The historic Jefferson Town Hall burned to the ground Monday night after a massive fire ripped through the building.
- Reuters Videos
Every morning before their shift at a Kajima construction site, workers check their vital signs.Location: SingaporeAll it takes is a 45-second scan of his face using an app developed by Singapore start-up Nervotec. The app takes note of heart rate,oxygen levels, respiration rate, and even stress levels using Artificial Intelligence-based technology.So how does it work?The Nervotec app uses remote photoplethysmography (rPPG) and AI to capture and analyze the user's vitals.The smartphone camera measures the differences in the reflectivity of light that hit the user's skin, which corresponds to the different pulse rates of the body. Computer vision and predictive analysis AI then monitor the user's face and conclude the readings for their vital signs.Here’s Nervotec Founder Jonathan Lau.(SOUNDBITE) (English) NERVOTEC FOUNDER JONATHAN LAU, SAYING:" What we do, is we use the white light that's now reflecting off my face, we apply smart computer visions techniques to first identify the face, then filter this white light into the channels we're interested in, and then deriving the vital signs from those channels."Kajima has been using Nervotec's app at its work sites in Singapore since December 2020 - to complement daily temperature screenings.It’s part of a government-initiated program which provides companies with technology still in their trial stages to help them adjust to the new norms.Kajima’s senior manager Tan Kee Chuan says the Nervotec app is his company’s "first line of defense" against another health crisis.(SOUNDBITE) (English) SENIOR ENGINEER AT KAJIMA, TAN KEE CHUAN, SAYING: "The application acts as a first line of defense by scanning the workers just by using the handphone. It is very convenient provided that the worker adheres to this scanning on a daily basis. So we do have our own temperature monitoring system installed as a second line of defense, to reject all of the personnel who are deemed unfit for work." Similar apps that utilize smartphone cameras to scan users' vital signs do exist…but Nervotec claims that its technology goes one step further by using the data to offer a "diagnosis" of the user's health condition.Professor Chwee Teck Lim is the director of the National University of Singapore’s Institute of Health Innovation and Technology. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE'S INSTITUTE OF HEALTH INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY, PROFESSOR CHWEE TECK LIM, SAYING: "So what Nervotec is proposing could potentially be a game-changer, they are trying to use the smartphone camera coupled with an AI-driven app, to capture an image of the face then thereafter be able to measure the vital signs. So currently, I think they claim that they can obtain accuracy of down to two beats per minute for heart rate, and also two percentage in terms of oxygen saturation. But it remains to be seen, I think we still have to go through this FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulatory test before we can determine how accurate this technology is."The app is still under review….but Lau said there is significant interest in the technology. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NERVOTEC FOUNDER JONATHAN LAU, SAYING: "We see the most traction coming from healthcare providers, both private and public, more than the authorities, because the ability to use rPPG and to have constant remote patient monitoring without the need for additional manpower or equipment is really a big problem solver for a lot of healthcare providers, globally."
- Reuters Videos
HSBC is betting on a new strategy after its earnings took a tumble. Europe's biggest bank said Tuesday (February 23) that profits fell by just over a third last year. They dropped to $8.78 billion in 2020 as the global health crisis took a toll. That was down from over $13 billion the year before. The lender cited low interest rates and tough market conditions, and cut its target for return on equity. HSBC now plans big cuts in back office functions, such as technology. It didn't put a number on any job cuts, which would come after it shed 11,000 posts last year. Now the bank is betting on rich Asians to turn things around. It's pumping investment into wealth management in Greater China and the wider region. Underperforming units in Europe and North America may be sold off. HSBC confirmed it's in talks over a sale of its French retail banking arm. And it says it's 'exploring options' over its U.S. retail franchise. HSBC shares fell over one percent from the open in London.
- The Daily Beast
Jim Watson./GettyLouis DeJoy had a defiant message on Wednesday for those craving to see him ousted as U.S. Postmaster General: “Get used to me.”The comment came after Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) asked the embattled U.S. Postal Service chief how long he would remain as Postmaster General—“long time,” DeJoy spat back—during a Wednesday hearing in the House Oversight Committee.That exchange was indicative of the entire proceeding, which was frequently chippy, combative, and fueled by Democratic lawmakers’ outrage over DeJoy’s handling of the USPS at a time of worsening mail delays and difficult questions about the service’s long-term viability.DeJoy’s crack to Cooper made Democrats’ blood boil even more. But he may have a point, at least for now: because the postmaster general is installed by the service’s board of governors—and not by the president—it means that President Joe Biden, or Congress, cannot fire DeJoy even if they wanted to.His removal would only be possible when Biden fills Democratic vacancies on the USPS Board of Governors, which has the authority to hire and fire postmasters general. Confirming those spots in the Senate will take time, though the Washington Post reported on Wednesday that Biden has identified three nominees to move forward.In the meantime, though, Democratic lawmakers are working with DeJoy on urgent legislation to reform the agency’s finances and employee pension burden, even while many publicly call for his resignation.To many Democrats, DeJoy’s performance on Wednesday on Capitol Hill may make that balancing act harder: they found much to dislike not only in what the postmaster general said, but how he said it.“I gotta say—I just don’t think the postmaster gets it,” said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), a member of the Oversight Committee who questioned DeJoy on Wednesday about the agency’s delivery standards. “I think it’s time for him to go.”“I thought he approached a lot of our questions with that exact same attitude, which was one of sneering condescension,” Krishnamoorthi told The Daily Beast after the hearing, invoking DeJoy’s response to Cooper. “That’s not gonna fly, man. Not gonna fly.”Wednesday’s hearing was the second time in DeJoy’s short tenure that he has been subjected to a high-profile grilling in the House Oversight Committee. Shortly after taking the USPS’ top job in June 2020, delays and irregularities quickly began to mount—a particularly alarming development for lawmakers on the eve of an election in which more voters than ever planned to vote by mail.Biden to Nominate 3 New USPS Board Members, Opening Path to Oust DeJoyIn a contentious August 2020 hearing, Democrats interrogated the former logistics executive and GOP mega-donor on everything from cuts in overtime hours to the price of a stamp. Questioning from Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) produced a memorable DeJoy response: “I will submit that I know very little about postage and stamps.”By the time House Democrats called DeJoy back to Capitol Hill this week, their worst fears about the USPS delays’ impact on the voting system had failed to materialize. But they still had plenty of questions about DeJoy’s stewardship of the USPS: in October, the USPS inspector general issued a report finding that the changes DeJoy made to delivery schedules and protocol led to the worsening delays. Already battered by the pandemic, the USPS limped into a busy holiday season, and is now providing the poorest service that many longtime observers of the agency have ever seen.Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), a member of the Oversight panel, was a 29-year veteran of the USPS before she came to Congress. She told The Daily Beast after the hearing that she has never seen the service in such dire straits as it is now: “I don’t think we’ve ever confronted this,” she said.The unprecedented delays are happening around the country. In Washington, D.C., just 40 percent of all first-class mail arrived on time by the end of December 2020—compared to nearly 90 percent the same time the year before. Chicago residents are receiving holiday packages a month-and-a-half late. Lawmakers are inundated with calls and emails from frustrated constituents looking for answers; this week, 33 senators signed a letter to DeJoy asking him to explain the recent delays.DeJoy apologized for those delays at the top of Wednesday’s hearing. “We must acknowledge that during this peak season we fell far short of meeting our service goals,” he said. “I apologize to those customers who felt the impact of our delays"But Lawrence expressed concern about DeJoy’s forthcoming “strategic plan” to get the USPS through this difficult stretch. Though the postmaster general has not revealed specifics, he testified on Wednesday that he will propose cuts to delivery standards, including the standard that local mail be delivered within two days. Democrats believe that would be a disastrous move at a time when the USPS is struggling to compete with private-sector competitors, particularly if it is coupled with consumer cost increases, which DeJoy has suggested.“To say that’s what’s bold and needed… that’s not leadership,” said Lawrence. “He has to prove himself. He heard us loud and clear, that he needs to prove himself.”The Michigan Democrat stopped short of saying that DeJoy deserved removal, and told The Daily Beast that she and other Democrats are working with the USPS on postal reform legislation. On Wednesday, CNN reported that Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) was supportive of working with DeJoy to pass reforms.In the wake of the new political reality in Washington, the postmaster general has begun to attempt outreach to Democratic lawmakers. Lawrence said that during the last administration, DeJoy did not take her calls or respond to her—but after the 2020 election, they had a “cordial” call.Other Democrats see any charm offensive as too little, too late. Krishnamoorthi said he is supportive of working with whatever USPS leadership is in office in order to pass reforms, but argued that DeJoy should go as soon as is possible.Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), a senior member of the Oversight Committee, issued a statement after DeJoy’s hearing hailing Biden’s nomination of three appointees to the USPS Board of Governors—and explicitly stated his hope they would remove DeJoy. “These nominations are an important first step toward reforming the Postal Service,” said Connolly. “My hope is the newly constituted Board will do the right thing and bring in a new, qualified Postmaster General.”A majority of the nine-member board would be required to support DeJoy’s removal. Currently, there are four Republican appointees, and two Democratic appointees. If all Biden’s choices are confirmed, Democrats would hold a majority on the board.The Republicans on the Oversight Committee had questions for DeJoy about mail delays, but largely cast him as a victim in an anti-Trump Democratic crusade. Rep. James Comer (R-KY), the top Republican on the panel, compared the party’s concerns about USPS delays—and Trump’s potential role in those delays—to the Trump impeachment investigation he said was predicated on “baseless conspiracies.”Far-right Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), meanwhile, suggested that the root cause of USPS delays was actually the Black Lives Matter protests that took place over the summer, and read articles from fringe outlets like the Gateway Pundit to prove his point. And Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) raised the unfounded belief in widespread conspiracies about election fraud while saying it was not time to get into “specifics.”At one point, tempers flared when Connolly said that Republicans who voted to object to the Electoral College certification on Jan. 6 had “no right to lecture” anyone on the dangers of partisanship.Democrats left more concerned about the fate of the USPS, however, than the state of things in Congress. “It’s not some theoretical concept,” said Krishnamoorthi. “It’s not some abstract issue, it’s real for every single one of us… I’ve gotta tell you, people are starting to work around the mail, which is a scary concept.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- The Independent
Who is Heidi Cruz? The high-powered Goldman Sachs executive and wife to ‘disgraced’ Texas senator Ted Cruz
Heidi Cruz’s ‘high powered’ role on her husband’s campaign trail prompts comparisons with Hillary Clinton
- The Daily Beast
Facebook/Lancaster County District AttorneyA Pennsylvania teenager is facing charges after allegedly fatally stabbing her wheelchair bound older sister—then hysterically calling 911 to confess to the crime.Claire Elaina Miller, 14, has been charged with homicide after calling authorities on Feb. 22 to admit she stabbed her older sister, 19-year-old Helen Miller, while her parents were asleep, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office. The elder Miller, who had cerebral palsy, died from a stab wound to her neck.“I stabbed my sister,” Miller repeatedly told police when they arrived at the house. Since Miller is being charged as an adult, she was denied bail during a Monday arraignment.According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by The Daily Beast, the Manheim Township Police Department arrived at the home just after 1 a.m. to find Miller, a ninth-grader at a local private school, standing in front of the house close to “what appeared to be blood on the snow near the driveway.”“Miller appeared to be attempting to wash her hands in the snow,” the affidavit states, adding that the teenager also had blood on her pants.Police say Miller directed them into her older sister’s bedroom, where Helen was found with a “pillow with blood stains” over her face. One of the officers removed the pillow and “found a large knife in Helen’s neck, just above her chest.”“Helen was lying on her back with her hands up near her head,” the affidavit states, adding that there was a “large amount of blood” pooled near her chest and bed. Lifesaving measures were “unsuccessful” and she was pronounced dead at 4:13 a.m. On Wednesday, the coroner’s office released an autopsy report confirming Helen Miller died from multiple stab wounds. Authorities also confirmed to The Daily Beast that the 19-year-old had cerebral palsy and used a wheelchair.Police say the girls’ parents were asleep during the incident that has sent shockwaves through the small Pennsylvania community about 75 miles west of Philadelphia.`“When I heard about this I was almost instantly upset about it myself over the details that had been related to me,” Manheim Township Police Chief Tom Rudzinski told WHTM. “I don’t know that I have ever been a part of something that is quite as sad as this.”Prosecutors and police, however, have not offered any details about a motive. An attorney for Miller did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment.“The investigators are going to be asking those types of questions, conducting those interviews of everybody that was involved, and trying to determine a timeline [for what] would have led to this awful event,” Rudzinski said.Lancaster Country Day School officials confirmed to The Daily Beast that Miller was a ninth-grade student at the school of about 550 students. “As a tight-knit school community, we are of course shocked and saddened by this tragic event and are focused on supporting one another,” a school spokesperson said. A spokesperson for the Manheim Township School District confirmed that Helen Miller received educational services from a school within the district.“We were so saddened to learn of Helen’s tragic and unexpected passing,” the district said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the Miller family. This is a devastating tragedy.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Business Insider
Donald Trump has fought hard to keep his personal tax returns, and the Trump Organization's a secret. The Supreme Court just let prosecutors get them.
- USA TODAY
'His face was in your windshield': Police skeptical South Dakota AG didn't know he fatally struck a pedestrian
In more than three hours of interviews, South Dakota AG Jason Ravnsborg answers investigators' questions about his role in a fatal crash.
Seriously, who is Peacock's new 'Punky Brewster' even for?
- Business Insider
Pence reportedly speaks 'very favorably' of Trump in GOP meeting and intends to launch a new political organization
"I got the sense they speak often and maintain the same personal friendship and relationship now that they have for four years," said Rep. Jim Banks.
- The Week
It's been 1 year since Trump infamously tweeted the 'coronavirus is very much under control' in the U.S.
Well, that didn't age well. It's now been one year since former President Donald Trump infamously tweeted that the "coronavirus is very much under control" in the United States. A year ago today pic.twitter.com/VqvlLW572d — Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) February 24, 2021 At that point, a search through the Trump Twitter Archive reveals, Trump had been discussing the virus publicly, but mostly in the context of how China was dealing with it; in those days, Trump was still speaking glowingly of President Xi Jinping's response. The Feb. 24 tweet was one of the earliest references Trump made to the virus' presence in the United States, and certainly his most direct about its potential effect on the country. The comment looks quite jarring in hindsight — earlier this week the U.S. recorded its 500,000th COVID-19 death, and the pandemic remains a serious public health threat, although there are now signs of hope in the form of steadily declining cases and increasing vaccinations. Trump was far from the only person to downplay the risk of the virus in the U.S. in February 2020, but he did continue to send mixed messages about its danger throughout the rest of his presidency, even after he was infected himself. More stories from theweek.comThe MyPillow guy might be Trump's ultimate chumpInvestors say Trump properties are worthless until his name is removedBiden is leaving Amazon workers out in the cold
The White House has 132 rooms and its own restaurant. Here's what it's like inside Joe Biden's new home.
The most famous home in America also comes with a movie theater, bowling alley, and underground bunkers.
- The Independent
Angry Democrat Gerry Connolly tells Trump ally he ‘will not be lectured’ by someone who tried to overturn election
Accusing Jim Jordan of ‘gaslighting,’ Gerry Connolly said ‘I didn’t vote to overturn an election and I will not be lectured by people who did about partisanship’
- Business Insider
I flew Southwest for the first time since it stopped blocking middle seats. The friendly service didn't make up for inconsistent social-distancing practices.
Southwest was an early adopter of the popular seat-blocking policy but began filling planes to capacity in December.
- Business Insider
Trump-appointed federal judge indefinitely blocks the Biden administration's 100-day deportation freeze
The ruling serves as a win for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, who filed a lawsuit against the government over the moratorium.
Eddie Murphy says Ryan Coogler tried to make a 'Coming to America' sequel starring Michael B. Jordan - but he didn't like the idea
Eddie Murphy said that Ryan Coogler's idea had Michael B. Jordan playing his son, "looking for a wife."
- Raleigh News and Observer
The man had reportedly been released from prison weeks earlier.
‘It is very fortunate that Mr. Woods was able to come out of this alive,’ Deputy Carlos Gonzalez said Tuesday afternoon. The Los Angeles County sheriff who was the first to arrive at an accident scene early Tuesday that left Tiger Woods injured and surgery-bound is revealing what the golf legend said upon being found. Woods, 45, was injured in a single-car accident early Tuesday morning while driving a 2020 Genesis GV80 SUV.
- Business Insider
Three-quarters of all voters, including 60% of Republicans, support Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus plan: poll
A new Politico/Morning Consult poll showed bipartisan support for the coronavirus aid package, which is set to receive a House vote on Friday.
- The Independent
Parents of Gigi Morse, 6, say she seemed fine except for a few unusual ailments.
- Business Insider
One simple chart shows how well J&J's single-dose coronavirus vaccine works, with protection starting after 2 weeks
The FDA says the shot is safe and effective, paving the way for it to become the third authorized vaccine in the US.