A federal judge in Pennsylvania has blocked a Trump administration order that would have banned TikTok from operating inside the United States as of November 12, finding that content creators who use the short-form video platform to make a living would suffer "irreparable harm" if the ban were to go through.
The "significant and unrecoverable economic loss caused by the shutdown of the TikTok platform" was grounds for granting an injunction, Judge Wendy Beetlestone of the US District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania wrote in a ruling (PDF) today.
President Donald Trump in August issued an executive order declaring TikTok (as well as another China-based app, WeChat) to be a national emergency. That order gave the Department of Commerce 45 days to put a list of banned actions into place. Commerce did so, prohibiting new TikTok downloads after September 20 and banning nearly every other TikTok feature after November 12.
A significant number of people infected with the pandemic coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, are experiencing long-term symptoms and taking many weeks or months to fully recover, the World Health Organization emphasized in a press conference today.
“I have heard first hand from people who face mid- to long-term effects of COVID-19 infection,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “What’s really concerning is the vast spectrum of symptoms that fluctuate over time, often overlap, and can affect any system in the body.”
While there have long been reports of COVID-19 long-haulers, the WHO worked to raise awareness of the problem today. It’s still unclear what proportion of infected people go on to have mid- to long-term health problems, Tedros noted. But, it's clear that "this is not just a virus that kills people." And with more than 45 million cases globally—and counting—even a small percentage will mean a large number of people will have long-term disability.
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There's a standard set of best practices for disease outbreaks that includes a process called contact tracing. Each time you identify someone infected, you figure out who they've been in proximity to during the time they were infectious. You then get the person infected to self-isolate, and also convince their contacts to do so, at least until they can be tested and found to be uninfected. Doing this successfully can bring the rate of infection down below the point where the outbreak is self-sustaining—even if not everybody's picked up through contact tracing, there won't be many who aren't, and anyone they infect eventually will be.
For the COVID-19 pandemic, infection rates in many countries were initially so high that contact tracing was impractical. But a suite of social interventions—social distance, mask wearing, limiting time out of the home, washing hands, etc.—were used to bring rates back down to where contact tracing could be effective again.
This didn't happen in the US. There was no national effort to contact trace, each state set its own policy regarding social restrictions, and many states lifted their social interventions too soon, all of which have allowed several surges in infections.
Google’s project zero says that hackers have been actively exploiting a Windows zeroday that isn’t likely to be patched until almost two weeks from now.
In keeping with long-standing policy, Google’s vulnerability research group gave Microsoft a seven-day deadline to fix the security flaw because it’s under active exploit. Normally, Project Zero discloses vulnerabilities after 90 days or when a patch becomes available, whichever comes first.
CVE-2020-117087, as the vulnerability is tracked, allows attackers to escalate system privileges. Attackers were combining an exploit for it with a separate one targeting a recently fixed flaw in Chrome. The former allowed the latter to escape a security sandbox so the latter could execute code on vulnerable machines.