President Andrzej Duda's victory further empowers Poland's ruling Law and Justice party which has worked to weaken the country's independent judiciary and free press.
(Image credit: Petr David Josek/AP)
Pointing to the coronavirus's disproportionate impact on people of color, 1,007 workers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call on the agency to declare racism a public health threat.
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Five Republican Senate incumbents are looking increasingly vulnerable, while fundraising reports provide glimpses of Democratic strength.
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Jeff Sessions is trying to reclaim his old Senate seat. But his former boss, President Trump, is backing Sessions' Republican opponent, former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville.
(Image credit: Vasha Hunt/AP)
An NPR analysis finds that at least 65,000 absentee and mail-in ballots were rejected this year for arriving late. While it's a relatively small number, they could prove crucial in a close election.
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Vice – The team behind @justiceforgeorgenyc talked about what it takes to track protests and keep their followers informed…”VICE spoke to the people behind the go-to Instagram account for action tracking in New York City, @justiceforgeorgenyc. Their account quickly became a go-to source for anyone trying to make direct action a regular part of their lives, facilitating meet-up, providing live updates, and prioritizing demonstrator safety. Though they declined to share personal information—like their real names, occupations, or previous organizing experience—for security reasons, the TK people behind JusticeforGeorgeNYC were happy to discuss the importance of centering the movement, how to do community-building work from a distance, and why real-time updates boost attendance...”
“July 10 – BRUISED RED – Updated Color Scale: As a country we’ve reached a record number of cases. We’ve added a new color to the scale: “Bruised Red”. There were extremes that were not captured in our original scale. Our scale also has been adjusted to put more weight on “new cases per million” and “positivity”…July 9 – Color Scale Will Be Updated – Unfortunately when a map becomes all “red”, it becomes less useful. We will be making an update shortly that will adjust our color scale and how each state is graded. The shift will put more weight on “new cases per million” and “positivity”. It will continue to include ILI, ICU availability, and testing throughput. It will deemphasize case growth…”
Law360: “By the end of this week, courts in at least 39 states will be accepting eviction lawsuits — often heard remotely due to the pandemic — against tenants behind on their rent. People of color, and especially Black women, have historically faced these suits at twice the rate of other renters; they are also twice as likely to report rent insecurity during the pandemic and three times as likely to face COVID-19 infections. This summer, Law360 traveled to Nashville, Tennessee; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Newark, New Jersey, to document the impact different federal, state and local eviction prevention measures are having on three Black households. These are the stories we found.”
See also – Notes on the Crisis: “…According to an online survey by the company Apartment List, a devastating 32%of households in their survey reported missing their housing payment in the first week of July. 13% made a partial payment, while 19% made no payment at all.30% of households in their survey missed their June payment but 19% of those households had made their June payment in full by the first week of July. A similar pattern will likely recur this month (but won’t if supplementary unemployment benefits aren’t extended as is). These numbers are likely significantly overstated as it is an online survey, especially for mortgages. However, even a significant fraction of this level of delinquency would be significant distress before pandemic unemployment compensation disappears or is cut…”
Via LLRX – Pete Recommends Weekly highlights on cyber security issues July 12, 2020 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and security, often without our situational awareness. Four highlights from this week: Your Smart Speaker Is Listening When It Shouldn’t; The U.S. is ‘looking at’ banning TikTok, cites Chinese surveillance; How Google Docs became the social media of the resistance; and Google Maps Launches New Features To Help People Navigate Coronavirus Hotspots.
Ars Technica: “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues unabated in many countries, an ever-growing group of people is being shifted from the “infected” to the “recovered” category. But are they truly recovered? A lot of anecdotal reports have indicated that many of those with severe infections are experiencing a difficult recovery, with lingering symptoms, some of which remain debilitating. Now, there’s a small study [JAMA, 2020. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2020.12603] out of Italy in which a group of infected people was tracked for an average of 60 days after their infection was discovered. And the study confirms that symptoms remain long after there’s no detectable virus…”
A top writer for Fox News' Tucker Carlson resigns after CNN revealed his racist and sexist posts, reviving criticism of Carlson's commentaries. Carlson is set to address the controversy Monday.
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Cheered on by supporters both online and on the road, Terry Willis walked from Huntsville, Ala., to the site of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis to protest the injustices faced by Black Americans.
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In Custodia Legis Library of Congress – “It appears that COVID-19 will not go away any time soon. As there is currently no known cure or vaccine against it, countries have to find other ways to prevent and mitigate the spread of this infectious disease. Many countries have turned to electronic measures to provide general information and advice on COVID-19, allow people to check symptoms, trace contacts and alert people who have been in proximity to an infected person, identify “hot spots,” and track compliance with confinement measures and stay-at-home orders. The Global Legal Research Directorate (GLRD) of the Law Library of Congress recently completed research on the kind of electronic measures countries around the globe are employing to fight the spread of COVID-19 and their potential privacy and data protection implications. We are excited to share with you the report that resulted from this research, Regulating Electronic Means to Fight the Spread of COVID-19. The report covers 23 selected jurisdictions, namely Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, England, France, Iceland, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, the Russian Federation, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the European Union (EU). The surveys found that dedicated coronavirus apps that are downloaded to an individual’s mobile phone (particularly contact tracing apps), the use of anonymized mobility data, and creating electronic databases were the most common electronic measures. Whereas the EU recommends the use of voluntary apps because of the “high degree of intrusiveness” of mandatory apps, some countries take a different approach and require installing an app for people who enter the country from abroad, people who return to work, or people who are ordered to quarantine…” [h/t Pete Weiss]
Gov. Ron DeSantis has not ordered a statewide mask mandate, even as the coronavirus sets new records in Florida. Some local officials have imposed their own restrictions to try to slow the spread.
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Includes symbols otherwise not easily found for: Punctuation, Accents, ligatures & dipthongs, Maths, numbers & units, Emoticons, decoration, UI & miscellaneous, Currency & commercial symbols, Arrows & shapes, Greek, International Phonetic Alphabet, and Fancy Alphabets.
A missile operator who didn't properly calibrate his radar system fired on the Ukrainian passenger plane without authorization, Iran says. All 176 people on board were killed on Jan. 8.
(Image credit: Akbar Tavakoli/IRNA/AFP via Getty Images)
Information Technology and Libraries – An exploration of smart voice assistant use and privacy in libraries: “Smart voice assistants have expanded from personal use in the home to applications in public services and educational spaces. The library and information science (LIS) trade literature suggests that libraries are part of this trend, however there is a dearth of empirical studies that explore how libraries are implementing smart voice assistants in their services, and how these libraries are mitigating the potential patron data privacy issues posed by these technologies. This study contributes to this gap by reporting on the results of a national survey that documents how libraries are integrating voice assistant technologies (e.g. Amazon Echo, Google home) into their services, programming, and check-out programs. The survey also surfaces some of the key privacy concerns of library workers in regard to implementing voice assistants in library services. We find that although voice assistant use might not be mainstreamed in library services in high numbers (yet), libraries are clearly experimenting with (and having internal conversations with their staff about) using these technologies. The responses to our survey indicate that library workers have many savvy privacy concerns about the use of voice assistants in library services that are critical to address in advance of library institutions riding the wave of emerging technology adoption. This research has important implications for developing library practices, policies, and education opportunities that place patron privacy as a central part of digital literacy in an information landscape characterized by ubiquitous smart surveillant technologies.”
Washington Post – “…Snopes, which delves into everything from bizarre urban legends to intricate government policies, has been overwhelmed with so many covid-19-related questions that the website can’t keep up. The company has done something that seems counterintuitive: It has scaled back operations by publishing fewer stories. There have been no furloughs or layoffs; but Snopes is encouraging employees, whose lives have been turned upside down by the pandemic, to take time off if needed. It’s a predicament other fact-checkers and journalists are facing: As the novel coronavirus has swept the globe, so has misinformation about the virus. The World Health Organization has referred to the abundance of articles, commentary and social media postings about this one topic — some accurate, some not — as an “infodemic” which “makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.”…Compared with other big news stories, this pandemic presents a particularly difficult challenge for professional fact-checkers. The multi-headed crisis has its roots in what is essentially a science and medical story, requiring many journalists, not just health reporters, to quickly get up to speed. Covid-19 remains a mystery even to many of the professional scientists who could explain it to a reporter….”
WSJ via DowJones/Fidelity: “…while Chrome has gobbled up 69% of the desktop-laptop browser market share, according to NetMarketShare, its competitors, all with single-digit percentages, have been laser-focused on kicking Chrome square in the blue dot. Microsoft’s new Edge browser, rolling out to Windows 10 machines this summer and available now for download on a Mac, is based on Chromium, the same underlying technology as Chrome — yet it uses less of your Windows computer’s RAM and battery. An independent, Mozilla’s Firefox, the Bernie Sanders of browsers, now puts privacy front and center. Meanwhile, Apple’s built-in Safari browser has the best blend of privacy, performance and battery to offer on Macs, and it’s only getting better this fall with MacOS Big Sur…Unsurprisingly, on Macs, it was also the built-in browser that performed the best. Companies that create the operating systems can do more to optimize for their own browsers. Both Microsoft and Apple said they work a lot on how to minimize processor and memory demands from inactive tabs.Safari used about 5% to 10% less RAM than Chrome, Firefox and Edge in my tests. Compared with Chrome, Safari kept the 13-inch MacBook Pro running an extra 1 to 2 hours on a charge. Plus, the laptop was a lot cooler and quieter, with the exception of in-browser video calls….Yes, Microsoft’s browser is great on Apple machines, too. Mind blown. But the podcast web app, like some other sites, just won’t run unless it identifies a Chrome browser. ..In the next release of Safari coming this fall in MacOS Big Sur, Apple made it easier for developers to port Chrome extensions over. Plus, the updated browser, which I’ve been testing in beta on a MacBook Pro, is faster — and has those little tab icons, aka favicons, turned on by default. Like Firefox and Edge, Safari’s also has lots of default privacy features, including tracker blocking. The forthcoming version includes a toolbar that lets you see the blocked trackers on the site you’re visiting, and a new weekly privacy report shows you all blocked trackers — even across your iPhone and iPad…”