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28/05/2020 21:16:42  

Scampering through spring fields, or a cautious dribble seeping under the bathroom door?

After a lengthy gestation in the Insider Program, the Windows 10 May 2020 Update (aka 2004, aka 20H1) has arrived, replete with a Linux kernel in the form of the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL).…

28/05/2020 21:16:41  

Colour us shocked

A £339 "anti-5G" product billed as the "first to market full-spectrum protection" appears to be nothing more than a bog-standard £5 USB stick with an LED on the end, according to Pen Test Partners.…

28/05/2020 21:16:23  

Foreign secretary did not have the authority to allow driver of the car that killed the 19-year-old to return to US, relatives say

The family of Harry Dunn, the 19-year-old killed on 27 August last year after being hit by a car driven by the wife of a US intelligence officer, intends to bring a private criminal prosecution against the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, the Guardian has learned.

They claim that Raab did not have the authority to allow Anne Sacoolas to return to America after the incident, while there was an ongoing police investigation and while the issue of her diplomatic immunity had not been resolved. They also allege that Raab misled parliament in statements he made about Sacoolas’s return to America. 

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28/05/2020 21:16:22  

PM turns Great Dictator as he silences Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance at daily briefing

Yesterday I wrote that the best way to understand the state the country is in was to consider it a banana republic. I’d meant it as a joke, but at the Downing Street press conference , Boris Johnson went out of his way to prove me right. The UK’s very own dictator might not have much of a reputation left to protect, but Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance most certainly did.

Yet to save what now passes for his career, Boris went out of his way to trash the reputations of both the chief medical officer and the chief scientific adviser. Just as unbelievably, a plainly terrified Whitty and Vallance just stood there and took it. If either had a smidgeon of self worth, both would have walked out once the questions began.

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28/05/2020 21:16:22  

Labour wants hard-hit industries protected as employers warn of major redundancies

The government will start tapering its furlough scheme from August by forcing those employers taking part to pay 20% of workers’ wages as well as covering their national insurance and pension contributions.

Under plans to be announced by Rishi Sunak over the next few days, the support given by the furlough scheme will be cut back due to government concerns about its spiralling cost and the likely impact on the UK’s growing public spending deficit.

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28/05/2020 21:16:21  

Critics of PM’s chief aide range from former ministers to some of party’s latest intake

Scores of Conservative MPs have criticised Dominic Cummings’ trip to Durham during lockdown. Here is what some have said:

Penny Mordaunt, Portsmouth North, Cabinet Office minister and former defence secretary: “Despite Mr Cummings’ statement, I am personally still not clear of the facts. There are some inconsistencies in his account of events and the reasons behind it.”

Sajid Javid, Bromsgrove, former chancellor: “I do not believe Mr Cummings’ journey to County Durham to isolate on his family’s estate was necessary or justified. I remain unconvinced his visit to Barnard Castle could be considered reasonable. I was also deeply concerned by his decision to return to Downing Street directly after coming into contact with a family member who was ill, potentially with coronavirus.”

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28/05/2020 21:15:59  

Jon Hamilton, reporting for NPR: Mounting evidence suggests the coronavirus is more common and less deadly than it first appeared. The evidence comes from tests that detect antibodies to the coronavirus in a person's blood rather than the virus itself. The tests are finding large numbers of people in the U.S. who were infected but never became seriously ill. And when these mild infections are included in coronavirus statistics, the virus appears less dangerous. "The current best estimates for the infection fatality risk are between 0.5% and 1%," says Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. That's in contrast with death rates of 5% or more based on calculations that included only people who got sick enough to be diagnosed with tests that detect the presence of virus in a person's body. And the revised estimates support an early prediction by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a leading member of the White House coronavirus task force. In an editorial published in late March in The New England Journal of Medicine, Fauci and colleagues wrote that the case fatality rate for COVID-19 "may be considerably less than 1%." But even a virus with a fatality rate less than 1% presents a formidable threat, Rivers says. "That is many times more deadly than seasonal influenza," she says. The new evidence is coming from places such as Indiana, which completed the first phase of a massive testing effort early in May. Further reading: Antibody Tests and Accuracy Issues Leave Some Americans With More Questions Than Answers.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

28/05/2020 21:15:58  

Chinese scientists in recent days said they had ruled out both a laboratory and an animal market in the city of Wuhan as possible origins of the coronavirus pandemic, in their most detailed pushback to date against allegations from U.S. officials and others over what might have sparked it. From a report: The director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, at the center of allegations around a potential laboratory accident, Wang Yanyi, over the weekend told China Central Television that the coronavirus was significantly different from any live pathogen that has been studied at the institute and that there therefore was no chance it could have leaked from there. Separately, China's top epidemiologist said Tuesday that testing of samples from a Wuhan food market, initially suspected as a path for the virus's spread to humans, failed to show links between animals being sold there and the pathogen. Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said in comments carried in Chinese state media, "It now turns out that the market is one of the victims." The comments, aimed at countering what Beijing perceives as efforts from top U.S. officials to focus solely on China, are unlikely to pacify critics. The Chinese officials didn't address fundamental issues, such as widespread evidence that China initially covered up the extent of the outbreak. In their calls for more global scientific collaboration to track the source of the virus, they also stopped short of endorsing widespread scientific belief that the coronavirus originated in China.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

28/05/2020 21:13:07  

The bowl-shaped monument in the German capital is designed to move when enough people gather.
28/05/2020 21:13:06  

A group of journalists tried to stage single-person pickets in support of a jailed colleague.
28/05/2020 21:13:06  

Myka Stauffer says her son's behaviour became too difficult but critics accuse her of exploitation.
28/05/2020 20:16:35  

So says Barracuda Networks, anyway

Digital rogues are shunning Microsoft in favour of Google when it comes to launching branded spear-phishing attacks, according to threat intel firm Barracuda Networks.…

28/05/2020 20:16:19  

Laying off ‘up to 30%’ of the workforce seems extreme if we all start flying again

Nobody can be surprised that easyJet plans to cut jobs – every airline is doing so. But a ratio of “up to” 30% of the entire workforce sounds extreme. Michael O’Leary at Ryanair, who rarely does things by halves, opted for 15%, and has suggested in recent days that the final figure could be lower.

EasyJet explained that “levels of market demand seen in 2019 are not likely to be reached again until 2023”. That is possible, of course, but the prediction could also turn out to be too gloomy. The peak Easter and summer seasons of 2021 remain a very long way off. If they’re free to travel, would Brits, and Europeans in general, deny themselves a foreign holiday for two years in a row? Long-haul flights will probably be slow to recover, but that’s not EasyJet’s market.

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28/05/2020 20:16:18  

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28/05/2020 20:16:18  

  • Meetings rescheduled due to quarantine restrictions
  • F1 season due to begin with two races in Austria

The British Grand Prix is expected to be confirmed for August as part on the Formula One calendar next week. F1 is to shortly announce the opening eight European meetings of the season, of which Silverstone will host two back-to-back races behind closed doors, set for 2 and 9 August.

It is understood the calendar is ready to be confirmed subject to the government providing clarity on travel restrictions for the teams. The season is due to begin with two back-to-back races in Austria, the first on 5 July. Silverstone was to follow with two meetings but the 14-day quarantine on entry into the UK forced F1 to reschedule their plans.

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28/05/2020 20:16:17  

Criticism has been levelled at both Emily Maitlis’ 26 May intro and the BBC’s response

The BBC has received tens of thousands of complaints relating to Emily Maitlis’ Newsnight monologue on Dominic Cummings, both from opponents and supporters of the presenter’s comments.

Many of the first wave of complaints were from people criticising Maitlis for stating at the start of Tuesday night’s programme that “Dominic Cummings broke the rules – the country can see that and it’s shocked the government cannot”.

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28/05/2020 20:16:17  

Report suggests fashion firm is ready to call in administrators as early as Friday

Monsoon Accessorize is on the brink of calling in administrators, in a move that would put 3,500 retail jobs at risk.

The fashion chain, which operates about 230 stores, is expected to file a notice of intention to appoint administrators – a legal process which gives the business 10 days’ protection from creditors – as early as Friday, according to Sky News.

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28/05/2020 20:16:17  

Residents criticise police decision not to take action against PM’s aide for trip to beauty spot

At Barnard Castle there has been angry condemnation about the police decision not to take action against Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s most senior aide, after his 52-mile round trip to the beauty spot on 12 April, apparently to test his eyesight.

Dan Goldsmith, 43, said: “To come here from Durham isn’t a short journey and it wasn’t an essential journey by any means. It’s clear to everyone that what he did was wrong – it was a breach – and if the police accept that they should be taking actions against him.

“It seems to me to be – again – one rule for ordinary people and another for influential people. It’s a sham. The man is an arse and he should have been prosecuted and treated the same way as anyone else would have been in those circumstances.”

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28/05/2020 20:16:16  

Lockdown returns to Seoul; Trump calls 100,000 US deaths ‘very sad’; community transmissions rise in Ethiopia

The French government announced a further loosening of coronavirus restrictions on Thursday, as officials in South Korea reimposed strict lockdown measures in the Seoul area after the country’s biggest rise in infections in almost two months.

The announcements came as Donald Trump described the US’s 100,000 coronavirus deaths as a “very sad milestone”, and the World Health Organization said a significant proportion of the 159,000 excess deaths recorded cross Europe since early March were linked to Covid-19.

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28/05/2020 20:16:16  

Independent scientists sound alarm over government plans to restart classes from 1 June

Opening schools to more children from Monday could lead to a new surge of infections of Covid-19 in the community, a group of independent scientists has warned.

The report, by the Independent Sage group, suggested that plans for whole classes to return to school in England on 1 June could increase the R-value of infections by 0.3 – potentially enough to put the country back on an ever increasing trajectory of infections.

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28/05/2020 20:16:16  

Exclusive: health officials put forward plan last month to stem soaring coronavirus deaths

Public health officials proposed a radical lockdown of care homes last month to stem surging coronavirus deaths, including staff moving in for four weeks and deploying NHS Nightingale hospitals – but it was rejected by the government, the Guardian has learned.

An 11-point plan proposing “a further lockdown of care homes” was submitted to Downing Street on 28 April by officials at Public Health England (PHE), as fatalities peaked in care homes and the virus spread to half of homes in the worst-affected areas.

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28/05/2020 20:15:52  

A global natural experiment examines the time warp of life under quarantine. From a report: In April Jenny Rappaport sat down to inspect her calendar because she could not tell how many days had passed since New Jersey's stay-at-home order took effect. Before COVID-19, her life had structure and a pace, and she knew the day of the week without giving it a second thought. The pandemic has changed all of that. Several research groups have taken advantage of this unplanned natural experiment to gauge the psychological impacts of time distortions and, in turn, their effects on mental health. Psychologists know that time sense links to well-being. Its perceived slower passage can represent signs of depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Rappaport's feelings jibe with the findings of preliminary studies. Overall, people seem to be experiencing time more slowly, according to data that are beginning to be compiled. In a not yet peer-reviewed preprint paper, Sylvie Droit-Volet, a time perception researcher at the University of Clermont Auvergne in France, and her colleagues show that people there report the clock moving more slowly during the lockdown. The researchers also document feelings of sadness and boredom and tie them to the overall feeling of deceleration. "Their findings directly support the emotional connection with time perception," says Philip Gable of the University of Alabama. He is also using survey data to examine how people across the U.S. experience time during the pandemic. "It's a societal event that's going to have a profound psychological influence on us," Gable says, adding that the temporal shift is an integral part of our feelings about what is happening. He plans to collect data over the next nine months, but so far has found evidence that the everyday tempo now lags. Nearly 50 percent of people experienced time dragging during March, whereas about 24 percent perceived it to be speeding up.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

28/05/2020 20:13:35  
28/05/2020 20:13:01  

Lynnie Hinnigan "voluntarily and temporarily" steps down while footage of a birthday gathering is investigated.
28/05/2020 20:13:00  

The prime minister stepped in to direct questions about his closest aide away from scientific advisers at the government's daily briefing.