Daily briefing – Nov. 19


Staff report



* Wednesday, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Co-Chairs of the Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking, urged the Administration to address the link between illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and human trafficking in the seafood supply chain. According to the U.S. State Department’s 2015Trafficking in Persons Report, 54 countries either have trafficking in their fishing industries, are transit countries for trafficking forced labor on fishing vessels in other jurisdictions, or have a high risk of trafficking in their fishing industries.

“As co-chairs of the Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking, we are concerned about the link between illegal, unreported, unregulated fishing and human trafficking in the seafood supply chain,” the senators wrote. “As a human rights champion, the U.S. can and should endeavor to provide adequate safeguards to protect some of the world’s most vulnerable populations from human trafficking.”

“Oceana applauds the leadership of Senators Portman and Blumenthal and echo their concerns,” said Lora Snyder, Campaign Director of Oceana. “Transparency and traceability in the seafood supply chain not only are beneficial in the fight against pirate fishing and seafood fraud, but also to protect the welfare of seafood workers from the fishing boats to the processing plants and factories far off our shores. As the Task Force develops new rules for traceability, it is critical that they are comprehensive, applying to all seafood sold in the U.S. and extending through the full supply chain.”

* The Ohio PTA will hold an online book fair from Nov. 27 to Dec. 11. The book fair can be accessed at: http://ohio-pta.childrensbookstore.com.

The Ohio PTA will earn 30 percent of every sale. Books will ship directly to customers. There are more than 200,000 juvenile titles available. Shoppers can select from a range of shipping options to ensure books arrive in time for the holidays.

“We’re thrilled to carry out this innovative fundraiser for Ohio students,” said Sheila Ragland, president of the Ohio PTA. “We invite Ohioans to do their holiday book shopping through the book fair. Every purchase made will be a gift to Ohio students.”

* U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) today called on U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske to fully enforce antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders on China’s aluminum extrusions in order to level the playing field for domestic aluminum extruders. The letter was cosigned by U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bob Casey (D-PA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and David Perdue (R-GA).

“The AD and CVD orders are needed to level the playing field for American aluminum extruders, but they are effective only if they are strongly enforced. We urge you to take action to fully enforce the orders and ensure the viability of the U.S. aluminum extrusion industry,” said the Senators in their letter.

Chinese producers have been actively evading AD and CVD orders through tactics like making minor additions to the alloy content of their products. This is unfair and harms U.S. companies that play by the rules, including domestic extruders like Aerolite Extrusion Company and General Extrusions Inc. in Youngstown, Astro Shapes Inc. in Struthers, and Pennex Aluminum in Leetonia.

* Following a new report on the impact of payday and car title loans on Ohioans, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today renewed his call for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to establish strong rules to combat predatory practices in the payday loan market. Brown was joined by Diane Standaert, the report’s co-author and director of state policy for the Center for Responsible Lending.

The Center for Responsible Lending issued a new report last week exposing how Ohio payday and car title lenders have sidestepped laws put in place to rein in their abusive practices. The study found that there are now 836 stores in Ohio generating more than $500 million in predatory loan fees each year – twice as much as they collected in 2005.

“Ohio payday lenders have stayed one step ahead of the sheriff,” Brown said. “The Center for Responsible Lending report shows how payday and car title lenders have exploited loopholes in Ohio law to continue to saddle low-income borrowers with triple-digit interest rates. Ohioans shouldn’t be trapped with a lifetime of debt from predatory loans. It’s time for the CFPB to act.”

* Pediatric surgeon Avraham Schlager, MD, has joined Akron Children’s Hospital.

He will provide outpatient and inpatient pediatric surgical care and perform surgeries on the hospital’s Akron and Beeghly campuses, as well as Akron Children’s affiliate site at MetroHealth Medical Center.

Dr. Schlager earned his medical degree from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York, NY. He completed training in general surgery at New York University Medical Center and pediatric surgery at Emory University/Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. He is board certified by the American Board of Surgery.

Akron Children’s Hospital’s department of general pediatric surgery cares for thousands of children each year. The team includes pediatric surgeons, general surgery residents, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurse clinicians who provide support through the entire surgical process from hospitalization through discharge and home care.

Dr. Schlager lives in Beachwood.

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Staff report

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