new UK scheme risks running a repeat of ID card controversy

Laveta Brigham

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Is the UK government planning to revive identity cards for the internet age? The decision to scrap its national ID cards and database in 2010 means the UK is one of the few developed countries not to have such an identity scheme. While this was seen as a victory for civil liberties campaigners, some now argue that the lack of a simple way to prove who you are, especially online, is holding back the digital economy and improvements to public services.

With this in mind, the government recently announced plans to pave the way for a new digital identity scheme, which some media outlets have called digital ID cards.

In reality, there’s no single agreed definition of what a digital ID is or looks like, so saying the new system will be similar to the unpopular card scheme is misleading. However, the UK government is a long way from

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Teachers weigh risks of COVID-19

Laveta Brigham

Christy Karwatt teaches social studies, but she’s been thinking more like a math teacher the past few days.

At 61, the Sarasota High School teacher is entering her 27th year in Florida’s system, and she loves her job. She had planned on teaching three more years to maximize her retirement payment. 

As COVID-19 cases spike across the country, officials pour on pressure to reopen schools full-time this fall.

Monday, Florida’s education commissioner ordered the state’s schools to open full-time in August. Tuesday, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos criticized plans to offer in-person instruction only a few days a week. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reworking its guidance on reopening schools after President Donald Trump said the guidelines were too tough. 

Early guidance from health experts: Scheduled days home, more online learning, lots of hand-washing

Karwatt began crunching the numbers on how much money she would sacrifice

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Teachers weigh risks as COVID-19 looms

Laveta Brigham

Christy Karwatt teaches social studies, but she’s been thinking more like a math teacher the last few days.

At 61, the Sarasota High teacher is entering her 27th year in Florida’s retirement system, and she loves her job. She had planned on teaching three more years to maximize her retirement payment. 

But as COVID-19 cases continue to spike across the state and the country, officials are pouring on pressure to reopen schools full time this fall.

On Monday, Florida’s education commissioner ordered the state’s schools to open full-time in August. U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday criticized plans to offer in-person instruction only a few days a week. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reworking its guidance on reopening schools after President Donald Trump thought the guidelines were too tough. 

Early guidance from health experts: Scheduled days home, more online learning, lots of hand-washing

In the

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Do the benefits outweigh the risks?

Laveta Brigham

“The 360” shows you diverse perspectives on the day’s top stories and debates.

What’s happening

Schools across the country were closed in March as part of the effort to contain the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. Students, teachers, parents and administrators scrambled to put together a makeshift distance-learning curriculum for the rest of the academic year, with the hopes the virus would be under control enough to allow in-person instruction in the fall.

The usual start dates for America’s 13,000 public schools are just over a month away and, rather than waning, the outbreak is surging. As the beginning of the school year looms, the question of whether students will return to campus is still undecided in many places, leaving parents and educators in limbo.

President Trump has made reopening schools a priority for his administration and even issued a vague threat to “cut off

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Big Tech’s China Face-Off Risks Sparking Exodus From Hong Kong

Laveta Brigham

(Bloomberg) — Facebook Inc., Google and Twitter Inc. — all of which are blocked in the mainland — are now headed toward a showdown with China that could end up making Hong Kong feel more like Beijing.

Hours after Hong Kong announced sweeping new powers to police the internet on Monday night, those companies plus the likes of Microsoft Corp. and Zoom Video Communications Inc. all suspended requests for data from the Hong Kong government. ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok, which has Chinese owners, announced it would pull its viral video app from the territory’s mobile stores in the coming days even as President Donald Trump threatened to ban it in the U.S.

Their dilemma is stark: Bend to the law and infuriate Western nations increasingly at odds with China over political freedoms, or simply refuse and depart like Google did in China a decade ago over some of the very same

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Sports Brands Need to Take Risks to Boost Business

Laveta Brigham

Click here to read the full article.

Plain vanilla is the kiss of death.

Sporting goods brands and retailers need to be willing to take some risks in their design and merchandising to lure consumers to buy.

“A plain vanilla assortment means boring and the same as last year,” said Matt Powell, vice president and senior industry analyst for NPD Group. “There’s no surer way to kill a retail business.”

So despite fears that have come to the forefront during the pandemic that are causing companies to want to play it safe, Powell said they need to “take some risk and offer a provocative and exciting assortment.”

Powell made those comments as part of a webinar titled “Monitoring the Impact of COVID-19 and the Road to Recovery” for the Sports & Fitness Industry Association Tuesday afternoon.

Over the past few months, sports apparel and footwear have performed better than many

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U.S. flood risks dwarf federal estimates

Laveta Brigham

Millions more U.S. homes are in danger of flooding than federal emergency planners have previously warned, and the threat to those trillions of dollars of properties is rising because of climate change, according to a new analysis.

The data from nonprofit research group First Street Foundation provides detailed property-level flood risk information for the public at a time when the private sector is taking steps to prepare for the damage from floods, storms and other climate-driven disasters, in the absence of aggressive action from the federal government. POLITICO has reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored enterprises that back half the U.S. mortgages, suspect they don’t have a firm handle on the climate risks to their portfolio, even as banks and insurers are quietly building their own databases of climate-driven risks like flooding and wildfires.

First Street assessed the risks specific sites face from flooding that go into

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