Each Wednesday, we recap the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news.
In Idaho, Republican Governor Brad Little signed into law two bills attacking the rights of transgender people. One measure prohibits transgender people from amending their birth certificates to reflect their gender identity; the other bars trans women and girls from playing on sports teams aligned with their gender identity. The anti-trans bills were signed on the eve of the International Transgender Day of Visibility. Originally credited to activist Rachel Crandell in 2009, TDOV has helped foster the increased visibility of transgender people in our culture. Rights groups have vowed to challenge the legislation.
More than 860,000 novel coronavirus cases have been reported around the world, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking figures from the World Health Organization and additional sources.
At least 80% of the US population is under a stay-at-home or shelter-in-place order, according to a CNN count. There are at least 185,499 cases of coronavirus in the country and at least 3,834 people have died.
China is now including asymptomatic cases in its official count starting Wednesday. The move comes amid growing public concern over asymptomatic cases, of which 1,367 were under medical observation in China.
The Trump administration has finalized its rollback of a major Obama-era climate policy, weakening auto emissions standards in a move it says will mean cheaper cars for consumers.
The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule will toughen carbon dioxide emissions standards by 1.5% a year through model year 2026, compared to about 5% a year under the Obama policy.
Critics say the new rule will lead to nearly a billion additional metric tons of climate-warming CO2 in the atmosphere and that consumers will end up losing money by buying about 80 billion more gallons of gas.
California and other states are likely to file suit against the rule. They’ve asserted their long-standing right to set their own, stricter emissions standards. A worst-case scenario for automakers would be different standards in different states. The new policy may ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a process that would clean much-needed N95 protective face masks and allow them to be reused, the agency said in a release. Columbus-Ohio based Battelle uses a “vapor phase hydrogen peroxide” process to decontaminate the masks being used by healthcare providers and others to protect against the spread of COVID-19. Battelle says its Critical Care Decontamination Systems could decontaminate up to 80,000 masks per day.
Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the C.D.C., confirmed in an interview with WABE in Atlanta, a National Public Radio member station, that the agency was reviewing its guidelines on who should wear masks. Citing new data that shows from people who are infected but show no symptoms. The coronavirus is probably three times as infectious as the flu, Dr. Redfield said. Some people are infected and transmitting the virus probably as long as two days before showing any symptoms.
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