Day: September 11, 2020

White House Virus Coordinator Birx Praises UA, Student Efforts

TUSCALOOSA, AL. — White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx had high praise for the University of Alabama and its students as part of her trip across the south visiting with university and community leaders, which stopped in Tuscaloosa on Friday.

A world-renowned global health official, Birx was appointed to the Office of the Vice President to aid in the government’s response to COVID-19 and can regularly be seen speaking during White House press briefings on matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Birx spent her visit to Tuscaloosa meeting with students, UA administrators and local elected officials, which comes roughly eight weeks after her roundtable meeting with Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey.

“I think what we have found across a series of, particularly the SEC schools where we’re concentrated in this trip, the schools that prepared and had a plan,” she said, pointing also to her visit to the University

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Mom’s Relatable Comics Capture The Realities Of Distance Learning

As a mother of two, cartoonist Adrienne Hedger understands the trials and tribulations of distance learning during a pandemic.

In her Hedger Humor comics, the Southern California-based artist captures familiar moments with honesty and wit. Her teenage daughters, Kate and Claire, have been doing remote learning since March. So far, the fall semester has gone more smoothly than the spring, Hedger told HuffPost. 

“In spring, everyone was caught off guard, and it felt like, ‘Let’s just get through this.’ Teachers were posting assignments and doing their best, but there were no set times when classes met online,” she said. “It was a confusing, stressful time. Things are a lot better now. There is a set schedule and all the classes meet in videoconferences.”

A few things every parent could use during remote learning. (Photo: <a href="https://www.instagram.com/adriennehedger/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Hedger Humor" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Hedger Humor </a>)
A few things every parent could use during remote learning. (Photo: Hedger Humor )

One of the downsides of distance learning is that kids miss out on

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School Districts Are Facing Chromebook Shortages as Students Shift to Online Learning

Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty

School districts are facing difficulty securing Chromebooks for students this year due to supply shortages amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With students across the country starting the school year at home, laptops and computers have become necessities to participate in classes or do coursework. Chromebooks — which run on Google’s Chrome operating system — have been a popular choice for students thanks to their low-price range. While high-end Chromebooks can cost hundreds of dollars, the most affordable models run just under $300.

But communities have been struck with Chromebook shortages over the last few weeks, due to high, nationwide demand for the machines and a slowdown in production.

According to the Associated Press, Lenovo, HP and Dell — three companies that make their own versions of Chromebooks — have said they will be short 5 million laptop units this year. The outlet said the

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The Best Way to Get Your Finance Ducks in a Row

Bloomberg

Apple’s Rising Class of Leaders Will Shape a Post-Tim Cook Era

(Bloomberg) — Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and his top deputies are focusing greater attention on developing a new generation of leaders to eventually run some of the iPhone maker’s most important divisions such as hardware development, services and marketing.As Cook begins his 10th year at the helm, his management group is filled mostly with senior vice presidents who have worked at Apple for more than two decades, made tens of millions of dollars and are at or near the ages of 55 to 60 when many previous executives have stepped aside. That, along with typical corporate planning, has spurred the Cupertino, California-based company to cultivate its next class of top managers, said people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified talking about internal company discussions. Apple declined to comment.Cook, who took over

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You Don’t Need Perfect Credit to Get a Personal Loan

A low credit score doesn’t have to stand in your way if you want to get a personal loan to cover an emergency or consolidate your debts.

Borrowers with bad credit, which is a FICO score below 630, may need to put in some extra work to qualify for a personal loan. But taking these steps can not only help you get approved, they could also get you a cheaper interest rate.

Clean up your credit, shrink your debt

Before you apply for a personal loan, get a copy of your credit report to see what the lender will see on it, says Adrienne Ross, a Washington-based certified financial planner. You can get one free copy of your report from all three major credit bureaus at annualcreditreport.com.

The details on your credit report can show you why your score is low and signal how to address the issues before a

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Trump enters campaign home stretch facing a perfect storm of fundraising hurdles

WASHINGTON — Having lost his cash advantage, President Donald Trump has entered the final stretch of his re-election race facing a perfect storm of fundraising headwinds, including a base of big donors who are maxed out, choosing to sit on the sidelines or shifting resources to increasingly competitive Senate races.

Trump raised $210 million in August — a sizable sum, but far short of Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s $365 million haul. Despite having a nearly three-year fundraising head start on Biden, at the end of July both campaigns had nearly the same amount of money remaining in their war chests. Neither campaign has released their full financial filings for August.

Now, heading into the final weeks of the race, many major Republican donors have maxed out on how much they can legally give. Others are hesitant to give more after seeing the campaign burn through $800 million this cycle only

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The future of online commerce is now/Opinion

Star Trek fans like me are familiar with wormholes.

They’re tunnel-like passages through space and time, similar to the tunnels bored by worms through apples. Until recently, they only existed in science fiction fantasies and in highly theoretical constructs of Einstein’s theory of general relatively.

But it feels as if we’ve all just passed through a wormhole, doesn’t it?

In the past few months, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve jumped 10 years into the future of online commerce, according to analysis from McKinsey & Company, the global consulting firm.

McKinsey also estimates that in just two weeks, telemedicine saw a 10-fold increase in virtual appointments. Remote working drove a 1,900% increase in video conference calls. Online learning welcomed 250 million new students in just 14 days. And it took only five months for Disney+ to attract the number of online movie streaming subscribers that Netflix signed-up over seven years.

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‘A manifestation of decades of discrimination’

Lending disparities are holding Black homebuyers back from homeownership, a new study shows. 

In 50 U.S. metros, Black homebuyers receive higher interest rates than buyers on average, according to a new study by LendingTree, a Charlotte, N.C.-based online lending marketplace.

“Unfortunately, the results of the study weren’t a surprise at all. This is just a manifestation of decades of discrimination and lack of access [to capital] for many Americans,” said Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist at LendingTree.

On average, 15.87% of Black homebuyers received higher-than-average interest rates, compared to only 6.88% of buyers in the top 50 U.S. metros — almost a 9 percentage point spread, according to the study. 

Interest rates were especially bad for Blacks in the Midwest, according to the LendingTree study. In Cleveland, Ohio, 26.56% of Black homebuyers received higher-than-average interest rates, compared to less than 10% of the overall population. The smallest spread was in San

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Britons race to return from Portugal to beat two-week quarantine

woman airplane - GETTY
woman airplane – GETTY

Thousands of British holidaymakers have until 4am on Saturday to return to the UK – or face a two-week quarantine – after the Government removed four more countries from its list of approved destinations. 

Portugal, Hungary, French Polynesia and Reunion have all lost their travel corridors, with the Portuguese islands of Madeira and Azores exempt due to lower rates of infection. 

Portugal is the biggest blow for British holidaymakers, having only been added to the green list three weeks ago. As has been the pattern for other countries that have been removed with less than a 48-hour window to return home before quarantine kicks in, the price of a flight back from Portugal has skyrocketed.

A direct one-way flight today from Faro to London with easyJet starts at £211; and Telegraph Travel has seen options as high as £399 with British Airways. From Lisbon and Porto,

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Power outages hamper evacuation warnings and distance learning in wildfire-torn California

Danielle Mays lives in a wood cabin at the end of a 10-mile dirt road near Feather Falls, California. On Tuesday afternoon, Mays, a music teacher, saw smoke from the approaching North Complex West Zone fire, and knew something was wrong.

But Mays had no power, and thus no reliable cell phone service, so she hadn’t received any emergency alert to warn her of the dangerous fire. In fact, she had no Wi-Fi or even water, because her cabin and 70 acres rely on a well. In an effort to prevent more wildfires from igniting, California’s largest utility provider, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) had intentionally shut off power the previous night to Mays and more than 150,000 other customers across 22 counties in Northern California.

The North Complex West Zone fire has already killed 10 people and burned more than 70,000 acres in Butte County. The fire was caused

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