Health

Lawmakers request monthly COVID-19 misinformation reports from online platforms

“Over the past several months, we have seen a troubling rise of false or misleading information related to COVID-19 disseminated by domestic and foreign actors on platforms such as yours. This disinformation has ranged from false statements about certain groups being immune from contracting the virus to unsubstantiated assertions about masks and vaccines. This type of disinformation is dangerous and can affect the health and well-being of people who use this false information to make critical health decisions during this pandemic.”

The tech giants reportedly agreed to provide the European Commission with detailed monthly disinformation reports back in June, and that’s something the lawmakers noted in their letters. “[W]e request that your company provide the Committee with monthly reports similar in scope to what you are providing the European Commission regarding your COVID-19 disinformation efforts as they relate to United States users of your platform,” they added.

There are plenty

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Coronavirus spike jeopardizes opening of schools, L.A. County’s top health official warns

Cerritos Elementary School Principal Perla Chavez-Fritz, left, shows her Glendale campus to L.A. County schools Supt. Debra Duardo. School districts statewide face decisions on how and when to reopen their campuses. <span class="copyright">(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Cerritos Elementary School Principal Perla Chavez-Fritz, left, shows her Glendale campus to L.A. County schools Supt. Debra Duardo. School districts statewide face decisions on how and when to reopen their campuses. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The pending reopening of K-12 campuses is suddenly at risk because of the ongoing surge of coronavirus cases, and all public and private schools must prepare for students to continue learning entirely from home, Los Angeles County’s top public health official has told local education leaders.

This sobering message was delivered by county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, in what she termed an “off the record” phone call Tuesday afternoon with district superintendents and others that was not intended for the media or the public. The Times obtained a recording of the call.

“Every single school district at this point needs to have plans in place to continue distance learning for 100% of

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With No End in Sight to the Coronavirus, Some Teachers Are Retiring Rather Than Going Back to School

When Christina Curfman thought about whether she could return to her second-grade classroom in the fall, she struggled to imagine the logistics. How would she make sure her 8-year-old students kept their face masks on all day? How would they do hands-on science experiments that required working in pairs? How would she keep six feet of distance between children accustomed to sharing desks and huddling together on one rug to read books?

“The only way to keep kids six feet apart is to have four or five kids,” says Curfman, a teacher at Catoctin Elementary School in Leesburg, Virginia, who typically has 22 students in a class. Her district shut schools on March 12, and at least 55 staff members have since tested positive for the coronavirus. “Classrooms in general are pretty tight,” she says. “And then how do you teach a reading group, how do you teach someone one-on-one

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Atlanta mayor to sign order mandating masks

ATLANTA — Atlanta’s mayor says she will sign an executive order mandating masks in Georgia’s largest city, defying Gov. Brian Kemp’s decision to encourage voluntary masking.

Spokesman Michael Smith says Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms plans to sign an order requiring masks, which could set up a confrontation with the Republican Kemp.

Like several other local leaders in Georgia, Bottoms has unsuccessfully appealed to Kemp to change his order that local governments can’t exceed the state’s requirements. Bottoms announced she tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday.

“Other cities have taken the approach that they are going to defy the governor’s executive order. Savannah has done it, some other cities have done it, and Atlanta is going to do it today,” Bottoms told MSNBC in a Wednesday interview. “Because the fact of the matter is that COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on our cities, specifically black and brown communities with higher death

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A Q&A with Michael V. Drake

The University of California announced its new president, Dr. Michael V. Drake, on Tuesday. Drake, will oversee 10 campuses, five medical centers, three national laboratories and a nearly $40 billion operation.

History was made, as Drake is the first person of color to serve in this role. He replaces the current UC president, Janet Napolitano, who is stepping down after leading for seven years.

Drake is also taking the reins as the 21st president in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic as students and faculty transition to mostly online instruction for the fall. The university system’s 280,000 students and 227,000 employees face a hybrid set of plans for the fall. Most classes at UC Davis have moved online, but several courses are still being taught in-person.

Drake, who spent much of his childhood in Sacramento and graduated from C.K. McClatchy High School in 1967, spoke with The Sacramento Bee just

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A Q&A with Michael Drake, the new University of California president

The University of California announced its new president, Dr. Michael V. Drake, on Tuesday. Drake, will oversee 10 campuses, five medical centers, three national laboratories and a nearly $40 billion operation.

History was made, as Drake is the first person of color to serve in this role. He replaces the current UC president, Janet Napolitano, who is stepping down after leading for seven years.

Drake is also taking the reins as the 21st president in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic as students and faculty transition to mostly online instruction for the fall. The university system’s 280,000 students and 227,000 employees face a hybrid set of plans for the fall. Most classes at UC Davis have moved online, but several courses are still being taught in-person.

Drake, who spent much of his childhood in Sacramento and graduated from C.K. McClatchy High School in 1967, spoke with The Sacramento Bee just

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How to Make Natural Dyes From Things You Already Have Around Your House

From avocado pits to turmeric powder.

Ocean Rose with yarn she dyed.
Ocean Rose with yarn she dyed.

We were a couple months into quarantine when my best friend announced to me that they had started dyeing their clothes with things they found around their kitchen.

First there was a cropped knit dyed a brilliant yellow by turmeric root, then a button-up turned pink with the help of some beets. When we met up in a park to wave hello at our first socially-distant hangout, they picked a few small fistfuls of green grass to take home and experiment with, too.

While the grass dye didn’t have quite the effect intended (it turned a white T-shirt “the faintest faintest brown,” they later told me), their interest in it helped me to start seeing all kinds of plants around me — from my kitchen waste to the flower petals strewn on the ground in the nearby cemetery

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Anger over US decision on foreign students’ visas

Harvard University has said all teaching will be moved online
Harvard University has said all teaching will be moved online

Politicians and academics have criticised a decision to withdraw US visas from foreign students whose courses move fully online.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said people could face deportation unless they changed to an institution with in-person tuition.

A number of US universities are considering online teaching in the new academic year due to coronavirus.

It is not clear how many people will be affected.

The Student and Exchange Visitor Programme, which is operated by ICE, had introduced a temporary exemption to allow students whose courses had moved online for the spring and summer semesters to remain in the US.

However, the exemption will not be extended into the new academic year. The decision affects students who are in the US on F-1 and M-1 visas, according to the ICE statement.

The news came on the same day that

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Ringo marks 80th at online gig with Beatles hits, celebrity tributes

Los Angeles (AFP) – Ringo Starr held an online 80th birthday bash Tuesday with a little help from his celebrity friends — and a number of classic Beatles songs — in aid of causes including Black Lives Matter.

But fans hoping for a virtual reunion between Starr and fellow surviving Beatle Paul McCartney were left disappointed, as the celebration concluded with an archive clip of the pair performing “Helter Skelter.”

Normally Starr marks each passing year with live performances that include fellow musicians and hundreds of fans, but the pandemic forced a rethink this time.

“As most of you know, I’m fond of a good birthday party… but this is a bad year to host a get-together of any kind,” said the British musician, sitting behind a drum kit wearing a colorful face mask adorned with the peace sign.

“So I’m celebrating with my friends in a new way this

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School District Opts To Reopen Schools, Make Face Masks Mandatory

TAMPA, FL — The Hillsborough County superintendent of schools has announced that students and staff returning to public schools on Aug. 10 will be required to wear face masks.

After meeting with health officials, business leaders, teachers and school administrators, Superintendent Addison Davis said he believes masks are the best option at this time for keeping students and staff safe from the spread of the coronavirus on campus.

The district will provide three reusable face coverings for each student on the first day of school and three reusable face coverings for each staff member during back-to-school pre-planning.

“The CDC has identified face masks as one of the most effective tools in stopping the spread of COVID-19,” Davis said. “I believe face coverings is the best option we have for providing additional protection for everyone on our campuses.”

He said the county has already acquired 760,000 masks through purchases and donations.

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