What you need to know about the new COVID‐19 variants by David Kennedy for the Conversation, 1/17/21
Two new strains of the coronavirus that causes COVID‐19 called B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 have been found in the U.K. and South Africa and are thought to be more transmissible. In this interview, David Kennedy, a biologist who studies the evolution of infectious diseases at Penn State, explains how these new strains are different, what “more transmissible” means, what that means for the public and whether the vaccines will be effective against them.
What are the two new variants of the SARS CoV‐
There are actually a few different variants that are emerging that you've probably been hearing about recently. Two of the most common ones that people are talking about and are most concerned about are the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants. They were first detected in the U.K. and South Africa. It seems that they have been circulating since October at least but were only noticed in December. The concern about these variants is that they might have some differences in how transmissible they are and how the immune system sees them.
Fab 5, Flourgon to Perform at Kamala Harris’
Virtual Inauguration Party by Global Voices, 1/3/2021
Several Caribbean musicians will celebrate Jamaican‐American, Kamala Harris, the Vice President‐elect of the United States before she is officially sworn-in. The well‐known show band Fab 5 and popular 90s deejay Flourgon will join other artists from the Caribbean to perform at the Vice-President elect's virtual inauguration party. The event, which is still being planned by the Caribbean American Action Network (CAAN), will take place on January 17.
The CAAN, which is part of the Caribbean American and Caribbean organizations, said they wanted to take part in the event to celebrate Harris'
heritage. Her father is of Jamaican roots. Frankie Campbell of the Fab 5 spoke to the Jamaica Observer and explained more about why the band is happy to be a part of the event. He described the opportunity as an honor. He also shared about how they were recruited.
“The group organizing the event reached out to us and we were absolutely delighted to be part of this celebration after all Kamala Harris is one of us. We will be preparing a video and contributing it to the event,” he said.
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Thousands of Brazilians who won elections as Black candidates in 2020 previously ran for office as white by Andrew Janusz for the Conversation 1/10/21
Photo Credit: Lula Marques/Agência PT
Brazil is undergoing a strange racial reckoning after bombshell revelations that thousands of veteran politicians had changed their self‐
identified race between the 2016 and 2020 elections.
Afro-Brazilians ‐ a category that includes Black and mixed‐race people ‐ comprise 56% of Brazil's population but 43% of elected officials. So when almost 29,000 Afro‐Brazilian city council and mayoral candidates took office on Jan. 1 after winning their races last November, communities of color celebrated their growing political representation.
Ironically, a racial equality initiative likely contributed to Brazil's political race‐
changing scandal. In a major victory for the country's Black consciousness movement, Brazil's top electoral court ruled in September 2020 that each political party had to split the campaign resources it receives from the government proportionately between its white and nonwhite candidates. Many race‐switching politicians are presumed to have adopted nonwhite identities opportunistically, to attain those campaign resources.
New coronavirus strain, 12/27/20
NYS Governor Cuomo on Sunday demanded that the U.S. government put restrictions on people traveling from the United Kingdom (U.K.) in light of the coronavirus strain discovered there. This new strain of the virus is 70% more transmissible than its predecessor.
The governor is requiring that the federal government mandate passengers test negative when traveling from the U.K. The governor stated in his live briefing that 120 countries is now requiring United Kingdom travelers to have negative COVID-19 test before traveling to their country.
To prevent the spread of the new coronavirus strain in New York, Governor Cuomo asked the 3 major airlines (British Airways, Delta, and Virgin Atlantic) that carry British passengers to add New York to the list of places that requires a negative COVID-19 result before traveling.