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Coronavirus: at a glance | World news

Key developments in the global coronavirus epidemic today include: Global cases exceed 1.4 million and the death toll exceeds 82,000 There are …

Coronavirus: at a glance | World news

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

All the latest UK & Global Coronavirus News from the BBC

 

 
 
It was an emotional moment for those who took part – not least the NHS staff and care workers being saluted by the nation. The Royal Family and prime minister joined well-wishers who flocked to front doorsteps, balconies and windows on Thursday evening night to applaud those dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. It came after figures revealed the UK death toll rose from 475 to 578 in one day, with 11,658 confirmed cases.

There will be additional support for the NHS from firefighters, who have agreed to drive ambulances and deliver essential supplies if required. However, unions point out many are off-work in self-isolation. And, with NHS leaders saying staff feel “at risk” of contracting the virus unless they wear protective equipment while dealing with all patients, the BBC is told guidance is expected to be updated within two days. 

Normal life continues to be seriously affected. As vulnerable people continue to report problems getting groceries while in isolation, supermarkets are to use a government database of the 1.5 million people deemed most at risk to help prioritise delivery slots. Sharon Cranfield, from Surrey, tells us she’s reliant on deliveries because her daughter Jessica, 19, has cystic fibrosis, adding: “I’m terrified of going to the shops.” There are signs, too, the housing market is grinding to a halt, with transactions agreed before the lockdown falling through.

We dig into the detail of the government’s latest financial support package to find out what help is available to self-employed people. Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says the government’s response to coronavirus proves he was “absolutely right” during December’s election campaign that public spending could be increased .

 
 
 

 
 
The US now has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than any other country, with more than 85,500 positive tests – overtaking both China and Italy. However, the US death toll remains much lower, at less than 1,300. Some 8,215 people have died in Italy. President Donald Trump predicts the US will get back to work “pretty quickly”, calling the figures “a tribute to the amount of testing that we’re doing”. 

Back in China, where the outbreak began, the government is temporarily banning all foreign visitors to prevent a further rise in the number of imported cases. Meanwhile, South Africa has begun a three-week lockdown. And while recent numbers from Italy’s worst-hit northern region suggest the epidemic might be slowing there, fresh fearshave arisen for poorer communities in the south.

Meanwhile, doctors, aid workers and the United Nations say camps for the displaced in north-western Syriacould be devastated by an outbreak. Follow all the latest global developments via our live page.

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
EU leaders meeting on Thursday – by socially-distant video conference – glaringly failed to agree to share the debt they are all racking up fighting Covid-19. From her flat in Berlin, where she is self-isolating after her doctor tested positive for the virus, German Chancellor Angela Merkel openly admitted to the disharmony over financial instruments.

What leaders did agree on was asking Eurogroup finance ministers to explore the subject further, reporting back in two weeks‘ time. The EU is famous for kicking difficult decisions down the road but in coronavirus terms, with spiralling infection and death rates, two weeks feels like an eternity.

 
 
 
Katya Adler

BBC Europe editor

 
 
 
 

 
 
The Coronavirus Newscast team is joined by Sean Farrington, from Radio 5 live’s Wake Up To Money, to help unpack the government’s new measures to support the self-employed. And musician Charli XCX offers some tips on keeping fit, staying creative and painting rocks in self-isolation. Meanwhile, the World Service’s Science in Actionexamines why China’s strong social distancing policies seem to have been successful in stopping the spread of the virus .

 
 
 

 
 
Some front pages use photographs of staff at the Royal Liverpool Hospital taking in the nation’s gratitude for the work of the NHS during the applause that rang around the UK. Others feature the members of the public – and young royals Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – saluting the medical staff and carers. “Checkpoint Britain” is the main headline for both the Daily Express and the Metro, as they report police measures to enforce social distancing. The Daily Star describes those driving without good reason as “Checkpoint Charlies”. The effects of the virus on the property market is the big story for the Daily Mail, under the headline: “Don’t move home.” The housing market was “plunged into chaos” after the government called on people to delay moving home, the Times reports. Meanwhile, the Sun looks at the UK’s latest virus statistics to declare: “One Brit dies every 13 minutes.”

 
 
   
   
 

 

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TikTok’s Leaked Guidelines Show It Discriminated Against ‘Ugly’ People & Homes

Image via XanderSt / Shutterstock.com

TikTok has been discovered to have purportedly suppressed content posted by “unattractive” people or uploaders in less idealistic homes, according to internal documents picked up by The Intercept.

In a lengthy report, the publication said the guidelines—which were apparently in use in China and TikTok’s global offices at least until end 2019—asked moderators to push down content uploaded by less attractive and poor users in the ‘For You’ section, as it could reduce “short-term new user retention rate.” They also ordered to censor political declarations that could hurt “national honor,” given the sensitive political climate in China.

Undesirable physical features stated in the documents included “abnormal body shape, chubby, have obvious beer belly, or too thin… ugly facial looks (not limited to: disformatted face, fangs, lack of front teeth… too many wrinkles)” and even dwarfism.

Further, moderators were asked to suppress videos shot in environments that were “shabby and dilapidated,” including if there were cracks in the wall and “disreputable decorations.”

A TikTok representative told the media outlet that “most of” the regulations are “no longer in use,” or were never implemented at all. As for the list detailing “ugly” physical traits, the spokesperson said it was “an early blunt attempt at preventing bullying, but [is] no longer in place.”

However, the document found by The Intercept explained that content had to be curated aesthetically because less-manicured videos were “not that suitable for new users for being less fancy and appealing.”

The representative also shared with The Intercept that the memos seemed to be similar to guidelines obtained by German news site Netzpolitik last December that were set in place to “prevent bullying” against LGBTQ, disabled or overweight users. He reaffirmed that the documents are already “out of use.”

Poor or ugly? TikTok doesn’t want you on the for you page https://t.co/y0xlIxAxeJ pic.twitter.com/UWFmKo8pH2

— Matthew Panzarino (@panzer) March 16, 2020

[via The Intercept, cover image via XanderSt / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/409075/TikTok-s-Leaked-Guidelines-Show-It-Discriminated-Against-Ugly-People-Homes/

Health News & Tech News from China…

Disinfecting robots, smart helmets, thermal camera-equipped drones and advanced facial recognition software are all being deployed in the fight against Covid-19 at the heart of the outbreak in China.

President Xi Jinping has called on the country’s tech sector to help battle the epidemic. 

Healthcare tech is also being used to identify coronavirus symptoms, find new treatments and monitor the spread of the disease, which has so far infected more than 90,000 people worldwide.

But is it up to the job?

Robots to the rescue

Several Chinese firms have developed automated technologies for contactless delivery, spraying disinfectants and performing basic diagnostic functions, in order to minimise the risk of cross-infection. 

Shenzhen-based Pudu Technology, which usually makes robots for the catering industry, has reportedly installed its machines in more than 40 hospitals around the country to help medical staff. 

MicroMultiCopter, also in Shenzhen, is deploying drones to transport medical samples and conduct thermal imaging. 

Meanwhile, advanced AI has been used to help diagnose the disease and accelerate the development of a vaccine.

Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, claims its new AI-powered diagnosis system can identify coronavirus infections with 96% accuracy. 

Its founder Jack Ma has just announced that his charity, the Jack Ma Foundation, will donate $2.15m (£1.6m) towards the development of a vaccine .

“In the battle against Covid-19, emerging technologies have stood out by making immense contributions in an unexpected, creative and amazingly responsive way,” said Lu Chuanying, a senior official at Shanghai-based Global Cyberspace Governance. 

They have helped “arrest or contain the spread of the deadly virus, thus becoming one of the most reliable and trustworthy means of combating Covid-19,” he wrote in an article for state-run China Daily newspaper.

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Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me