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May 17, 2020

Chinese Official Confirms That China Ordered Labs To Destroy Coronavirus Samples

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, health

A senior Chinese government official confirmed Friday that authorities ordered laboratories to destroy samples of coronavirus in early January.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had accused Chinese officials of ordering the samples’ destruction as part of the regime’s cover-up of the coronavirus outbreak in its early stages.

Pompeo said on April 22 that China “censored those who tried to warn the world, it ordered a halt to testing of new samples, and it destroyed existing samples.” He offered more specificity on May 6, stating that China’s National Health Commission [NHC] ordered virus samples destroyed on Jan. 3.

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May 17, 2020

Neil Ferguson’s Imperial model could be the most devastating software mistake of all time

Posted by in category: government

The boss of a top software firm asks why the Government failed to get a second opinion before accepting Imperial College’s Covid modelling.

May 16, 2020

17-Year-Old Turned Down $8 Million to Keep His Viral Coronavirus Tracker Ad-Free

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government

Avi Schiffmann has been procrastinating on his school work, but he has a good excuse. The 17-year-old high schooler is the creator of one of the most visited coronavirus trackers in the world, which he says now takes up “100 percent” of his free time.

The coronavirus pandemic doesn’t look like it will be over any time soon, and Schiffmann plans to continue actively tracking it until the end. As long as the site is up, he says he will keep working at it and adding new features. Once the pandemic is safely over, he’ll take the servers down, and maybe make a page that compares COVID-19 to SARS or the Spanish flu. He thinks it might be a historical piece on the coronavirus people can look back on.

Avi Schiffmann’s coronavirus tracker is a one-stop shop for all the information about COVID-19 the average person might want to know. It constantly updates with statistics for countries around the world on infections, deaths, recovered, and rates of change using data scraped from the WHO, CDC, and other government websites.

Continue reading “17-Year-Old Turned Down $8 Million to Keep His Viral Coronavirus Tracker Ad-Free” »

May 15, 2020

Antiviral used to treat cat coronavirus could hold key to COVID-19

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government

University of Alberta researchers are racing against the clock to test an antiviral drug that has been proven to cure a cat coronavirus and is hoped to have the same effect on people with COVID-19.

“Our lab has been working as fast as we can to get our results out,” said biochemist Joanne Lemieux. “We have not taken weekends, the days of the week have blurred. We’re all working non-stop to get results as fast as we can.”

The project is one of 11 at the U of A to receive funding from the federal government’s $52.6 million investment in COVID-19 research.

May 13, 2020

Canadian military to get new sniper rifles

Posted by in categories: government, military

The C20 will replace the C8 as the personal defence weapon for Canadian Forces sniper teams, confirmed Department of National Defence spokeswoman Andrée-Anne Poulin.

The government will also launch a competition sometime this month to buy 229 bolt action sniper rifles. That rifle, designated as the C21, will be used for long-range shooting and will come in two different calibres.

The Canadian Forces says the new C20, which will be in 7.62 calibre, will be more accurate and an improvement over the current C8 used by sniper teams.

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May 13, 2020

Missouri bid to bring a hyperloop test track to St. Louis or Kansas City hits turbulence

Posted by in categories: government, transportation

Debate was halted amid an attempt by Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, to add an amendment to reduce personal property tax rates on cars older than five years.

Sen. Mike Cunningham, R-Rogersville, acknowledged lawmakers were operating in “crazy times.”

A coalition of diverse government watchdog groups also panned the creation of the so-called “Christmas tree” bills in an attempt to move legislation to Gov. Mike Parson’s desk before the scheduled May 15 adjournment.

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May 13, 2020

EGEB: The largest solar farm in the US has been approved

Posted by in categories: government, solar power, sustainability, transportation

A $1 billion solar farm in Nevada has been approved by the US government; the majority of British want weekly car-free days in towns and cities.

May 11, 2020

Secretive Jasons to offer advice on how to reopen academic labs shut

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, health, security

‘s COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center.

A group of prominent academic scientists that has been advising the U.S. government on security matters since the Cold War is conducting a quick-turnaround, pro bono study of a new threat to national security—the impact of COVID-19 on academic research. And this time it’s personal.

Last month, some 30 members of Jason began to tackle the thorny question of how to reopen university laboratories safely in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Nobody is paying for the study, a rare departure for the group, whose work is usually financed by government agencies and often involves classified information. But the study’s leader, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) physicist Peter Fisher, says several federal agencies have expressed interest in the group’s analysis of the technical challenges facing every university that wants to resume research operations without jeopardizing the health of the faculty, students, and staff who work in those labs.

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May 8, 2020

Universal basic income seems to improve employment and well-being

Posted by in categories: employment, finance, government, neuroscience

Finland’s test of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) was flawed in some respects, especially as it was only given to those who were unemployed when it began, but it appears to have had moderately positive results — with higher employment and improved well-being among the recipients. Also notable was that this effect was greater among people who were not native speakers of either of the two major languages in use in Finland.


By Donna Lu

The world’s most robust study of universal basic income has concluded that it boosts recipients’ mental and financial well-being, as well as modestly improving employment.

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May 8, 2020

More than 12,000 Catholic churches in the U.S. applied for PPP loans – and 9,000 got them

Posted by in categories: business, government

More than 12,000 Catholic churches have now applied for the government’s small business loans – and 75% of those applications have been approved.

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