Apple released a new operating system on Wednesday, iOS 13.5, which makes adjustments meant to ease use during the current pandemic — facilitating face ID unlocking while wearing a mask and fixing glitches on Facetime. It also enables support for Exposure Notification, also known as digital contact tracing, which if adopted would alert users to exposure to positive Covid-19 cases without allowing for government-controlled location and data tracking.
On Thursday, China announced it was preparing to enact a controversial national security law for Hong Kong, bypassing the territory’s own legislative process. The announcement was made ahead of the country’s annual National People's Congress meeting, which is set to start on Friday.
Amnon Ortoll-Bloch is a doctoral candidate in chemistry and chemical biology from Colima City, Colima, Mexico. After earning his bachelor’s degree at National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City, Mexico, he chose to pursue further study at Cornell due to its faculty, research opportunities, and collaborative and supportive nature.
What is your area of research and why is it important?
Festival 24, the semiannual student-run theater festival from the Cornell University Department of Performing and Media Arts, is launching online under a new title, Festival 24.0. The Festival, which is normally held at the beginning of each semester, will happen on Saturday, May 9, at 8:00 p.m. EST via Zoom to provide a performance opportunity for students while in-person theater events are suspended.
The COVID-19 virus arrived in Latin America later than Europe and the United States, but it is currently spreading across the region, with peaks expected to come later in May. Brazil, the continent’s most populous country, has the largest numbers of cases so far. This week, the country’s Senate is expected to vote on an economic package for states and cities to compensate for economic losses.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held arguments by phone on Tuesday in a case pitting the Trump administration against the House of Representatives over the latter’s power to enforce a subpoena for former White House Counsel Donald McGahn’s testimony.
Faced with a devastating and unresolved pandemic, governments worldwide are grappling with how to begin re-opening their economies, while protecting the health of their citizens. And many are looking to the smartphones in our pockets as a contact tracing tool to keep tabs on the coronavirus and limit its spread.
European Union leaders are meeting on Thursday to discuss how to power the bloc’s economic recovery and help its hardest-hit members weather the current crisis. On the agenda are various proposals to raise a recovery fund, including the option of joint ‘coronabonds’ as well as a stimulus package to address the economic damage caused by the pandemic.
Aditi Sahasrabuddhe is a doctoral student in government with a focus on international relations from Goa, India. After earning her bachelor’s degree at Edinburgh University and master’s degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science, she chose to attend Cornell due to the ability to work with faculty across fields, friendliness of those in the field of government, and available resources.
On Monday, President Trump said in a tweet that he would sign an executive order temporarily suspending immigration to the United States in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. The executive order is anticipated to include halting new green cards and work visas.
In Monday’s coronavirus press briefing, President Trump said that he has “total authority” to reopen the economy, in contrast to plans being made by governors and local officials across the country to lift restrictions.
With the coronavirus pandemic challenging the wellbeing of people and countries around the world, global financial institutions face the tremendous task of coordinating economic policies and offering relief for the most vulnerable countries. Such effort will be on display this week, as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank hold their annual spring meetings.
Earlier this week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency in major cities across the country in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Abe asked people to refrain from going outside in Tokyo and six other prefectures worst hit by coronavirus.
As part of the nation’s record $2 trillion relief bill, Congress has set aside $500 million for the CDC to develop a “public health surveillance and data collection system” meant to track the spread of coronavirus. While it’s not clear what this system will look like or how it will function, it puts Americans on a historic path towards giving up certain privacies for the benefit of public health.
On Monday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved into an intensive care unit after his coronavirus symptoms worsened. Johnson, who secured his premiership last December with a landslide victory for the Conservative Party, ran on a populist and pro-Brexit platform. As coronavirus started to spread in the country, Johnson initially opposed lockdown-type measures suggesting that a speedy spread of the virus would create “herd immunity.”
Victoria Pihl Sorensen is a doctoral student in performing and media arts with a concentration on media and feminist studies. After earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom and her master’s degree from the City University of New York Graduate Center, she chose to pursue a doctoral degree at Cornell due to its faculty and welcoming community.