Americans exchanged some privacy for security after the Patriot Act was passed in response to the 9/11 attack, and they are being asked to do so again in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Whether the public is willing to accept the erosion of privacy permanently after the pandemic wanes is an open question, say health law professor Michelle Mello and computer science professor Madhav Marathe.
Companies cannot retaliate against employees who report unsafe working conditions amid the current public health crisis, says the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The warning comes after workers in different regions -- including an emergency room doctor in Washington state -- were fired for voicing concerns about the safety of their workplaces.
States should start thinking now about how to approach learning loss amid prolonged school closures and remote learning, according a report by researchers at Michigan State University. In the report, the researchers recommend that states extend the 2020-2021 school year, lengthen the school day or both.
Because loans that are part of the Paycheck Protection Program are backed by a recently launched Federal Reserve lending facility, regulators are planning to grant banks relief from having to count the loans against their capital buffers.
McDonald's reported a 13.4% US same-store sales decline in March after booking an 8.1% increase in January and February, as restaurants around the country closed their dining rooms due to the coronavirus outbreak. Globally, same-store sales fell 22% in March and the company said it will offer franchisees more help, cut executive pay and put capital projects on hold.
The HHS Office for Civil Rights has suspended enforcement of rules prohibiting the use of video and audio technology that isn't HIPAA compliant, but health care providers using such technology should still be cautious and avoid public-facing platforms like Facebook Live and TikTok, says health care attorney Michele Madison. Business associates of HIPAA-covered entities have also been granted regulatory relief during the coronavirus pandemic, which might make it easier for billing and other support personnel to work from home, but attorneys Alissa Smith and Kelli Fleming say practices should take precautions with those arrangements as well.
Spotify is rolling out its self-serve Ad Studio for targeting users by their choices of podcasts, playlists and platform preferences to advertisers in 18 countries, after a beta in the US, Canada, UK and Australia. The platform also is increasing locations available for geotargeting from 2,000 to 18,000 globally and introducing 13 new call-to-action options such as Share or Shop Now.
Tractor Supply has been designated as an essential retailer and is hiring about 5,000 employees, many of whom will clean carts and make sure shoppers are social distancing. The mostly rural-based retailer has seen a surge in pet food and animal feed sales as panic-buying shoppers stock up, new CEO Hal Lawton said.
Zoom has recruited former Facebook security chief Alex Stamos and set up an advisory board as it seeks to beef up its cybersecurity. The list of entities reportedly urging employees and members not to use Zoom includes Google, the US Senate, NASA, SpaceX, the UK defense ministry, New York school districts and the Taiwanese government.
The length of time needed for the FDA to review a new drug application depends on whether the drug is a new molecular entity, whether it qualifies for an expedited pathway or priority review, and whether major amendments are submitted during the review process, according to a Government Accountability Office analysis.
Dozens of internet service providers will refrain from disconnecting service to small businesses and individuals over unpaid bills and let late payment fees slide for the next 60 days, as well as creating public hotspots for Wi-Fi access, as part of the Keep Americans Connected Pledge that the Federal Communications Commission created. The ISPs also pledged to open public hot spots to those who need them.
Gustave Eiffel, the civil engineer and architect best known for the Eiffel Tower, also engineered the Statue of Liberty to withstand the high winds and salty air of New York Harbor. However, newly discovered drawings seem to indicate that sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi disregarded Eiffel's engineering plans for the statue's upraised arm by making it thinner and tilted outward for visual appeal.
Extremely thin two-dimensional materials such as molybdenum disulfide and graphene hold promise for the manufacturing of phones, headphones, solar cells and more. They can also be combined into three-dimensional blocks and deposited on silicon wafers for experiments.
The number of people screened by the TSA fell below 100,000 on Tuesday, an average of 220 passengers per airport. Traffic levels that low have not been seen since the 1960s. Forty-seven TSA officers have tested positive for the coronavirus in the last two weeks.
The coronavirus outbreak is giving professional gamblers in Nevada a roll of the dice with unemployment insurance -- which they normally would not be allowed to apply for -- under independent contractor or self-employed status. "I'm going to give it a shot," professional poker player Chris Konvalinka says.