Daily Archives: June 17, 2021


Osaka, Nadal Both Out for Wimbledon; She’ll Go to Olympics

Naomi Osaka and Rafael Nadal are sitting out Wimbledon, leaving the oldest Grand Slam tennis tournament without two of the sport’s biggest stars as it returns after being canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.Osaka’s agent, Stuart Duguid, wrote Thursday in an email that the four-time Grand Slam champion does plan to head to the Summer Games after skipping Wimbledon.”She is taking some personal time with friends and family,” Duguid wrote. “She will be ready for the Olympics and is excited to play in front of her home fans.”Osaka, …


US Investing Billions in Pills for COVID-19, Other Viruses

The United States is investing $3.2 billion in the development of antiviral pills for COVID-19 and other viruses that could spark new pandemics.   The top U.S. infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, made the announcement Thursday at a White House briefing as part of a new initiative called the Antiviral Program for Pandemics.   The program will support research into the development of new drugs to address symptoms caused by the coronavirus and other potentially dangerous viruses.   Pills for COVID-19 are already in the developmental stage and could …


Facial Recognition Technology Solves Crimes, but at What Cost?

Even as big tech companies such as Amazon limit their sale of facial recognition software to law enforcement, one company has not: Clearview AI, a facial recognition search engine that contains three billion images scraped from the internet.    More than 3,000 U.S. law enforcement agencies employ the software, which uses an advanced algorithm to identify and match faces, the company says.   “The way it works is very similar to Google, but instead of putting in words, you’re putting in photos of faces, and it will find anything publicly available on the …


US Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Law Again

The U.S. Supreme Court for the third time on Thursday upheld the legality of the country’s chief health insurance law that provides millions of Americans with coverage to help pay their medical costs.   The court, in a 7-to-2 decision, rejected a bid by 18 Republican-led states and the administration of former President Donald Trump to upend the 2010 Affordable Care Act.   It was the signature legislative achievement of former President Barack Obama, Trump’s immediate predecessor, and is popularly known in the U.S. as Obamacare.   The country’s highest …


Climate-Related Drought Disasters Threaten Development, UN Warns

The United Nations warns accelerating climate change is causing a dramatic intensification of global drought disasters, which are threatening agricultural production, the world’s safe water supply and other essential aspects of human development.   The U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction has launched a “Special Report on Drought 2021.”  U.N. researchers say drought has affected more people around the world in the past four decades than any other natural disaster.  The U.N. report warns the impact of the climate-driven drought emergency on the lives and livelihoods of people across the planet will …


Rafael Nadal Pulls Out of Wimbledon, Tokyo Olympics

Spain’s Rafael Nadal will not play at Wimbledon or at the Tokyo Olympics, saying Thursday he has decided to skip the two tournaments after “listening” to his body.Nadal, who reached the French Open semifinals this month but lost to Novak Djokovic, won the title at Wimbledon twice. He also won the Olympic gold medal in singles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.”The goal is to prolong my career and continue to do what makes me happy, that is to compete at the highest level and keep fighting for those professional and …


Japan to Ease COVID-19 Restrictions as Tokyo Olympics Near 

Japan unveiled plans Thursday to slowly ease the coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo and several other prefectures in time for next month’s opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced that the government will switch to “quasi-emergency” measures once the state of emergency expires Sunday.  The looser restrictions would remain in place until July 11, just 12 days before the start of the Olympic Games.  In addition to looser restrictions, the government is expected to announce a plan to allow up to 10,000 spectators to enter venues …


Internet Outages Briefly Disrupt Access to Websites, Apps

A wave of brief internet outages hit the websites and apps of dozens of financial institutions, airlines and other companies across the globe Thursday.The Hong Kong Stock Exchange said in a tweet Thursday afternoon Hong Kong time that its site was facing technical issues and that it was investigating. It said in another post 17 minutes later that its websites were back to normal.Internet monitoring websites including ThousandEyes, Downdetector.com and fing.com showed dozens of disruptions, including to U.S.-based airlines.Many of the outages were reported by people in Australia trying to …


Biden’s New FTC Head Could Make Big Tech Sweat 

U.S. President Joe Biden’s unexpected decision to name a staunch antitrust advocate to lead the Federal Trade Commission has thrilled supporters of stronger regulation of the tech industry and has prompted predictions of regulatory overreach from representatives of some of the country’s largest internet companies.Lina Khan, 32, a professor at Columbia Law School prior to her nomination, is known for advocating a hard-nosed approach to the regulation of large technology firms like Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple. She was nominated to fill an open seat on the FTC in March, …


Pandemic Inspires Passion for Biking in LA

For some people, COVID has led to changes in lifestyle, or even a new job.  That’s the case of a cyclist in Los Angeles, California, who ended up opening several bicycle shops to meet a growing demand by people wanting to get exercise while exploring their city. Mike O’Sullivan has more. Camera: Mike O’Sullivan and Roy Kim  …


China Launches First Crew to New Permanent Space Station

China launched the first crew of its new permanent space station into orbit Thursday morning.Veteran astronauts Nie Haisheng and Liu Boming and rookie Tang Hongbo blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China aboard the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft.A crowd of well-wishers bid the three astronauts farewell in an elaborate ceremony before they boarded a van to take them to the launch pad to board their spacecraft.  The mission is China’s first manned space flight in five years.The trio is expected to reach the first module of the station, …