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(Hokkaido University) A group of researchers have demonstrated that, from seven methods commonly used to test for viruses in untreated wastewater, an adsorption-extraction technique can most efficiently detect SARS-CoV-2. This gives us another tool to detect the presence and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Hands. Face. Space. Get a test. And self-isolate. If you have symptoms.As slogans go, it is perhaps the most confusing of Boris Johnson’s lockdown soundbites – which is saying something for a campaign that has also included “stay alert by washing your hands”.Johnson may have taken his cue from Donald Trump, who repeatedly chanted the words “person, woman, man, camera, TV” during an interview about his mental aptitude last week.But what does it mean? Why did the government cancel thousands of people’s Eid and wedding celebrations with a few hours’ notice? What happened to staying home, protecting the NHS or even controlling the virus?The sloganLet’s begin with the announcement of the new catchphrase.“Of course we’ve got to explain things as clearly and as crisply as we can!” said the prime minister as he stood in front of a podium emblazoned with his old slogan.“The only real utensil we have for containing the spread of this new virus is...” Across the nation ears pricked up as Brits eagerly anticipated the discovery of a tool for fighting coronavirus that had been hiding next to the spatula in their kitchen drawer all long.″... is human behaviour.”And we haven’t even got to the slogan itself yet. Here is what the PM later tweeted which makes it very clear the new slogan centres on “hands, face, space”.There are some very simple ways we can all protect ourselves and others from the spread of coronavirus. Wash your hands, cover your face & make space. #HandsFaceSpacepic.twitter.com/C1RHeRVvcr— Boris Johnson #StayAlert (@BorisJohnson) July 31, 2020So it’s slightly baffling that he only said this once. On seven other occasions he tacked on the additional advice of “get a test”, “self-isolate if you have symptoms” or both.The scene was reminiscent of Donald Trump reading out the “very hard” answers to a dementia test he took in 2018."Person, woman, man, camera, TV" - Trump 2020 pic.twitter.com/MqmcwPWNv1— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) July 23, 2020Here’s Johnson at the very end of the address and even he doesn’t appear sure what the three monosyllabic words in his new slogan are.The state of this imbecile. #handsfacespacepic.twitter.com/f7JELHGU7D— BM (@BMHoops04) July 31, 2020Inevitably, “hands, face, space” took social media by storm, for all the wrong reasons.In case you are confused about what our new slogan means:Use your HANDS to touch your FACE in a crowded SPACE. #handsfacespace— Parody Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson_MP) July 31, 2020Bin. Face. Space.#handsfacespacepic.twitter.com/bGwKoNooad— Count Binface (@CountBinface) July 31, 2020Meanwhile outside Downing Street the impact of the PM’s new slogan had been negated around 12 hours earlier when Matt Hancock decided to drop a big bag of rules on large parts of northern England just as most people were going to bed.And if any of those people were getting into beds not in their own houses, they had two hours to get dressed and get out or risk finding themselves branded criminals.The government decided the best way to make this major announcement was to limit the information solely to Matt Hancock’s Twitter account.The new restrictions in the north haven’t yet been posted to: The government’s coronavirus website, the Number 10 Twitter or Facebook accounts, The Department of Health website or Facebook account. pic.twitter.com/9KsizWJN6i— Mikey Smith (@mikeysmith) July 30, 2020Not even the mayor of Manchester knew what was going on and he’s mayor of the very area it was supposed to going on in.Lot of people asking for clarity on the Government’s announcement. Our understanding is:▪️ no visitors to your home or garden from tonight▪️you can go to the pub but stay within your household/bubble▪️further openings planned for 1/8 on holdEverything else remains as is.— Andy Burnham (@AndyBurnhamGM) July 30, 2020The next morning, hours after the rules came into force, Hancock himself insisted that new localised lockdown rules for the north-west were “crystal clear”.So crystal clear that Sacha Lord, night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, was spending his night time desperately seeking clarification.Hearing reports that No.10 are advising separate households should not meet up for meals or drinks together in pubs, bars and restaurants in Greater Manchester. I have requested urgent clarification on this and how operators can/should manage this.— Sacha Lord (@Sacha_Lord) July 30, 2020The leader of the opposition thought the government’s handling of the announcement was a “new low” and while it is basically his job to slag off the government, he did have a point.No one would argue with putting in place local action to reduce the transmission of coronavirus.But announcing measures affecting potentially millions of people late at night on Twitter is a new low for the government’s communications during this crisis.— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) July 30, 2020To top off the shambles, one Tory gent then felt the need to blame minority ethnic people.Craig Whittaker, whose West Yorkshire seat of Calder Valley was one of the areas affected by the new measures announced on Thursday night, told LBC there were “sections of the community that are not taking the pandemic seriously”.When asked if he was talking about the Muslim community, the Tory MP replied: “Of course.”Here’s a bunch of people not taking the lockdown seriously, none of whom appear to be BAME.Clearly buoyed by how well that rules announcement went, Johnson then decided to have another pop, only this time for everyone, not just “sections of the community” in northern England.Face coverings will be made compulsory in museums, cinemas, art galleries and places of worship from August 8. Adding to the gloom that the new catchy slogan failed to permeate, England’s chief medical officer warned the nation has “reached the limit” of what it can do to ease lockdown.According to the ONS, between July 20 and 26 there were 0.78 new Covid-19 infections for every 10,000 people in the community population in England.This is equal to around 4,200 new cases a day. This is up from an estimated 2,800 new cases a day in the previous week.But it’s all fine because we have a lovely new slogan: “Hands, face, space. Get a test. And self-isolate. If you have symptoms.”Related...
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The automaker and charging firm will target cities, and more importantly, suburbs to expand charging station access to new areas.
Lyft is expanding its car-rental option to the entire US, the company said Thursday.
The coronavirus pandemic hobbled Lyft's core taxi business, and its losses are expected to triple in the second quarter.
The expansion is possible via a partnership with Sixt, a German rental company that's aggressively expanding in the US despite a recession.
Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
With the pandemic ruthlessly weakening Lyft's core rides business and showing no signs of slowing down in the US, the company is expanding its rental-car offering to make up some of the slack.
The company on Thursday announced an expanded rental-car offering to all Lyft US customers through a partnership with Germany's Sixt. The move expands on Lyft's previous foray into rentals that it began to pilot last year in California.
"With our vision for car rentals, we are offering a completely integrated, frictionless, and transparent experience for transportation that renters have come to love," Cal Lankton, Lyft's VP of global operations, said in a press release.
After the initial standstill in business travel sent a shockwave through the rental-car industry, ultimately leading to Hertz's bankruptcy, demand for car rentals has surged as Americans look for safer ways to take their usual summer vacation.
For Sixt, the deal is a way to further expand its US presence, which began in 2011. Earlier this month, it purchased a handful of key airport branches, including at New York's JFK International Airport, from the freshly insolvent Advantage Rent A Car. Still, the German company hasn't been immune to the same pains its US competitors have faced. It reported a 5.1 million euro loss for the first quarter, with executives warning the second will likely be even worse.
According to The Wall Street Journal, CEO Alexander Sixt — great-grandson of the company's founder — quoted Formula One champion Ayrton Senna as inspiration for the aggressive business development amid the recession: "He said it's hard to win a race when it's sunny, but he can easily overtake 16 cars when it's raining."
Lyft is in the middle of a monsoon. Unlike Uber, it only operates in North America and doesn't have a food-delivery arm to pad against steep losses on transportation.
In May, its most recent business update, Lyft said it was starting to see a slight rebound in the US, but ride request volumes were still down 70% from normal.
JPMorgan data shows things may have gotten worse after that slight increase, as the US largely fails to contain the pandemic. Daily active users measured by SimilarWeb, as reported by the bank's analysts, show no meaningful increase from March lows.
Lyft will disclose full details of its second quarter on August 12, when analysts expect the company's revenue to shrink by about a third and total losses to triple. The company's stock price has fallen 32% this year.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Pathologists debunk 13 coronavirus myths
Underwater robots that glide through the sea have revealed a pet peeve of Mediterranean sperm whales: early morning breakfasts. A research team led by the University of East Anglia discovered the dining preference by equipping the droids with acoustic monitoring devices that recorded the ‘click’ sounds made by the animals. Sperm whales produce a wide variety of these noises. They emit the sounds to communicate with their buddies and for echolocation, which helps them work out where things are by listening to the echoes. The researchers focused on the powerful and highly directional clicks the whales produce while foraging. When in a foraging… This story continues at The Next Web
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The UK and US have agreed to amend the “anomaly” that allowed Harry Dunn’s alleged killer to claim diplomatic immunity, the foreign secretary has said.A court hearing last month heard that the “secret agreement” permitted Anne Sacoolas to return to her home country after a road crash that killed the 19-year-old in August last year.Despite the “anomaly” now having been fixed in the immunity agreements surrounding RAF Croughton, the Northamptonshire military base near where Harry Dunn died in a road collision, his alleged killer still remains in the US. Speaking to the PA news agency, Harry’s mother Charlotte Charles said Wednesday’s announcement was a “huge step forward” – adding that one of the family’s aims was for this to “never happen to another family again”.This is great news. Should stop what happened to us happening to anybody else. But the U.S. still won’t send her back #annesacoolas#Justice4harry#thefightgoesonpic.twitter.com/EsZ2XYbIae— tim dunn aka Pops (@timntfcdunn) July 22, 2020She said their campaign would continue for Sacoolas’s return to the UK.Harry was killed when his motorbike and a car outside a US military base in Northamptonshire collided in August last year.Sacoolas, the wife of a US intelligence official based at RAF Croughton, claimed diplomatic immunity following the crash and was able to return to her home country, sparking an international controversy.In a written statement, Dominic Raab said: “First and foremost, the US waiver of immunity from criminal jurisdiction is now expressly extended to the family members of US staff at the Croughton Annex, thus ending the anomaly in the previous arrangements and permitting the criminal prosecution of the family members of those staff, should these tragic circumstances ever arise again.“We have the deepest sympathy for Harry Dunn’s family. No family should have to experience what they have gone through and I recognise that these changes will not bring Harry back.“However, I hope that the knowledge that the Croughton arrangements have been revised and that a family in their position would now see justice done brings some small measure of comfort.”Related...
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Get the latest on coronavirus. Sign up to the Daily Brief for news, explainers, how-tos, opinion and more.Hospital workers in London employed by a private agency could face five more years of lower wages, less holiday and worse sick pay than their NHS-employed colleagues thanks to a new emergency deal signed by their health trust.The lack of sick pay has meant even people with Covid symptoms could not afford to stay off work in some cases, one worker told HuffPost UK. Nearly four fifths of the ISS workers at the Homerton in Hackney are from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds – communities that were disproportionately impacted by Covid-19. Yet ISS Mediclean, their employer, has just inked a fresh five-year contract with the trust.“They came to us in the middle of Covid and told us: ‘We couldn’t function without you,’” they said.“So why is it that we don’t deserve NHS pay? Why is it that we don’t deserve sick pay?”It comes as 900,000 public sector workers, including NHS staff – but not agency employees – were given the promise of a real-terms pay rise on Tuesday. Policing minister Kit Malthouse blamed privatisation for the fact social care workers would not be eligible, saying the government had no control over the wages set by individual companies such as ISS.Concerns have been raised about the way Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has sought to renew the contractor’s five-year deal. Unison, their union, claims the contract will lock cleaners, caterers, porters and security staff into another five years of poorer wages and working conditions than their directly-employed NHS counterparts. Workers employed under the ISS Mediclean contract have laboured throughout Covid-19, but earn less and get fewer days’ annual leave than NHS employees, and are eligible only for statutory sick pay – £95.85 a week. By contrast, NHS workers typically receive full pay if they are unwell.Contracts for providing services to NHS trusts are supposed to go through a tendering process, but Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said uncertainties surrounding Covid-19 justified awarding the contract directly under an emergency “voluntary ex-ante transparency” (VEAT) notice, which allowed it to bypass the competitive tendering process.A VEAT notice can only be issued under certain conditions, and Unison believes that these have not been met. In an open letter to health secretary Matt Hancock, Unison London’s regional secretary Maggi Ferncombe asked for a direct intervention to prevent the contract from being awarded to ISS. With the company currently in negotiations with the trust, it is expected that the contract will be signed within a matter of weeks. The ISS employee, who works at the hospital but asked not to be identified, told HuffPost UK: “We just couldn’t believe, when we heard the news, that they were talking about giving them another five years because there have been so many problems for staff.“People haven’t been paid properly, and staff have been unhappy with problems not being resolved. Staff have been complaining about this for a long time and it looks like nothing is being done. “We got all this thanks from the trust for all the work we put in to get through the height of the Covid crisis when the hospital was packed, but then to be told so close to the end of this contract that they want to do another five years [with ISS] when there have been so many problems feels like a huge slap in the face.”Unison full time officer Michael Etheridge explained the difference between the contracts signed by NHS staff and ISS staff. He said: “As they’re [ISS workers] contracted out with a private company, the terms and conditions of their contracts are much inferior to the NHS contracts.“NHS workers get quite a generous deal – occupational sick pay scheme, a pension scheme and a salary scale with clear routes of progression. “ISS staff don’t have access to any of that. They have statutory sick pay, with a sick pay credit scheme which is incredibly complicated and falls way short of what they would get in the NHS. “They have a statutory pension as well, no occupational scheme, and their pay is way lower. They receive London Living Wage, as of April 2020, but prior to that they were being paid below the London Living Wage – and that’s still 75p less an hour than they would be earning if they were employed directly by the NHS.” A spokesperson for ISS told HuffPost UK they were “unable” to comment at the current stage of the process. Asked if people had felt forced to work through the Covid-19 crisis even if they felt ill due to a lack of sick pay, the ISS employee said: “Absolutely – everyone was very scared of getting sick. A lot of people came into work because they couldn’t afford not to. “I just don’t understand how it’s possible for a hospital to run like that. Even with Covid people were asking ‘if I get symptoms will I even get that pay?’ because there were so many issues with pay beforehand. “When you have such an infectious virus you can’t afford to take those kinds of risks. You can’t afford to have people coming into work sick.” Even at the height of the pandemic, when staff had pulled together in a bid to tackle the virus, the anonymous employee said there was clear evidence of a “two-tier system”. When PPE ran short in the early days of the crisis, they said, ISS staff were told by some NHS employees that supplies of protective equipment were to be used by NHS staff only. They said: “The fact that there are some staff on smaller salaries, on worse terms and conditions, encourages the idea that there are the NHS staff and then there’s the rest, and NHS staff are entitled to more.”They spoke of a “two-tier system, where it feels like our lives are less important”.The employee added: “I just find it horrific that a nearly 80% Black and ethnic minority workforce is facing lower working conditions than the rest of the hospital. “Especially in Hackney, where we’re serving such a large Black and minority ethnic population, I just don’t see any way in which that can be justified, especially in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement.”Labour MP Diane Abbott said: “I fully support the union campaign against this outsourcing deal at the Homerton. The contract is a slap in the face to all the essential workers who been keeping this NHS unit running and potentially means they will have much worse pay and conditions for up to five years.“This is bad news for workers and for patients too, who rely on all essential workers. These workers deserve pay and terms that are least reasonable, and this campaign should continue until Matt Hancock is forced to intervene.”A DHSC spokesperson said: “NHS trusts are guided by public procurement regulations when considering awarding contracts to external providers.“This is a matter for the local NHS trust, who have been closely engaging with stakeholders throughout the process.”In a lengthy statement a spokesperson for Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said ISS had provided the hospital with a “high quality service” which had been deemed a contributory factor to Homerton’s recent “outstanding” rating from watchdog the Care Quality Commission. They added: “A five-year contract with ISS will provide stability and continuity at a time when our energies will be focused on the gradual but steady return of services to pre-emergency levels, whilst mindful of having to adapt to any re-emergence of coronavirus in our communities.“We have listened to ISS staff concerns on a number of issues and are seeking firm assurances from ISS that these concerns are addressed. We have not dismissed the in-house option for some facilities services in the future and will continue to look into this option in the longer term.”The trust said the VEAT notice fully complied with requirements set out the in the Public Contracts Regulation, describing its use as “entirely regular”.They added that “internal discussions” had taken place with union and staff representatives leading to improved terms and conditions for ISS employees, particularly regarding sick pay.Related...
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We’re here to guide you through the coronavirus pandemic. Sign up to the Life newsletter for daily tips, advice, how-tos and escapism.Rashes should be considered a “key diagnostic sign” of Covid-19, according to a study, which found 8% of people who test positive for the virus have some form of rash. A team of researchers from the Covid Symptom Study surveyed 12,000 people who had skin rashes, as well as suspected or confirmed Covid-19. They asked for images of rashes from survey respondents, especially people of colour, who are currently under-represented in dermatology resources.In some cases the rash can occur on its own, the study found, without any other symptoms of the virus such as a continuous cough, fever, or loss of smell. Almost one in five (17%) who had tested positive for coronavirus reported a rash as the first symptom of the disease. Among those who reported a rash – and were confirmed as having coronavirus – 21% said it was their only symptom.Currently, the NHS only lists three symptoms of coronavirus. These are: a high temperature, new and continuous cough, and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Rashes aren’t widely considered to be a symptom of the virus. We asked researchers from the Covid Symptom Study to share photos of the rashes that have regularly showed up in coronavirus patients. Related...
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Key rashes to look out forThere are three main types of rash the researchers found showed up in patients.The first is a hive-type rash (also referred to as urticaria), where raised bumps can suddenly appear on the skin – these can come and go quite quickly over hours and can be very itchy. Think: nettle rash.Urticaria rashes can appear quite early on in the infection, but also last a long time, said researchers.It often starts with intense itching on the palm of your hands or soles of your feet, but it can also cause swelling of the lips and eyelids. The second type of rash seen in the Covid Symptom Study is a prickly heat-type rash – a bit like chickenpox – where small, itchy red bumps can appear anywhere on the body, but particularly the elbows and knees, as well as the backs of the hands and feet.This type of rash can persist for days or weeks, said researchers.The third type of rash, known as Covid fingers and toes (sometimes described as chilblains), is where red and purple bumps appear on the fingers or toes.These bumps may be sore, but not usually itchy. This type of rash is most specific to Covid-19 and is more common in younger people with the disease. It also tends to present later on in someone’s illness. A separate study of patients in Spain found that, in addition to these rashes, some patients experienced a type similar to pityriasis rosea, a skin condition, which presents as a pink, scaly rash. There’s a theory this type of rash may be caused by a viral infection, so the appearance of it would make sense. “Many viral infections can affect the skin, so it’s not surprising we’re seeing these rashes in Covid-19,” says Covid Symptom Study author Dr Veronique Bataille, consultant dermatologist at St Thomas’ Hospital and King’s College London (KCL).“It’s important people know that in some cases, a rash may be the first or only symptom of the disease. If you notice a new rash, you should take it seriously by self-isolating and getting tested as soon as possible.”The current swab tests for coronavirus should ideally be taken within three days of noticing symptoms – after five days they might not work. If you do notice a rash, you could also call your GP surgery or pharmacy who should be able to advise on possible treatments and what to do next.It’s important people know that in some cases, a rash may be the first or only symptom of the diseaseDr Veronique BatailleDr Tanya Bleiker, president of the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), says such studies play an important role in building our understanding of the disease as a whole – especially as in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, the various skin manifestations of the disease were “poorly understood”.BAD is working with the Covid Symptom Study team to develop a website that will host a library of the different skin manifestations of the virus. Members of the public should be cautious about self-diagnosing Covid-19 based on skin symptoms, said BAD, as rashes and other skin lesions are common and hard to differentiate between without expertise.“We hope that this will be of benefit to healthcare professionals as well as the public who may be unaware of skin symptoms which would warrant self-isolation,” says Dr Bleiker.Related...
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Selena Gomez's music video for her new song "Past Life" features the singer's face embedded in the sweeping landscape views.
The effect is thanks to Scan Truck, a mobile 3D studio that is popular in Hollywood and involved in such film projects as "The Avengers: Endgame" and "Venom."
The system features 200 cameras trained on the subject that capture photorealistic images to render into a 3D modeling.
The truck allowed the artist to shoot her music video and still abide by social distancing guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
The music video for artist Selena Gomez's new song "Past Life" features sweeping views of mountainsides and seascapes, at first glance. But upon looking more closely, you'll notice what appears to be an ear embedded in a cliff here, or a row of eyelashes in the distance there.
It turns out close up views of the singer's face do indeed star in the surrealistic music video, thanks to a 3D scanning service favored by the industry. In a post tweeted Thursday, Gomez explained how the Scan Truck works.
"I stepped into it on my own and it scanned my face up close, which is why the music video looks so real!" she tweeted. Gomez's new song also features Trevor Daniel.
Check out how we shot the Past Life music video while still social distancing. This thing is called the Scan Truck. I stepped into it on my own and it scanned my face up close, which is why the music video looks so real! pic.twitter.com/QJxj1hthrQ — Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) July 16, 2020
According to the Scan Truck website, the system is a "3D scanning spaceship on wheels" that acts as a "mobile photogrammetry studio" for movies, video games, commercials, and more. The mobile studio features 200 DSLR cameras trained on the subject to capture photorealistic scans, which are then incorporated into a 3D generated concept. The company's portfolio includes Marvel's currently stalled "Black Widow," "Us," "Venom," "The Avengers: Endgame," and more.
With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting productions and projects across various sectors, artists are having to get creative with how they, well, create.
Sometimes technology and art are the perfect match. pic.twitter.com/5py9BlWFpx — Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) July 16, 2020
You can watch Gomez and Daniels' new music video below.
SEE ALSO: Selena Gomez teared up in an emotional video for Spotify where she said making her latest album was a 'nightmare'
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Ewan Fisher was hospitalised at 16 after being sold flavoured e-cigarettes under age.HuffPost is part of Verizon Media.Verizon Media and our partners need your consent to access your device and use your data (including location) to understand your interests, and provide and measure personalised ads.Verizon Media will also provide you with personalised ads on partner products.Select 'OK' to continue and allow Verizon Media and our partners to use your data, or select 'Manage options' to view your choices.
Almost two years ago, Philips showed off a kitchen-friendly 24-inch Android TV at CES 2018.Known as the 7703 Series Kitchen Android TV, it was originally intended to go on sale later that year.The 7703 never fully materialized, but a newer version has finally arrived, just in time for the holiday shopping season.That version is the $299 Philips 24-inch Android TV (which, confusingly, also goes by the name 6000 Series Android TV) mounts a 24-inch Android TV-powered HDTV panel on top of a Google Assistant-powered smart speaker to create an all-in-one device aimed at those who tend to have their hands busy when watching videos.The 6000 Series won’t win any prizes for its display — at just 720p it’s a decidedly low-res panel.But that’s probably just fine for its intended audience.