After months of accusations from President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the covid-19 virus originated in a laboratory in China, a WHO workforce has began discussions with scientists in Wuhan the place the outbreak was first detected. China has denied US accusations. The three-week advance mission contains two specialists in animal well being and epidemiology. A bigger workforce of Chinese language and worldwide specialists will comply with to find how the virus that causes COVID-19 jumped the species barrier from animals to people.

How Apple overtook Aramco

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Apple shares rose 10% to a file excessive on Friday after blockbuster quarterly outcomes, which helped the tech firm to overhaul Saudi Aramco and develop into the world’s most beneficial publicly listed agency

Apple might have been within the hotseat final week on the US congressional antitrust listening to, however this week it’s in putting distance of a market cap of $2 trillion, aided by the pandemic and oil worth crash. Apple shares rose 10% to a file excessive on Friday after blockbuster quarterly outcomes, which helped the tech firm to overhaul Saudi Aramco and develop into the world’s most beneficial publicly listed agency. Its inventory rose one other 2.5% on Monday within the US to $435.75, giving Apple a valuation of $1.86 trillion. Saudi Aramco is value $1.76 trillion. Earlier than the oil worth crash, it was value over $2 trillion. Regardless of the pandemic, Apple introduced income of $59.7 billion in April-June 2020, up 11% from the identical interval final 12 months. Analysts say firms declaring earnings regardless of a low-growth surroundings will proceed to achieve. Apple, in the meantime, has reportedly requested its retail retailer landlords in UK to slash hire 50% on account of covid-19.

Virus impacts 1 billion college students

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UN Chief has mentioned the pandemic has led to the most important disruption of training in historical past, with faculties closed in over 160 international locations in mid-July, and multiple billion college students affected

UN Secretary-Basic Antonio Guterres has mentioned the pandemic has led to the most important disruption of training in historical past, with faculties closed in over 160 international locations in mid-July, and multiple billion college students affected. Calling it “a generational disaster”, he mentioned at the very least 40 million youngsters have missed out on training “of their essential preschool 12 months.” A projection protecting 180 nations by Unesco reveals 23.eight million extra youngsters and youth from pre-primary college to college degree are liable to dropping out or not getting access to college subsequent 12 months on account of covid-19’s financial influence. The disaster has deepened digital, social and gender inequalities, with ladies, refugees, disabled and kids in rural areas essentially the most weak and dealing with restricted alternatives to proceed training. Earlier than the pandemic, low- and middle-income international locations confronted an training funding hole of $1.5 trillion yearly, he mentioned.

Coal’s now not scorching

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Coal’s now not scorching

International coal-fired energy capability fell for the primary time within the first half of 2020 because the pandemic has put tasks on maintain and accelerated the closing of coal crops, particularly within the US and Europe. Coal-based energy technology has fallen 2.9 GW, which can appear little because it’s simply over 0.1% of the world’s coal technology capability, however it marks a turning level within the burning of fossil gasoline to provide electrical energy, in line with International Power Monitor and Bloomberg (chart). Many international locations are shifting to cleaner power, and so mining firms wish to Asia to shore up demand, however right here too, the shift is away from coal. India’s coal imports for energy technology, as an illustration, dropped to their lowest in seven years, and producers are shopping for extra pure gasoline for electrical energy as costs fall.

Now, a flight to nowhere

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One in every of its largest carriers Eva Air is providing a flight to nowhere.

We’re all feeling the impact of not with the ability to plan holidays, however Taiwan’s making an attempt to counter it. One in every of its largest carriers Eva Air is providing a flight to nowhere. On eight August, Father’s Day in Taiwan, a aircraft adorned in Hi there Kitty livery will take off from Taipei Taoyuan Airport and return to the identical location three hours later. Passengers can get a glimpse of Guishan Island and the scenic Huadong coast. Eva Air calls it an “different journey expertise” to fulfill grounded travellers, who might be served a Michelin-starred meal and have free WiFi and inflight leisure. Economic system seats are $180 every, and enterprise $214. In July, Taipei Songshan Airport supplied a “fake to go overseas” airport tour. Folks starved of journey may examine in, undergo passport management and safety, and even board the plane. They only by no means took off. Taiwan locked down its borders in March because the pandemic started to peak.

‘Star Wars’ conjures up e-skin

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Scientists in Singapore have developed ‘digital pores and skin’ able to recreating a way of contact, which they hope will enable folks with prosthetic limbs to the touch objects in addition to really feel texture, temperature and ache

Scientists in Singapore have developed “digital pores and skin” able to recreating a way of contact, which they hope will enable folks with prosthetic limbs to the touch objects in addition to really feel texture, temperature and ache. It’s known as ACES, or Asynchronous Coded Digital Pores and skin, and is made up of 100 small sensors. The community of versatile sensors processes info very like the human nervous system however at a quicker tempo, and sends it to the mind. The analysis workforce on the Nationwide College of Singapore say the “digital pores and skin” is ready to acknowledge 20-30 textures and might learn Braille letters with greater than 90% accuracy. Folks with prosthetics usually sorely miss their misplaced sense of contact. The researchers mentioned they had been impressed by a scene from the Star Wars movie trilogy during which Luke Skywalker loses his proper hand and it’s changed by a robotic one that may expertise contact once more.

Curated by Shalini Umachandran. Have one thing to share with us? Write to us at [email protected] or tweet to @shalinimb

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