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Jury Returns Verdicts After Fraud Trial Bribery Attempt

Five are convicted, two acquitted in case involving $40M in pandemic relief

(Newser) - A jury convicted five Minnesota residents but acquitted two others on Friday for their roles in a scheme to steal more than $40 million that was supposed to feed children during the coronavirus pandemic. The case received widespread attention after someone tried to bribe a juror with a bag of...

Life Expectancy Is on the Rise Again, With Caveats

COVID and drug overdoses still pose an issue, per the CDC

(Newser) - Life expectancy in the United States is on the upswing once again, its first positive motion in two years. NPR reports on new CDC stats that show in 2022, the average came in at 77.5 years, an increase from the 76.4 years set in 2021. But both COVID...

The World Changed 4 Years Ago Today
4 Years Ago Today,
the World Changed
the rundown

4 Years Ago Today, the World Changed

WHO declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020

(Newser) - "It's pretty rare to be able to point to a single day that transformed the whole world," writes Sam Baker at Axios . But it's safe to say that March 11, 2020, qualifies. That's because, exactly four years ago on Monday, "society began to shut...

'Disease X' Isn't Here Yet, but Preparations Are Being Made

World leaders, health experts set up for pandemic that could potentially be far worse than COVID-19

(Newser) - World leaders and health experts are coming together to combat a serious international epidemic that's thankfully hypothetical at this point. If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it's that health care systems and economies can be easily overwhelmed by the global spread of a little-understood disease. Enter "...

Documents Alter Our Understanding of Early COVID Timeline

'WSJ' reports China had largely sequenced the virus 2 weeks before it told the world it did

(Newser) - Just two weeks separated Jan. 11, 2020, and Dec. 28, 2019, but in the Wall Street Journal 's reporting, they were 14 meaningful days: ones in which China had sequenced the virus that causes COVID-19 but had not yet shared that information with the world. It reports that during...

Leftover PPE From Pandemic: 'What a Real Waste'

States are now dumping millions of masks, gowns, gloves, other protective gear due to excess supply

(Newser) - When the coronavirus pandemic took hold in an unprepared US, states scrambled for masks and other protective gear. Three years later, as the grips of the pandemic have loosened, many states are now trying to deal with an excess of that gear, ditching their supplies in droves. With expiration dates...

US Life Expectancy Jumps, but There's Another 'Bleak' Stat

Life expectancy is now 77.5 years, but that boost hasn't recouped pandemic losses

(Newser) - Fresh stats out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer some good news and some bad news in terms of our collective longevity. "The good news is that life expectancy increased for the first time in two years," the CDC's Elizabeth Arias, a co-author on...

Kitchen Gender Gap Widens, Reversing Course

Worldwide, women prepare 4.7 more meals per week than men, though it's 1.7 in North America

(Newser) - Despite scores of people discovering the joys of baking bread, the pandemic home-cooking trend among Americans apparently has reached its shelf life. A new Gallup-Cookpad survey examining 2022 trends across 142 countries shows that in North America, people are back to ordering out or eating in restaurants more than any...

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...

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