Day: August 8, 2020

Kashmiris in limbo and lockdown

On 5 August 2019, the Indian government revoked a constitutional article that stripped the semi-autonomous status from the part of Kashmir it administers and split the region into two federally-run territories. A stringent curfew was imposed and thousands detained along with a communications black-out.

The lockdown began to be eased in March, but was then re-imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been a year of shutdowns, anger and fear. The BBC spoke to 12 different Kashmiris, to find out what their lives have been like during this year.

Sanna Irshad Mattoo, 26

Sanna Irshad Mattoo,
Sanna Irshad Mattoo,

“In our line of work, you can’t separate the personal from the professional,” says Ms Mattoo, who has been a journalist for the last four years.

“We have been through lockdowns in previous years. But last year there was an environment of fear psychosis. We didn’t know what was happening. Our modes of

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$800 a week to test employees for COVID-19. Could rapid, cheap tests help?

Sara Polon spends $800 dollars each week on coronavirus tests for the staffers at her Washington, D.C., business, but sometimes the test results don’t come back for weeks.

Polon, 43, owns Soupergirl, a small soup company that has managed to stay open during the pandemic. Polon wanted to reassure her 30 full-time and part-time employees that she was trying to protect their health, so she’s been covering their weekly coronavirus tests since early June. But the national lab where the results are processed has significant backlogs.

“If I’m getting results 2 1/2 weeks later, I might as well just take that $800 and flush it down the toilet,” Polon told NBC News. “I’m just at the mercy of these national labs, and it’s petrifying.”

What Polon needs is a cheaper test with fast results that her employees could use at home, experts say. To ease the overwhelmed testing system, a

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Trump signs executive orders; hundreds quarantining in Ga. school district; masks optional at Sturgis motorcycle rally

After weeks of stalled congressional negotiations over a new coronavirus stimulus package, President Donald Trump signed a series executive orders Saturday evening as the U.S. was approaching 5 million cases of COVID-19.

Trump, repeatedly referring to the coronavirus as the “China virus,” said the orders would provide an additional $400 per week in unemployment benefits, suspend payments on some student loans through the end of the year and protect renters from being evicted from their homes.

“We’re coming back very strong. We’re doing well with the virus,” Trump said, even as the U.S. was leading nations worldwide in confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 and confirmed an additional 50,000 new cases Friday.

Meanwhile, South Dakota was hosting one of the largest events since the beginning of the pandemic – the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, an event that is set to attract 250,000 people over the next 10 days, even as experts

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Hundreds quarantining in Ga. school district; masks optional at Sturgis motorcycle rally

Florida, ravaged by a historic spike in COVID-19 cases for weeks, is showing signs of progress in statistics such as hospitalizations and positivity rates according to its governor — but stories of the human toll of the virus on young and old in the state continue to emerge this week.

In one case, a 21-year-old who believed he had recovered from a mild case suddenly became gravely ill with multi-organ failure. He’s now sharing his story as a warning of the potential for long-term illness.

And in a heartbreaking story, a 90-year-old man likely caught the virus as he said his final goodbye to his dying wife. After his story gained international attention, he also tested positive and later died. His family says he had no regrets.

Those stories come even as other areas of the country have gone months without serious outbreaks. In South Dakota, low case counts have

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8 helpful Chrome extensions to improve working from home

8 helpful Chrome extensions to improve working from home
8 helpful Chrome extensions to improve working from home

On one hand working from home is truly awesome. Your commute is however far it is from your bed to your laptop, you don’t have to deal face-to-face with annoying colleagues, you can make your own homemade, healthy snacks, and yes, you can work in your pajamas.

On the other hand, working from home turns your cozy sanctuary into an extension of your workplace, and it can be hard to switch off the way you normally would when you leave a physical place.

While there are some things you can do to mitigate this, like finding a place to work that’s not where you play, being strict with cut off times to stop working, and making sure you take regular breaks, there are also some other hacks that we think can help your work-from-home process. These come in the form of

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Mid-American Conference cancels fall football due to virus

The Mid-American Conference on Saturday became the first league at college football’s highest level to cancel its fall season because of the pandemic.

”I’m heartbroken we are in this place,” MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said.

With the MAC’s 12 schools facing a significant financial burden by trying to maintain costly coronavirus protocols, and the uncertainty that campuses can be opened safely, the conference’s university presidents canceled all fall sports – including soccer and volleyball – and said they would explore making them up in the spring season.

A move to the spring, however, could also prove costly without revenue generated by football media rights deals and ticket sales.

”It would be naive to say that you don’t give thought and consideration to what the financial ramifications or any decision are, but this was a health and well-being decision first and foremost,” Steinbrecher said. ”As we sit here today we don’t

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Black, Hispanic Children At Higher Risk For Hospitalization Due To COVID-19, CDC Says

The CDC study comes as schools decide on fall reopening plans

As research continues to come out about the impacts of the coronavirus on various groups, a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found Hispanic and Black children are more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than white children.

The report, released yesterday, said Hispanic children are approximately eight-times more likely than white children to be hospitalized with COVID-related symptoms. Black children are five-times more likely. Researchers used data from 14 states, including California, Georgia, New York, and Ohio, from March 1 through July 25 to get a picture of how the disease presents itself in children under 18.

“Among 526 children for whom race and ethnicity information were reported, 241 (45.8 percent) were Hispanic, 156 (29.7 percent) were black, 74 (14.1 percent) were white; 24 (4.6 percent) were non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander; and

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Without $600 Weekly Benefit, Unemployed Face Bleak Choices

Latrish Oseko, 39, sits with her daughter, at a hotel in Newark, Del., on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, where they have been staying. (Hannah Yoon/The New York Times)
Latrish Oseko, 39, sits with her daughter, at a hotel in Newark, Del., on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, where they have been staying. (Hannah Yoon/The New York Times)

When Latrish Oseko lost her job last spring, government aid helped prevent a crisis from becoming a catastrophe.

A $1,700 federal stimulus payment meant that when her 26-year-old car broke down, she could replace it. The $600 a week in extra unemployment benefits from the federal government allowed her to pay rent and buy food. When her day care provider closed, she was able to get her 4-year-old daughter a subscription to ABCmouse, an online learning app.

But the federal money has run out, and talks in Washington over how to replace it have broken down.

So Oseko, 39, is spending much of her time sitting in the Delaware hotel room where she has lived since her landlord kicked her out at

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Britain faces up to prospect of mass unemployment as government support winds

Getty
Getty

“I literally don’t know what I would do.” says freelance chef Ryan Fisher as he considers the prospect trying to live off £343 per month universal credit – again.

The amount is £200 less than he pays each month to support his nine-year-old daughter, never mind his rent, food, gas, electricity, car insurance.

“I don’t know how I’ll cover all my bills. It’s just not enough to live on.”

He knows this from bitter experience because he’s been there before, when the government forcibly shut down his industry in March and work, which had been plentiful, dried up. Like millions of others, Fisher wasn’t entitled to any of the coronavirus support schemes.

After three months of debts piling up, calls from credit card companies and an emergency £500 grant from charity Turn2Us he found some short-term work at Porters, an upper-class eatery in Southampton.

For now, as the sun

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21-year-old’s organs fail after mild case; masks optional at Sturgis rally; Trump may use executive orders on stimulus

Florida, ravaged by a historic spike in COVID-19 cases for weeks, is showing signs of progress in statistics such as hospitalizations and positivity rates according to its governor — but stories of the human toll of the virus on young and old in the state continue to emerge this week.

In one case, a 21-year-old who believed he had recovered from a mild case suddenly became gravely ill with multi-organ failure. He’s now sharing his story as a warning of the potential for long-term illness.

And in a heartbreaking story, a 90-year-old man likely caught the virus as he said his final goodbye to his dying wife. After his story gained international attention, he also tested positive and later died. His family says he had no regrets.

Those stories come even as other areas of the country have gone months without serious outbreaks. In South Dakota, low case counts have

Read More