A nearly empty street in Wuhan, China, 23 January 2020. The city is in lockdown mode to prevent the spread of a new strain of coronavirus. Photo credit: Keitma/Shutterstock.com
Luanda Leaks banker dies, Apple against EU charger plan and ECB to conduct strategic review. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Friday.
Coronavirus quarantine expanded
Travel restrictions have been extended to several cities around Wuhan, in central China, in an attempt to contain the spread of a deadly respiratory illness. More than 830 cases have been confirmed, included 25 deaths. Public celebrations for the lunar new year in Beijing, Hong Kong and elsewhere have been cancelled. The World Health Organization said the outbreak was not yet a global health emergency. Sources: BBC, CNBC, Financial Times, The Guardian and South China Morning Post.
The billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros will donate $1bn to fund university teaching and research to counter growing nationalism. In a speech at Davos, Soros criticised populist and authoritarian leaders, naming Donald Trump, Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi, and Brexit. Sources: BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Financial Times and The Guardian.
Despite pressure from the US, British officials are expected to allow Huawei, a Chinese telecom gear vendor, to have a “limited role” in building the UK’s 5G mobile network. Sources: Cnet, Financial Times, The Guardian, Reuters and Sky News.
Goldman to demand diverse boards before IPOs
The investment bank Goldman Sachs said it would not take companies public without “at least one diverse board candidate, with a focus on women.” The policy will apply in Europe and the US, but not in Asia. Original source: CNBC. More coverage: Financial Times, New York Post, Sky News and Techcrunch.
Apple against EU common charger
Apple said the European Commission’s proposal to require universal chargers for mobile devices “stifles innovation” and would create more electronic waste. Sources: Bloomberg, Cnet, The Hill, Reuters and Sky News.
ECB to conduct first major policy review since 2003
As expected, the European Central Bank held steady on interest rates yesterday. Christine Lagarde, the new ECB president, announced a strategic review that she hopes will be completed by the end of the year. Sources: CityAM, CNBC, Delano, Financial Times and Marketwatch.
Here are 7 science & technology stories you may have missed
Security: VPNMentor, a web privacy outfit, discovered personal details of 30,000 marijuana dispensary customers on an unprotected Amazon cloud server, per The Register, and of 4,000 adult entertainment models, per Softpedia News. Privacy: Researchers found that only 11.8% of websites surveyed met the “minimal requirements” of the EU’s GDPR data privacy law, per Techcrunch. There’s an app for that: Voters will be able to use their mobile phone cast their ballot in the elections next month for the board of supervisors of King County, Washington, which includes Seattle, per NPR. AI: Australian researchers are developing a drone that searches for disaster survivors, per Scientific America. AI: Google is using neural networks to generate what it says are more accurate (and faster) short-term weather forecasts, per Ars Technica. AI: Researchers developed a technique to detect deep fake videos by studying subtle behavioral traits knows as “softbiometric signatures” per MIT Technology Review. The internet: A teenager in England had a serious seizure in his bedroom and was saved after his online gaming friend in Texas alerted Cheshire emergency services, per the Liverpool Echo.
Gift for discerning toddlers
Amazon’s US site is selling a Fischer-Price Snacks for Two set, which includes pretend charcuterie, camembert and crackers, per NBC’s “Today” show. Sadly, the site states: “This item does not ship to Luxembourg.” Delano was unable to find the product on Amazon’s German site (which delivers to Luxembourg). Oddly, the toy company’s snack set on Amazon’s French site features vaguely American-looking chocolate chip muffins.