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U.S. coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Dr. Scott Atlas has resigned as special adviser on the coronavirus to President Donald Trump, a White House official said on Monday, after a controversial four months during which he clashed repeatedly with other members of the coronavirus task force….

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Dr. Scott Atlas has resigned as special adviser on the coronavirus to President Donald Trump, a White House official said on Monday, after a controversial four months during which he clashed repeatedly with other members of the coronavirus task force.

Voters’ unhappiness with Trump’s response to the global pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands helped propel his challenger, Democrat Joe Biden, to victory in the Nov. 3 election.

“I am writing to resign from my position as special adviser to the president of the United States,” Atlas said in a letter to Trump dated Dec. 1 that he posted on Twitter.

Public health experts, including Anthony Fauci, the leading U.S. infectious disease expert, have sharply criticized Atlas, a neuro-radiologist, for providing Trump with misleading or incorrect information on the virus pandemic.

“Dr. Scott Atlas’ resignation today is long overdue and underscores the triumph of science and truth over falsehoods and misinformation,” his peers at Stanford University’s medical school said in a statement issued late Monday. In September they had issued a letter denouncing his views.

“His actions have undermined and threatened public health even as countless lives have been lost to COVID-19. We will continue to advocate for evidence-based public health policies that are grounded in established science, including the use of proven preventative measures like mask-wearing and social-distancing, and the safe testing and delivery of effective therapies and vaccines.”

In his resignation letter, Atlas, a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, listed what he considered accomplishments in reopening schools and expanding virus testing while also defending himself against his many critics.

“Like all scientists and health policy scholars, I learned new information and synthesized the latest data from around the world, all in an effort to provide you with the best information to serve the greater good,” he wrote.

Atlas was considered a special government employee on a 130-day detail that expires this week. Fox News first reported his resignation.

Atlas has repeatedly downplayed the importance of masks and this month said lockdowns had been “an epic failure” in stopping the spread of the virus.

He also had to apologize this month for an interview with Russia’s Kremlin-backed television station RT, saying he was unaware it was a registered foreign agent.

Dr. Celine Grounder, a member of Biden’s advisory panel on the crisis, greeted the news of the resignation with relief.

“I’m relieved that in the future, people who are qualified, people who are infectious disease specialists and epidemiologists like me will be helping to lead this effort,” she told broadcaster CNBC.

“You wouldn’t go to a podiatrist for a heart attack and that was essentially what was happening.”

(Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: here)

Reporting by Andrea Shalal, Aram Roston and Steve Holland; Writing by Lisa Lambert and Eric Beech; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Gerry Doyle and Raju Gopalakrishnan

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Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-atlas/scott-atlas-resigns-as-special-adviser-to-trump-on-coronavirus-idUSKBN28B3AS

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Reuters

Chinese social media platforms to “rectify” financial self-media accounts

China’s top social media platforms, Wechat, Douyin, Sina Weibo and Kuaishou, said on Saturday they would begin to rectify irregular practices of “self-media” accounts that publish financial information, reported state media Global Times.

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WeChat app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

SHANGHAI, Aug 28 (Reuters) – China’s top social media platforms, Wechat, Douyin, Sina Weibo and Kuaishou, said on Saturday they would begin to rectify irregular practices of “self-media” accounts that publish financial information, reported state media Global Times.

This follows an announcement by China’s cyberspace regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), that it would look into accounts that have repeatedly released financial news illegally, distorted economic policy interpretation, badmouthed financial markets, spread rumours and disrupted network communications.

The term “self-media” is mostly used on Chinese social media to describe independently operated accounts that produce original content but are not officially registered with the authorities.

Wechat said in a statement on Saturday that from now until Oct. 26, it would investigate and shut down financial self-media accounts that “badmouth the financial market” and “blackmail and spread rumors.”

Sina Weibo, Douyin and Kuaishou also released similar statements on Saturday, reported the Global Times, with Sina Weibo and Kuaishou adding that they would severely crack down on accounts that violate the rules.

The announcements come amid a recent crackdown by Beijing on the tech sector, with the latest regulations targeting “chaotic” celebrity fan culture and algorithms that technology companies use to drive their business. read more

China is also framing rules to ban internet companies whose data poses potential security risks from listing outside the country, including in the United States. read more

Reporting by Emily Chow. Editing by Gerry Doyle

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The term “self-media” is mostly used on Chinese social media to describe independently operated accounts that produce original content but are not officially registered with the authorities.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/world/china/chinese-social-media-platforms-rectify-financial-self-media-accounts-2021-08-28/

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Reuters

Death toll rises to 77 from Turkey floods, 47 reported missing

The death toll from flash floods that swept through several towns in Turkish Black Sea provinces last week has risen to 77 people and emergency workers are continuing to search for 47 who are missing, authorities said on Monday.

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A damaged vehicle and a partially collapsed building are seen following the flash floods that swept through towns in the Turkish Black Sea region, in the town of Ilisi, in Kastamonu province, Turkey, August 15, 2021. REUTERS/Mehmet Emin Caliskan

ISTANBUL, Aug 16 (Reuters) – The death toll from flash floods that swept through several towns in Turkish Black Sea provinces last week has risen to 77 people and emergency workers are continuing to search for 47 who are missing, authorities said on Monday.

The floods last week brought chaos as torrents of water tossed dozens of cars and heaps of debris along streets, destroyed buildings and bridges, closed roads and damaged electricity infrastructure.

Sixty-two people died as a result of floods in Kastamonu province. Another 14 people died in Sinop and one in Bartin, the Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) said.

Forty-seven people were reported missing in Kastamonu and Sinop, it said, adding that seven others were receiving treatment in hospital.

Drone footage showed massive damage in the town of Bozkurt in Kastamonu province, where rescue teams searched demolished buildings at the weekend.

More than 2,000 people were evacuated from affected areas, some with the help of helicopters and boats, AFAD said, adding that more than 8,500 personnel were involved in the emergency response efforts.

Weather forecasters warned of further flooding due to expected heavy rainfall on Monday in Black Sea provinces to the east of the regions affected last week.

Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Dominic Evans and Rosalba O’Brien

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Drone footage showed massive damage in the town of Bozkurt in Kastamonu province, where rescue teams searched demolished buildings at the weekend.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/death-toll-rises-70-turkey-floods-47-reported-missing-2021-08-16/

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Chipmaker TSMC says too early to say on Germany expansion

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) (2330.TW) said on Monday that it was too early to say whether it will build factories in Germany and that talks were in early stages, as the EU seeks to reduce chip imports amid a supply shortage.

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The logo of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) is pictured at its headquarters, in Hsinchu, Taiwan, Jan. 19, 2021. REUTERS/Ann Wang

TAIPEI, July 26 (Reuters) – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) (2330.TW) said on Monday that it was too early to say whether it will build factories in Germany and that talks were in early stages, as the EU seeks to reduce chip imports amid a supply shortage.

The European Commission had held discussions with global chip giants, including Intel (INTC.O) and TSMC, as the EU seeks to boost semiconductor production and shield itself from shocks in the global supply chain. read more

Taiwan and TSMC, the world’s largest contract chip manufacturer, have become central in efforts to resolve the pandemic-induced chip shortage that has forced automakers to cut production and hurt manufacturers of smartphones, laptops and even appliances.

“We are currently doing reviews on Germany seriously, but it’s still in very early stages,” TSMC chairman Mark Liu told an annual shareholder meeting when asked about building chip fabrication plants in the EU country.

“We continue to communicate with our major clients in Germany to see whether this is most important and effective for our clients,” he said. “It’s too early to say.”

TSMC signalled in July plans to build new factories in the United States and Japan amid concern over the concentration of chipmaking capability in Taiwan, which produces most of the world’s most advanced chips and is geographically close to political rival China. read more

On TSMC’s $12 billion factory in the U.S. state of Arizona, Liu said the expansion would support client demand, especially in infrastructure and national security.

“Clients are the backing of our global expansion. We will move very cautiously,” Liu said, adding that the company’s customers would help share costs of overseas operations.

TSMC announced this year plans to invest $100 billion over the next three years to increase capacity, riding on what it called a “multiple years of growth opportunities”, as the COVID-19 pandemic and new technologies drove global demand for advanced chips.

Reporting By Yimou Lee. Editing by Gerry Doyle

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Taiwan and TSMC, the world’s largest contract chip manufacturer, have become central in efforts to resolve the pandemic-induced chip shortage that has forced automakers to cut production and hurt manufacturers of smartphones, laptops and even appliances.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/technology/chipmaker-tsmc-says-too-early-say-germany-expansion-2021-07-26/

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