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Irony Alert: Zoom Orders Workers Back to the Office

That would be the company that made remote work possible, and profited hugely, during the pandemic

(Newser) - Zoom let millions of people flee the office and work remotely during the pandemic, and profited greatly . Now the company that enabled that mass exodus to working in pajamas is pulling a bit of an ironic twist: It's ordering its workers to put on pants and get back into...

US Businesses Are Bracing for a UPS Strike
UPS, Teamsters Reach
Deal to Avert Major Strike

UPS, Teamsters Reach Deal to Avert Major Strike

Impasse threatened to throw a wrench into the economy

(Newser) - It looks like there won't be a potentially devastating UPS strike after all. The company and the Teamsters union agreed to a five-year labor contract on Tuesday, reports the Wall Street Journal . The deal includes pay raises for all UPS workers, including part-timers, and the installation of air-conditioning in...

Detecting COVID May Get a Lot Easier
Detecting COVID
May Get a Lot Easier
New Study

Detecting COVID May Get a Lot Easier

Researchers develop a portable device that can detect it in a room's air in a few minutes

(Newser) - Researchers have developed a portable gizmo the size of a microwave that can determine if COVID is present in the air of a room in five minutes, reports Science News . The new tool described in Nature is akin to an air-quality monitor and can detect the airborne virus in real...

Diversify or Die: San Francisco's Downtown Is a Wake-up Call

Though the pandemic is fading, people aren't coming back

(Newser) - Jack Mogannam, manager of Sam's Cable Car Lounge in downtown San Francisco, relishes the days when his bar stayed open past midnight every night, welcoming crowds that jostled on the streets, bar hopped, window browsed, or just took in the night air. He's had to drastically curtail...

US Sees No End to Lines for Passports
Passport Crisis Snarls Travel

Passport Crisis Snarls Travel

Scaled back during pandemic, agency now can't recover

(Newser) - We previously reported that the passport situation in the US is bad, but just how bad? The State Department recommends that you submit your passport application at least six months prior to your departure date, NBC News reports. Take into account, of course, that first you have to book an...

Students' Reading, Math Scores Drop Further

Basic skills performance had been falling since before the pandemic

(Newser) - National test scores for 13-year-olds released Wednesday showed setbacks in mastering basic skills, providing evidence that schools and students have not overcome the lost learning caused by the pandemic. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, which conducted the tests last fall, reported major drops of nine points in math scores...

Report Blasts Boris Johnson Over 'Partygate'
UK Lawmakers Vote
354-7 to Punish Johnson

UK Lawmakers Vote 354-7 to Punish Johnson

They overwhelmingly endorsed damning report on 'partygate' scandal

(Newser) - In a historic humiliation for Boris Johnson on his 59th birthday, Britain's Parliament voted overwhelmingly Monday to ratify a damning report on the "partygate" scandal. MPs voted 354 to 7 to endorse the report, though many members of the former prime minister's Conservative Party stayed away from...

Restaurants Are Ditching QR Code Menus
Customers Reject
a Pandemic-Era
Restaurant Staple
in case you missed it

Customers Reject a Pandemic-Era Restaurant Staple

Eateries are ditching QR code menus

(Newser) - We all got used to an avalanche of changes in our daily routines during the peak of COVID, including ways in which to safely dine in public once lockdowns were lifted. Now, one of those eating-out protocols is falling by the wayside: Restaurants are starting to ditch scannable QR codes,...

Gorsuch Delivers Scathing Critique of COVID Lockdowns

Justice calls COVID-19 measures historic 'intrusions on civil liberties'

(Newser) - The Supreme Court dispensed with a pandemic-related immigration case with a single sentence. But Justice Neil Gorsuch had much more to say, leveling harsh criticism of how governments responded to the gravest public health threat in a century. The justice, who was President Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, called...

We're Paving the Way for the Next Pandemic
We're Paving
the Way for the
Next Pandemic

We're Paving the Way for the Next Pandemic

Deforestation encourages the spillover we need to avoid

(Newser) - Stopping the next pandemic from happening might rely on stopping tree loss—and we're failing woefully on that front. In its deep dive into the subject, ProPublica goes down two paths: It takes a look at what happened in Meliandou, Guinea, in 2013 to cause the worst Ebola outbreak...

Boris Johnson, Lawmakers Spar Over COVID Parties
Boris Johnson: 'I Did Not Lie'

Boris Johnson: 'I Did Not Lie'

Lawmakers question former prime minister about parties he hosted during lockdown

(Newser) - UK lawmakers questioned Boris Johnson for more than three tense hours on Wednesday, pressing him about whether events he hosted while prime minister broke COVID lockdown rules and drawing defiant denials that he misled them. A House of Commons committee is investigating assurances Johnson made to Parliament after parties at...

End of Pandemic Aid Leaves Schools Stuck With Meal Tab

Debt is mounting in districts as Congress doesn't act

(Newser) - School lunch debt has long been an issue, but there's a twist now. The federal government began providing breakfast and lunch at no charge to all students to help families during the pandemic, regardless of income. The program ended three months ago, the Washington Post reports, and without those...

Doctor Who Claimed Face Masks Were Harmful Gets Jail Time

Physician in Germany hit with nearly 3-year prison sentence after issuing 4K-plus mask exemptions

(Newser) - A German doctor has been sentenced to two years and nine months in prison for illegally issuing exemptions from wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic for more than 4,000 people. Public broadcaster SWR reported that a regional court in the southwestern town of Weinheim convicted the doctor late Monday...

Scans Show How Pandemic Changed Teenage Brains
Scans Show How Pandemic
Changed Teenage Brains
new study

Scans Show How Pandemic Changed Teenage Brains

Researchers find young brains aged more than they would have during shutdown

(Newser) - The toll the pandemic shutdown took on teenagers has been documented before, but now a study has reported the changes it's made to young brains. The researchers had taken MRI scans of 220 children ages 9 to 13 eight years ago, intending to take new scans every two years...

After Protests, China Relaxes Lockdown in City

Anger over fatal fire leads to demonstrations in Xinjiang

(Newser) - Authorities in China's western Xinjiang region opened up some neighborhoods in the capital of Urumqi on Saturday after residents held extraordinary late-night demonstrations against the city's draconian "zero-COVID" lockdown that had lasted more than three months. The displays of public defiance were fanned by anger over a...

Lost Jobs Are Back, but California Still Frets

Layoffs in tech sector lead list of concerns

(Newser) - California said Friday it had recovered all of the 2.7 million jobs it lost at the start of the pandemic, a moment that normally would celebrate the end of a downturn but instead was tempered by signs of a wobbly economy marked by layoffs in the state's historically...

Shanghai Disney Visitors Just Got an Unpleasant Surprise

Park closed indefinitely on Monday, and guests inside can't leave till they show negative COVID test

(Newser) - An NPR headline from early Monday morning notes that, due to COVID, Shanghai Disney and its adjacent shopping community will be closed indefinitely from Halloween on forward. What that headline fails to mention is that all the visitors at the theme park when officials decided to abruptly close the gates...

One Theory on the Big Jump in Workers With Disabilities

Fed report suggests long COVID is the driver

(Newser) - Take a look at Axios' chart of how many disabled Americans are in the US workforce, and you'll see a decade where the number mostly fell between 4 million and 5 million. But since 2020 it's been a steady climb from just below 5 million to 5.73...

Test Scores for US Students Are 'Appalling'
Test Scores for US
Students Are 'Appalling'
the rundown

Test Scores for US Students Are 'Appalling'

Drops recorded in math and reading, and the pandemic is blamed

(Newser) - A federal assessment of US students known as the "nation's report card" is out, and the results are pretty bleak. Scores are down in reading and math—especially math—across the country, with the pandemic blamed for wreaking havoc on education. Details:
  • The test: The National Assessment of

Arctic Could Become 'Fertile Ground' for New Pandemics
Melting Glaciers
Raise Risk of
'Viral Spillover'

Melting Glaciers Raise Risk of 'Viral Spillover'

Warming could make the Arctic 'fertile ground for emerging pandemics'

(Newser) - The melting of Arctic glaciers could be terrible news for humanity in more ways than one, researchers say. Beyond rising sea levels, the melting raises the risk that long-frozen viruses could cause a new pandemic, researchers say in a study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B ...

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