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Archive for June 7th, 2020

Leaked ‘Dead Island 2’ copy shows the zombie game that might have been – Engadget

June 7th, 2020

Obamas, celebrities voice support for George Floyd demonstrators in virtual graduation message – Fox News

June 7th, 2020

Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama headlined a star-studded line-up of celebrities who paid tribute to the class of 2020 in a virtual display, as well as saluting young protesters and activists nationwide amid unrest over the death of George Floyd in police custody.

Due to the coronavirus, high schools and colleges have looked to alternative methods of graduation to celebrate the end of an academic journey for seniors. That’s where celebrities and politicians have come in, including the Obamas, who appeared together in a video recorded in their home as part of the YouTube-organized effort.

“Today is the culmination of a long journey,” the former president said. “Just as you were rounding the final turn, the world threw a pandemic your way. … That’s a lot to ask of anybody, but despite all that, here you are.”

However, Michelle Obama returned later in the stream to address the protests, issuing a call for the students to encourage their peers to vote and learn more about local elections.

FOX NEWS HOSTS OFFER ADVICE TO 2020 GRADUATING CLASS: ‘A YEAR UNLIKE ANY OTHER’

“What’s happening right now is the direct result of decades of unaddressed prejudice and inequality,” she said. “For too many people in this country, no matter how hard they work, there are structural barriers for them that just make the road longer and rockier.”

She continued, “Not only can you do better than those who came before you, but you will.”

The likes of Alicia Keys and Beyoncé added their own words of encouragement, telling the students that “change starts with you.”

“You have arrived here in the middle of a global crisis, a racial pandemic and worldwide expression of outrage at the senseless killing of yet another unarmed black human being, and you still made it,” Beyoncé said. “Thank you for using your collective voice in letting the world know that Black Lives Matter.”

LEBRON JAMES TO HOST TELEVISED ‘GRADUATE TOGETHER’ CEREMONY CELEBRATING CLASS OF 2020

Other notable political guests included former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former first daughter Jenna Bush. Rie addressed the “challenging, sometimes tragic, unprecedented times.”

“My plea to you: Don’t let anyone you tell you that you can’t be passionate about something because of the color of your skin, or your gender, or circumstances from which you came,” she continued. “It is your passion, work for it, embrace it, and it will pay dividends in life.”

Former President Obama closed out the ceremony, telling the students that they made him “optimistic about our future” because “we are a nation founded on protest.”

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“America changed, has always changed, because young people dared to hope,” Obama continued.

“Congratulations Class of 2020. Make it mean something, and keep making us proud.”

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44 Test Positive for Coronavirus at Arlington Assisted-Living Facility – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

June 7th, 2020

At an Arlington assisted-living facility, 44 residents and staff have tested positive for the coronavirus since Tuesday, officials said Sunday as the county reported 77 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths.

The Arlington Fire Department’s COVID-19 Strike Team tested all employees and residents at the Meadowbrook Memory Care Community this week after learning an employee had tested positive the week before.

A total of 30 residents and 14 employees tested positive for the coronavirus and 59 were negative. Nine tests were pending, Arlington Fire Department Lt. Richard Fegan said.

While they were at the facility, the strike team handed out personal protective equipment and implemented infection control measures.

The city’s public health authority is working with Tarrant County Public Health and the state on an operations sustainment plan for the facility, where three residents have died in recent days.

COVID-19 is not likely to be the factor in two of the deaths, Fegan said.

“We appreciate the joint effort between TCPH Local Health Authority Dr. Catherine Colquitt and City of Arlington Health Authority Dr. Cynthia Simmons to review infection control measures at this facility and help control this outbreak,” said Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja in a written statement. “We deeply regret the loss of life, and we extend our condolences to their families,” he said.

Tarrant County Public Health also announced two deaths and 77 additional cases of the coronavirus in the county on Sunday.

The deaths included a Fort Worth man in his 60s and a Benbrook woman in her 70s. Both had underlying health conditions.

New cases were reported in Arlington, Bedford, Euless, Everman, Fort Worth, Haltom City, Mansfield and Sansom Park. Three cases have not been assigned a city.

Tarrant County has had a total of 6,150 cases of the coronavirus, including 178 deaths and 2,692 recoveries.


*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.

**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.


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Elon Musk says Starship is SpaceX’s ‘top priority’ from now on – Engadget

June 7th, 2020

Apple Confirms Serious New Problem For iPhone Users – Forbes

June 7th, 2020

Two anti-racism protests unfolded in Montreal on Sunday – CTV News Montreal

June 7th, 2020

MONTREAL — For the second Sunday in a row, thousands of protesters snaked through downtown Montreal today, marching against racism and police violence.

This weekend’s protest, however, had some differences from last week’s. For one thing, it appeared to be bigger, and it was attended by some prominent Quebec politicians and other high-profile people.

It was also quieter than last weekend’s, which ended in tear-gassing, then looting and arrests. Today’s event began at about 10 a.m. and continued relatively quietly for eight hours. 

Organizers declared their involvement officially over in mid-afternoon. A smaller group continued marching, and police unleashed tear gas for the first time around 6 p.m. before dispersing the last group of roughly 150 people by 6:45.

This week’s protest was also just one of several happening simultaneously—a very different kind of event was also held in NDG, alongside others across Quebec. A parallel gathering took place at the Place de la Gare de Sherbrooke and in Quebec City, opposite the National Assembly. 

Events were held Saturday in several Canadian cities including Toronto, St. John’s and London, Ont.

These rallies, like countless others across the U.S., were sparked by the release of a video on May 25 showing a white Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of a Black man, George Floyd, for nearly nine minutes.

Floyd fell still and died, the officer’s knee still on him.

MARCHING DOWNTOWN

In Montreal, demonstrators gathered by the hundreds at Place Émilie-Gamelin at 10 a.m. before setting off for Dorchester Square. 

Quebec Liberal leader Dominique Anglade was at the protest, as was the Federal Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, Melanie Joly.

At the gathering point, organizers took the floor to underline “the plurality of their views” and, by the same token, their approaches.

One speaker criticized Premier François Legault for advancing a wrong definition of systemic racism. 

Legault said this week that that systemic discrimination does not exist in Quebec because racist people in the province are a “small minority.”

“We have this discussion quite often,” he said. “Discrimination exists in Quebec, but there is no systemic discrimination; there is no system of discrimination in Quebec.”

Legault’s statement drew an immediate rebuke from the official opposition, which said systemic racism is not as Legault described it, and it is a problem here.

“Of course it is,” said Quebec Liberal leader Dominique Anglade. “We’ve been saying this for a long time. People have been talking about this since the 1980s.”

One volunteer with the movement said Legault’s comments also inspired her to want to set the record straight. 

“People say that it’s only in the States,” said Alyssa Tramoris. “But it’s here too. Even if we don’t see it… Racism is still present here, it’s still systemic even if Mr. Legault says that it’s not.”

Trey Rutherford, left guard for the Alouettes, was also at the march. He said he was “trying get some justice for George Floyd, trying to incite some change. I think the world really needs that right now. That’s why we’re here.”

Some protesters said that being at the demonstration felt like a way of taking the streets back.

“I’m here to support George Floyd and his family,” said Tchuilen Ngatcha Willy, a protester. “I don’t want to be the next one.”

“When I’m walking the street, I’m constantly feeling this kind of fear,” said David Dessalines. 

POLICE PRESENCE MUTED DURING THE DAY

For most of the day, the police presence was muted: many officers in riot gear were nearby but they stayed off the demonstration route. 

After staying mostly in the background on Sunday, just before 6 p.m., police began to warn protesters to follow all laws and said they were beginning to see unlawful conduct, though they didn’t specify what that conduct was.

The final group of protesters were herded by police at an on-ramp to the Ville-Marie Expressway, were tear-gassed, and were then pursued on foot throughout the Old Port before scattering before 7 p.m.

Montreal’s police chief Sylvain Caron had an offer to attend the Sunday rally rescinded on Saturday after organizers explained some participants and groups were opposed to his presence.

The force said on its social media page it respected the decision and noted officers would be present to keep tabs on the march.

Police praised the “order and respect” demonstrated by thousands who previously marched to express their indignation over Floyd’s death.

But on Ste-Catherine Street in the city’s downtown core, many merchants boarded up their windows as a preventative measure. 

By the end of the march on Sunday, there appeared to be very little obvious property damage, with only one mailbox that had been knocked over.

Following the peaceful rally one week ago, looters and vandals got into confrontations with police, with thefts and damage including some store windows smashed.

Montreal police have said they considered the vandalism last week a separate matter by people who took advantage of the protest to commit crimes.

On Saturday, they published the photos of people caught on store cameras in the midst of the looting in an effort to make arrests.

A MOMENT OF SILENCE IN NDG

As the protests wound their way downtown, a few kilometres west, a different kind of demonstration was unfolding.

Hundreds gathered in Loyola Park to fight back with silence: they kneeled and prayed about how to fight discrimination close to home.

“I really wanted to do something where we could take a minute to just calm down, be zen for a second, listen to our inner voice, reflect on what’s really happening around us and how we can make a difference,” said Denburk Reid, the director of Montreal Community Cares.

Organizers wanted to offer a calmer, safer alternative to the downtown march. They simply asked them to kneel en masse, think and pray about what they personally can do to create a more equitable world.

The kneel-in was also a tribute to George Floyd. Several protests in U.S. cities have seen big groups kneeling together for eight minutes, to represent the amount of time former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck before he died.

Chauvin has now been fired and charged with murder.

“It’s a way of showing what he went through,” said Reid.

“We’re not going to kneel for eight minutes because that’s eight minutes the police officer was on his neck,” he said. 

“But we’re going to kneel to remember, and we’re going kneel in a silent form of protest… like [NFL player Colin] Kaepernick did when the anthem was going on.” 

The NDG vigil drew mostly families, and the parents who attended said they were happy to have a safer way to come together for social justice. 

“I think it’s a great organization, a great setting to practice social distancing, and you know, everyone will feel safe and comfortable,” said one attendee. “I feel very comfortable here with my family.”

Another said the residents “just feel very happy that we have the opportunity to take a stand without worrying about safety… it’s something we’ve always wanted to do and we’re happy to do it.”

Though the event happened outside of the downtown core, organizers plan to send pictures of the event to Montreal City Hall to show how many residents showed up.

With files from The Canadian Press.

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Apple gets a patent for taking group selfies while you’re socially distant – Engadget

June 7th, 2020

Some covid-19 patients taken off ventilators are taking days or even weeks to wake up – The Washington Post

June 7th, 2020

“Her brain MRI was normal, which was great, but then the question became: What’s going on?”

That question is baffling neurologists and rehabilitation physicians treating patients with severe covid-19 cases. A significant number of those who have spent long periods on ventilators are taking days or weeks — rather than hours — to awaken from medically induced comas.

When they do regain consciousness, many face the need for months of cognitive and physical rehabilitation, and some might never return to their previous level of functioning.

“Some of these patients, we wean them down off sedation, take the breathing tube out and right away they give us a thumbs up, or a few words,” said Nicholas Schiff, a neurologist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York who specializes in treating disorders of consciousness. “But there are others who are still not following commands and still not expressing themselves weeks later.”

The incidence of these cases of prolonged recovery is still unknown, Schiff said. But, he added, “Everybody I know in this field, around the country and around the world, are seeing these patients. I personally have observed, and have had cases referred to me, of people with eyes-closed coma for two to three weeks. It’s a big deal.”

The severity of their neurological effects can range from “mental fog,” fatigue or mild memory lapses, to severe dysfunction requiring lengthy rehabilitation, according to an April 28 paper in the journal Neurocritical Care.

“The magnitude of the covid-19 pandemic will result in substantial neurological disease,” the paper stated. “The sheer volume of those suffering critical illness is likely to result in an increased burden of long-term cognitive impairment.”

Another recent paper, from Wuhan, China, described how 13 of 88 patients hospitalized with severe acute respiratory syndrome, or 14.8 percent, experienced “impaired consciousness” after being removed from ventilators.

Schiff pointed to the case of Broadway actor Nick Cordero, 41, who was placed on a ventilator April 1 while hospitalized with covid-19, but who did not awaken when sedation was withdrawn two weeks later. As days turned into weeks, and a clot required amputation of his left leg, supporters of Cordero and his wife, Amanda Kloots, began using the social media hashtag #WakeUpNick. Kloots finally reported on Instagram on May 12, “He is awake. It’s just that Nick is so weak right now, that even opening his eyes, closing his eyes, takes like all of his energy.” Even since then, she has reported that he has continued to suffer setbacks.

Physicians offer different theories for the prolonged recoveries.

“Just the fact that they get into acute respiratory distress syndrome, you know there’s going to be a significant number of people who are going to have some cognitive impairment,” said Walter Koroshetz, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. “The big question is what’s unique about covid-19. We don’t know the answer yet. We really need to have more precise information.”

Some of the neurological effects may be due to strokes caused by the tendency of covid-19 to promote clotting. But Schiff said many of the patients, like Pahlajani’s mother, have no sign of a stroke. Inflammation of the brain has also been seen in some covid-19 patients, he said.

Yet another cause of cognitive injury could be seen if the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes covid-19, crosses the blood-brain barrier and directly attacks neural tissue. A single case report of such a finding was published on April 21 in the Journal of Medical Virology. “The evidence of virus in frontal lobe sections,” the paper concluded, “provides an alternative explanation for the behavioral changes seen during this patient’s hospital course.”

Emery Brown, a professor of medical engineering and neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, compared the cognitive effects of covid-19 to those seen after major surgery, when patients are placed under deep sedation.

“It fits into a scenario of an exaggerated version of postoperative cognitive dysfunction,” Brown said.

Lowering the dosages of sedatives while patients are receiving mechanical ventilation, he said, might quicken the pace of their recovery afterward.

Schiff, however, said he is convinced that the slow cognitive recovery of some covid-19 patients reflects something beyond their sedation time.

“This is new,” he said. “We certainly know that people on prolonged sedation can take a long time to wake up. But 12 days after sedation is ended? That’s not typical.”

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is preparing to launch a database for doctors to submit neurological information on their covid-19 patients and has issued an urgent “notice of special interest” seeking grant applications, Koroshetz said. A collaborative study is also underway among neurologists and anesthesiologists at Massachusetts General, Columbia University Medical Center and Weill Cornell.

“This is a profound problem for which there are fundamental gaps in our knowledge,” said Brian Edlow, a critical care neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “It could affect many, many people.”

The “sheer numbers happening all at once” will pose a significant challenge to neurological rehabilitation units, he said.

Joseph Giacino, director of rehabilitation neuropsychology at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, said he is preparing for a “major influx” of covid-19 patients. “We are starting to admit them now to inpatient rehabilitation,” he said.

Even if the long-term cognitive effects are no worse than for other severe illnesses requiring care in the intensive care unit, the results could be significant. A 2013 study in the New England Journal of Medicine of adults with respiratory failure or shock in the ICU setting found that 12 months later, 34 percent had symptoms equivalent to those typically seen in patients with moderate traumatic brain injury, while 24 percent functioned as if they had mild Alzheimer’s disease.

For the most severely affected, treatment options can prove tragically elusive, Giacino said.

“Only one in five people ever make their way to an inpatient brain injury rehabilitation program after sustaining a severe brain injury,” he said. “Even if you are lucky enough to get in, then once you can walk and feed yourself and go to the bathroom by yourself, but cognitively you’re still impaired to the point of being acutely confused, that’s not enough for most insurers to keep you there.”

Pahlajani said she had to fight with her mother’s insurer to have her placed in a long-term acute care facility near Houston Methodist Hospital.

“They were adamant about not covering the long-term ICU,” she said. “It helps that I’m a physician in neurology.”

Only in mid-May, she said — more than a month after her mother’s sedation was stopped — did she awaken enough to understand Pahlajani’s questions during video visits.

“The alertness and comprehension has steadily improved,” Pahlajani said. “We don’t know what the trajectory will be from here, but it’s going to involve extensive rehabilitation. It could take six months to a year for her to get back on her feet.”

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Apple Patents Ability to Take Long Distance Group Selfies – MacRumors

June 7th, 2020

ADH reports 1,000+ COVID-19 cases in Washington County – KNWA

June 7th, 2020

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Washington County has reported 1,016 total COVID-19 cases on Sunday, June 7, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.

636 of those cases are active.

In the same update, the ADH also reported Benton County has 956 total positive cases.

505 of those cases are active.

No new deaths were reported on Sunday (June 7).

There are now 9,426 total coronavirus cases in the Natural State, an increase of 325 cases since Saturday.

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