All Posts Tagged as 'Population'
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The internet is under huge strain because of the coronavirus. Experts say it can cope — for now
With daily life changing for many around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, a huge surge in internet traffic has led to worries over the resilience of the infrastructure that keeps things humming.
As the COVID-19 disease spreads, authorities in many countries — from the U.K. to India — have implemented nationwide lockdowns, forcing people to work remotely while children are sent home from schools.
In Britain, internet service providers have seen double-digit increases in broadband usage, with BT claiming traffic on its fixed network climbed as much as 60% compared to normal weekdays, while Vodafone says it’s seen mobile data traffic increase by 50% in some markets.
“This is an increase we would normally expect to see in a year,” Chintan Patel, Cisco’s chief technologist in the U.K., told CNBC. “We’re now obviously seeing that in a matter of days and weeks.”
The big uncertainty going forward, he says, is not knowing how long the pandemic — and the nationwide shutdowns it has caused — will last.
If engineers are required to self-isolate, for instance, this may make it harder for telecommunications companies to maintain the copper and fiber cables and other equipment needed to deliver broadband.
“With physical networks, you still need to do a certain amount of maintenance,” Thillien told CNBC. “Whether or not this continues for longer time is the main uncertainty.”
The Pandemic Has Led to a Huge, Global Drop in Air Pollution
The coronavirus pandemic is shutting down industrial activity and temporarily slashing air pollution levels around the world, satellite imagery from the European Space Agency shows.
One expert said the sudden shift represented the “largest-scale experiment ever,” in terms of the reduction of industrial emissions.
Readings from ESA’s Sentinel-5P satellite show that over the past six weeks, levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) over cities and industrial clusters in Asia and Europe were markedly lower than in the same period last year.
Nitrogen dioxide is produced from car engines, power plants and other industrial processes and is thought to exacerbate respiratory illnesses such as asthma.
New York may be weeks away from reaching a peak in coronavirus cases. Now other states are preparing for a surge
Several states are reporting a spike in coronavirus cases, raising fears more hotspots will emerge in the US after New York as soon as next week.
The US surpassed Italy and China this week to become the country with the most coronavirus cases in the world --- with more than 101,240 known cases, according to CNN's tally. At least 1,588 Americans have died. At least 402 of those deaths were reported on Friday alone.
More than a third of the country's cases are in New York -- which has been in a partial lockdown for a week as officials try to slow the spread of the virus and hospitals scramble to keep up with the patients streaming in.
Tracking coronavirus cases in the US
The state's healthcare system is already overwhelmed. One hospital was forced to create a makeshift morgue and another reported 13 patient deaths in 24 hours. New York and its National Guard are now assembling four 1,000-bed temporary, overflow hospitals in existing buildings.
The rate of new cases may be slowing in New York, but the governor says it may take 21 days for the state to hit its peak -- the highest point of reported cases before that number begins going down.
Gavin Newsom takes new tone with Trump as he steers California during coronavirus crisis
Meanwhile, officials in other states are warning they could be next. In Los Angeles County, cases more than tripled in six days and one official says numbers will keep going up. Health Director Barbara Ferrer says she expects to see case counts in Los Angeles double every four days for the next two to three weeks.
How we know ending social distancing will lead to more deaths, in one chart
President Donald Trump already wants to pull back social distancing policies and guidances implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic. But we know, based on the nation’s history with past outbreaks, what will happen if we do this too early: People will die.
In 1918, the world was ravaged by a horrible flu pandemic, which was linked to as many as 100 million deaths globally and about 675,000 deaths in the US. In response, cities across America adopted a variety of social distancing measures to combat the pandemic. Based on several studies of the period, these measures worked to reduce the death toll overall.
But many cities, also worried about the effects of social distancing on normal life and the economy, pulled back their social distancing efforts prematurely. When they did, they saw flu cases — and deaths — rise again.
Jerry Falwell Jr.'s Christian University Welcoming Students Back to Campus Amid COVID-19
Liberty University, a private evangelical Christian university in Virginia, is welcoming students back to campus this week despite a little something known as COVID-19.
"I was on a conference call with other college presidents and representatives from private colleges, and we listened to what other schools were doing," president Jerry Falwell Jr. said in a statement shared to the school's site this week. "Many were throwing their hands up and saying they would just close and others were going to extend their breaks. At that time, we were on Spring Break, so we had time to work on it."
This process of choosing to "work on it" ultimately resulted in the decision to "get [students] back as soon as we can, the ones who want to come back."
A report from the Richmond Times-Dispatch noted that between a few hundred to more than 5,000 students were projected to be living in Liberty dorms as classes resumed this week. The majority of those classes have moved to online formats. Staff and faculty, however, are said to be coming to work in their usual capacity.
Survey reveals how many LGBT+ people will still date and hook-up during coronavirus
“I’ll do what I want”: Why the people ignoring social distancing orders just won’t listen
‘Corona, OK!’ Yelled College Student Before Coughing Into Cop’s Face, Police Say
Eight men arrested after hosting cocaine-fuelled orgy during coronavirus lockdown
Pastor again defies state order not to hold large gatherings. He says 1,000 people came to his church Sunday
The UK is in lockdown, but this church is suing Edinburgh because the city refused to host a homophobic preacher
When faith threatens public health
Americans are hitting bars and bragging about not social distancing
The nation's top infectious disease researchers have repeatedly warned, if not begged, Americans to practice social distancing as the contagious coronavirus spreads through the population.
That's because, due to a woeful lack of testing in the nation, no one knows how many Americans are infected — and the resulting respiratory disease (COVID-19) is 10 times more lethal than the flu. Sunday morning, Marc Lipsitch, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Harvard University, emphasized this point, noting that the true number of infections is certainly "much higher" than confirmed cases.
But, though some folks are social distancing, many still clearly aren't. Some are even actively bragging about not doing it. This weekend, journalists and others reported that bars across the nation were packed in Boston, Chicago, Nashville, and New York City.
So Long, California? Goodbye, Texas? Taxpayers Decide Some States Aren’t Worth It
Two years after President Trump signed the tax law, its effects are rippling through local economies and housing markets, pushing some people to move from high-tax states where they have long lived. Parts of Florida, for example, are getting an influx of buyers from states such as New York, New Jersey and Illinois.
Many people saw their overall taxes go down after the 2017 law was passed. But the law had two main changes making it tougher to live in high-cost, high-tax states, especially compared with lower-taxed options. It essentially curbed how much homeowners can subtract from their federal taxes for paying local property and income taxes, by capping the state and local tax deduction at $10,000. It also lowered the size of mortgages for which new buyers can deduct the interest, to $750,000 from $1 million.
These changes have the biggest impact on a sliver of the population who have high incomes and live in expensive areas. They tend to have white-collar jobs and the ability to pick up and move. Many own their own businesses, work remotely or are nearing retirement.
Critics say the changes have hurt everyone who lives in high-tax states, by taking a bite out of tax revenue. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for example, panned the state and local tax cap last year. “It has redistributed wealth in this nation from Democratic states—we’re also called blue states—to red states,” he said at the time.
The Amish Keep to Themselves. And They’re Hiding a Horrifying Secret
The memories come to her in fragments. The bed creaking late at night after one of her brothers snuck into her room and pulled her to the edge of her mattress. Her underwear shoved to the side as his body hovered over hers, one of his feet still on the floor.
Her ripped dresses, the clothespins that bent apart on her apron as another brother grabbed her at dusk by the hogpen after they finished feeding the pigs. Sometimes she’d pry herself free and sprint toward the house, but “they were bigger and stronger,” she says. They usually got what they wanted.
As a child, Sadie* was carefully shielded from outside influences, never allowed to watch TV or listen to pop music or get her learner’s permit. Instead, she attended a one-room Amish schoolhouse and rode a horse and buggy to church—a life designed to be humble and disciplined and godly.
2 Mass. Priests Suspended Amid Decades Old Abuse Complaints
French trial exposes how church covered for predator priest
Senators demand review of Army Reserve sexual assaults
Bullying is driving more than one in eight young people to have suicidal behaviours, research shows
Bullying is a key driver of suicidal behaviour among young people across the world, according to new research warning the problem is worse than previously feared.
An international study by scientists in Britain, China and the US looked at data from 220,000 adolescents aged between 12 and 15 from 83 countries.
The study found more than one in eight youngsters across the world had suicidal behaviours, with bullying strongly associated to suicide attempts.
Bullied boys were more likely to attempt suicide than bullied girls.
Cyborgs will replace humans and remake the world, James Lovelock says
For tens of thousands of years, humans have reigned as our planet's only intelligent, self-aware species. But the rise of intelligent machines means that could change soon, perhaps in our own lifetimes. Not long after that, Homo sapiens could vanish from Earth entirely.
That’s the jarring message of a new book by James Lovelock, the famed British environmentalist and futurist. “Our supremacy as the prime understanders of the cosmos is rapidly coming to end,” he says in the book, "Novacene." “The understanders of the future will not be humans but what I choose to call ‘cyborgs’ that will have designed and built themselves.”
Florida health officials declare public health emergency for hepatitis A
Martin and Brevard counties are among 17 in Florida "critically impacted" by the hepatitis A virus.
They're the main concern for Florida Department of Health officials and the reason the state's surgeon general declared a 'public health emergency' Thursday evening.
Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees said Friday he believes the declaration will make people take the matter more seriously. The number of people diagnosed with hepatitis A in Florida keeps increasing, he said.
‘Potentially Dangerous Conditions May Exist In This Area’
'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life
n the summer of 2015—the warmest year on record at the time—it was the literal heat that got to Meg Ruttan Walker, a 37-year-old former teacher in Kitchener, Ontario. "Summers have been stressful to me since having my son," said Ruttan Walker, who is now an environmental activist. "It's hard to enjoy a season that's a constant reminder that the world is getting warmer."
"I think my anxiety just reached a peak," Ruttan Walker continued. It felt like there was nowhere to go, and although she had spoken to her primary care doctor about anxiety, she hadn't sought help with her mental health. Suddenly, she was contemplating self-harm. "Though I don't think I would have hurt myself, I didn't know how to live with the fear of... the apocalypse, I guess? My son was home with me and I had to call my friend over to watch him because I couldn't even look at him without breaking down," Ruttan Walker said. She eventually checked herself into an overnight mental health facility.
Her case is extreme, but many people are suffering from what could be called "climate despair," a sense that climate change is an unstoppable force that will render humanity extinct and renders life in the meantime futile. As David Wallace-Wells noted in his 2019 bestseller The Uninhabitable Earth, "For most who perceive an already unfolding climate crisis and intuit a more complete metamorphosis of the world to come, the vision is a bleak one, often pieced together from perennial eschatological imagery inherited from existing apocalyptic texts like the Book of Revelation, the inescapable sourcebook for Western anxiety about the end of the world."
Why American life expectancy is declining
For the third year running, life expectancy in the U.S. has declined, per new data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
Children born in 2017 are expected to live an average of 78.6 years, down from 78.7 the year prior. This most recent decline makes the last three years the longest period of decreasing life expectancy since the years of 1915 to 1918, USA Today reports. Considering that time period included World War I and the Spanish flu epidemic, those factors might at least partially explain the reduced life expectancy.
“Climate Apartheid” Is Imminent. Only the Rich Will Survive.
If our global climate change catastrophe continues unchecked, vast swaths of the world will likely become harsher and far less hospitable for humanity.
When that happens, an even greater rift will appear between the global haves and have-nots, as many people will be left without the means to escape the worst effects of the climate crisis, according to a new report published Tuesday by the U.N.’s Human Rights Council that describes an impending “climate apartheid.”
While the rich hire private firefighters or move to more expensive habitable areas, the report predicts that 120 million people will be pushed into poverty by 2030 by climate change. Many more will die.
Americans are terrifyingly supportive of nuking civilians in North Korea
Imagine that North Korea starts, once again, testing long-range missiles that could reach the United States. Should we drop a nuclear weapon on them, killing a million innocent civilians?
You might expect most people would answer that question with a firm, resounding no. Such an action would be morally despicable, of course. It would lead to many, many deaths. Security experts say it would do very little to advance US interests, and it’d destabilize the whole world, increasing the chance of other nuclear exchanges, with catastrophic consequences.
But it turns out these reasons wouldn’t faze a good number of Americans. A survey by YouGov and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, published Monday, finds that a third of Americans would be in favor of a nuclear strike even if it killed a million people.
In the survey of 3,000 Americans, respondents read imaginary news stories in which they were told policymakers were contemplating a preemptive strike on North Korea. Different groups of participants got different scenarios: Some were asked to consider attacks with conventional weapons, and some with nuclear weapons. Some were told the preemptive attack had a 90 percent chance of success, some a 50 percent chance of success, and some a 10 percent chance of success. And some were told that the strike would have about 5,000 civilian casualties, while another group was told that the nuclear strike would have a million civilian casualties.