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Daily Archives: August 17, 2021

TSA extends into January mask rule for airline passengers

AP: “Federal officials are extending into January a requirement that people on airline flights and public transportation wear face masks, a rule intended to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Transportation Security Administration’s current order was scheduled to expire Sept. 13. An agency spokesman said Tuesday that the mandate will be extended until Jan. 18. The TSA briefed airline industry representatives on its plan Tuesday and planned to discuss it with airline unions on Wednesday. The mask rule also applies to employees on planes and public transportation.

The mask mandate has been controversial and has led to many encounters between passengers who don’t want to wear a mask and flight attendants asked to enforce the rule. The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday that airlines have reported 3,889 incidents involving unruly passengers this year, and 2,867 — or 74% — involved refusing to wear a mask…”

MIT Living Wage calculator

“What is the Living Wage Calculator? Families and individuals working in low-wage jobs make insufficient income to meet minimum standards given the local cost of living. We developed a living wage calculator to estimate the cost of living in your community or region based on typical expenses. The tool helps individuals, communities, and employers determine… Continue Reading

Investigative Tactics That Reporters Love

Global Investigative Journalism Network: “Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to interview dozens of investigative journalists about their favorite tools and techniques. In a series of stories, their tips have shown our global audience of reporters that there are scores of muckraking tactics that can help their reporting, and that effective digital tools… Continue Reading

Humanoid robots demonstrate their whole-body athletics

“Parkour is the perfect sandbox for the Atlas team at Boston Dynamics to experiment with new behaviors. In this video our humanoid robots demonstrate their whole-body athletics, maintaining its balance through a variety of rapidly changing, high-energy activities. Through jumps, balance beams, and vaults, we demonstrate how we push Atlas to its limits to discover… Continue Reading

Wide partisan divide on whether voting is a fundamental right or a privilege with responsibilities

Pew: “As political battles continue around the nation over voting access and restrictions, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that a majority of Americans (57%) say voting is “a fundamental right for every adult U.S. citizen and should not be restricted in any way.” Fewer (42%) express the view that “voting is a privilege… Continue Reading

It is time for a mask upgrade

Axios: “Experts warn it’s time to invest in higher-quality masks with a tight fit in the wake of the Delta variant, especially among the unvaccinated like children and other vulnerable populations. Why it matters: Much of the public health message has been to persuade people to wear any mask let alone which kind to buy.… Continue Reading

US mission in Afghanistan a failure: Government watchdog

Follow up to previous posting – The Afghanistan Papers A secret history of the war – see also two new reports from Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR): SIGAR released its 11th lessons learned report examining the past 20 years of the U.S. reconstruction effort in Afghanistan. After spending $145 billion trying to rebuild… Continue Reading