• Airbnb to pay hosts $250m for COVID-19 cancellations

      Airbnb to pay hosts $250m for COVID-19 cancellations

      Airbnb said it is devoting $250m to help would-be hosts survive financial losses from refunds given to guests who cancelled travel plans due to the coronavirus pandemic. The move came as an olive branch of sorts extended to Airbnb hosts blindsided by a the home-sharing platform's decision several weeks ago to give full refunds to guests who cancelled reservations in order to stay home, as health officials and governments have urged.

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    • Scientists develop AI that can turn brain activity into text

      Scientists develop AI that can turn brain activity into text

      A decade after speech was first decoded from human brain signals, accuracy and speed remain far below that of natural speech. But now reading minds has just come a step closer to reality, after scientists have developed artificial intelligence that can translate brain activity into sentences... at least for a limited vocabulary of 250 words. Something that can help people, who have lost the ability to speak because of paralysis, to restore their speech.

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    • Eight countries ask EU to halt trucking reforms amid pandemic

      Eight countries ask EU to halt trucking reforms amid pandemic

      Eight countries have asked the EU to support road transport firms hit by the coronavirus outbreak and halt work on reforms to truck drivers’ working conditions they said would leave the vulnerable companies worse off. In a letter seen by Reuters, transport ministers of Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Cyprus, Latvia, Malta and Romania said the bloc should stand up for transport firms as it has already taken steps to help struggling airlines.

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    • Futuristic technology prints 1,000 face shield components per day

      Futuristic technology prints 1,000 face shield components per day

      A critical piece of personal protective equipment (PPE), face shields protect health care workers from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as they treat patients, but resources are becoming more and more limited. So when Northwestern researchers Chad A. Mirkin and David Walker heard about the PPE shortage in hospitals, their team sprang into action and demonstrated the ability to generate 1,000 components for face shields per day - with a single 3D printer. 

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    • Trump, Putin agree to discussions on oil prices between energy officials

      Trump, Putin agree to discussions on oil prices between energy officials

      President Donald Trump said he’s concerned oil prices have fallen too far and called Vladimir Putin on Monday to discuss Russia’s oil-price war with Saudi Arabia. The leaders, who also talked about the spread of the coronavirus, agreed to discussions on oil between energy officials in the two countries, according to the Kremlin. The White House had no immediate comment and didn’t release a summary of the call.

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    • Why the novel coronavirus became a social media nightmare

      Why the novel coronavirus became a social media nightmare

      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.

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    • Trump uses wartime act but GM says it’s already moving fast

      Trump uses wartime act but GM says it’s already moving fast

      Twelve days ago, General Motors put hundreds of workers on an urgent project to build breathing machines as hospitals and governors pleaded for more in response to the coronavirus pandemic. But President Donald Trump, claiming the company wasn’t moving fast enough, on Friday invoked the Defence Production Act, which gives the government broad authority to direct companies to meet national defence needs.

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