Ammon News, Panorama

Space Force launches its 1st mission with coronavirus precautions

[3/27/2020 2:40:47 PM]

AMMONNEWS - The newly established US Space Force launched its first national security satellite on Thursday with a leaner staff because of the coronavirus pandemic. “Nothing stops the space launch mission!” the 45th Space Wing tweeted from Cape Canaveral. The approximately $1 billion satellite is the sixth and final one in the US military's Advanced Extremely High Frequency series. Upgraded from the older Milstar satellites, the constellation has provided secure communication from 22,000 miles (35,400 kilometers) up for nearly a decade. A powerful Atlas V rocket hoisted the 13,600-pound (6,168 kilogram) satellite. The new Space Force seal adorned the United Launch Alliance rocket. The Space Force officially became a new branch of the US military in December. With the viewing area closed because of the coronavirus outbreak, fewer people than usual watched the liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. United Launch Alliance chief executive Tory Bruno said non-essential personnel were banned from the launch control room to reduce the size of the crowd. “Can’t quite get 6 ft everywhere. Surfaces will be cleaned between people, etc.,” tweeted Bruno, who monitored the launch from company headquarters in Denver. He normally travels to the launch site. Another pandemic effect: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s planned name change to Cape Canaveral Space Force Station is on hold. *AP

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Coronavirus: Italian nurses, doctors share images of bruises from hours spent in ICUs

[3/27/2020 2:38:25 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Italian nurses and doctors shared pictures of themselves on social media with bruises on their face after spending hours in the intensive care units of hospitals treating coronavirus patients. Italy has reported 74,386 cases of coronavirus. The country overtook China with the most virus-related deaths, registering 7,503 deaths. The images were circulated on Twitter and other platforms, with hundreds of users calling the health aid workers “heroes” The number of coronavirus cases in Europe surpassed 250,000 on Thursday, according to an AFP tally. Hospitals in Italy have reportedly been overwhelmed with an unprecedented number of patients. A nation-wide lockdown was imposed in Italy, and all shops, restaurants, and bars were shut down. *Al Arabiya

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New US Navy aircraft carrier toilet flaw costs $400,000 a flush

[3/25/2020 2:02:24 PM]

AMMONNEWS - New toilets on the Navy’s two newest aircraft carriers clog so frequently that the ships’ sewage systems must be cleaned periodically with specialized acids costing about $400,000 a flush, according to a new congressional audit outlining $130 billion in underestimated long-term maintenance costs. The Navy isn’t sure the toilet systems on the USS Gerald R. Ford and the USS George H. W. Bush can withstand the demand without failing frequently, according to the watchdog agency’s report on service sustainment costs released Tuesday. The new toilet, similar to what’s used on commercial aircraft, is experiencing “unexpected and frequent clogging” of the system so the “unplanned maintenance action” will be needed “for the entire service life of the ship,” the GAO said in the report requested by the Senate Armed Services Committee. Although the costly toilets are illustrative of the problem, “we generally did not include these types of ongoing costs in our calculation” of the Navy’s looming sustainment bill, according to the report. The report comes amid a debate in Congress, the Pentagon and the White House over expanding the current 293-ship Navy to 355 by the mid-2030, a Trump administration goal. Navy cost estimators stated that as much as $26 billion of the $130 billion estimated increase in costs “could be accounted for by process changes that resulted in including more indirect costs, such as health and child care for sailors.” Overall, the Ford’s estimated lifetime operations and sustainment costs have grown to $123 billion from $77.3 billion, the most of six programs GAO evaluated. “The Carrier toilet system is indicative of the kinds of issues we highlight in our report that are requiring more money, time, and effort to fix than originally anticipated due to a lack of adequate sustainment planning during the acquisition process,” said Shelby Oakley, a GAO director who manages the agency’s ship acquisition reviews “The pipes are too narrow and when there are a bunch of sailors flushing the toilet at the same time, like in the morning, the suction doesn’t work,” said Oakley. “The Navy didn’t anticipate this problem.” *Bloomberg

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Bill Gates predicted a coronavirus-like pandemic five years ago: ‘We’re not ready’

[3/25/2020 2:00:38 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates predicted in 2015 that a virus will develop into a pandemic that sweeps the globe. Now the world witnesses the coronavirus virus which the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020. The coronavirus has infected 372,757 people globally and claimed the lives of 16,231 so far, according to WHO. Gates said in a TED talk titled “The next outbreak? We’re not ready”: “When I was a kid, the disaster we worried about most was a nuclear war… Today the greatest risk of global catastrophe doesn't look like this… If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it's most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war.” “Now, part of the reason for this is that we've invested a huge amount in nuclear deterrents. But we've actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic. We're not ready for the next epidemic.” Ebola outbreak He highlighted the case of the Ebola outbreak in 2014 which infected 28,616 people and claimed the lives of 11,310 in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, WHO said in 2016. “And as you look at what went on, the problem wasn't that there was a system that didn't work well enough, the problem was that we didn't have a system at all. In fact, there's some pretty obvious key missing pieces.” “We didn't have a group of epidemiologists ready to go, who would have gone, seen what the disease was, seen how far it had spread. The case reports came in on paper. It was very delayed before they were put online, and they were extremely inaccurate. We didn't have a medical team ready to go. We didn't have a way of preparing people.” He continued to say that “the failure to prepare could allow the next epidemic to be dramatically more devastating than Ebola.” “Let's look at the progression of Ebola over this year. About 10,000 people died, and nearly all were in the three West African countries. There are three reasons why it didn't spread more. The first is that there was a lot of heroic work by the health workers. They found the people and they prevented more infections. The second is the nature of the virus. Ebola does not spread through the air. And by the time you're contagious, most people are so sick that they're bedridden. Third, it didn't get into many urban areas. And that was just luck. If it had gotten into a lot more urban areas, the case numbers would have been much larger.” “So next time, we might not be so lucky. You can have a virus where people feel well enough while they're infectious that they get on a plane or they go to a market.” In present day, researchers have found that the coronavirus could remain in the air for up to three hours, according to a study done by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' Laboratory of Virology in the Division of Intramural Research in Hamilton, Montana in the US, where researchers used a nebulizer to blow coronaviruses into the air. The coronavirus, COVID-19, can survive up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel, according to a recent study. The researchers also found that this virus can hang out as droplets in the air for up to three hours before they fall. But most often they will fall more quickly, according to the University of Harvard’s health publishing website. Global preparedness strategies Gates suggested in his 2015 talk a few strategies to raise global preparedness to combat the spread of any virus. “First, we need strong health systems in poor countries. That's where mothers can give birth safely, kids can get all their vaccines. But, also where we'll see the outbreak very early on. We need a medical reserve corps: lots of people who've got the training and background who are ready to go, with the expertise. And then we need to pair those medical people with the military. taking advantage of the military's ability to move fast, do logistics and secure areas.” He added: “We need to do simulations, germ games, not war games, so that we see where the holes are. The last time a germ game was done in the United States was back in 2001, and it didn't go so well. So far the score is germs: 1, people: 0. Finally, we need lots of advanced R&D in areas of vaccines and diagnostics.” “So I think this should absolutely be a priority. There's no need to panic. We don't have to hoard cans of spaghetti or go down into the basement. But we need to get going, because time is not on our side.” *Al Arabiya

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Jerusalemites laud Royal initiative to exempt Jerusalem endowment tenants from 2020 rents

[3/25/2020 10:23:11 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Jerusalem activities highly appreciated the directives of His Majesty King Abdullah II to exempt all Muslim and Christian tenants of Islamic endowment properties in occupied Al-Quds Al-Sharif collected by the General Department of Jerusalem Endowments from paying rents for the entire 2020. In a press statement on Wednesday, Jerusalem endowments entities highly appreciated the custodian of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, His Majesty King Abdullah II, on His Majesty's continuous directives to support the steadfastness of Jerusalemites and take into account the conditions of the tenants of the endowment properties in the Holy City of Jerusalem. In the statement, the entities expressed her hope that this Royal initiative would support the Jerusalemites' steadfastness and enable them to face the sluggish business and trade conditions in light of this year's closures, especially those triggered by the coronavirus.

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Coronavirus: It's now ok to disinfect iPhones, Apple says

[3/11/2020 2:30:05 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Apple now says it is ok to use disinfectant wipes to clean iPhones and other gadgets, a reversal from their previous advice saying cleaning products could damage the special coating on screens that helps prevent fingerprints. Coronaviruses, the family of virus the novel coronavirus belongs to, can live on some surfaces for up to nine days, and on glass – like that on an iPhone – for up to five days, a new study found. Apple’s new guidelines say that smartphones should be wiped down “Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox disinfecting wipes,” the company's website says. It also says to avoid using bleach. For more information on coronavirus, visit our dedicated page. However, disinfectants with just 0.1 percent sodium hypochlorite – commonly known as bleach –or 62-72 percent ethanol significantly limits coronaviruses’ effectiveness on a surface within one minute of a cleaner being used, the study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection in January found. The study found that coronaviruses at room temperature can last for two days on steel; four days on wood and glass; and five days on metal, plastic, and ceramics. One strand of coronavirus lived up to nine days on plastic. On some surfaces it lasts only a matter of hours; on aluminum it lasts between two and eight hours, and on latex less than eight hours. The virus can live on most everyday items for days, making disinfecting surfaces like remotes, light switches, desks, doorknobs, shopping carts, and tables an important preventive measure. How deadly is the coronavirus and is there a cure: 10 questions answered “If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose,” World Health Organization guidelines on the matter say. When a person touches a surface where the virus is present and then touches their face, the virus can infect that person. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that "high-touch surfaces," like doorknobs, be cleaned and disinfected daily. Cleaning is the removal of germs and dirt from sufraces, where disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces after it has been cleaned. The most recent coronavirus, COVID-19, that originated in China, is the third outbreak of such a virus in the last two decades. SARS and MERS, the other coronaviruses, have helped scientists learn about the family of viruses, and their findings are likely applicable to the latest outbreak, the study’s authors reported. To date, the virus has infected over 113,000 people globally and has killed over 4,000. * Al Arabiya

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photos show results of coronavirus ‘panic-hoarding’

[3/8/2020 6:13:22 PM]

AMMONNEWS - People have been hoarding goods and products as fears of a possible coronavirus pandemic spread. Photos and videos shared on social media showed empty shelves in stores, as well as physical altercations between customers fighting over items, most commonly toilet paper, an item that is not necessary for fighting coronavirus. “I just want one pack,” one woman is heard saying. “No, not one pack,” the other woman responded as she grabbed onto her shopping cart full of toilet paper. Twitter user Adam Clark shared a video of a crowded toilet paper section in a Costco warehouse, a retail store where people can buy items in bulk. “Panic buying and stockpiling of toilet roll continues,” he said. Another video showed an empty disinfectants section in a store, shared by Twitter user Jonathan Choe. “This is what’s left of the disinfectants and cleaning supplies at this @StopandShop in Allston. Store clerk says it’s all ‘panic buying’ and #Coronavirus related,” he said in a tweet. An older man in another video said all the pasta shelves are empty as he is filmed leaving a grocery store. “What’s happening,” he said in Italian. “There wasn’t this much panic when World War II started.” Over 100,000 people globaly have been infected with coronavirus, more than 3,480 have died due to the virus. *Al Arabiya

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