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Remote learning poses hurdles for students with disabilities

This January 2020 photo shows Anna Mandh, left, and her mother, Darlene Gildersleeve, in Concord, N.H. (Photo: AP)At school, Rose Hayes, 8, works with a team of teachers and therapists trained to help with her genetic condition. They set goals for her reading, give her physical therapy to improve her balance and make sure she stays on track. But for the last two weeks, her only connection to school has been through a computer screen.Rose, home amid the coronavirus pandemic that has shuttered schools across the country, now watches lessons her teacher posts to YouTube. Her therapists check in via video chat. In between, she works through daily assignments.Her parents say it’s the best they can expect, but they still struggle. Rose has difficulty working on her own, so they need to stay nearby. And without the therapy equipment Rose uses at school, they have to improvise.“We’re trying to be teachers. We’re trying to be therapists. We’re a little bit of everything right now, and it’s very stressful,” said Rob Hayes, of Woonsocket, Rhode Island. He and his wife work for pharmaceutical companies and have continued working during the pandemic, trading turns staying home with Rose and their 2-year-old daughter.Across the U.S., schools and families face new challenges in maintaining instruction for students with disabilities. Teachers are exploring new ways to deliver customized lessons from afar. And while parents of all children have taken on schooling duties, those whose children have disabilities are adding therapy, hands-on lessons and behavioral management to the list.Last year, nearly 7 million U.S. students ages 3 to 18 received special education services, according to federal data. Schools are required to craft individual education plans for each one: For some, it’s mostly a matter of providing extra time on assignments; others need an array of complex services, and some have lost access to expensive technology they use at school to help them communicate.As they ad...

UN partners with Tencent to hold online conversations on its 75th anniversary

(Photo: CGTN)The United Nations and Chinese internet giant Tencent announced Monday they are partnering to hold thousands of conversations online and reach out to millions of people across the world to share their thoughts on global challenges like the coronavirus pandemic to mark the organizations 75th anniversary.As the COVID-19 outbreak impacts the entire world, international cooperation and solidarity are more critical than ever, the UN said in a statement."Their (the Tencents) dialogue tools and videoconferencing services will greatly enhance our capacity to reach out to more people across the globe," said Fabrizio Hochschild, a special adviser to the UN.The UN is calling on people around the world to engage in the conversations with the help of Tencents software and apps such as VooV Meeting, WeChat Work, and Tencent Artificial Intelligence Simultaneous Interpretation.Tencents remote work software VooV Meeting and office collaboration tool WeChat Work have been widely used by global companies like DHL and schools all over the world amid the pandemic. VooV Meeting was launched in more than 100 countries and regions. WeChat Work is offering services to 2.5 million companies and has 60 million active users."Global collaboration not only plays a vital role in human well-being and our future, but is also the key to fighting the current global pandemic. Tencent will spare no effort in providing the technical solutions to support online meetings and idea exchanges for the UN, with the aim of bringing the global village even closer together," said Martin Lau, president of Tencent.Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Chinas tech firms have leveraged online platforms and technologies to back up governments in their fight against the pandemic. They have offered services such as electronic health records, real-time data monitoring, online medical consultation, and online education.

High-tech means applied in Beijing’s isolation administration

A community worker of Laoshan Community in Beijings Shijingshan district installs a smart doorbell with monitoring function, to ensure strict enforcement of home isolation. (Photo: Global Times)With at least 150 imported infections, Beijing has decided to take strict home isolation measures with advanced technological methods.Laoshan community of Shijingshan district uses an intelligent doorbell with a monitoring function to ensure strict enforcement of home isolation.Developed by Xiaomi Technology, a palm-sized smart doorbell was installed on Hubei returnee Lus door by a community worker surnamed Liu.Liu showed reporters how the doorbell works. As soon as the environment or status of the door changes, such as someone ringing the doorbell, the door opening, or someone waling past the door, an Mijia app installed on the community workers phone will send an alarm and a six-second real-time monitoring video.Some communities in Haidian district also applied this technology for monitoring home supervision."It (the smart doorbell) was first donated by Xiaomi, and we bought some after seeing their usefulness," said Liu. "To ensure privacy, we will ask permissions of returnees from other parts of China, but overseas arrivals are forced to install the devices.""It doesnt mean we dont trust him, it is just a requirement of ensuring strict supervision," said Zhu, who said that people under home isolation must report their temperatures twice a day to community authorities by sending pictures or videos through WeChat.Also in Shijingshan district, infrared thermometers have been installed at public locations, which could test ones temperatures from two meters away.The district launched 579 digital access cards for entering communities, which use big data to administrate residents home isolation during the time of preventing COVID-19, according to the new media center of Shijingshan.

Marriott says new data breach affects 5.2 million guests

This April 20, 2011 file photo shows Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront in Portland, Ore. (Photo: AP)Marriott says guests’ names, loyalty account information and other personal details may have been accessed in the second major data breach to hit the company in less than two years.Marriott said Tuesday approximately 5.2 million guests worldwide may have been affected. The information taken may have included names, addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, loyalty information for linked companies like airlines and room preferences. Marriott said it’s still investigating but it doesn’t believe credit card information, passport numbers or driver’s license information was accessed.Marriott said it noticed an unexpected amount of guest information was accessed at the end of February using the login credentials of two employees at a franchised property. The company said it believes the activity began in mid-January.Marriott has disabled those logins and is assisting authorities in their investigation. The company didn’t say whether the employees whose logins were used were suspected.In November 2018, Marriott announced amassive data breachin which hackers accessed information on as many as 383 million guests. In that case, Marriott said unencrypted passport numbers for at least 5.25 million guests were accessed, as well as credit card information for 8.6 million guests. The affected hotel brands were operated by Starwood before it was acquired by Marriott in 2016.TheFBIled the investigation of that data theft, and investigators suspected the hackers were working on behalf of the Chinese Ministry of State Security, the rough equivalent of the CIA.Marriott said Tuesday it has informed guests of the new data breach. The Bethesda, Maryland-based company is offering affected guests free enrollment in a personal information monitoring service for up to one year.“Marriott also remains committed to further strengthening its protections to detect and remediat...

Xinjiang completes poverty alert system

A girl dressed in ethnic costumes dances at a night fair in Kashgar, Northwest ChinasXinjiangUyghur Autonomous Region. (Photo:Xinhua)Northwest Chinas Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region completed a four-level early warning system based on its big data platform to quickly spot problems in poverty alleviation work and to avoid a slide back to poverty.The system classifies residents who have been registered as "poverty-stricken" into four levels with four different colors - green, yellow, orange and red, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday.Green represents households that have more than 5,000 yuan ($705.47 ) of yearly income, have no worries about food and clothing and have access to compulsory education, basic medical services, and safe housing; yellow represents those with a yearly income of 4,500 to 5,000 yuan. Governments at different levels would help find solutions to increase their income.Working groups stationed in villages in Xinjiang give more attention to people marked with orange and red, grassroot public servants in southern Xinjiang, which have many poverty-stricken villages in the region, told the Global Times.Orange represents households that suffered from unemployment or business failures and have an annual income of 4,000 to 4,500 yuan. The county and village would give a thorough study on reasons for declining incomes and offer targeted assistance policies, including arranging employment or public welfare positions with the individuals consent, Ma Ying, an official from the poverty alleviation office of Xinjiang, was quoted by Xinhua as saying.Poverty-stricken households that have been marked with red usually face severe problems, including suffering from natural disasters or have family members with critical illness. The income of the whole family is less than 4,000 yuan, Wang Xin, head of a working team stationed in Yusitunke Ayikul village of Aksu Prefecture in Xinjiang, told the Global Times.&nb...

Digital technologies help China in fight against COVID-19

Digital technologies have been playing a significant role in helping China’s nationwide efforts to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.The medical team from the First Affiliated Hospital of the College of Medicine under Zhejiang University takes part in telemedicine sessions at the East Hospital Branch of t

School shutdowns raise stakes of digital divide for students

In this Thursday, March 26, 2020, photo, this wi-fi-enabled school bus, seen at an apartment complex in Winnsboro, S.C., is one of many being sent to rural and lower-income areas around South Carolina to help students with distance learning during the new coronavirus outbreak. (Photo: AP)Students struggling to get online in a rural South Carolina county received a boost last week with the arrival of six buses equipped with Wi-Fi, some of the hundreds the state has rolled out since schools were closed by the coronavirus outbreak.With routers mounted inside, the buses broadcast enough bandwidth in an area the size of a small parking lot for parents to drive up and children to access the internet from inside their cars. One of the buses set up outside the apartment complex of Lacheyle Moore, who had been limiting her own usage to leave enough data on her cellphone plan for her daughter’s schoolwork.“I have to put extra data on my phone to make sure her work gets done, so she can get graded for it,” said Moore, who works as a cashier and shifted her schedule to help instruct her two children.The pandemic that launched a massive, unplanned experiment with distance learning has created extraordinary hurdles for schoolchildren left behind by the digital divide. School districts and governments are now racing to give the millions of U.S. students without home internet a chance of keeping up.Nationwide,nearly 3 million students make do without home internetbecause of the high costs of service and gaps in its availability. The disadvantaged students are more likely to be students of color, from low-income families or in households with lower parental education levels.The nation’s largest school districts, including Los Angeles and New York, are spending millions of dollars to provide devices and internet connections for students. Smaller districts are finding ways to boost wireless internet in school parking lots and distribute hot spots. Still, others are stickin...

Twitter removes two Bolsonaro tweets questioning virus quarantine

Brazilian soldiers disinfect the Subway Central Station in Brasilia on March 29, 2020. (Photo: AFP)Two tweets by Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro in which he questioned quarantine measures aimed at containing the novel coronavirus were removed Sunday, on the grounds that they violated the social networks rules.The far-right leader had posted several videos in which he flouted his governments social distancing guidelines by mixing with supporters on the streets of Brasilia and urging them to keep the economy going.Two of the posts were removed and replaced with a notice explaining why they had been taken down.Twitter explained in a statement that it had recently expanded its global rules on managing content that contradicted public health information from official sources and could put people at greater risk of transmitting COVID-19.In one of the deleted videos, Bolsonaro tells a street vendor, "What I have been hearing from people is that they want to work.""What I have said from the beginning is that we are going to be careful, the over-65s stay at home," he said."We just cant stand still, there is fear because if you dont die of the disease, you starve," the vendor is seen telling Bolsonaro, who responds: "Youre not going to die!"In another video, the president calls for a "return to normality," questioning quarantine measures imposed by governors and some mayors across the giant South American country as an effective containment measure against the virus."If it continues like this, with the amount of unemployment what we will have later is a very serious problem that will take years to be resolved," he said of the isolation measures."Brazil cannot stop or well turn into Venezuela," Bolsonaro later told reporters outside his official residence.On Saturday, Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta highlighted the importance of containment as a means of figh...

Tech boom, MLB programs helping women find jobs in baseball

Chicago Cubs minor league hitting coach Rachel Folden hits infield ground balls at the Cubs spring training facility in Mesa, Ariz., Feb. 5, 2020. (Photo: AP)Rachel Folden figured something out early on during her first spring training with the Chicago Cubs — long before the coronavirus pandemic wiped out team activities.None of the players care all that much that one of their coaches is a woman. As for the girls she encounters, they care very much that one of the coaches is a woman.“I’ve had quite a few people reach out that their daughters are like glued to the television watching baseball now or their daughters know that there’s some sort of way that they can get into baseball, they don’t have to pick softball,” Folden said. “I’ve heard that from quite a few people, actually.”Major League Baseball is pushing the same message. Recognizing the importance of representation when it comes to growing the game, the commissioner’s office continues to look at ways to bring more women and minorities into the sport.The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at Central Florida gave baseball a C for gender hiring in its most recent diversity report, which was issued last April, down one point from the previous year to 70. But MLB is hoping a hiring spree over the winter is a sign that its Diversity Pipeline Program is working.Alyssa Nakken became the first female coach on a major league staff when she was named an assistant under the new San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler. Folden got a job with the Cubs as their lead hitting lab tech and fourth coach for rookie-level Mesa. Rachel Balkovec was hired as a minor league hitting coach with the New York Yankees.Veronica Alvarez worked with the Oakland Athletics during spring training for the second straight year, and Christina Whitlock was hired as a minor league coach with the St. Louis Cardinals.“I’m here for a reason,” Nakken said. “I’m here to make an impact. People are free to think what they want to think, ...

Why the novel coronavirus became a social media nightmare

False information about the novel coronavirus poses a major, life-endangering problem for social media users. (Photo: AFP)The biggest reputational risk Facebook and other social media companies had expected in 2020 was fake news surrounding the US presidential election. Be it foreign or domestic in origin, the misinformation threat seemed familiar, perhaps even manageable.The novel coronavirus, however, has opened up an entirely different problem: the life-endangering consequences of supposed cures, misleading claims, snake-oil sales pitches and conspiracy theories about the outbreak.So far, AFP has debunked almost 200 rumors and myths about the virus, but experts say stronger action from tech companies is needed to stop misinformation and the scale at which it can be spread online."Theres still a disconnect between what people think is true and what people are willing to share," Professor David Rand, a specialist in brain and cognitive sciences at the MIT Sloan School of Management, told AFP, explaining how a users bias toward content he or she thinks will be liked or shared typically dominates decision-making when online.Part of the reason is that social media algorithms are geared to appeal to someones habits and interests: the emphasis is on likability, not accuracy. Changing that would require Facebook, Twitter, and other such companies to alter what people see on screen.Prompts urging users to consider the accuracy of the content they are spreading on social networks are needed, said Rand, co-author of a study on COVID-19 misinformation that was published earlier this month.- Deadly consequences -Using controlled tests with more than 1,600 participants, the study found that false claims were shared in part simply because people failed to think about whether the content was reliable.In a second test, when people were reminded to consider the accuracy of what they are going to share, their level of truth awareness more than doubled.That ...

Hospitals turn to snorkel masks to ease respirator overload

A medical worker tests a Decathlon snorkeling mask, with a 3D-printed respiratory valve fitting attached, at the Erasme Hospital in Brussels. (Photo: AFP)As hospitals face an overload of COVID-19 patients struggling to breathe, innovative medical staff are turning to snorkel masks from sports stores to stop their lungs collapsing.The idea started in Italy, the European country worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with hospitals in other nations taking note and adding their own specific medical parts to make it work.One such is the Erasme Hospital on the outskirts of Belgiums capital Brussels. It is attached to the citys ULB university -- and through it to a private spin-off, Endo Tools Therapeutics, whose know-how in 3D printing for medical use has proved invaluable."They are to be used for patients with severe respiratory problems. The aim is to avoid having to intubate the trachea of the patient and put them on a respirator," said Frederic Bonnier, a respiratory physiotherapist at the hospital who also teaches at the university.He spearheaded the design of a custom-made valve that fits the top of full-face masks, where the snorkel is meant to go, allowing them to connect to standard BiPAP machines that feed pressurised air into masks.This helps prevent the collapse of alveoli, lung air sacs needed for the intake of oxygen into our bodies and the exhalation of carbon dioxide. Pneumonia brought on by COVID-19 inflames the lung membrane and fills those sacs with liquid.- Stop-gap solution -In the worst-case infections, patients have to be hooked up to respirators in intensive-care units.But respirators are in desperately short supply worldwide because of the sheer number of patients.The snorkeling mask solution could be a stop-gap measure for patients on the brink of intensive-care treatment but for whom no beds nor respirators are available. Hospital masks for the less-intensive BiPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure) machines are also lacking...

More Chinese enterprises resort to cloud services for better management

(Photo: VCG)Cloud computing is now gradually becoming a basic public service just like water and power supplies, and more and more traditional enterprises are embracing the booming industry.Government departments, traditional enterprises and tech firms are creating new possibilities in their cooperation over cloud computing.Cloud computing allows enterprises to move their basic information and technology infrastructure to cloud servers, so as to access computing, storage, data and application services in a more convenient manner through the internet.This method helps enterprises significantly lower production and management costs, improve the quality of products and services, and enhance their efficiency and competitiveness.At present, physical entities are facing multiple challenges such as an overall rise in costs. Cloud computing stands as a key factor for them to cope with these challenges. By moving their deployment to the cloud, they can manage data and documents with more security and efficiency, realize multifunctional and cross-regional cooperation among staff members, and allocate production, logistics, and storage resources more efficiently.“Cloud computing saved us nearly two-thirds of our investment in hardware,” said Zhu Hua, an IT expert with Anhui Konka Electronic Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Chinese electronics products manufacturer Konka Group.He told the People’s Daily that his company used to spend a lot on hardware, but now nearly 5 million yuan ($xx0,000) has been saved each year after the company moved its servers and parts of its applications to the cloud servers.Pan Shengli, chief technology officer of electric bike producer SUNRA based in Jiangsu Province, noted that the company is now moving to cloud-based services for its data warehouse, supplier management system, ordering system, store management system and marketing personnel management system. “It will lower the operational costs of the company and offer better user experiences,” he said.C...

NASA's Perseverance Mars rover to carry 10.9 mln names to Red Planet

WASHINGTON, March 29 (Xinhua) -- Up to 10,932,295 people have submitted their names to ride aboard NASAs Perseverance rover to Mars, according to a latest release of NASA.The names were stenciled by electron beam onto three fingernail-sized silicon chips, along with the essays of the 155 finalists in NASAs "Name the Rover" contest.The chips were attached to an anodized aluminum plate on NASAs Perseverance Mars rover at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 16.The plate is affixed to the center of the rovers aft crossbeam and will be visible to cameras on Perseverances mast.Scheduled to launch this summer, Perseverance will land at Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021.NASA said that the novel coronavirus has not yet impacted Perseverance launch schedule.According to NASA, the Perseverance rover will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize Mars climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth, and help pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.

NASA selects SpaceX as initial partner to deliver logistics to lunar Gateway

WASHINGTON, March 28 (Xinhua) -- NASA has selected U.S. private space company SpaceX as the first commercial provider to deliver cargo, experiments and other supplies to the agencys Gateway in lunar orbit, according to a latest NASA release.A photo of Earth taken fromthe moon (File photo)The award is a significant step forward for NASAs Artemis program that will land the first woman and next man on the moon by 2024 and build a sustainable human lunar presence, NASA announced on Friday.At the moon, NASA and its partners will gain the experience necessary to mount a historic human mission to Mars.SpaceX will deliver critical pressurized and unpressurized cargo, science experiments and supplies to the Gateway, such as sample collection materials and other items the crew may need on the Gateway and during their expeditions on the lunar surface, according to NASA."This contract award is another critical piece of our plan to return to the Moon sustainably," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "The Gateway is the cornerstone of the long-term Artemis architecture and this deep space commercial cargo capability integrates yet another American industry partner into our plans for human exploration at the Moon in preparation for a future mission to Mars."NASA is planning multiple supply missions in which the cargo spacecraft will stay at the Gateway for six to 12 months at a time, according to the release.

NASA selects SpaceX as initial partner to deliver logistics to lunar Gateway

WASHINGTON, March 28 -- NASA has selected U. private space company SpaceX as the first commercial provider to deliver cargo, experiments and other supplies to the agency's Gateway in lunar orbit, according to a latest NASA release.The award is a significant step forward for NASA's Artemis program t

China's chip giant says Olympic losses are a drop in the ocean

A worker of HC Semitek, a leading Chinese LED chip maker, produces chips at its subsidiary in Yiwu in East Chinas Zhejiang Province. (Photo: GT)Chinas second-largest LED chip maker HC Semitek says it lost a handful of orders due to the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, but that the loss was almost nothing compared to its generally good business situation amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.Most lost orders were for large LED screens at Olympic venues in Japan, said Zhou Fuyun, chairman of a HC Semitek subsidiary in Yiwu, East Chinas Zhejiang Province. One recently canceled order from a domestic screen producer was worth 5 million yuan ($707,514)."Nonetheless, these [Olympics-related] orders are not big losses to us as they only account for a very small part of our business," Zhou told the Global Times Thursday.The LED chip giant is shifting from making lamp and lantern chips to producing chips for electronic product panels like those used in smartphones and tablets, whose markets have been less hit by the virus than human-contact products.HC Semitek and Sanan Optoelectronics, another leading Chinese LED chip maker, together provide 50 percent to 60 percent of the worlds electronic product panel chips, Zhou said. "Our goal is to increase that proportion to nearly 70 percent this year."The global spread of the virus has not largely affected HC Semitek, with its current production capacity almost level with last year. Few of its major chip purchasers including South Koreas LG and Samsung have canceled orders due to the virus outbreak, Zhou said.The companys Yiwu subsidiary has even recruited some 300 employees during the pandemic, bringing its employee count to 1,500. It resumed work on February 10.Local government has offered the company millions of yuan in tax and social insurance exemptions to encourage production amid the pandemic, Zhou said.The upstream chip industry is affected by the virus later...

Coronavirus sparks foreign orders for Chinese CT systems, ventilators

(Photo: GT)As the coronavirus keeps spreading in the world, overseas orders are rising for China-made medical equipment including CT scanners and ventilators, which is expected to help Chinese pharmaceutical businesses to extend the overseas market.A private company in Shaoxing, East China’s Zhejiang Province has received orders from five countries, such as Italy, Germany, and France, for their self-developed mobile CT installation “CT Ark” that has been used in the “cabin” makeshift hospitals of Wuhan for diagnosing coronavirus infection.Italy has ordered about a dozen, said a senior management staff at CT Ark’s maker, MinFound Medical Systems Co. CT Ark is a container-type emergency CT solution, which can be used independently outside of traditional hospitals to prevent cross infection.More than 30 of the facilities have been used to help make an early diagnosis of coronavirus in Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei Province where the killing virus grabbed over 3,000 lives. The 16-slice and 3.5 x-tube CT set a record of scanning 210 people within 6 hours.As the epidemic is being brought under control in China but spread fast in foreign countries, particularly Europe and the US, orders increased from abroad, bringing rising business to companies like MinFound.“Overseas markets now account for about 20 percent of our business. It might rise to 30 to 40 percent, as foreign orders surge,” Peter Zhang, MinFound’s vice general manager, told the Global Times.Zhang said CT Ark is shipped overseas by chartered flights or the China-Europe freight train. Previously, CT Ark had been sold to countries like the US and Egypt.Li Kai, a director at ventilator maker Beijing Aeonmed Co, said the company has received orders from 35 countries and regions, including Italy and the UK, for their products.“Now, our employees are working 24/7 to produce thousands of ventilators (to complete the orders),” he told the Global Times, adding that they already e...

Online gaming booms amid lockdowns

Visitors test the official video game of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games during the Tokyo Game Show 2019 at Makuhari Messe, Japan on September 12, 2019. (Photo: IC)When two Spanish soccer players took to the controls of "FIFA 20" after the coronavirus pandemic saw their La Liga match canceled, a stadium-sized virtual audience watched online.The huge digital crowd last week is part of a spectacular boom for the digital gaming industry, as record numbers flock to online servers for distraction, entertainment, and friendship with the "real world" seemingly falling apart.Real Betis striker Borja Iglesias kicked the winning goal using his own digital likeness in the 6-5 battle against Sevilla, which was broadcast on popular video game streaming platform Twitch.It took place at the same time the original derby had been scheduled before Spains premier tournament was postponed as part of containment measures that have also seen the countrys 46 million people largely confined to their homes."We do all of this to entertain all of you so that you can be at home enjoying it, insofar as it is possible with this epidemic," the host of the broadcast told his audience of 60,000.Nearly every country around the globe has reported cases of COVID-19 infection, with frantic efforts to contain the disease prompting the near total shutdown of some of the worlds biggest cities.Online gaming has proved a welcome diversion for many people chafing at movement restrictions, the cancellation of countless public events and a relentless onslaught of news about the pandemic."It made me feel less depressed about being in a small space for a long time," said Yang An, who was made to quarantine for two weeks in China after returning to Shanghai from her hometown last month.She told AFP that she passed the time by playing for up to eight hours a day on her Nintendo Switch handheld console.Surging demandInternet providers have scrambled to shore...

Texts, not door-knocks: US Census outreach shifts amid virus

This undated photo provided by Jasmine Cho, who was supposed to lead cookie decorating activities at Census events in Pittsburgh in March and April, shows cookies she decorated with the US Census themes. (Photo: AP)In tiny Munfordville, Kentucky, the closure of the public library has cut people off from a computer used only for filling out census forms online. In Minneapolis, a concert promoting the once-a-decade count is now virtual. In Orlando, Florida, advocates called off knocking on doors in a neighborhood filled with new residents from Puerto Rico.Across the US, the coronavirus has waylaid efforts to get as many people as possible to participate in the count, which determines how much federal money goes to communities. The outbreak and subsequent orders by states and cities to stay home and avoid other people came just as the census ramped up for most Americans two weeks ago.Thousands of advocates, officials and others who spent years planning for the US government’s largest peacetime mobilization are scrambling to come up with contingency plans for pulling it off amid a pandemic.“Right now, everybody is faced with figuring out how to outreach to our communities not being face to face,” said Jennifer Chau, leader of a coalition of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander organizations in Phoenix that passed out 300 reusable boba tea cartons in January to anyone who signed a card pledging to complete their census form.Nonprofits and civic organizations leading census outreach efforts are pivoting to digital strategies. Texting campaigns, webinars, social media and phone calls are replacing door-knocking, rallies, and face-to-face conversations. But it comes at a cost: Experts say connecting with trusted community leaders in person is the best way to reach people in hard-to-count groups that may be wary of the federal government.“It’s making it exponentially more difficult to get the kind of accurate count that is needed for this census. There’s no ...

Huawei to invest $200 million this year in building computing ecosystem

Huawei Technologies Co's largest flagship store, which is undergoing renovation in Shanghai. [Photo by Wang Gang/for China Daily]. Huawei Technologies Co said on Friday it will invest $200 million this year to support third-party developers that use its computing solutions, as the Chinese tech giant

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