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* Biden Announces Federal Government Vaccine Requirements

* PM Set Back 3RD Vaccine Dose For older Israeli's After Nod From Expert Panel

* 'Cyborg Soil' Reveals The Secret Microbial Metropolis Beneath Our Feet

* White Evangelicals Resist Covid-19 Vaccine Most Among Religious Groups

* Tanzania Kicks Off Covid-19 Vaccination Campaign

* Google & Facebook Offices To Mandate Vaccines

* Oregon State's Bipedal Robots Run A 5K As We Watch In Skynet

* Majority Of South African's Say They Won't Get The Jab

* BioNTech: A New Malaria Vaccine Could Be On The Horizon

* Delta, United Airlines Are Providing African Migrants Free Flights To U.S.

* The Pentagon Surrenders Norfolk Naval Base To NATO

* Earthquake In Alaska 

* Mandating Masks Is Banned In These States Despite Updated CDC Guidance

* New York Teens Get Vaccinated As Schools Brace For Chaotic Opening

* Biden Calls On States To Offer $100 Vaccine Incentives

* Biden: If U.S. Has "Real Shooting War" It Could Be A Result Of Cyber Attacks

* DeSantis: Forcing Kids To Wear Masks Is Bad Policy

 

Biden Announces Federal Government Vaccine Requirement

 

President Biden announces a vaccine requirement for federal employees and outlines other steps in the fight against the COVID Delta variant.

 

 

 

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PM Set to Back 3rd Vaccine Dose For older Israelis After Nod From Expert Panel

 

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is expected to announce his support for older Israelis to receive a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine after a government-appointed panel of health experts gave a nod to the trailblazing initiative on Wednesday evening.

The panel’s position will be presented to Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz during a Thursday morning meeting, after which the prime minister is expected to announce his backing for Israelis above the age of 60 to receive a third dose of the vaccine.

The vote by the panel was not unanimous, according to Hebrew media, but a majority supported booster shots for older Israelis, against the backdrop of the rising number of seriously ill patients in recent weeks. Read More 

 

 

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‘Cyborg Soil’ Reveals The Secret Microbial Metropolis Beneath Our Feet

 

Dig a teaspoon into your nearest clump of soil, and what you’ll emerge with will contain more microorganisms than there are people on Earth. We know this from lab studies that analyse samples of earth scooped from the microbial wild to determine which forms of microscopic life exist in the world beneath our feet.

The problem is, such studies can’t actually tell us how this subterranean kingdom of fungi, flagellates and amoebae operates in the ground. Because they entail the removal of soil from its environment, these studies destroy the delicate structures of mud, water and air in which the soil microbes reside.

This prompted my lab to develop a way to spy on these underground workers, who are indispensable in their role as organic matter recycling agents, without disturbing their micro-habitats. Read More 

 

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White Evangelicals Resist Covid-19 Vaccine Most Among Religious Groups

 

More than six months into the country’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign, evangelical Christians are more resistant to getting the vaccine than other major religious groups, according to newly released data.

Some 24% of white evangelicals said in June they wouldn’t be vaccinated, down from 26% in March, according to a study from the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonpartisan group that studies the intersection of religion and public life, and Interfaith Youth Core, a nonprofit focused on interfaith cooperation.

Evangelicals of all races make up about one-quarter of the U.S. population, and health officials say persuading them to get the shot is crucial to slowing the spread of the Delta variant fueling recent increases in Covid-19 cases.

The percentage of white evangelicals who say they have been vaccinated or plan to get the shot as soon as possible was 56% in June, up from 45% in March. That is tied for the lowest figure among groups included in the survey, along with Hispanic protestants, many of whom are evangelical. Read More 

 

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Tanzania Kicks Off Covid-19 Vaccination Campaign

In a major breakthrough for one of the world's last countries to embrace COVID-19 vaccines, Tanzania’s president kicked off its vaccination campaign Wednesday by publicly receiving a dose and urging others to do the same. But she immediately met some hesitation in one of Africa's most populous nations. The East African country’s government under former President John Magufuli had long worried health officials by denying the pandemic. Magufuli, who insisted the coronavirus could be defeated with prayer, died in March. The presidency went to his deputy, Samia Suluhu Hassan, who has since changed Tanzania's course on COVID-19. Hassan, who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, expressed confidence in the safety of vaccines and said the country of more than 58 million people will pursue more. The United States on Saturday announced the delivery of more than 1 million doses via the COVAX global initiative aimed at supplying low- and middle-income countries. Now the Tanzanian government's challenge is to reverse the skepticism the previous administration promoted about COVID-19 vaccines. “Why don’t we consider our traditional solutions? Why do we have to use foreign medicine? Is there something that is hidden here?” asked one resident of commercial capital Dar es Salaam, Kelvin Mmari, who said Wednesday he's not willing to be vaccinated. Tanzania's president stressed that the vaccine is voluntary, and other citizens welcomed the arrival of doses. “The action by the president to take a new direction in the battle against the coronavirus has brought relief to Tanzanians,” said Dar es Salaam resident Hawa Bihoga. Tanzania went well over a year without updating its number of confirmed virus cases but has now resumed reporting the data to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which showed 858 cases in the country as of Wednesday. Critics of Tanzania’s past stance on COVID-19, however, have long warned that many more people have been infected. The country is trying to catch up as many parts of the African continent face a devastating resurgence of infections. “We are making efforts to ensure that we import more vaccines to meet the demand,” Hassan said. Tanzania’s president has even pledged to invest in vaccine manufacturing, according to the Africa CDC; the agency’s director, John Nkengasong, met with Hassan on Tuesday. African countries, hit hard by so-called vaccine nationalism as rich nations prioritize doses for their own citizens, are embracing the need to have more control over vaccine production. Just two African countries still have yet to start COVID-19 vaccinations, Burundi and Eritrea. Burundi, whose late President Pierre Nkurunziza also had been criticized for downplaying the pandemic, has said vaccines aren't needed yet. And Eritrea has long been criticized by human rights groups as one of the world's most closed-off, repressive countries.

 

 

 

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Google And Facebook Offices To Mandate Vaccines

 

Google and Facebook both announced Wednesday that they would require everyone in their offices to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Why it matters: The Delta variant's spread is upending corporate plans for a quick and steady resumption of in-office work, and vaccine mandates are one way for companies to put employees at ease and increase their safety.

The big picture: Google and Facebook were some of the first big U.S. companies to send workers home in March 2020.

This March Google set Sept. 1 as a back-to-the-office deadline, but it has been steadily revising plans as the virus situation has evolved. It's now telling employees they can continue working from home at least through Oct. 18.

Details: In a memo that was also posted online, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the vaccine mandate "will vary according to local conditions and regulations, and will not apply until vaccines are widely available in your area," per a memo to employees.

He said there will be "an exceptions process for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other protected reasons." Read More 

 

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Oregon State's Bipedal Robot Runs A 5K As We Watch In Skynet-Induced Terror

 

While robots are cool, the jury is still out on whether they will want to kill us pesky humans if the robot uprising occurs. This is not helped by the fact that we are making more robust robots that can walk and move as well as if not better than humans. Enter Cassie: a bipedal legs-only robot devised at Oregon State University that just traversed five kilometers in under an hour.


Since 2017, students at OSU have worked on Cassie under the direction of robotics professor Jonathan Hurst, using a 16-month $1 million grant from the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense. Hurst, who founded spin-off company Agility Robotics, explained that “The Dynamic Robotics Laboratory students in the OSU College of Engineering combined expertise from biomechanics and existing robot control approaches with new machine learning tools.” Read More 

 

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Survey: Majority Of South Africans Say They Won't Get The Jab

 

The majority of South Africans say they are unlikely to get the Covid-19 jab. This is according to a new Afrobarometer survey.

 

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BioNTech: A New Malaria Vaccine Could Be On The Horizon

 

BioNTech (22UAy.DE) wants to build on its success in COVID-19 by developing the first vaccine for malaria based on mRNA technology and aims to start clinical testing by the end on 2022, in an attempt to eradicate the mosquito-borne illness.

The Mainz, Germany-based company, which developed a COVID-19 vaccine with its partner Pfizer (PFE.N) in ten months, said on Monday it is also exploring vaccine production in Africa as part of efforts to build up manufacturing capacity on the continent.

"The response to the pandemic has shown that science and innovation can transform people's lives when all key stakeholders work together towards a common goal," said BioNTech Chief Executive and co-founder Ugur Sahin.

Scientists around the world have been working for decades to develop a vaccine to prevent malaria that infects millions of people every year and kills more than 400,000 - most of them babies and young children in the poorest parts of Africa. Read More 

 

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Delta, United Airlines Are Providing African Migrants Free Flights To The U.S.

As hundreds of illegal immigrants surge across the southern border daily, migrants from Africa are gaining entry into the United States with free plane tickets paid funded by American taxpayers.

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The Pentagon Surrenders Norfolk Naval Base to NATO

The Pentagon surrendered their Norfolk Naval Base to NATO on Friday.Norfolk is the largest naval base in the world. NATO is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the United Nations (UN). Now the Pentagon is too. NATO announced it in June 2018. Read More 

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Powerful Alaska Earthquake Causes Prolonged Shaking, Brief Tsunami Warning: "It Started Getting Stronger And Stronger"

 

A powerful earthquake which struck just off Alaska's southern coast caused prolonged shaking and prompted tsunami warnings that sent people scrambling for shelters.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was magnitude 8.2 and hit 56 miles east southeast of Perryville, Alaska at about 8:15 p.m. Wednesday. The quake was about 29 miles below the surface of the ocean, according to USGS. Denise Mobeck, the administrator for the Sand Point Police Department, activated the tsunami alarm for her community, KTUU-TV reports. She said officers were also on the ground working on moving people to higher ground. The earthquake lasted around two minutes, Mobeck said. Read More

 

 

 

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Mandating Masks Is Banned in These States Despite Updated CDC Guidance

 

As some parts of the country reinstate mask mandates to try to curb the spread of the Delta variant, a return to universal masking in at least six states would require governors to lift bans they either put in place or approved.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said vaccinated individuals should wear a mask indoors if they're in an area with substantial or high rates of transmission. That includes parts of Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, states where governors have restricted local officials' ability to implement mask mandates.

Texas has the strictest ban on masks, and Governor Greg Abbott's executive order prohibits anyone, including public health, county and school officials, from requiring people to wear masks. Abbott is standing by the prohibition on masks, tweeting Tuesday that Texans have "the right to choose whether they will wear a mask or have their children wear masks." Read More 

 

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New York Teens Get Vaccinated as Schools Brace for Chaotic Opening

 

Fourteen-year-old Giret Medina, a high school sophomore when school starts in a few weeks, says it was partly the convenience of having the vaccine available in the school auditorium that convinced her to get the shot.

 

 

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Biden Calls On States To Offer $100 Vaccine Incentives

 

President Biden on Thursday called on state and local governments to use funds from his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan to offer $100 payments to individuals in order to incentivize coronavirus vaccinations.

The payments would be offered to newly vaccinated Americans to provide “an extra incentive to boost vaccination rates, protect communities, and save lives,” the Treasury Department said in an announcement Thursday afternoon.

“Treasury stands ready to give technical assistance to state and local governments so that they may use the funds effectively to support increased vaccination in their communities, and Treasury will partner with the Department of Health and Human Services throughout this effort,” it said.

The $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief law, which Biden signed in March, included $350 billion in funding to assist state, territorial and local governments in battling the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Read More 

 

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Biden: If U.S. Has 'Real Shooting War' It Could Be Result Of Cyber Attacks

 

WASHINGTON  -President Joe Biden on Tuesday warned that if the United States ended up in a "real shooting war" with a "major power" it could be the result of a significant cyber attack on the country, highlighting what Washington sees as growing threats posed by Russia and China.

Cybersecurity has risen to the top of the agenda for the Biden administration after a series of high-profile attacks on entities such as network management company SolarWinds, the Colonial Pipeline company, meat processing company JBS and software firm Kaseya hurt the U.S. far beyond just the companies hacked. Some of the attacks affected fuel and food supplies in parts of the United States.

"I think it's more than likely we're going to end up, if we end up in a war - a real shooting war with a major power - it's going to be as a consequence of a cyber breach of great consequence and it's increasing exponentially, the capabilities," Biden said during a half-hour speech while visiting the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).       Read More 

 

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Ron DeSantis: Forcing Kids To Wear Masks Is Bad Policy

 

Wednesday, Florida Governor Ron Desantis said that forcing kids to wear masks is a bad policy.

 

 

 

 


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