Trump asks for presidential transition to Biden to begin

Joe Biden

Donald Trump says he has told his team to “do what needs to be done” to start the transition of handing power to a Joe Biden administration. In what publicly appears to be the closest President Trump has been to conceding he lost the 3 November election, Trump wrote on Twitter that he had recommended that the General Services Administration (GSA) begin the transition process “in the best interest of our Country”. …fight, and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending…

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Janet Yellen is a serial breaker of the glass ceiling

janet yellen

Janet Yellen, who was the first female Chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018, will be appointed the first female Treasury Secretary by US President-elect Joe Biden. The 74-year-old has a long history of working in Washington. Before then-US-President Barack Obama named her to lead the Federal Reserve in 2014, she had served as one of its board members for a decade, including four years as Vice Chair. Yellen, who would become only the second person to head both the Federal Reserve and the Treasury, has spent decades…

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Oxford University vaccine 70% efficient yet better


The coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and manufactured by UK pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca had an average efficacy of 70% in protecting against COVID-19 infection in trials, compared to the 90% efficacy announced by US drug company Moderna and the joint collaboration between Pfizer and German counterpart BioNTech. Today we announced high-level results from the AstraZeneca @UniofOxford #COVID19 vaccine clinical trials. — AstraZeneca (@AstraZeneca) November 23, 2020 Yet, it is being hailed as better than the more effective coronavirus vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. Why?…

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The flexible workplace is here to stay


When the confirmed cases of COVID-19 begin to fall with the advent of vaccines – the Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed Chief Advisor Dr Moncef Slaoui told CNN on Sunday that the first doses would be delivered to Americans on 11 December – the issue of returning to work will become a hot topic. Microsoft is thinking ahead. “Moving forward, it is our goal to offer as much flexibility as possible to support individual workstyles, while balancing business needs and ensuring we live our culture,” Kathleen Hogan, Microsoft’s Executive Vice…

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The QR code is booming in the time of COVID

QR Code

The QR code is back with a vengeance in this time of the coronavirus pandemic. The two-dimensional barcode was designed by Masahiro Hara from the Japanese automotive components company Denso Wave for the motor industry in 1994. Its purpose was to allow high-speed component scanning. However, the codes soon became used in a much broader context, including in both commercial tracking applications and convenience-oriented applications aimed at mobile-phone users (termed mobile tagging). A QR code uses four standardised encoding modes (numeric, alphanumeric, byte/binary, and kanji) to store data efficiently. When…

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Elephant calf rescued after being trapped down deep well


A young elephant has been rescued after being trapped for 12 hours down a 50-foot (15-metre) dried up well in southern India. The elephant, weighing approximately three tons, looking for food had wandered into the village of Dharmapuri in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu from a nearby forest when it fell into the well, which an official for the Indian Forest Service estimated to be about 50-feet deep. The well did not have a barrier and had been obscured by bushes, Reuters reported. A sub-adult elephant fell into a…

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China to fly to Moon for rock samples


China expects to launch an unmanned spacecraft to the Moon this week to bring back lunar rocks in the first attempt by any nation to retrieve samples from Earth’s natural satellite since the 70s. This is just a step towards the China National Space Administration establishing a robotic base station on the Moon for unmanned experiments in the south polar region within the decade. In January 2019, China National Space Administration’s Chang’e-4 probe touched down on the far side of the Moon, the first by any nation’s space probe. Now…

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Carol Schwartz AO awarded Australia’s highest philanthropic honour


Trawalla Foundation Co-Founder Carol Schwartz AO has been awarded Australia’s highest philanthropic honour, Leading Philanthropist, at the 2020 Australian Philanthropy Awards, in recognition of her lifelong contribution to the sector and her insights into giving, community, leadership and gender. Schwartz was presented with the Leading Philanthropist award in a virtual ceremony on Tuesday, and was praised for her work strengthening gender equality and promoting women in leadership roles. Philanthropy Australia CEO Sarah Davies said Schwartz has made an incredible contribution through strategic, innovative and forward-thinking philanthropy. “Carol has spent her…

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New Kids on the Block singer leaves waitress $2020 tip

donnie wahlberg

New Kids on the Block Co-Founder Donnie Wahlberg has continued the #2020tipchallenge, leaving a very generous tip for a waitress at a cafe he frequents. Wahlberg, who stars as Danny Reagan in the drama series Blue Bloods, added a US$2020 tip to his US$35.27 lunch bill at Marshland Restaurants & Bakeries in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The restaurant shared an image of the bill on Instagram: “A very special thank you to our friend @donniewahlberg!” the post read. “When asked about it all he said was ‘who’s up next?!’”   View this…

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BuzzFeed acquires HuffPost in new strategic partnership


Verizon Media and BuzzFeed announced on Thursday a new strategic partnership across content and advertising, which involves the acquisition of HuffPost by BuzzFeed in an all-stock deal and an investment that makes Verizon Media a minority shareholder in BuzzFeed. As BuzzFeed’s press release states, the agreement brings HuffPost full circle, since BuzzFeed Co-Founder and CEO Jonah Peretti was also one of the founders – along with Andrew Breitbart, Arianna Huffington and Kenneth Lerer – of what was originally known as The Huffington Post. “I have vivid memories of growing HuffPost…

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