Monday, September 21, 2020

Low-income students dropping out

Higher education is facing a troubling trend amid the pandemic: Low-income students are the most likely to drop out or not enroll at all. Some 100,000 fewer high school seniors have completed financial aid applications to attend college this year, while lower-cost local institutions have seen enrollment decline, according to a National College Attainment Network analysis. The students are struggling to pay tuition and adapt to remote learning, while also contending with job losses and the public health crisis. Experts fear it could trigger a lost generation of low-income students who will face lower job and wage prospects for the rest of their lives. (The Washington Post)


A job is a job … right?

While unemployment has been a focus of the pandemic, underemployment — where a job doesn’t fulfill a worker’s skills or the number of hours they could be working — is also an issue. Not only is underemployment associated with less income, but it can affect a person’s sense of identity. While many say they’re simply grateful to be employed, experts say it’s important to keep skills up to date — but also to remember that any career anomaly in 2020 is completely understandable. (BBC)


The key to reviving urban economies

As cities scramble to resuscitate their economies amid the pandemic, small businesses owned by baby boomers are key to the U.S. comeback, according to a researcher at Florida International University. The generation owns businesses that represent at least 40% of a city’s economy and their 3.5 million enterprises employ roughly 72 million full-time workers across the country. The researcher writes that supporting small and medium businesses owned by baby boomers “can help resuscitate urban economies and help pave the way for the economic renewal.” (The Hill)


US to restrict access to TikTok, WeChat

The U.S. says it will restrict access to and prohibit business transactions on the China-owned WeChat ad TikTok apps that it says collect data on American users. Distribution and maintenance of the social apps will no longer be allowed, likely forcing Apple and Google to remove them from their libraries, although users may be able to keep using current versions. Also precluded will be mobile-funds transactions on WeChat. (United States Department of Commerce)


In a reversal, CDC now says those exposed to coronavirus should get tested

U.S. health officials dropped a controversial piece of coronavirus guidance and said anyone who has been in close contact with an infected person should get tested. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention essentially returned to its previous testing guidance, getting rid of language posted last month that said people who didn’t feel sick didn’t need to get tested. That change had set off a rash of criticism from health experts who couldn’t fathom why the nation’s top public health agency would say such a thing amid a pandemic that has been difficult to control. Health officials were evasive about why they made the change in August, and some speculated it was forced on the CDC by political appointees within the Trump administration. The CDC now says anyone who has been within six feet of a person with documented infection for at least 15 minutes should get a test. The agency called the changes a “clarification” that was needed “due to the significance of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission.” (The Los Angeles Times)



“Cuties” Isn’t the Only Netflix Program that Sexually Exploits Children

In letter to several United States Senators, the Parents Television Council highlighted evidence that Netflix has provided a platform for other content, in addition to the film Cuties, that sexually exploits children, and urged Congress to convene hearings on the entertainment industry’s “troubling trend of sexualizing children in its programming.” In recent months the Parents Television Council has been actively engaged in calling on Netflix to cease its corporate practice of graphically and grotesquely sexualizing children through its entertainment programming. The broad and bipartisan congressional condemnation of Netflix’s corporate irresponsibility is deeply gratifying. They are urging members of Congress to understand that the uproar surrounding the Netflix program “Cuties” reflects only the latest of multiple examples of its sexualization and exploitation of children. Other examples they list include:

  • The Netflix movie “Desire” included a scene that depicts a 9-year-old girl self-stimulating herself to an orgasm.
  • The original Netflix animated comedy series “Big Mouth” centers on children who are going through puberty. Episodes include a full-screen close-up of a 13-year old’s penis and testicles; a girl who talks to her vagina about her life, with the vulva, clitoris and labia shown in graphic close-up for extended periods of time; sketches of a middle school student’s bare breasts; and two 12-year olds playing a game with two high schoolers where they face each other in a competition to see who can ejaculate onto a cracker the fastest.
  • The Netflix series “Sex Education” focuses on the sex lives of high school children. The content depicts adult actors who appear to be high-school aged characters engaged in graphic sex scenes with dialog that one would expect only to find in XXX films.
  • The storyline for the Netflix movie “Baby” centers on, and glamorizes, teen prostitution.

(Parents Television Council)


Former stock trader Ross McCarty jailed for robbing banks after ‘getting boozed’ during lunchbreak

A former stock trader who drunkenly robbed Sydney, Australia banks more than four decades ago has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail. The now 71-year-old admitted to police he had a double life in which he would “get boozed at lunch time” for the hold ups in 1977 and 1978. Using a water pistol and disguises including fake moustaches and sunglasses, he wrote his demands for cash on withdrawal slips handed to tellers. He wasn’t arrested until 2018 when the case was reopened and fingerprint analysis on the notes turned up a match in the police database. District Court Judge said the thief committed the crimes as an “intelligent and educated” man in his late 20s, with both planning and purpose. She said “they were deliberate, intended and motivated by financial gain.” She sentenced the man to a total term of three-and-a-half years with a non-parole period of one year and nine months after he pleaded guilty to four robberies and another four hold ups for the sentence. (ABC Australia)


Florida man says “you got me” after getting pulled over for DUI

A 49-year-old man in Naples, Florida was arrested for driving under the influence and told the deputy “you got me,” when he got pulled over. He was caught speeding on US 41 by a Collier County sheriff’s deputy. The deputy pulled him over and walked up to his window. The deputy noticed that the driver had bloodshot and glassy eyes, and was speaking with a thick tongue. He asked the driver for his driver’s license and he fumbled around and tried to hand the deputy a piece of paper. He continued to look through his wallet and then handed the deputy a credit card. After more fumbling, the man handed the deputy his driver’s license. The driver refused to perform field sobriety tests, so the deputy placed him into handcuffs and was then transported to Naples Jail Center. The man was cited for driving under the influence and for speeding. He was clocked going 86 MPH in a 60 MPH zone. (NBC 2)


US judge blocks Postal Service changes that slowed mail

A U.S. judge blocked controversial Postal Service changes that have slowed mail nationwide, calling them “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election. The Judge in Yakima, Washington issued a nationwide preliminary injunction sought by 14 states that sued the Trump administration and the U.S. Postal Service. The states challenged the Postal Service’s so-called “leave behind” policy, where trucks have been leaving postal facilities on time regardless of whether there is more mail to load. They also sought to force the Postal Service to treat election mail as first class mail. (Associated Press)



Woman steals sex toy, uses it in store

A Florida woman stole a sex toy, then took off all her clothes and started using it while still in the store, according to the Fort Pierce Police Department. Employees at the store called police to report that 36-year-old woman had stolen a pink sex toy from a shelf, removed it from the packaging, took off her pants and began using it. Police said by the time they arrived, she was completely nude and had moved to the stock room area to continue using the item. She stopped using the item and dropped it to the ground when an officer walked in the room, according to the affidavit. Records show the value of the stolen item was $45.98. She was arrested on charges of indecent exposure and larceny. (Click Orlando)


COVID-19 emails from Nashville mayor’s office show disturbing revelation

Leaked emails between an adviser in the Nashville mayor’s office and the city health department indicate that officials were interested in concealing the number of COVID-19 cases that were traced to bars and restaurants because the number was so low. Emails between the mayor’s senior advisor and the health department reveal only a partial picture. Not only what they reveal is disturbing, but how to keep it from the public. Neither the health department nor the mayor’s office would confirm the authenticity of the emails but council one member had a Metro staff attorney inquire. The official answer in reply to the staff attorney was “I was able to get verification from the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Health that these emails are real”. Some city council members believe this is Metro Nashville orchestrating a cover up. One council member says he has been contacted by an endless stream of downtown bartenders, waitresses and restaurant owners asking why would officials not release these numbers? He added “we raised taxes 34 percent and put hundreds literally thousands of people out of work that are now worried about losing their homes, their apartments…and we did it on bogus data. That should be illegal”. (WZTV)


Man puts Bible in front of door, prays Hurricane Sally won’t flood house

 Down in Baldwin County, Alabama, Hurricane Sally left behind extensive damage. Sally really stirred up Fish River, making many homes on the brink of flooding. However, one man took it on faith that his home would be spared. “It was the next morning when the surge from the river really started to come up and in about five hours, it came up five feet and that’s when we started to have some concerns about what was happening,” he said. Eventhough he figured Hurricane Sally had done its worst, but the storm wasn’t done yet. Preparation time was over and he knew prayer would be his next line of defense. “As I was sitting there, I was like, well the Lord was able to part the Red Sea, so I took my Bible put it at the bottom, base of my door. Figured He could stop the Red Sea, if he chose to and He blessed us”, he said. Flood water came up to the top and rushed in. He said God was looking over his home because not a drop entered in. Unfortunately, his above ground pool was filled with mud, but he and his family are okay with that. “So we were just completely grateful and blessed thank you Jesus for that day,” he said. (WALA)


Pregnant women with Covid-19 who are hospitalized may be at an increased risk of giving birth prematurely

A new study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that 12.6% of live births among hospitalized women with Covid-19 in the study were preterm compared with 10% of births that were observed in the general US population in 2018. “In this study, preterm births occurred approximately three times more frequently in symptomatic pregnant women than in those who were asymptomatic,” the CDC researchers wrote in the study. The study included data on 598 hospitalized pregnant women with Covid-19 in 13 states across the US between March 1 and August 22. More than half of the women, 54.5%, were asymptomatic when they were admitted to the hospital, the data showed. Among the women who were showing symptoms, 16.2% ended up in the intensive care unit, 8.5% required invasive mechanical ventilation and two women, or 0.7%, died. No asymptomatic women needed intensive care, required mechanical ventilation or died, the study noted. Pregnancy losses occurred for 2% of all pregnancies that were completed while in the hospital and were experienced by both symptomatic and asymptomatic women, the data showed. Among the pregnancies that resulted in live births, preterm delivery was reported for 23.1% of symptomatic women compared with 8% of asymptomatic women, the data showed. Among the live births, two newborns died while in the hospital, both were born to symptomatic women who required invasive mechanical ventilation. (United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)


Monday’s Features Include:

  • Chai Day
  • Dance Day (3rd Monday)
  • Fast of Gedalya
  • International Day of Peace
  • New York Day
  • Pecan Cookie Day
  • Respect for The Aged Day (3rd Monday)
  • Surgical Technologists Day
  • World’s Alzheimer’s Day

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