Minneapolis schools face challenging financial future, projections show

Minneapolis Public Schools is again facing a troubling, yet familiar, prediction about the district’s finances: The budget will remain burdened by falling enrollment and revenue that can’t keep pace with operating costs.

The rollout of the controversial district redesign, combined with concerns over distance learning during the pandemic, have exacerbated the decline in enrollment — a pattern that five-year projections show will continue over the next few years. Assuming the plan is fully implemented, enrollment may start ticking back up by the 2025-2026 school year, district officials said.

“Our analysis finds that, regardless of whether the [redesign] succeeds, the district is burdened by an unsustainable fiscal structure,” read the report, which will be presented to the school board Tuesday.

The board will also consider the certification of the 2021 property tax levy at its Tuesday meeting. The recommended levy of $224 million, down about 3.8% from 2020, is the maximum

Read More

Obama, Bush, Clinton Would Take Coronavirus Vaccine on Camera to Show Safety | Health News

Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have all said they are willing to take the new coronavirus vaccine when available, possibly even doing so on TV to show that the vaccine is safe.

Obama said on an episode of SiriusXM’s “The Joe Madison Show” airing Thursday that he will take a COVID-19 vaccine whenever it becomes available to him.

“I promise you that when it’s been made for people who are less at risk, I will be taking it,” Obama said in audio that was released on YouTube. “I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people know that I trust this science. What I don’t trust is getting COVID.”

Cartoons on the Coronavirus

Bush’s chief of staff on Wednesday confirmed to CNN that the former president reached out to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of

Read More

Many Americans Ignored Thanksgiving Travel Warnings From CDC, Data Show : Coronavirus Updates : NPR

More Americans stayed home for Thanksgiving this year compared with last year — but by relatively small margins.

An NPR analysis of mobile phone location data showed that 42% of Americans with smartphones remained home, up from 36% last year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention repeatedly urged people to avoid holiday travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the warnings, 13% of Americans still traveled a significant distance, the data showed, although that number was down from 17% last year.

Ali Mokdad, from the University of Washington, said that ideally, more people would have stayed home given the high case rates. “This level of travel will unfortunately lead to a rise in cases,” said Mokdad, who is the chief strategy officer for Population Health.

Data, provided to NPR by SafeGraph, are based on tracking the locations of about 18 million mobile phones across the United States. NPR analyzed

Read More

Former US presidents Obama, Clinton, and Bush say they are willing to take their COVID-19 shots on camera to show the vaccine is safe



a man holding a baseball bat: Former President Barack Obama. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters


© Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
Former President Barack Obama. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

  • Former US presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton said they are willing to film their COVID-19 vaccinations to build public confidence in the shot’s safety and effectiveness.
  • Obama said in an interview scheduled Thursday: “I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people know that I trust this science, and what I don’t trust is getting COVID.”
  • Clinton’s press secretary told CNN he will take it publicly “if it will help urge all Americans to do the same.”
  • Bush has contacted Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, two of the US’ leading physicians, to see how he can encourage American to get vaccinated, his chief of staff said.
  • Their comments come after polls suggest many Americans are wary about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Read More

New approach to show how ghost-like neutrinos helped shape the Universe — ScienceDaily

Computer simulations have struggled to capture the impact of elusive particles called neutrinos on the formation and growth of the large-scale structure of the Universe. But now, a research team from Japan has developed a method that overcomes this hurdle.

In a study published this month in The Astrophysical Journal, researchers led by the University of Tsukuba present simulations that accurately depict the role of neutrinos in the evolution of the Universe.

Why are these simulations important? One key reason is that they can set constraints on a currently unknown quantity: the neutrino mass. If this quantity is set to a particular value in the simulations and the simulation results differ from observations, that value can be ruled out. However, the constraints can be trusted only if the simulations are accurate, which was not guaranteed in previous work. The team behind this latest research aimed to address this limitation.

“Earlier

Read More

Varjo’s New VR and XR Headsets Show Us a Glimpse Into the Future of Mixed Reality





© Image: Varjo


Consumer mixed-reality headsets have come a long way since the first Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, thanks to higher-resolution displays, faster refresh rates, improved motion-tracking, and more. However, enterprise-level headsets have arguably made even bigger strides, and with its new third-gen VR and XR HMDs, Varjo could be giving us regular folks a peek at the kinds of upgrades we can expect to see trickle down to consumer VR in the next couple years.

Loading...

Load Error

Available starting today, Varjo’s new VR-3 and XR-3 have a

Read More

Facebook to show ‘authoritative’ info on Covid-19 vaccines

Facebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill April 11, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Yasin Ozturk | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday said the social media company plans to provide users with authoritative information about the Covid-19 vaccines that are in development.

Facebook has already reached out to the incoming Biden administration to help with the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Zuckerberg said.

“There’ll be a few important things that we can do together,” he said. “We’re already planning a push around authoritative information about the vaccines.”

Zuckerberg did not provide any additional information about how the company plans to distribute this information to users. The company also did not add anything when reached for comment.

Although Zuckerberg in May said social media companies should not be the

Read More

Virus induced lymphocytes show promise for COVID-19 and future pandemics

Researchers in the United States have conducted a study demonstrating the potential of a novel therapeutic approach to treating coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The therapy augments the body’s T cell response to the causative agent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by providing a boost of rapidly expanded virus-specific T cells.

Tom Henley from Intima Bioscience and colleagues from Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, and Weill Cornell Medicine say these booster cells with enriched antigen-specificity may provide a pragmatic treatment for use in large-scale therapeutic settings.

“We demonstrate a novel technology platform for the robust and rapid expansion of virus-specific T cells as a potential cell therapy for COVID-19 and other viral pathogens,” writes the team.

Henley and colleagues say they will explore a timely regulatory path to assessing the technology in a phase I/II trial of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, should the urgent need for treatments

Read More

Taiwan and New Zealand show business travel’s future

They handed out the New Zealand CIO Awards in Auckland’s Civic Theatre last week. For those of us locked down in the northern hemisphere, the photos come from a glittering world. There are 650 people crowded into the pre-event drinks, leaning in to make themselves heard. A few are posing arm in arm. Astonishingly, someone is reaching for a canapé from a proffered tray. There are no masks.

This may be a view of our past, but perhaps also our future, when we, like New Zealand, have controlled the virus. The country has suffered 25 Covid-19 deaths. Life has a normality denied to much of the world. What can it teach us about business travel post-Coronavirus? Was Bill Gates right when he said business travel would be down 50 per cent on its pre-pandemic level?

I became interested in travel patterns in largely coronavirus-free countries when I spoke to Steven

Read More

Black Friday Amazon Echo deals 2020: Echo Dot, Ring Video Doorbell, Echo Show, Fire tablets and more

This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.

Besides Prime Day, Black Friday is the best time of year to buy an Amazon device. And even though Friday has come and gone, deals continue to be available over the weekend. Everything in the Amazon hardware family — Kindle readers, Echo Show devices, Fire tablets, Ring doorbells, Echo speakers and Fire TV streamers, for instance — is at or near its lowest price of the year. In fact, many of the products are so popular that some shipping times are currently slipping to late December. Most of these prices will stretch through Monday, but it’s not clear if or when we’ll see them again after that. However, between now and the end of the year, we don’t expect the prices

Read More