Need 2 Know: Virus Outbreak, Facial Recognition

January 21, 2020
  • CHINA MYSTERY ILLNESS: A flu-like illness that has killed at least six people in China is now spreading via human-to-human contact, Chinese health officials say, raising concerns that it is about to become a wider pandemic. There has been a sharp uptick in the number of people infected by the strain of coronavirus, with nearly 300 cases now confirmed. This is the busiest travel week of the year in China, as people celebrate Lunar New Year, and officials are worried that the virus is going to spread further. South China Morning Post

  • IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: The Senate impeachment trial of President Trump, on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, is now underway. The president’s legal team is asking senators to “swiftly reject” the charges, arguing that they are not impeachable offenses. Senate Republicans are pushing to speed things up, with no guarantee that new evidence or witnesses will be included. Reuters

  • FACIAL RECOGNITION: Imagine a scenario in which a stranger could take your photo on the street and immediately find out your name and address. That is already technically possible, thanks to a shadowy startup called Clearview AI. The company was the focus of an expose in the New York Times over the weekend, which reported on an app that Clearview has developed that scans billions of pics from the internet and may single-handedly “end privacy as we know it.” Read it

  • DAVOS: President Trump is in the Swiss Alps, attending the annual meeting of the world’s business elite at the World Economic Forum in Davos. An estimated 1,500 private jets are bringing people to this year’s meeting, which is focusing on climate change and sustainability. Trump spoke this morning and Greta Thunberg is expected on stage later today. ABC News

  • SAG AWARDS: Brad and Jen both won in their respective categories at the SAGs, which are closely watched as being predictive of who will win big at the Oscars. This year, Parasite became the first foreign-language film to win the Best Cast Award, giving it momentum headed into the homestretch before the Academy Awards. Indiewire

Hena Doba and Baker Machado get into the latest.

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