime production panel.On Sunday, Mr. Biden’s campaign released a first glimpse of his plan for the pandemic, including a commitment to “listen to science.” Public health experts offered initial praise for his coronavirus task force, which is expected to include Dr. Vivek Murthy, a former surgeon general; Dr. David Kessler, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration; and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a Yale University professor. – Advertisement –