Lady Raiders Return Home for Thursday Matinee vs. No. 20 Georgia on ESPNU


LUBBOCK, Texas — The Texas Tech Lady Raiders return to United Supermarkets Arena Thursday for an 11 a.m. nationally-televised (ESPNU) matchup against the No. 20 Georgia Lady Bulldogs.
Tech and Georgia will meet for just the second time in program history, and for the first time since the 1984-85 season.

LAST TIME OUT FOR TECH:

The Lady Raiders closed play at the Van Chancellor Classic 2-1 last weekend. Tech opened the weekend with a 71-67 victory over Ball State on Friday. In that contest, senior forward Taylah Thomas had a career-best 18 points and 17 rebounds, while Lexy Hightower added 15 points.

On Saturday, the Lady Raiders suffered their first loss of the season, falling to Old Dominion 59-45. After falling behind as many as 27 points in that game, the Lady Raiders cut the deficit to single digits in the fourth, before the comeback effort came up short.

Sunday, Tech bounced back in a big way, using a 27-point first quarter to cruise to an 82-75 victory. In the contest, all five Lady Raider scorers were in double-figures led by Hightower’s 17 points. The West Texas A&M transfer also grabbed eight rebounds and had six assists.

INSIDE THE MATCHUP:

MATCHUP:
Texas Tech (7-1) vs. No. 20 Georgia (6-0)

Date: Thursday, December 2, 2021

Time: 11 a.m.

Location: United Supermarkets Arena (Lubbock, Texas)

TV: ESPNU

Radio: Texas Tech Radio Network/The Varsity App

KNOW YOUR FOE:

Georgia Lady Bulldogs (6-0):


Georgia enters Thursday’s matchup with Texas Tech ranked No. 20 in the country, after defeating Notre Dame 71-67 and Marquette 70-45. One of the best defensive teams in the country, Georgia has four times held a team to 45 points or fewer and has allowed under 60 in every single game except the Notre Dame game that went to overtime.

On the year, forward Jenna Staiti leads the Lady Bulldogs in points (13.3), rebounds (8.0), blocks (17) and field goals made (31). Led by Staiti, Georgia has three different people scoring in double-figures this season. Guards Que Morrison and Sarah Ashlee Barker are averaging 10.5 and 10.2 points respectively.

UP NEXT:

The Lady Raiders return to action a week from Sunday, when they travel to Canyon, Texas to clash with UNLV. The game will be a homecoming for HC Krista Gerlich and guard Lexy Hightower. Gerlich coached the Lady Buffs from 2006-13, while Hightower played for West Texas A&M from 2017-21. Tip-off from the First United Bank Center is set for 2 p.m.

 



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WBB: Huskies Return Home to Host Texas State


Texas State Bobcats (3-2) at HBU Huskies (3-4)

Thursday, December 2 – 6:00 p.m.

Sharp Gymnasium – Houston, Texas

Watch (Husky Sports Network with Tamer Knight)

Live Stats

HOUSTON – The HBU women’s basketball team returns home from a three game road trip to host the Texas State Bobcats in Sharp Gym Thursday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.

 

The Huskies (3-4, 0-0 SLC) return home to Sharp Gym where they have yet to drop a game this year as they look to end a three game skid. HBU’s last two contests were nail biters, including an overtime loss to Montana and a loss against GCU in which the Lopes pulled away very late.

 

Marilyn Nzoiwu is coming off of a week in which she was named an honorable mention in Southland Conference Player of the Week voting. She averaged a double-double with 11 points and 11.3 rebounds over three games while shooting just under 62 percent from the floor, 50 percent from long range, and was a perfect 6 of 6 from the foul line. Her 13 point and 13 rebound performance against New Mexico were both season highs along with the five field goals she made against Montana.

 

N’Denasija Collins also had a big week, averaging 13.6 points and seven rebounds across the weeks slate of games including a 20 point and 10 rebound double-double against Montana. Collins also leads the Huskies with 17 steals on the season and Julija Vujakovic has added 14. Abbey Sutherland leads the Huskies in blocks with seven.

 

The Bobcats (3-2, 0-0 SBC) are coming off of a loss to Texas Tech and a blowout win against Arlington Baptist in which three different Bobcats earned double-doubles. Da’Nasia Hood leads Texas State in scoring and rebounding averaging 16.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. The Bobcats shoot 43 percent from the field while holding their opponents to just 38 percent. From three point range they shoot 32 percent while holding opponents to 24 percent.

 

The last time the Huskies and Bobcats met was in 2015 where Texas State walked away victorious, 71-66. The overall series between the programs is tied, 2-2.

 

The Huskies will head back out on the road on next Monday when they travel to Edinburg, Texas to face UT Rio Grande Valley.

 



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Travellers scramble to switch winter holidays as Covid restrictions return | Travel News | Travel









Travellers scramble to switch winter holidays as Covid restrictions return | Travel News | Travel – ToysMatrix


























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Will New ‘Highly Mutated’ Covid-19 Variant Trigger Return Of Travel Restrictions?


Will the lifting of international travel restrictions earlier this month turn out to be another example of premature relaxation? On November 8, the Biden Administration welcomed back to the U.S. all international visitors who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 after 19 months of pandemic-related border restrictions. Now, just under three weeks later, the emergence of a new “highly mutated” variant of the Covid-19 coronavirus is prompting a number of countries to enact more international travel restrictions again.

Welcome to another “yo” in what’s becoming a “yo-yo” for travelers.

As I described on Thursday for Forbes, this new variant, currently known as the not-so-easy-to-remember B.1.1.529 variant, has over 50 different mutations with over 30 changes to the spike protein compare to the original version of the virus. The large number of mutations has led people to call this variant a “highly mutated” or “heavily mutated” or “oh-geez-not-another-Delta-esque-variant-when-I-mistakenly-acted-as-if-the-pandemic-were-over” variant. The big questions are whether this variant can readily evade the immune protection offered by vaccination or previous infection and whether this variant is more transmissible and harmful than previous versions. Data suggests that this new variant has been spreading rapidly in South Africa over the past couple of weeks.

As we’ve seen time and time again, the Covid-19 coronavirus doesn’t behave like that wild weekend spent in Las Vegas that involved candles, masks, and an ox. What happens in one location doesn’t necessarily stay in that location. The B.1.1.529 variant may have already spread well beyond the southern African region. There have been reports of the variant being detected among people in Hong Kong, Belgium, and Israel who had recently traveled in different parts of Africa. One example is a vaccinated person who returned to Israel from Malawi, as the Times of Israel reported. Marc Van Ranst, MD, PhD, a Professor of Virology at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, tweeted about another example:

Unless you already have a very aggressive Covid-19 coronavirus testing and surveillance system in place, any reported cases of the variant may be just the tip of Iceberg lettuce. For every reported case, there may be a complex salad of many more unreported cases running around. Or walking around. Or texting around.

Therefore, swift action may be needed in order to contain this new variant, at least until it can be determined how much of a threat the B.1.1.529 variant may be. That’s why European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted the following:

As Euronews reported, Germany, Italy, and France have already announced restrictions on air travel from the southern African region with the Netherlands poised to follow suit.

European Union (EU) countries haven’t been the only countries increasing travel restrictions. The U.K., which is not longer part of the EU due to that whole “Brexit” thing, has temporary halted flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Israel has placed South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, and Eswatini on its “red countries” list. Foreign nationals from such “red countries” will not be allowed to visit Israel, and Israelis will not be allowed to visit “red countries.” Expect other countries around the world to follow suit.

How about the U.S.? Well, the Biden Administration’s decision to lift international travel restrictions for those who are vaccinated was risky. As of November 24, only about 59% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated. Many Americans have not been following face mask and social distancing recommendations. Even though the Delta variant surge from the Summer seemed to be subsiding in October, the U.S. had never really gotten the Covid-19 coronavirus under control. Plus, the country was heading into the Winter months when colder and drier weather, indoor Holiday gatherings, and Holiday travel could be perfect storms to drive up Covid-19 coronavirus transmission again. All of this left the U.S. rather open to being engulfed by the Covid-19 coronavirus again like a hot dog in a bun factory. So the recent upswing in Covid-19 cases in the U.S. hasn’t been that surprising, as I described for Forbes on November 22. And that was even before things got “highly mutated.”

Rather than such a drastic lifting of travel restrictions, it may have been better for the U.S. to ease travel restrictions more gradually based on achieving different clearly-defined milestones. For example, achieving a progression of vaccination coverage levels along with reductions in measured virus activity could then result in the partial lifting of certain travel restrictions. Such a more progressive approach could have helped businesses and the general public aim for different milestones and help them better understand the scientific rational behind different restrictions. It could also make it easy to dial back to slightly more stringent precautions when upticks in the virus activity occur.

Instead, throughout this pandemic, many decision makers in the U.S. have alternated between being too late with Covid-19 precautions and being too premature in relaxing such precautions. For example, 2020 was chock full of policy makers ignoring warning signs, not acting quickly enough, and prematurely declaring the pandemic as under control. As time eventually showed, the pandemic was about as under control as an all-cat version of Dancing with the Stars.

As another example, in mid-May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) changed their guidelines so that those fully vaccinated no longer needed to wear face masks while indoors in public. As I covered back then for Forbes, this seemed like a premature relaxation since the U.S. hadn’t yet achieved high enough vaccination coverages to really interrupt transmission of the virus and businesses had no real way of confirming whether people were fully vaccinated. As a result, many people both vaccinated and unvaccinated ditched face mask use, which made it much more difficult to re-institute face mask use when the Delta variant began spreading and caused a Covid-19 surge in the Summer. As you know (or maybe you don’t know), anything premature can leave things very messy and people very confused.

A better approach would have been to tell businesses and the public the thresholds needed to relax face mask use. This could have further motivated everyone to push each other to achieve such thresholds.

Not following a clearer science-based progression has left many confused over when and why Covid-19 precautions are needed. It’s a bit like being with a significant other who doesn’t seem to be following larger principles and goals when acting. One day your significant other tells you that he or she only wants to be with you. The next day your significant other is taking dance lessons with his or her “best friend” and forgets your birthday. Such a situation may leave you wondering, “what the bleep is he or she going to do now?”

Such a situation also leaves the country much more vulnerable when nature inevitably throws another curve ball. As the B.1.1.529 variant is showing, the virus is not going to announce on Instagram or Twitter whenever it is preparing for a new variant to arrive. The virus doesn’t go on Jimmy Kimmel Live and say, “I’m really excited about this new variant to be released on November with all these mutations. By the way, where is Matt Damon?” This isn’t like a new Marvel series that only emerges after a bunch of previews, trailers, and other promos have been dropped. No, the virus is more like that person who justifies his or her cheating after the fact, essentially saying, “yeah, you should have paid more attention before.”

So, it’s a good idea to put a pause on non-essential travel for the next few months if you can. Keep your travel plans for the upcoming Winter months as flexible as possible. It’s not clear yet how much of a problem this new B.1.1.529 variant may be. A World Health Organization (WHO) committee is meeting today (November 26) to determine whether B.1.1.529 should be considered a variant of interest or a variant of concern and whether it deserves a Greek letter name such as the Nu variant. You may not want to make any Nu travel plans until you see what comes out of this WHO meeting and what scientific studies say about the B.1.1.529 variant.



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Santa Barbara airport sees return of heavy holiday travel


SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Santa Barbara airport is seeing a rush of travelers ahead of Thanksgiving day.

After more than a year of virtual celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are excited to finally reunite in person with their loved ones.

Santa Barbara airport saw a return of their holiday rush on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

Travelers took part in the hustle and bustle of getting in and out of the airport.

“It’s going to be crazy, I have a feeling because it’s like Thanksgiving so everyone is just gonna be going going going,” said Paige Moor, who’s traveling to Tuscon.

COVID-19 prevented many from traveling and making contact with friends and family. This meant traveling services including airports and trains saw a dip in business from the pandemic.

“I’ve flown before COVID and like a little bit during COVID and now to see everything super busy again, it’s super cool and super weird at the same time,” said Delani Wahr, who is flying from Chicago.

The Santa Barbara airport expects millions of passengers by the end of 2021 year.

“For us what that means is that we’re seeing the success in everything that we put into staying safe and providing that ease of travel,” said Angi Daus, the Santa Barbara Airport Marketing Coordinator.

Airports continue to follow CDC protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including social distancing and wearing masks.

For more info on the Santa Barbara airport, click here.



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Travel weather gets tricky as many return home from Thanksgiving


People returning home from Thanksgiving festivities may encounter travel delays as a series of storms crisscross the country.

A strengthening cold front, followed by another fast-moving system, will impact many from the Plains to the Midwest, and even the Northeast.

The second storm could bring the first measurable snowfall of the season to many cities on the East Coast.

Rain, wind, and snow are all possible across the Northeast on Friday. However, major coastal cities along the I-95 corridor will see mainly rain.

Millions will still be impacted by snow across interior sections of New England through Friday, which is expected to clear out by Saturday morning.

Rain will impact much of the east coast on Friday as a strong cold front moves through.

Bur windy conditions will remain, with gusts potentially up to 55 mph for parts of the Northeast.

“Right now, we are looking at sustained winds at 15 to 25 mph, with gusts of 25 to 35 mph,” says the National Weather Service (NWS) office in New York City.

Wind is one of the main causes of travel delays in the late autumn and winter months, and this weekend will be no exception.

We could see airport delays on Friday due to wind and a few delays due to snow and de-icing in New England.

Cold temperatures will follow, impacting the vast majority of the eastern half of the country.

From Texas to Maine, temperatures will be anywhere from 5 to 15 degrees below normal on Friday and Saturday.

Morning low temperatures forecast for the next four days.

The Pacific Northwest will also be at risk for travel delays through Friday, with another atmospheric river event getting set to impact the area.

Heavy coastal rainfall and mountain snowfall are expected through Friday with a slight break in the evening hours.

Saturday’s weather travel hot spots

Major cities on the East Coast are off the hook Saturday, but parts of northern New England can still see snowfall.

Wind gusts are likely to reach 40 mph, but Saturday still looks like the better travel day in this region.

The central US will experience winds gusting up to 55 mph in some locations.

Cities like Minneapolis could see an excess of flight delays, as the winds strengthen during peak volume hours.

In addition, these winds whipping across the Great Lakes will likely force lake-effect snow into the weekend.

Sunday’s weather travel hot spots

By Sunday, a quick-moving storm system could bring a brief shot of snow to the Midwest and Great Lakes.

The snow could reach the Washington, DC, area late in the weekend, impacting flights as well as road travelers.

Some computer models are hinting at the possibility of the storm system intensifying off the mid-Atlantic coast.

Rain and snow accumulation forecast for this weekend.

If this scenario plays out, snow would develop in eastern Pennsylvania, reaching Philadelphia and possibly farther north into New York City.

Of course, the timing and exact locations that will see snow will change in the coming days, but it bears watching as we get closer to the end of the week.

In the Northwest, another system pushes through with more rainfall over the weekend.

Washington town sees 75% of homes damaged by floodwaters
This will add to the impressive rainfall totals that the region has seen in the month of November.

Seattle has already seen 8.40″ of rain in November, and the month will most likely end as one of the wettest.

Overall, the weather will have some impact on travel, but it won’t be the ginormous snarl of mounting airport delays we have seen some years.

Something to be thankful about, for sure.



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Global Business Travel Spending Expected to Make Full Return in 2024


A new study found that global business travel spending is expected to make a full return in 2024 when the sector returns to pre-pandemic totals.

According to a report from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the business travel industry declined by 53.8 percent in 2020 to $661 billion, but started to bounce back in 2021 by jumping 14 percent to $754 billion.

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While 2021 saw the restart process slowly kick into gear, the GBTA is predicting a year-over-year surge of 38 percent and an increase in business travel spending to around $1 trillion. In 2023, officials said global spending is expected to rise 23 percent year-over-year.

Finally in 2024, the GBTA is forecasting global business travel making a full recovery and ending the year at $1.48 trillion or just above the 2019 pre-pandemic spend of $1.4 trillion. The industry will follow the success up with a forecasted $1.5 trillion in spending for 2025.

“Of any year we’ve issued the BTI Outlook forecast, this one was the most anticipated and it’s no surprise,” GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang said. “The business travel industry recognizes there are factors, related to COVID-19 and beyond, that could impact the road ahead over the coming years.”

“However, there is optimism overall as the industry, companies and travelers worldwide lean into recovery and the much-needed return to business travel,” Neufang continued.

The GBTA also found several major hurdles left for the global business travel sector to overcome, including COVID-related threats and disruptions, supply chain strains, labor shortages, long-term cuts or elimination of business trips and travel volume and more.

Of all the regions leading the charge in business travel, North America rebounded 27 percent in 2021, while business travel markets in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa (MEA) and Asia-Pacific (APAC) all picked up 15-20 percent growth this year.

The study also found that 86 percent of respondents reported they need travel to accomplish their business goals, with 54 percent saying they miss traveling and hope to hit the road more often in the future.





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Hawaii wants vaccinated tourists to return, starting Nov. 1


“Because of this, it is now safe for fully vaccinated residents and visitors to resume nonessential travel to and within the state of Hawaii,” he said. “Beginning November 1, we want to invite and encourage fully vaccinated visitors and residents to travel for business or leisure, trans-Pacific and inter-island.”



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Expats: British buyers return to Spain ‘looking for golf properties’ | Travel News | Travel


Marc Pritchard is the sales and marketing director at Taylor Wimpey España and he told Express.co.uk that UK sales are on the rise again after Covid. Taylor Wimpey España sells properties across Spain including in the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca.

Pritchard told Express.co.uk: “UK buyers are clearly returning to Spain, based on our leads and sales figures.

“They led sales in October, buying more homes than any other nationality, and November has started strongly too.”

Although gaining Spanish residency has become more difficult after Brexit, many Britons are still looking to purchase second homes.

As British people can stay in Spain for 90 out of every 180 days, second home owners will still be able to spend several months a year at their property after Brexit.

READ MORE: British expat town in France sees drop in numbers – ‘rollercoaster’

Pritchard said: “In particular we’ve found UK buyers are seeking properties in the Costa del Sol, in a price bracket of €300,000 to €500,000 (£251,727- £419,545).

“We’ve seen an uptick in purchases along the Costa Blanca and on Mallorca too.”

Popular expat areas in the Costa del Sol include Fuengirola, Calahonda, Marbella and Estepona.

Recently, British expats have also been opting for hillside properties in towns such as Benahavis and Mijas.

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British expats searching for a place in the Costa Blanca region often opt for the area around the popular tourist locations of Benidorm and Alicante.

Properties on the beautiful island of Mallorca are also growing in popularity with expats opting for easy beach access.

Pritchard told Express.co.uk that one particular type of property is extremely popular with British buyers.

He said: “Many Brits are looking for golf properties, with their extensive greenery and spacious surroundings.

“I think knowing that nothing will be built in front of you, as you are on a golf course, is a key part of the appeal, along with the picturesque, well maintained outlook.”

Golf properties have also soared in popularity in the sunny Spanish region of Murcia with Britons seeking great views.

The Costa del Sol is often known as the Costa del Golf due to the multiple golf courses along the coastline.

Gold properties normally come with an expansive terrace offering spectacular views of the golf course and beach.

Pritchard added: “We’ve also seen more British clients looking for properties in the €500,000+ (£419,00) price bracket recently, as these properties enable buyers to apply for a Spanish golden visa.”

A Spanish golden visa allows expats to gain residency in Spain if they invest in the country, which can include buying property.

Pritchard told Express.co.uk: “We’ve seen many more buyers from the UK take an interest in golden visas since freedom of movement was curtailed.

“Those with a golden visa can enjoy unrestricted access to Spain for as many days per year as they wish, just as they did prior to Brexit.”





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Virgin Atlantic flight marks return of international travel in Las Vegas


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — After nearly two years of tight restrictions, the U.S. borders are open to vaccinated, COVID-negative travelers.

And that means international flights are flying again at McCarran International Airport.

A Virgin Atlantic flight was the first to touch down earlier today.

“We have waited 20 months for this day,” said Rosemary Vassiliadis, director of aviation.

“Twenty months ago was our last flight. Virgin happened to be our last flight out of this airport back in March of 2020,” Vassiliadis said.

And travelers were treated to a fabulous Las Vegas welcome.

Some were here to gamble. Others were happy for the chance to see their families after such a long time.

“It is wonderful for Las Vegas. It is the essence of our economy, and McCarran … the airport is the gateway to that,” Vassiliadis said.

She said the demand to fly is high.

“On Virgin thus far we are seeing very, very high,” she said.

“The number of passengers and number of seats that they are selling is way over average,” Vassiliadis said.

Both Rosemary and Andrew Allison are from Scotland, and they said they’re excited to ge to see their sons after such a long time apart.

“Been here for nearly two years, so it’s different. Exciting,” Rosemary Allison said.

“Relaxing and forgetting all the worry about getting here … getting vaccines, getting forms and getting to the airport,” said Andrew Allison.

They said it’s been a bit of a hassle going through the process of getting the right forms. But it all worked out, and now … a sense of relief.

What’s next?

“We know that British Air will be coming from London, as well,” Vassiliadis said. “But they are starting with daily service.”

“That already shows the confidence from this destination. We already heard from Copa Latin America. KLM, come from Amsterdam. Yet another gateway from Europe will be coming shortly after the new year,” Vassiliadis said.

Just proving that everyone needs a piece of Las Vegas.

The Virgin Atlantic flight brought 240 passengers and reported no problems.



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