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Daily Digest


20200308

The East African region has been overrun by enormous swarms of desert locusts that are devouring crops, vegetation and pastures. (20200306 VOA Standard)

Agri-barshing is the verbal criticism and sometimes even physical abuse of farmers. Critics accuse them of harming the environment, animals and the health of other people. (20200306 VOA Special)


20200309

The results of Israel's third national election in a year are coming in. Most of the votes have been counted, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is getting closer to a win. (20200305 NPR)

A new study has found that ride-sharing services result much more pollution than other kinds of private and public transportation. Ride-sharing trips also draw passengers away from more environment friendly methords of travel, like public transportation, walking or biking, the study found.

This situation, known as "deadheading", takes up about 42 percent of all ride-sharing driving activitiy, the study found. The researchers said that deadheading results in about 50 percent more carbon dioxide than one person driving in a private vehicle.(20200309 VOA Special English)


20200310

Vice President Mike Pence says the United States has developed a plan to get more than 3,000 people off a cruise ship that has been anchored off the coast of California after some passengers and crew tested positive for the coronavirus. (20200309 VOA Special English)



20200311


The Federal Reserve is trying to inoculate the U.S. economy from the effects of the coronavirus. The Fed cut its benchmark interest rate today by half a percentage point.

Speaking to reporters this morning, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said that even though you're not seeing a lot of evidence yet in the government's statistics of economic fallout, you are starting to hear anecdotal stories from people whose businesses are feeling the ill effects.

"You are hearing concerns from people, for example, in the travel business or the hotel business and things like that. We expect that will continue. It will probably grow. And that's one of the reasons why we've come to the view that it would be appropriate for us today to move to support the economy. And that's what we've done".

"We do recognize that a rate cut will not reduce the rate of infection. It won't fix a broken supply chain. We get that. We don't think we have all the answers. But we do believe that our action will provide a meaningful boost to the economy". (20200306 NPR)



20200314


Chinese researchers have developed a robot designed to help doctors treat the new coronavirus and other highly contagious diseases. The machine has long robotic arm attached to a base with wheels. (20200311 VOA Special English)

A new study suggests that healthy adults who get at least eight hours of sleep a night may be less likely to experience common exercise-related injuries.

He said that getting too little sleep leads to decreased attention and mantal energy, which can lead to people being more likely to get hurt.

(20200312 VOA Special English)

The fast-spreading new coronavirus is hurting the world's economies, lowering production and limiting travel. On Monday, the New York Stock Exchange stopped trading five minutes after opening, as the Standard and Poor financial index fell 7 percent. The automatic 15-minute halt took place to avoid a market crash. (20200311 VOA Special English)


20200321


On Saturday, the United States and the Taliban signed a deal intended as a first step to peace in Afghanistan and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country. (20200309 NPR)

There is a cease-fire in Syria. Turkish forces have been fighting the Syrian regime, which is supported by Russia. So it is those two countries, Turkey and Russia, that have called the break in the violence around Idlib. (20200310 NPR)

Saudi Arabia's crown prince spent the weekend throwing international oil markets into chaos and crushing dissent at home. (20200311 NPR)

Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was sentenced today to 23 years in prison. (20200313 NPR)

The U.S. military says it has carried out a series of airstrikes in Iraq against a militia group backed by Iran. (20200313 NPR)

President Trump is expanding the European coronavirus travel ban to include the U.K. and Ireland. (20200317 NPR)

The Federal Reserve made a surprise announcement this evening that it is cutting interest rates to near zero. The move comes as the U.S. economy has been rocked by the fast-moving coronavirs outbreak. (20200318 NPR)



20200331


Will Israel's long-serving prime minister be replaced?Benjamin Netanyahu says during the coronavirus epidemic, it si not time to change leaders. (20200319)

President Trump's administration is proposing an $850 billion stimulus package to help businesses and individuals cope with the abrupt slowdown in the U.S. economy from the coronovirus and the related shutdowns. (20200320)

The European Union is closing its borders to non-EU residents. The travle ban will last for 30 days ,and it's aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. (20200323)

Another change due to the coronavirus - Japan's prime minister says the Tokyo Olympics, which were supposed to start on July 24, will be postphoned until next summer at the latest.(20200325)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the U.S. will cut a billion dollars in U.S. aid to Afghanistan. (20200326)


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