A new Covid variant from Brazil, thought to be highly contagious, was reported in Alaska.
The Lead: The Internet Looks Good In Neutral Colors
credit: wrbi radio
Net neutrality is back! This is a principle of Internet traffic that states that internet service providers (ISPs) must treat all websites equally when delivering them to users.
The Trump administration was not a fan of net neutrality and blocked the law by suing in federal court. The Biden administration dropped that lawsuit and the ISPs requested an injunction, meaning that they wanted net neutrality to NOT be allowed while they fought it out in court. We know, there are a lot of double negatives when talking about net neutrality. Sorry.
A judge on Tuesday declined this request, meaning California CAN enforce net neutrality now. Of course, this is just one state but it also happens to be the state with a lot of power over the web. It means that in California at least, no content can be slowed down in favor of other content. No websites can get priority access to the fast lane. We should all have equal access to the Web.
The telecom industries obviously don’t like net neutrality because they benefit from charging for better access to certain users. They released a joint statement saying that they will review this and decide on next steps but they want to take this to federal court so that there are nation-wide laws about net neutrality.
“A state-by-state approach to Internet regulation will confuse consumers and deter innovation, just as the importance of broadband for all has never been more apparent,” said the statement.
The FCC did have federal net neutrality rules but rolled them back under the Trump administration. In 2018, Democrats introduced a net neutrality bill but it was not supported. This effort is likely to have another go-round now that Democrats hold power in Washington.
Students must be tested in math and reading this year, whether they’ve been in school or not.
Last year, schools were allowed to scrap federal testing requirements because so many had closed during the pandemic. Now the U.S. Education Department says that testing for this academic year must happen. Schools must also report attendance and information about students’ online performance.
The department says that this data will be used “to address the educational inequities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.”
Woah, will this data be telling! And erratic! We have 50 states with 50 different policies and each with dozens of districts making their own decisions based on very different resources. The word “standardized” has never been more of a joke than this academic year but sure, let’s do the tests to drive that point home even more.
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Lately, snowmen have been appearing in public that are prurient in nature. For instance, one snowman was sculpted in the act of self-pleasure on a park bench. Another is of a couple in the throes of a one-sided sexual act if you get our drift. Another was of a massive penis spanning an entire vehicle.
The City of Winnipeg Complaints Department is not a state agency and has no power to investigate or prosecute anyone over this but the group is still issuing warnings to fellow residents to please knock it off.
May I See Your Covid Passport Please?
The International Air Transport Association wants airlines to use its app-based system for passengers to prove that they have had Covid vaccines. It is called the Travel Pass initiative and it allows customers to share information on an as-needed basis, rather than store it on central databases.
Air New Zealand will try this system on its Auckland to Sydney route stateliness in April and RwandAir will also give it a go in Africa for flights between Kigali and Nairobi.
Some airlines are not on board with this. Lufthansa is asking passengers to input Covid test certificates when they book flights and others are promoting an app called CommonPass from the World Economic Forum and the Commons Project.
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$65 million. That is how much the MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell says that retailer boycotts have cost his business because he aligned himself with former President Trump.
6 hours. That is how long a man swam from North Korea to South Korea to defect from the regime. He swam ashore, stashed his wetsuit and clothes, and then escaped into a drainage conduit. He was eventually picked up by South Korean authorities but presumably not sent back north.
5,000. That is how many fentanyl pills were found inside an old Glo Worm toy that parents in Arizona bought second hand. They smartly inspected the toy, found the drugs, and contacted the police before their child could accidentally OD themselves.
$5 per hour. That is how much employers in Los Angeles County will have to pay
in additional hourly pay to frontline workers who have been asked to work during the pandemic. This includes drug store and grocery store employees of companies that are publicly traded or have at least 300 employees or more than 10 employees per store.
It looks worse than it is. Mount Edna is the most active volcano in Europe, erupting often but not destructively. The last major eruption was in 1992. Experts do not expect this one to cause major damage but it sure looks daunting!
“We’ve seen worse,” said the head of the National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology.
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