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Who is Mindy Kaling: Career, movies, TV shows, book deals - Business Insider - Business Insider
"The Office" catapulted Mindy Kaling to fame and she's been the creative mind behind many shows and films, including the upcoming Legally Blonde 3.
Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider's parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.
WHO Expert Warns The Coronavirus "May Never Go Away", Even if We Find a Vaccine - ScienceAlert
"We have some perfectly effective vaccines on this planet that we have not used effectively for diseases we could eliminate and eradicate."
In November 2019, before the world had even heard of the novel coronavirus, 14 children on the Pacific island nation of Samoa were hooked up to ventilators. They were each fighting for their lives against a different, but also highly infectious viral disease: the measles. During that outbreak, 81 Samoans died, and they were all deaths that could have been prevented with a safe and effective vaccine. It's this anecdote, among so many others of people who've died because they opted not to get their recommended shots, that has the World Health Organization worried that we may never get rid of COVID-19, even if and when there is a vaccine. "I don't think anyone can predict when or if this disease will disappear," the WHO's Executive Director of Health Emergencies Mike Ryan said during a press conference on Wednesday. "We do have one great hope, if we do find a highly effective vaccine that we can distribute to everyone who needs it in the world. We may have a shot at eliminating this virus. But that vaccine will have to be available. It'll have to be highly effective. It will have to be made available to everyone, and we will have to use it." Ryan's curmudgeonly assessment came just hours after the WHO's chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan told the Financial Times that it may take "four to five" years to "control" the coronavirus, adding there is "no crystal ball" to know if things will get better or worse in this outbreak, or whether we'll be able to develop an effective vaccine at all. Even getting a vaccine on the market, Ryan agreed, is still a "massive moonshot." "This virus may never go away," he said. Without a vaccine, it could take four to five years to control the COVID-19 outbreak Nurses wearing face masks mark International Nurses Day, at Wuhan Tongji Hospital in China, May 12, 2020. China Daily via Reuters Most people in the world have not yet been exposed to COVID-19, which means the world is still in a very vulnerable spot. "The current number of people in our population who've been infected is actually relatively low," Ryan said, alluding to recent blood tests being taken around the world to look for antibodies, which so far (though the tests are still somewhat unreliable) suggest less than 10% of the world has been exposed to the coronavirus. In the absence of a vaccine, then, it could take many years for the disease to settle "into an endemic phase," Ryan said, where many people have been exposed, and it's circulating like other seasonal viruses do. In the US, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, where scientists are at work developing a COVID-19 vaccine, told members of the US Senate on Tuesday that a vaccine will certainly not be ready by the time university students head back to class this fall. "Even at the top speed we're going, we don't see a vaccine playing in the ability of individuals to get back to school this term," Fauci said. "Forgive me if I'm cynical, but we have some perfectly effective vaccines on this planet that we have not used effectively" People protesting coronavirus closures in Huntington Beach, California on May 1, 2020. Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images If a vaccine does become available in the years ahead, there are also plenty of political, financial, logistical, and human-scale issues to solve about how it will be distributed fairly and cheaply, and whether there will even be enough glass vials and needles to go around. "Science can come up with a vaccine," Ryan said, "but if someone's going to make it, then we've got to make enough of it that everyone can get a dose of it, and we've got to be able to deliver that, and people have got to want to take that vaccine. Every single one of those steps is fraught with challenges." Only about half (53%) of US adults aged 35-44 said definitively that "Yes, I would get vaccinated" against COVID-19, if a vaccine were to become available, according to a Morning Consult poll taken earlier this month. Likewise, the percentage of US adults who feel "very comfortable" with vaccinations is declining, and the share of people who say they're "not at all comfortable" with vaccines is on the rise, even since January, in the midst of this devastating pandemic, according to a CivicScience survey. "Forgive me if I'm cynical, but we have some perfectly effective vaccines on this planet that we have not used effectively for diseases we could eliminate and eradicate, and we haven't done it," Ryan said. "We've lacked the will, we've lacked the determination to invest in health systems to deliver that, we've lacked the capacity to sustain primary health care, at the front end." Loading Something is loading.
China renews lockdowns after coronavirus reported in Wuhan and Shulan - Business Insider - Business Insider
China reported 17 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the second day in a row new cases were in the double digits.
Two new clusters of coronavirus cases in China have been reported hundreds of miles apart, sparking fears of another large-scale outbreak. On Sunday, the country's National Health Commission reported 17 new coronavirus diagnoses, the highest number in almost two weeks, and the second day in a row new cases were in the double digits, Reuters reported. Fourteen cases were in Shulan, a city of more than 700,000 near the Russian and North Korean borders. They were all traced to a 45-year-old woman working at a police laundry department with no history of recent travel or contact with an infected person. The government has reclassified Shulan as a high-risk region, the only city in China with that classification. Authorities have closed public spaces, with residents told to stay home unless there were "unusual circumstances." "We're now in a 'wartime' mode," Shulan Mayor Jin Hua said on Monday, adding that the city would be in lockdown until the end of May and testing for residents would increase. In addition, anyone who returned from abroad also would be tested. People wearing face masks buy vegetables at a street market in Wuhan, April 6, 2020. Aly Song/Reuters Hundreds of miles away in Wuhan, the original epicenter for the novel coronavirus, six new cases were reported over the weekend, according to ABC News. All of them were in Sanmin, a district of about 5,000 people. Five were reported on Sunday, the highest number of new infections since March 11. Zhang Yuxin, the local Communist Party secretary, was fired over his "poor control of the disease," according to the South China Morning Post. Residents in Sanmin will reportedly remain in lockdown until they're tested, and anyone who does not have the coronavirus will be allowed to return to work. Wuhan has been the hardest hit by the virus in China. As of May 11, the city of some 11 million reported 50,334 cases and at least 3,869 deaths, Business Insider reported. But after numbers began to decline, city officials began easing lockdown protocols over the last few weeks. Children returned to school and residents were allowed to leave or enter the city. The new clusters have been small compared to the thousands confirmed daily in February, but China is determined to avoid another large outbreak. "We must resolutely contain the risk of a rebound," Wuhan's health authority said in a statement on Monday, Reuters reported. As of May 12, China has 84,010 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 4,637 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Loading Something is loading.
Here's how NASA engineers piloting the Mars rover are managing their work-life balance during lockdown - Business Insider
NASA technicians driving the Curiosity rover said they keep a firm line between work and home life during lockdown.
Life during lockdown has meant millions of people having to adapt to their home and work lives colliding. But what's that like when your work involves driving a nuclear-powered robot on the surface of Mars? Business Insider spoke to two of the NASA technicians currently piloting the Mars Curiosity rover from home. It's a delicate operation that takes careful planning between a team of roughly 75 NASA engineers and scientists. Even while working remotely, the team was able to rig up their home workstations well enough that the rover has already completed a successful drilling operation while its human operators are in lockdown. Despite doing the most otherworldly job imaginable, the Curiosity rovers are having to contend with familiar stresses of lockdown working life. They told Business Insider their personal tips and tricks for staying focused and healthy as they work from home. Get comfy Matt Gildner is the planning team lead for the rover, which means he directs a team of about 20 people who build the commands to send the rover to tell it where to go and what to do. Gildner's day involves staying permanently teleconferenced in to conversations using two headsets, one in each ear. A few times a day he also uses red-blue 3D glasses to examine images sent back by the rover. Matt Gildner's work-from-home station. Matt Gildner His first change to his work-from-home set-up: Get a better chair. "The first week I got here I had an old wooden bank chair that while it looked really nice next to my desk, [was] not very comfortable," said Gildner. He quickly swapped this out for a more comfortable ergonomic chair. He and his wife are also making cold-brew coffee every night, ready to go in the morning. Make sure you're seeing some kind of change Gildner's also trying to make sure he doesn't stay glued to his ergonomic chair, making it a point to get up and moving around. "It's really about just getting up and stepping away from the desk for a while," Gildner said. This could be to just go to the kitchen to get a snack or, in Gildner's case, tend to some home baking projects. Gildner has been making sourdough bread during lockdown. He assured Business Insider that this loaf's resemblance to the "Super Smash Bros" logo was pure coincidence. Matt Gildner "I was already baking some bread before this all happened, but I did kind of up my game in that area," he said. Specifically Gildner (a fan of the YouTube cooking channel "Bon Appetit") has started experimenting with overnight dough fermentation. "It's nice to go and have something new to see every morning that changed overnight, or you get to see something progress," he said. "That's an important part of mental health and this point in time — to make sure you are having something in your life that is life-changing and dynamic despite your being in the same place." He draws a parallel between this and his work on the rover. "That is one of the big draws of working a spacecraft operation, especially on Mars, is that every day we're driving to a new place and I get to look at images that no human has ever seen before. And Mars is always throwing us something new." This composite image made from a series of June 15, 2018 photos shows a self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover in the Gale Crater. NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP Keep a firm line between work time and downtime "I also tend to really shut my computer down and put my phone away for work at the end of the day, just because I want to still try to keep some good separation between work life and home life, even though they're happening in the same place right now," Gildner said. Project lead Alicia Allbaugh, who oversees the entire team of 75, also likes to draw a clear line between home and work life. She also recommends "not blending home tasks during your work time." "I try not to deviate too much from what I would've done at work. Because then it can get you distracted and you start pulling away," she said. Allbaugh also had to divvy up parts of the house with her husband, who also works at NASA. The two didn't want to work in adjacent rooms because they might hear each other's teleconferences through the walls, so Allbaugh works upstairs while her husband gets the kitchen, along with the couple's two rescue bunnies Oreo and Grayce. Allbaugh's rabbits Oreo (left) and Grayce. Alicia Allbaugh In her free time Allbaugh has been tinkering with home improvements, and finished a long-standing project of painting and varnishing some linen-closet doors. Respect other people's rhythms As manager of a large team, Allbaugh also has to be sensitive to the fact that everyone has different daily rhythms working from home, especially those with children. Sudden mutes in meetings for children talking and clocks chiming have become the norm. "We're all very empathetic for each other. I mean we find this adorable. We're not frustrated, whereas if someone came in and interrupted your meeting when you were in the conference room, you may have been like, 'What was that about?'" said Allbaugh. Keep up the social side of the office Allbaugh's team has also tried to keep social elements of their office going through virtual happy hours, and she has set up open-office tea break meetings so her team can just come in for a chat, which she thinks is important to keep up even as the lockdown drags on. "Because at first it's novel, and then it's okay — now it's a marathon," she said.
Pompeo cites 'enormous evidence' COVID-19 originated in a Chinese lab - Business Insider - Business Insider
The president and other members of his party have continued to attempt to shift blame toward China for the virus's impact on the US.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday claimed there was "enormous evidence" that COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China, though there has been so far no public evidence to support such a theory. "There's enormous evidence that that's where this began," Pompeo told ABC News' Martha Raddatz during his appearance on "This Week." "We have said from the beginning, this virus originated in Wuhan, China. We took a lot of grief for that from the outset." "But I think the whole world can see now," Pompeo added. "Remember, China has a history of infecting the world and they have a history of running sub-standard laboratories. These aren't the first times that we have had the world exposed to viruses as a result of failures from a Chinese lab." Jonna Mazet, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Davis, who has worked with and trained Wuhan Institute of Virology researchers in the past, told Business Insider's Aylin Woodward that an accidental lab leak is extremely unlikely. The WIV houses China's only Biosafety-level-4 laboratory, and Mazet said that instead of an accident at the high-security lab, it's far more likely that the virus spilled over naturally from bats, jumping to humans via an intermediary animal host. Loading Something is loading. Pompeo is not the first US official to make such a claim. At a White House press briefing on Thursday, President Donald Trump said the US was investigating the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which has studied coronaviruses that originate in bats. At that news conference, a reporter asked Trump whether he'd seen evidence that gave him a "high degree of confidence" to suggest the virus had originated in a Chinese lab. "Yes I have," Trump said, adding he was "not allowed to tell" anyone about the intelligence. Trump previously floated a similar theory on April 19, promising "consequences" if China was found to have created the novel coronavirus. Pompeo told Raddatz Sunday "the Chinese communist party has refused to cooperate with world health experts" and he could not answer whether he believed the theory that the virus was intentionally released by the Chinese government or whether he believed it to be mistakenly released during a lab accident. The president and other members of his party have continued to attempt to shift blame toward China for the virus's impact on the US, where it has so far killed at least 66,430 and infected some 1,134,673, according to data analyzed by Johns Hopkins University. US intelligence officials said there is no such evidence that the virus originated in a Wuhan lab, according to reports from the Washington Post and New York Times. Experts told the Post that while a lab accident is possible, it's not entirely likely. One US official who spoke to the Post on the condition of anonymity said officials have been briefed that China could have initially downplayed the outbreak, but they had not seen evidence that COVID-19 was the result of accidental transmission in a Chinese lab. "It's far more likely that Mother Nature is just a step ahead of us and has created a novel pathogen, now able to move quite effectively from human to human," Jason Rao, a bio-security specialist and former senior policy adviser to President Barack Obama, told the Post.
Coronavirus antibodies hard to detect, don't develop in all patients - Business Insider - Business Insider
Politicians hope to use antibody tests to help reopen countries. But the tests can be inaccurate, and some patients may not develop antibodies at all.
We all want to return to a life without the specter of COVID-19. It's what the protesters in Colorado, Wisconsin, and Michigan have demanded in their push to reopen nonessential businesses. It's the goal politicians and public-health experts have in mind when developing road maps to help states forge a safe path back to some level of normality. But such plans require far more testing than the US is now doing, even after a recent ramp-up. Experts also still want a more accurate sense of how many Americans have been infected already. For those seeking answers, antibody testing offers a tempting promise: Such tests are meant to identify whether a person already had COVID-19 — even if they never showed symptoms — and therefore is likely to have immunity. At least 140 US biotech companies are racing to develop these tests; seven have gotten emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, as has a test at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital. A scientist presenting a coronavirus antibody test in a laboratory of the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology at the InfectoGnostics research campus in Jena, Germany, on April 3. Jens Meyer/AP "Ultimately, this might help us figure out who can get the country back to normal," Florian Krammer, a virologist at Mount Sinai's Icahn School of Medicine, told Reuters in March. "People who are immune could be the first people to go back to normal life and start everything up again." But "ultimately" is a long way off. As of now, we still lack several critical pieces of information about antibodies and immunity. Scientists don't know whether everyone who has recovered from COVID-19 develops antibodies, and they don't know the extent to which those antibodies protect us from reinfection. "We expect people that are infected with COVID-19 to develop a response that has some level of protection — what we don't know right now is how strong that protection is, and if that's seen in everybody that is infected, and for how long that lasts," Maria Van Kerkhove, an expert with the World Health Organization, said at a press briefing on Monday. Plus, antibody tests aren't always accurate. Does everyone who gets the coronavirus develop antibodies? Coronavirus antibody tests, also known as serological tests, use a few drops of your blood to determine whether your body has developed proteins that fight the virus. If it has, that means you've gotten infected, recovered, and may be immune. These tests differ from the diagnostic tests that determine whether someone has an active COVID-19 infection. A health worker extracting blood from a patient to perform an antibody test for COVID-19 at the Dworska Hospital in Krakow, Poland, on April 9. Omar Marques/Getty Images Research so far indicates most patients develop antibodies: A small study from European researchers found that three coronavirus patients had antibodies less than three weeks after being infected. A March study in the journal Nature reported, similarly, that patients formed antibodies within weeks. But a recent paper found that of 175 recovered COVID-19 patients in China, 6% didn't develop any detectable antibodies. About 70% of those studied developed high levels of antibodies about 10 to 15 days after the disease's onset, while a quarter of the patients developed low levels of the neutralizing proteins. The study has yet to be peer-reviewed, however. We don't know how long antibodies confer immunity Generally, once your body has antibodies to fight off a particular disease, you can't get it again. But some types of antibodies weaken over time. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said it's unlikely that people would get the coronavirus more than once — at least within a short time period. "If this virus acts like every other virus that we know, once you get infected, get better, clear the virus, then you'll have immunity that will protect you against reinfection," Fauci recently told the "Daily Show" host Trevor Noah. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at the White House coronavirus press briefing on April 16. Alex Wong/Getty Images But scientists still aren't sure how long coronavirus antibodies last, since the virus has not been around for enough time to study long-term effects. Previous research on SARS, a closely related coronavirus, found that antibodies disappeared after two years. Some reports have already described people who appear to have recovered and then tested positive for the coronavirus again later. This was the case for a Japanese tour guide who got sick, got better, and then tested positive three weeks later. Doctors aren't sure whether she was reinfected or had not fully recovered from the first infection. The South Korean CDC also recently reported that 51 patients who recovered from the coronavirus tested negative and then positive again within a relatively short time. Some tests don't accurately sniff out antibodies Even assuming patients do develop antibodies that confer immunity, we don't yet have many foolproof ways to detect them. In the US, the FDA has granted emergency-use authorization to eight antibody tests. The agency reviews data from the test manufacturers when considering these EUAs, but the green light is still "less rigorous than securing FDA approval for a new diagnostic test," FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn told Politico. There are also plenty of tests that do not have any FDA approval. That's because the agency announced on March 16 that to afford test developers "flexibility," companies could begin distributing antibody test kits without authorization or any scientific review by the agency. Those companies are simply required to validate their own tests, warn anyone who takes them, and notify the FDA. "The FDA does not review the validation, or accuracy, data for these tests unless an EUA is submitted," the agency said in a statement. Hundreds of those unapproved tests have since flooded the market. Laboratory technicians scanning test tubes containing live samples taken from people tested for the novel coronavirus in Glasgow on April 22. Andrew Milligan/AFP/Getty Images But of course, tests that have not been vetted can yield unreliable information. Last week, two teams of California-based scientists reported the results of antibody surveys in Santa Clara County and Los Angeles County. The findings suggested that the number of infected people in the counties could be up to 85 times and 55 times the number of confirmed cases. But it turned out that the antibody tests those surveys used were not FDA-approved and had a false-positive rate nearly equal to the percentage of participants they found to have antibodies. "Literally every single one could be a false positive," Marm Kilpatrick, a disease ecologist from the University of California at Santa Cruz, told BuzzFeed News. "No one thinks all of them were, but the problem is we can't actually exclude the possibility." The concept of 'immunity passports' A Stanford medical student handling a blood sample. Ray Chavez/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News/Getty Images Even if antibody tests were perfectly accurate, and all recovered patients were confirmed to have antibodies that confer immunity, it may still be unrealistic to think recovered people would then kick-start our economy anytime soon. Several countries, including Germany and Chile, are considering issuing "immunity passports" to recovered patients that would exempt them from lockdowns and social distancing. Fauci told CNN on April 7 that there could be "merit" to the idea of immunity certificates in the US. "This is something that's being discussed," he said. A woman in New York City's midtown Manhattan on April 21. Mike Segar/Reuters But WHO experts have discouraged governments from issuing this type of "immunity" certification. At this point in the pandemic, the organization said, there is not enough evidence to indicate that recovered patients develop antibodies that guarantee protection from reinfection. "The use of such certificates may therefore increase the risks of continued transmission," the organization said in a scientific brief. What's more, WHO estimates that no more than 2% to 3% of the global population has developed coronavirus antibodies. An economy can't bounce back with just 2% to 3% of its workforce. Schools can't reopen with that small a sliver of teachers or students. So while accurate, robust, widespread antibody testing is needed, it's no silver bullet. Holly Secon and Blake Dodge contributed reporting to this story. Loading Something is loading.
Is Kanye West finally a billionaire? Forbes says yes, begrudgingly - Business Insider - Business Insider
Kanye says Yeezy, his Wyoming ranches, a $3 million car collection, and $297,000 of livestock make him worth over $3 billion; Forbes doubts that.
Kanye West is officially a billionaire, according to Forbes. The declaration was the culmination of a years-long campaign by West to get added to the magazine's annual Billionaires List, Forbes reported Friday. Forbes now says that the rapper and fashion designer is worth $1.3 billion, mostly because of his sole ownership of his brand Yeezy. West reportedly claims that he is worth $3.3 billion. Bloomberg, which seemingly reviewed the same documents provided to Forbes, acknowledged that West's accountant provided documents showing that he has more than $3 billion worth of assets, but stopped short of explicitly calling West a "billionaire." Bloomberg also wrote that Bank of America's valuation of Yeezy may no longer be accurate, as it was calculated in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the United States. The crisis sank US apparel, accessories, and footwear sales 79% percent lower in April than they were during the same time in 2019, Bloomberg reported. Bloomberg estimates that Yeezy may be faring above average, however, as it has no retail stores and relies on Adidas for logistics. According to Forbes, West's $1.3 billion net worth comes from:
- A $1.26 billion stake in athletic wear brand Yeezy, which Bank of America valued at $3 billion last year
- $17 million in cash
- $35 million in stocks
- $21 million in real estate
- $3,845,162 worth of vehicles
- $297,050 of livestock
- $53 million in debt, divided between West and his wife Kim Kardashian West
Trump says he's unsure of Kim Jong Un's condition: 'I wish him well' - Business Insider - Business Insider
President Trump bragged about his strong relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, adding he may reach out to him. "We'll see how he does."
President Donald Trump downplayed reports that North Korea's Kim Jong Un was gravely ill but added that if the regime's leader was unwell, he wished him "good luck." "These are reports that came out, and we don't know, we don't know," Trump said during a press conference on Tuesday afternoon at the White House. "I've had a very good relationship with him. I can only say this — I wish him well, because if he is in the kind of condition that the reports say ... that's a very serious condition." Kim's physical condition was questioned following unconfirmed reports that he underwent a cardiovascular procedure. According to a CNN report citing a US source with knowledge of the incident, "the US is monitoring intelligence that North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, is in grave danger after a surgery." Business Insider has not independently confirmed this report. Trump, referencing the media company that he often disparages, questioned the veracity of its reporting. "So, I just have to say to Kim Jong Un, I wish him very good luck, good luck," Trump added. "I mean they came out with very, very serious medical reports. Nobody's confirmed that. It's CNN that came out. So when CNN comes out with a report, I don't place too much credence in it." Kim, believed to be about 36 years old, was not seen publicly last Wednesday, the birthday of the country's founder, Kim Il Sung, a day normally celebrated in the country with extravagant parades. Rather than showing Kim's attendance as the North Korean government traditionally does, no such announcement was made by the state-run propaganda outlets. DailyNK, a blog that includes posts from North Korean defectors, originally claimed Kim had a medical procedure on April 12. A US State Department spokesperson told Insider that it was "aware of reports" and was "continuing to monitor the situation in North Korea." Kim's most recent public appearance was April 11, according to the country's state-run propaganda. A Chinese official dealing with North Korean affairs told Reuters that Kim is not believed to be critically ill. Trump added that he "may" reach out to Kim in the future and touted his administration's chilled relations with the regime. Denuclearization talks between the two leaders have stalled following a summit in Vietnam in 2019. At the time, Kim requested sanctions relief against his country as a precondition for a limited denuclearization goal. "If somebody else were in this position, we would have been right now at war with North Korea," Trump said. "And we're not at war with North Korea."
Facebook Gaming accelerates mobile app launch - Business Insider - Business Insider
Facebook released a new Facebook Gaming app to capitalize on the pandemic-induced uptick in live-streaming usage to take on rival platforms.
On Monday, Facebook released a new Facebook Gaming mobile app in a bid to take on rival live-streaming platforms Twitch, YouTube, and Mixer, according to the New York Times. Business Insider Intelligence The new app, which serves as an extension of the Gaming tab on the Facebook platform, caters primarily to live-streamed gameplay and is available exclusively to Android users, though iOS is expected to follow shortly. The service will also not display advertisements anywhere on the app — for now, the brand opportunity is limited to direct partnerships with streamers. Facebook has made significant strides in the past year to attract both creators and viewers to its Gaming hub: It signed various exclusivity contracts with popular streamers, rolled out a monetization program called "Level Up," and recently launched a new tournament feature to encourage more organized participation within the community. Facebook accelerated the launch of the new app to capitalize on the uptick in live-streaming usage resulting from the pandemic. Live-streaming platforms in the past month have seen an increase in usage as people are forced to stay home and are looking for novel forms of entertainment. From February to March, hours watched increased by 23% for Twitch, 14.9% for Mixer, 10.7%, for YouTube Gaming, and 3.8% for Facebook Gaming, according to Streamlabs. Facebook likely saw an opportunity to seize a greater portion of the increase in viewing by launching the new mobile app ahead of schedule — it was initially set to launch this summer. As a separate gaming-specific app, Facebook Gaming could gather more attention from streamers and viewers as a more centralized and easy-to-access location for gaming content. The mobile-centric strategy for Facebook Gaming plays to the existing habits of Facebook users, and the app introduces new features to specifically help users stream mobile games. The majority of Facebook's general user base accesses the platform primarily through mobile, and the company now aims to create a live-streaming experience that mimics that pattern. Facebook also seems to see an advantage in being focused on mobile live-streams, as Facebook's vice president of gaming told the New York Times, "We don't want to be in the background window in the Chrome tab while someone is doing their homework or doing something else. With mobile, if you have the app open and you're using the app. You can't do anything else on your mobile phone." And to further build out this mobile opportunity, the new app will include a "Go Live" feature that lets users upload streams of other mobile games on the same device in a relatively frictionless way. With Twitch being dominated primarily by desktop PC and console gaming, mobile gaming could prove to be a market niche where Facebook has a competitive advantage over incumbent players. Want to read more stories like this one? Here's how to get access:
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Coronavirus: US, Russia, China, UK to sign global truce during pandemic - Business Insider - Business Insider
Emmanuel Macron says the UK, US, and China have already agreed to a global ceasefire amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump has agreed to a global ceasefire during the coronavirus pandemic and Putin will 'definitely' sign up as well, according to the French President Emmanuel Macron. Speaking on French radio, Macron said US President Donald Trump, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Chinese premier Xi Jinping had all confirmed they would sign up to a global ceasefire. "President Xi Jinping confirmed his agreement to me," Macron told radio station RFI. "President Trump confirmed his agreement to me. Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed his agreement to me. I think President Putin will definitely agree too." France, Russia, the UK, the US, and China comprise the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, meaning support from all five members would be required for a ceasefire to be operable. President Trump is due to chair a meeting of the G7 leaders, to discuss the coronavirus crisis on Thursday. The move would represent a major act of international co-operation at a time when multilateral co-operation in other areas is weakening. Trump on Tuesday said he was cutting funding to the World Health Organisation and accused China of "covering up the spread" of the coronavirus in its initial stages. Putin's spokesman on Wednesday said it was "most likely" that the president would sign up to such an agreement. "Most likely, work is underway -- at the expert level, our diplomats are working on this before we can join it. As soon as this work is completed and [passes] approval with other partners, relevant statements will be made," he said, according to CNN. A White House readout of Trump's phone call on Tuesday said both leaders had "discussed efforts to defeat the coronavirus pandemic and reopen world economies" but did not specifically mention discussions around a potential ceasefire. The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres first called for a global truce back in March, saying that war-ravaged countries were particularly vulnerable to coronavirus pandemics because they have acutely poor healthcare provision. "It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives," Guterres said. "This is crucial — to help create corridors for life-saving aid. To open precious windows for diplomacy. To bring hope to places among the most vulnerable to COVID-19." Loading Something is loading.