Day: May 1, 2020

Alberta launches Canada’s first contact tracing app as economy slowly reopens

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – The Canadian province of Alberta on Friday launched the country’s first phone app to trace contacts of people infected with the coronavirus, as the country slowly restarts its economy.

Increased testing and contact tracing are key parts of plans to reopen economies that have largely closed to slow the pandemic’s spread, with no proven vaccine or treatment available.

Currently, contact tracing is done manually, by asking infected patients to recall with whom they have interacted.

Alberta’s voluntary app, called ABTraceTogether, uses Bluetooth wireless technology to identify phones, which also have the app installed, that have come into 2-metre contact with an infected person for at least 15 minutes within a 24-hour period.

Once a person with the app becomes infected, Alberta Health Services will ask the person to upload encrypted data that will allow tracing workers to reach others who have been in close contact.


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Amazon, Target, Instacart workers stage U.S. protests on May Day

(Reuters) – Some workers at Inc, Target Corp and Instacart Inc staged protests and sick-outs on Friday to demand a safer work environment and better pay during the coronavirus outbreak.

Adria Rosenberg holds a sign as she joins her mother during a protest outside of an Amazon warehouse as the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in the Staten Island borough of New York U.S., May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The protests took place in New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon and other states, organizers said in social media posts and interviews. Labor groups and unions involved include the United Food and Commercial Workers and Workers United. Workers across the United States were invited to join by calling in sick.

May 1, known as International Workers’ Day or May Day, is a worldwide holiday to celebrate working classes.

The protests were the latest by workers deemed essential in the pandemic

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Syrian tycoon appeals to Assad in rare video to help save his telecom firm

AMMAN (Reuters) – Syria’s leading tycoon, Rami Makhlouf, said he will appeal to President Bashar al-Assad to allow his mobile communications company, Syriatel, to reschedule payment of taxes owed to the government in order to avoid a possible collapse of the firm.

Makhlouf, who is chairman of Syriatel, is a maternal cousin of Assad and widely considered part of the president’s inner circle. He said the government’s demand of 130 billion Syrian pounds ($300 million) was “unjust” but that he would comply.

“We are not evading taxes or deceiving the state … because you are our people. Does anyone steal oneself?” he said in a rare video message on social media released late on Thursday.

Makhlouf and his family are believed to own at least 69% of Syriatel, which is one of the war-ravaged economy’s main sources of revenue. He said the company has 11 million subscribers and more than

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Uber must face lawsuit claiming it stifled competition, drove out rival Sidecar

FILE PHOTO: A passenger enters an Uber car in New York City, New York, U.S., December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Jefferson Siegel

(Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc was ordered by a U.S. judge on Friday to face a lawsuit claiming its illegal predatory pricing and other anticompetitive practices stifled competition, and drove rival Sidecar Technologies Inc out of business.

Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero of the federal court in San Francisco said SC Innovations, the successor to Sidecar, could try to prove that Uber tried to monopolize the ride-sharing business, by crowding out smaller rivals including Lyft Inc or making it harder for them to compete.

A spokeswoman for San Francisco-based Uber declined to comment. Spero had dismissed an earlier version of the lawsuit on Jan. 21.

Sidecar launched a ride-hailing service in 2012, and offered the first app to show passengers prices before booking rides, and to match passengers for car

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