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Appeals Court Refuses to Put Biden’s Vaccine Mandate for Healthcare Workers Back Into Effect

Forbes reported:

A federal appeals court upheld Monday a district court order that blocked the White House’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers — which paused the order in only 10 states and not nationwide — the latest in a string of recent setbacks President Joe Biden’s vaccine orders have faced in court.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Biden administration’s request to lift a lower court’s injunction that blocked the mandate, which requires vaccinations for healthcare workers in facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid, while the case is being appealed.

The order applies only to Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, and is distinct from a separate court order from a federal judge in Louisiana that blocked the mandate nationwide.

NFL Requiring Coaches, Team Staff to Get COVID Boosters

Associated Press reported:

The NFL is requiring coaches, front-office staff and team personnel to receive a COVID-19 booster by Dec. 27.

The league’s requirement extends to all Tier 1 and Tier 2 individuals who have previously received the vaccine. Though players are in the Tier 1 designation along with coaches and trainers, the mandate doesn’t apply to players because discussions with the NFL Players Association are ongoing.

The league says anyone who is not currently subject to the requirement for boosters will be required to obtain the booster within 14 days of becoming eligible.

Air Force Discharges 27 for Refusal to Get COVID Vaccine

Associated Press reported:

The Air Force has discharged 27 people for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine, making them what officials believe are the first service members to be removed for disobeying the mandate to get the shots.

The Air Force gave its forces until Nov. 2 to get the vaccine, and thousands have either refused or sought an exemption. Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said Monday that these are the first airmen to be administratively discharged for reasons involving the vaccine.

Kroger Ending Some COVID Benefits for Unvaccinated Staff

Associated Press reported:

Kroger, the country’s biggest traditional grocery chain, is ending some benefits for unvaccinated workers as big employers attempt to compel more of their workforce to become vaccinated with cases of COVID-19 again rising.

Unvaccinated workers will no longer be eligible to receive up to two-weeks paid emergency leave if they become infected, a company spokesperson confirmed Tuesday. That policy was put into place last year when vaccines were unavailable.

The Cincinnati company also confirmed changes in benefits first reported by The Wall Street Journal for non-union or management. Unvaccinated workers in that category will pay a monthly $50 surcharge for their company health plan.

Pennsylvania Senate Approves Bill Prohibiting COVID Vaccine Mandate for K-12 Students

Pennsylvania Capital-Star reported:

Returning to Harrisburg on Monday for the last session week of the year, Republicans in the Pennsylvania state Senate approved legislation prohibiting a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for K-12 students.

The bill, authored by Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Mercer, passed the upper chamber in a 28-21 vote along party lines. The legislation, which saw pushback from legislative Democrats, would prohibit schools from requiring kids to get a coronavirus vaccine to attend classes.

Philadelphia to Require Proof of Vaccine or Negative COVID Test at Public Indoor Spaces

Newsweek reported:

Philadelphians will soon be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test in order to enter indoor bars, sporting events, restaurants and other venues, officials announced Monday.

Both customers and employees will be subject to the requirement starting Jan. 3, but the option for a negative test is only temporary. For the first two weeks, people will be able to show a negative test from the last 24 hours in order to enter, but proof of full vaccination for all will be mandated starting Jan. 17.

California to Reinstitute Statewide Mask Mandate Amid Rise in COVID Cases

Reuters reported:

California will impose a statewide mask mandate in all indoor public spaces as COVID-19 case rates soar, the state’s senior government health official said on Monday as precautions ramp up against the Omicron variant.

The mandate, which will take effect on Wednesday and last a month, is one of several measures the most-populous U.S. state is taking.

California is also tightening testing requirements for unvaccinated people who want to attend large events such as music festivals and professional ball games where more than 1,000 people are in attendance.

Veteran Actor Fired for Refusing COVID Vaccine Sues ABC

RT reported:

A veteran actor is suing ABC for religious discrimination after he was fired from America’s longest-running soap opera for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Ingo Rademacher, 50, who starred as Jasper Jacks on General Hospital for 25 years before his dismissal last month, has accused the Disney-owned American Broadcasting Company (ABC) of refusing to accept his exemption request for “sincerely held religious objections to the COVID-19 shots.”

Rademacher is represented by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — the son of assassinated US Senator Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of former US president John F. Kennedy — along with attorneys John W. Howard and Scott J. Street. The actor’s lawsuit claims ABC “subjected him to half an hour of cross-examination about his religious beliefs and then denied his exemption request, without explanation.”

Ghana to Fine Airlines $3,500 for Unvaccinated Passengers

Associated Press reported:

Ghana will fine airlines $3,500 for each passenger who arrives in the West African country without being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the latest measure taken by the country with some of the strictest restrictions in the region

Airlines also will be penalized the same amount for passengers who did not fill out a health declaration form before boarding their flight to Kotoka International Airport, the state-owned Ghana Airport Company announced Monday.

While Ghanaians who fly in without meeting the requirement will be allowed to enter the country and undergo a 14-day quarantine, foreigners may be refused entry, the airport authority announced.

Elon Musk Says He and His Family Are Vaccinated but That Mandates for the Masses Are an ‘Erosion of Freedom’

Business Insider reported:

After downplaying the coronavirus and expressing skepticism about vaccines, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that he and his eligible children have gotten the COVID-19 jab.

He doesn’t think the government should enforce vaccine mandates, however. The unvaccinated are “taking a risk, but people do risky things all the time,” he said. “I believe we’ve got to watch out for the erosion of freedom in America.”

Musk has made it clear before he’s no fan of big government imposing restrictions on people and businesses in the name of fighting the pandemic. When California forced nonessential businesses to close, Musk fought publicly with officials and eventually reopened Tesla’s California factory in defiance of their rules.

5G Now Means Some Flights Won’t Be Able to Land When Pilots Can’t See the Runway

The Verge reported:

Verizon and AT&T are hoping new swaths of C-band cellular radio spectrum will help make the 5G hype closer to reality, but the big mid-band 5G rollout may have a side effect. Airplanes rely on radio altimeters to tell how high they are above the ground to safely land when pilots can’t see, and the FAA is now instructing 6,834 of them to not do that at certain airports because of 5G interference.

The FAA ruled that thousands of U.S. planes (and some helicopters) won’t be able to use many of the guided and automatic landing systems that are designed to work in poor visibility conditions, if they’re landing at an airport where there’s deemed to be enough interference that their altimeters aren’t reliable.

That likely means flight delays: “These limitations could prevent dispatch of flights to certain locations with low visibility, and could also result in flight diversions,” reads a portion of the FAA’s written explanation.

It’s not yet clear which specific airports might restrict low visibility flight, but you can imagine that they’d likely be in the same places where the carriers are deploying mid-band 5G — with a few exceptions, they’re the United States’ most-populated cities.

Algorithms That Detect Cancer Can Be Fooled by Hacked Images

The Verge reported:

Artificial intelligence programs that check medical images for evidence of cancer can be duped by hacks and cyberattacks, according to a new study. Researchers demonstrated that a computer program could add or remove evidence of cancer from mammograms, and those changes fooled both an AI tool and human radiologists.

That could lead to an incorrect diagnosis. An AI program helping to screen mammograms might say a scan is healthy when there are actually signs of cancer or incorrectly say that a patient does have cancer when they’re actually cancer free.

Such hacks are not known to have happened in the real world yet, but the new study adds to a growing body of research suggesting healthcare organizations need to be prepared for them.

Twitter’s New Privacy Policy Was Abused in Predictable Ways, Experts Say

ABC News reported:

In late November, Twitter rolled out a new privacy policy it said was aimed at preventing the misuse of media to harass, intimidate or reveal the identities of individuals — but, within days, accusations circulated that some users were abusing the new policy to remove legitimate media.

Under the policy, which was announced on Nov. 30, Twitter users could ask the company to remove photos and videos of themselves posted to the platform without their permission.

“It was completely predictable,” said David Greene, civil liberties director and senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The policy was too broad and too imprecise, so it was very quickly abused, he said, adding, “I don’t think anyone was really surprised. Only surprised by how fast.”

What Is Web3 and Why Should You Care?

Gizmodo reported:

In recent months, you may have come across a phrase growing in popularity: Web3. You might be wondering what it is, what it will mean for the future, and how exactly the third-generation internet differs from the first two.

Let’s cut to the chase: For Web3 evangelists, it’s a revolution; for skeptics, it’s an overhyped house of cards that doesn’t stand up too much scrutiny.

Part of the reason that there’s such a heated debate going on about Web3 — and cryptocurrencies, and NFTs, or non-fungible tokens — right now is that it’s very early days.