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Facebook, Google Start to Use New Tools to Collect Virus Data

Facebook and Google have begun to use new tools. Their goal is to collect data on population movements to fight the spread of the new coronavirus. Facebook says it has created new disease prevention maps. The information is based on data from users of the social media service.

Facebook says its data will provide information about general movements in and around cities, but not the activities of single individuals. One of the Facebook tools (co-location map) aims to use data to predict the probable meeting places of people in contact with each other. The data will provide help for medical professionals to predict areas where the virus COVID-19 might spread next. It will also help officials learn how social ties can help communities fight with and recover from the crisis.


Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake team up for a funky quarantine remix

Justin Timberlake and Jimmy remix a conversation into an original song by playing random objects in their homes together. They used video chat while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was only a matter of time before Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake made a duet about being stuck at home.

 The two managed to make a Quarantine Remix for an at-home episode of The Tonight Show using house items. Both performed their social distancing musical skills, asking each other as if they were in their homes. Fallon called Timberlake from the same space he's been filming from each night, asking, "Yo, you home?" Timberlake beatboxed, the two used kitchen utensils for percussion, and they tried on lots of sunglasses. They both stop at one point to harmonize, "I'm home."


Coronavirus: Western economies slow to react to the crisis

The coronavirus was taken a little more lightly by western economies opposed to those in Asia, says a former IMF chief economist. Raghuram Rajan said western economies are facing a drop in growth by 6 percentage points this year. The widespread closure of businesses is having a large financial effect.

The IMF warns the global economy faces its worst crisis since the 1930s depression. I think it was taken a little more lightly in the west partly because there hadn't been a direct experience of a serious pandemic, Mr. Rajan told.

Mr. Rajan wants to see economies working together to share resources rather than being protectionist to overcome the crisis.

He said we saw countries hijacking each other's medical supplies, and we saw countries banning the trading of precious medicine. These are things that make everyone worse off.


Coronavirus: The children struggling to survive India's lockdown

The sudden 21-day lockdown in India to stop the spread of the coronavirus has thrown the lives of millions of children into chaos. Tens of thousands are asking for help, while thousands are going to bed hungry because the country shuts down to fight with the pandemic. Sanjay Gupta, director of Chetna (a Delhi-based charity) works with child laborers and street children. He says there are millions of homeless children who live in cities, on streets, or in unsafe places, and they are seriously affected by the lockdown.

"During the lockdown, everyone has been told to stay home. But what about the street children? Where do they go?" he asks. They look for their means of survival. A boy who lives on the street says, "Sometimes people come and distribute food. I have no idea who they are, but it's very little. We only eat once in two-three days." The problem is getting much bigger. Mr. Gupta describes as there are thousands of them and we are still not reaching them.


Coronavirus: Great apes on lockdown over the threat of disease

It's not known how the virus might affect great apes like gorillas.

Great apes have been put on lockdown against the threat of coronavirus. Gorilla tourism in Africa has been delayed, while shelters for other apes, such as orangutans, have closed to the public. It's not known if great apes can contract the virus, but there are growing fears because they might be equally at risk.

Dr. Kirsten Gilardi is a chief veterinary officer for Gorilla Doctors, which provides veterinary care to gorillas in the forests of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. "We don't know if it's infected mountain gorillas; we have not seen any evidence of that," she said. "But because mountain gorillas are sensitive to human pathogens, we know that they can develop respiratory illness." Mountain gorillas are an endangered species of great ape, so all three countries have seen human cases of coronavirus, with gorilla tourism currently abandoned.


Qatar and Russia deny accusations of bribery surrounding World Cup bids

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) isn't letting up on its investigation into corruption in soccer. Its latest accusation filed in US District Court in March was made public this week. Allegations of bribes were accepted by top officials ahead of the votes that allocated Russia and Qatar as respective hosts of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups.Both countries were given host status in 2010 -- Russia ahead of a bid from England and Qatar ahead of the US.

Qatari officials strongly refuse the allegations, while Russia partly rejects that bribes were accepted. "Despite years of false claims, evidence has never been produced to demonstrate that Qatar won the right to host the FIFA World Cup 2022 unethically. There is no evidence that it violated FIFA's strict bidding rules," said Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), which oversees the planning of the 2022 World Cup. "The SC says that it strictly obeyed all rules and regulations for the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process. Any claim to the contrary is baseless and will be fiercely opposed."


Yemen war: Coalition ceasefire to help fight coronavirus begins

A one-sided two-week ceasefire called by the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen has come into effect. The coalition said it wanted to support UN efforts for a political solution and help stop coronavirus spread, though no cases have been reported in Yemen. But a senior official in the rebel Houthi movement, which is battling pro-government forces supported by the coalition, called it a trap. Both sides accused one another of having launched attacks on Wednesday night.

The five-year conflict has destroyed Yemen, reportedly killed more than 100,000 people, and caused what the UN considers the world's worst humanitarian crisis.


These countries are reopening -- here's how they're doing it

People in the Czech Republic can now shop at bicycle stores, play tennis and go swimming. Austria plans to reopen smaller shops after Easter. Denmark will reopen kindergartens and schools from next week if coronavirus cases remain stable. Children in Norway will return to kindergarten a week later. These nations are the first in the West to start their way gradually out of the limits on daily life forced by governments to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Any loosening of limits will carry risk. The World Health Organization's Regional Director for Europe warned this week that the situation in Europe is still very mattering. He insisted now is not the time to relax measures. Europe remains very much at the center of the pandemic, he said Wednesday. A study published in the medical journal, The Lancet has suggested that coronavirus lockdowns across the globe should not be completely removed until a vaccine for the disease is found.


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