The COVID-19 Crisis Presents An Opportunity For Companies To Step Up Their Efforts In Ensuring The Safety and Well-Being Of Their Employees


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It is no surprise that the COVID-19 crisis has gravely affected the mental health and well-being of employees. Business priorities and goals all over the world have drastically changed, with key challenges being to keep the business afloat, as well as manage the safety and security of employees.

The social distancing measures implemented by governments within the Middle East region have made people more isolated and uncertain. Homes have turned into offices, playgrounds, gyms, and schools, and changes due to health threats and job losses are not helping to make the situation better. Moreover, in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, our frontliners had to leave the safety of their homes, and make sure that the food is produced and displayed on the shelves of

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NASA efforts had a $65 billion economic impact last year, agency report shows

NASA’s first economic impact report suggests that the agency generated nearly $65 billion in economic impact during fiscal year 2019, with much of that activity coming from the Artemis program to return astronauts to the moon by 2024.



NASA's Space Launch System rocket, or SLS, is just one piece of the agency's "moon to Mars" initiative.


© Provided by Space
NASA’s Space Launch System rocket, or SLS, is just one piece of the agency’s “moon to Mars” initiative.

The agency released the report (which covers the period between Oct. 1, 2018 to Sept. 30, 2019) as it continues negotiations for its fiscal 2021 budget. That 2021 budget request by the Trump administration calls for a 12% increase for the agency to $25 billion, including a substantial contribution to Artemis for a planned 2024 astronaut landing on the moon. That budget has not been approved yet, as both the House and Senate continue markups of their versions of the bill. On Sept. 30, the Senate averted a government shutdown

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Artists and Entrepreneurs Aren’t Happy With Twitter’s Efforts to Discourage Retweets

With less than a month until Election Day, Twitter announced it was upping its efforts to curb the spread of misinformation. But not everyone is happy with the approach.

On Friday, the social media giant revealed a set of temporary changes that discourages the use of the retweet function. Twitter claims the changes will make it much more difficult for users to spread false information related to the 2020 election, and will encourage users to be more considerate about the posts they share on their accounts.

“Twitter plays a critical role around the globe by empowering democratic conversation, driving civic participation, facilitating meaningful political debate, and enabling people to hold those in power accountable,” the company wrote in a blog. “But we know that this cannot be achieved unless the integrity of this critical dialogue on Twitter is protected from attempts — both foreign and domestic — to undermine

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ALTO Real Estate Funds is Expanding Its Acquisitions Team to Support Its Efforts to Venture Into Industrial Real Estate

Appoints industrial Real Estate professional Andre Ciani as Director of Acquisitions.

ALTO Real Estate Funds is welcoming Andre Ciani, to ALTO’s team as Director of Acquisitions. Prior to ALTO, Mr. Ciani worked for 8 years at Berkeley Partners, a San Francisco-based Real Estate private equity firm that focuses on acquiring and managing industrial assets across the United States. While at Berkeley, Mr. Ciani helped the company increase its AUM from $50M to $1B, developing extensive experience in acquisitions, financing, asset management, leasing, and dispositions. Mr. Ciani holds a BA in Economics Magna Cum Laude from Columbia University. Andre’s strong track record coupled with an extensive understanding of the US Real Estate industrial market and deep industry relationships will help steer ALTO’s Acquisition portfolio towards acquiring industrial properties in addition to open-air shopping centers. Mr. Ciani will be based in Miami, FL.

Andre Ciani will join the team together

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Are China’s pollution remediation efforts making the planet warmer? China’s efforts to combat aerosol pollution resulted in warming throughout the northern latitudes — ScienceDaily

A 10-year effort by China to improve air quality and reduce pollution-related health risks has caused warming in areas across the northern hemisphere, according to new work published in Environmental Research Letters.

Aerosols are tiny particles that are spewed into the atmosphere by human activities, such as burning coal and wood, or by geological phenomena, like volcanos. Their negative effects on air quality can damage human health and agricultural productivity.

Similar to how the aerosols emitted in a volcanic eruption can cause global temperatures to drop, some aerosols from human activity also have a cooling effect on the climate. Unlike greenhouse gases, which induce global warming by trapping heat in the atmosphere, aerosol particles can cause sunlight to be reflected away from the planet either directly or by interacting with clouds.

“This means that some of the effects of global warming are being masked by aerosol pollution,” explained lead

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NASA observations aid efforts to track California’s wildfire smoke from space

NASA observations aid efforts to track California's wildfire smoke from space
On Aug. 31, MODIS detected several hotspots in the August Complex Fire in California, as well as several other actively burning areas to the north, west, and south. Credit: R. Kahn/K.J. Noyes/NASA Goddard/A. Nastan/JPL Caltech/J. Tackett/J-P Vernier/NASA Langley

Wildfires have been burning across the state of California for weeks—some of them becoming larger complexes as different fires merge. One of those was the August Complex Fire, which reportedly began as 37 distinct fires caused by lightning strikes in northern California on Aug. 17. That fire is still burning over a month later.


The August Complex Fire and others this fire season have been sending far-reaching plumes of wildfire smoke into the atmosphere that worsen air quality in California and beyond. Predicting where that smoke will travel and how bad the air will be downwind is a challenge, but Earth-observing satellites can help. Included among them are NASA’s Terra and CALIPSO

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Singapore universities step up digital efforts amid coronavirus

Third year students at the NUS medical school using a simulated virtual reality device called Pass-It to be trained on peri-operative care as they can no longer accompany a doctor to a patient’s bedside due to the pandemic.

Courtesy of NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine

SINGAPORE — Donning virtual reality headsets and hand-held controls, medical undergraduates in Singapore enter a simulated hospital environment to learn about patient care — digitally.

Even though the setting resembles a virtual game, the experience is designed to teach future doctors the procedures required for surgery, from anesthesia and safety protocols to patient management.

The coronavirus outbreak has forced educators in the city-state to get more creative and has advanced online learning.

Singapore has reported more than 57,500 cases of the Covid-19, and migrant workers make up nearly 95% of them. The spread of the infection outside migrant dormitories appears to be largely

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Enterprise Tech Efforts Move Beyond Survival Mode

Enterprise technology firms say companies are emerging from survival mode and kick-starting pre-Covid-19 efforts to overhaul their operations with digital tools.

“Businesses can’t wait,” says Alvina Antar, chief information officer at cloud-identity and -management company

Okta Inc.

Ms. Antar, who took on the role six weeks ago, said companies that raced to install remote-work applications during Covid-19 lockdowns are now doubling down on long-held plans to expand the use of cloud computing, data analytics, smart software and other tech capabilities.

“Yes, they scrambled on the workforce side,” she said. “If they didn’t have that, the business would crumble.” But companies also need to prepare for fierce competition in a post-Covid market, she added.

Like many information-technology providers, Okta is in a unique position to gauge the pace of that shift firsthand. The Silicon Valley company, with twin headquarters in San Francisco and San Jose, sells technology that links a company’s

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Microsoft adds to video game efforts with $7.5 billion acquisition of Bethesda

Microsoft announced Monday that it will buy ZeniMax Media, the company that owns well-known video game publisher Bethesda, for $7.5 billion in cash.

It’s one of the most notable video game acquisitions in Microsoft’s history. The company bought Mojang, the studio behind Minecraft, for $2.5 billion in late 2014. That proved to be a boon to the firm as Minecraft surged in popularity, rapidly becoming one of the best-selling games in the world thanks to its simple design and gameplay.

With a developer like Bethesda under Microsoft’s belt, that gives the company access to a raft of successful game franchises, including role-playing game series Fallout and The Elder Scrolls and the Doom shooter series.

“Gaming is the most expansive category in the entertainment industry, as people everywhere turn to gaming to connect, socialize and play with their friends,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said.

“With the addition of Bethesda, Microsoft will

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