Under the U.S. Constitution’s 10th Amendment and U.S. Supreme Court decisions over nearly 200 years, state governments have the primary authority to control the spread of dangerous diseases within their jurisdictions. The 10th Amendment, which gives states all powers not specifically given to the federal government, allows them the authority to take public health emergency actions, such as setting quarantines and business restrictions.
As a reminder, the 10th Amendment says, “Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
States also retain significant emergency powers to regulate public safety and health through their own state constitutions and legal precedent dating back to the early 1800s.
The federal government’s quarantine powers are limited to those things the feds control, like ports of entry, airspace and such. States each have specific laws that set out who has what authority. Here is a list of each state’s rules.
But there is a legal argument around something called “the Preemption Doctrine” (if you really care, see the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. U.S. Const. art. VI., § 2). The preemption doctrine refers to the idea that a higher authority of law will displace the law of a lower authority when the two authorities come into conflict. Let’s say a state says, “We are in an emergency and you have to wear a mask” (as California did). A local government can’t come along and say, “Forget what the state said.” Generally, then, an act of Congress preempts state constitutions and an FDA ruling preempts state court rulings and so on.
If you want to know the specific laws affecting government quarantine powers, go here.
FRANCE 24 English – LIVE – International Breaking News & Top stories - 24/7 stream https://youtu.be/is6Mv1U2hvw
(L to R) French President Emmanuel Macron , US President Donald Trump and Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom leave after posing a photo on the first day of the G20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany, on July 7, 2017.
The United States is facing increasing criticism for its withdrawal Monday from the World Health Organization (WHO).
China denounced the U.S. decision. Foreign ministry official Zhao Lijian said the withdrawal will weaken international efforts to fight the COVID-19 health crisis. He added that the damage would especially hurt developing countries where the need for aid is urgent.
Zhao spoke to reporters Wednesday in Beijing. He praised the work of the WHO, describing it as “the most authoritative and professional international” organization dealing with public health security.
The U.S. withdrawal will not take effect for a year as required by the WHO constitution. The U.S. also is required to pay any membership fees it owes the United Nations agency.
Health officials and opponents to President Donald Trump’s administration also criticized the decision to withdraw. Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden said he would cancel the withdrawal on his first day in office if elected in November. Americans are safer when the U.S. is involved in worldwide health efforts, Biden said.
Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, called the withdrawal “an act of true senselessness.” She wrote in a Twitter message, “With millions of lives at risk, the president is crippling the international effort to defeat the virus.”
For months, Trump has criticized the WHO’s effort to deal with COVID-19. He accuses the organization of surrendering to Chinese pressure to mislead the public about the disease. In April, Trump suspended U.S. financial support for the WHO. In May, he said the United States planned to withdraw.
The president’s supporters agree that the WHO has had failings in the COVID-19 crisis. But, not all necessarily support Trump’s decision to withdraw.
American lawmaker Lamar Alexander leads the U.S. Senate’s health committee. In a statement Tuesday, he agreed that the WHO’s COVID-19 actions should be examined. But he added, “the time to do that is after the crisis has been dealt with, not in the middle of it.”
The U.S. was among the countries that established the World Health Organization in 1948. It is its largest donor, as well, providing more than $450 million to the agency every year. America leads the world with the most COVID-19 cases – over 3 million, and more than 131,000 deaths.
U.S. health experts called the president’s decision shortsighted and destructive of international cooperation in fighting all diseases.
Thomas File Jr., president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, said the withdrawal leaves the U.S. at greater risk of COVID-19 as it will not be part of international efforts to “develop and access vaccines.” He said the U.S. would also face greater danger in future pandemics without WHO membership.
The World Health Organization said it will send a team of experts to China this weekend. It said the team would study how the new coronavirus started and made the jump from animals to humans.
I’m Caty Weaver.
The Associated Press reported this story. Caty Weaver adapted it for Learning English. Bryan Lynn was the editor.
Video sharing service TikTok says it is ending operations in Hong Kong after the enactment of a new national security law.
The decision by Chinese-owned TikTok comes after other major internet companies announced they had suspended processing any new requests for user data from Hong Kong’s government.
The companies include Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Telegram and Zoom. They said the suspensions would remain while they study the new law, which took effect last week.
The law reduces Hong Kong’s self-governing autonomy and makes it easier to punish protesters. There is a punishment of life imprisonment for the crimes of secession, terrorism and aiding foreign forces.
Under the “one country, two systems” rule, Hong Kong was guaranteed the right to its own social, legal and political systems for 50 years following the end of British rule in 1997.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam listens to reporters' questions during a press conference in Hong Kong, Tuesday, July 7, 2020. TikTok says it will stop operations in Hong Kong, joining other social media companies.
Some observers, however, say China’s ruling Communist Party has ignored that agreement by forcing the passage of unpopular laws. Critics see the new national security law as an attempt by China to reduce individual rights and freedoms in Hong Kong.
The new law gives police powers to control and remove online information if “reasonable grounds” are found to suspect that the data might violate national security rules.
American-based social media services like Facebook and Twitter are generally banned in China. But most have operated freely in Hong Kong. The companies are now considering how to operate under the new national security law.
TikTok said in a statement it decided to immediately halt its operations in Hong Kong “in light of recent events.”
A person uses the video-sharing app TikTok on a smartphone in New Delhi, in this illustration photo taken on June 29, 2020.
The Chinese company ByteDance owns TikTok. The app is hugely popular in the United States and many other countries, especially among young people. TikTok only operates outside of mainland China. But ByteDance runs a similar video-sharing service for inside China.
Some U.S. officials have raised national security concerns about TikTok. Lawmakers have warned that TikTok could be misusing private data. They have also expressed concerns about laws requiring Chinese companies “to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.”
U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said this week that officials were looking at banning some Chinese internet services, including TikTok. When asked whether he would suggest that Americans use TikTok, Pompeo told the broadcaster Fox News, “Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the media at the State Department in Washington, DC, U.S., May 20, 2020. Nicholas Kamm/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
ByteDance has denied it is influenced by Chinese officials and says it does not provide any user data to the government.
Facebook and its messaging app WhatsApp said in a statement on Monday they had stopped processing government requests for user data in Hong Kong. The companies said they were currently examining the new national security law. They added that the process would include “human rights due diligence” and discussions “with international human rights experts.”
Google, Twitter, Microsoft’s LinkedIn and video conferencing service Zoom also made similar announcements.
Mike Ravdonikas is a spokesperson for messaging service Telegram. He told The Associated Press the company had also stopped processing data requests related to its Hong Kong users.
Activists in Hong Kong widely used Telegram to help organize pro-democracy protests in the territory.
Ravdonikas said the company understands “the importance of protecting the right to privacy of our Hong Kong users.” He added that the suspension would remain in place “until an international consensus is reached in relation to the ongoing political changes in the city.”
I’m Bryan Lynn.
Bryan Lynn wrote this story for Learning English, based on reports from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if someone is really smiling or the smirk on their face is fake. But now there are computers that are able tell real smiles from fake ones better than humans can. How do they work and what are the benefits? It's something Neil and Sam are discussing in 6 Minute English - as well as teaching you some useful vocabulary that will hopefully bring a smile to your face.
This week's question
The expressions we can make with our face are controlled by muscles. How many muscles do we have in our face? Is it:
A: 26 B: 43 C: 62
Listen to the programme to find out the answer.
facial adjective to do with the face
to infer to come to a decision about something using the information you have, which may not be complete
in real time at the same time as, without delay
to induce to cause something to happen
genuine real, not fake
to figure out to calculate, to work out
Note: This is not a word for word transcript
Neil Hello. This is 6 Minute English, I'm Neil.
Sam And I'm Sam.
Neil It’s good to see you again, Sam.
Neil Yes, of course, can’t you tell by the way I’m smiling?
Sam Ah well, I find it difficult to tell if someone is really smiling or if it’s a fake smile.
Neil Well, that’s a coincidence because today’s programme is all about how computers may be able tell real smiles from fake smiles better than humans can. Before we get in to that though, a question. The expressions we can make with our face are controlled by muscles. How many muscles do we have in our face? Is it:
A: 26 B: 43 C: 62
What do you think, Sam?
Sam No idea! But a lot, I’d guess, so I’m going with 62.
Neil OK. Well, we’ll see if you’ll be smiling or crying later in the programme. Hassan Ugail is a professor of visual computing at the University of Bradford. He’s been working on getting computers to be able to recognise human emotions from the expressions on our face. Here he is speaking on the BBC Inside Science radio programme – how successful does he say they have been?
Professor Hassan Ugail We've been working quite a lot on the human emotions, so the idea is how the facial muscle movement, which is reflected on the face, through obviously a computer through video frames and trying to understand how these muscle movements actually relate to facial expressions and then from facial expressions trying to understand the emotions or to infer the emotions. And they have been quite successful in doing that. We have software that can actually look at somebody's face in real time and then identify the series of emotions that person is expressing in real time as well.
Neil So, have they been successful in getting computers to identify emotions?
Sam Yes, he says they’ve been quite successful, and what’s interesting is that he says that the computers can do it in real time. This means that there’s no delay. They don’t have to stop and analyse the data, or crunch the numbers, they can do it as the person is talking.
Neil The system uses video to analyse a person’s expressions and can then infer the emotions. To infer something means to get an understanding of something without actually being told directly. So, you look at available information and use your understanding and knowledge to work out the meaning.
Sam It’s a bit like being a detective, isn’t it? You look at the clues and infer what happened even if you don’t have all the details.
Neil Yes, and in this case the computer looks at how the movement of muscles in the face or facial muscles, show different emotions. Here’s Professor Ugail again.
Professor Hassan Ugail We've been working quite a lot on the human emotions so the idea is how the facial muscle movement, which is reflected on the face, through obviously a computer through video frames and trying to understand how these muscle movements actually relate to facial expressions and then from facial expressions trying to understand the emotions or to infer the emotions. And they have been quite successful in doing that. We have software that can actually look at somebody's face in real time and then identify the series of emotions that person is expressing in real time as well.
Neil So, how do the computers know what is a real or a fake smile? The computers have to learn that first. Here’s Professor Ugail again talking about how they do that.
Professor Hassan Ugail We have a data set of real smiles and we have a data set of fake smiles. These real smiles are induced smiles in a lab. So, you put somebody on a chair and then show some funny movies and we expect the smiles are genuine smiles. And similarly we ask them to pretend to smile. So, these are what you'd call fake smiles. So, what we do is we throw these into the machine and then the machine figures out what are the characteristics of a real smile and what are the characteristics of a fake smile.
Neil So, how do they get the data that the computers use to see if your smile is fake or genuine – which is another word which means real?
Sam They induce real smiles in the lab by showing people funny films. This means that they make the smiles come naturally. They assume that the smiles while watching the funny films are genuine.
Neil And then they ask the people to pretend to smile and the computer programme now has a database of real and fake smiles and is able to figure out which is which.
Sam Figure out means to calculate and come to an answer
Neil Yes, and apparently the system gets it right 90% of the time, which is much higher than we humans can. Right, well before we remind ourselves of our vocabulary, let’s get the answer to the question. How many muscles do we have in our face? Is it:
A: 26 B: 43 C: 62
Sam, are you going to be smiling? What did you say?
Sam So I thought 62! Am I smiling, Neil?
Neil Sadly you are not, you are using different muscles for that sort of sad look! Actually the answer is 43. Congratulations to anyone who got that right. Now our vocabulary.
Sam Yes – facial is the adjective relating to face.
Neil Then we had infer. This verb means to understand something even when you don’t have all the information, and you come to this understanding based on your experience and knowledge, or in the case of a computer, the programming.
Sam And these computers work in real time, which means that there’s no delay and they can tell a fake smile from a genuine one, which means a real one, as the person is speaking.
Neil They made people smile, or as the Professor said, they induced smiles by showing funny films.
Sam And the computer is able to figure out or calculate whether the smile is fake or genuine.
Neil OK, thank you, Sam. That’s all from 6 Minute English today. We look forward to your company next time and if you can’t wait you can find lots more from bbclearningenglish online, on social media and on our app. Goodbye!
FTI to seek Cabinet measures for boosting liquidity of SMEs
Jul 09. 2020
By THE NATION
The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) will propose to the Cabinet meeting on Thursday (July 9) measures to increase the liquidity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) , FTI chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree said.
“The Covid-19 crisis has dragged on for longer than we expected, therefore the government should extend aid measures to help business operators,” he said. “For example, the postponement of debt repayment that was originally set at six months from April to September, should be extended by at least two years, as many SMEs are still unable to resume their operations at full capacity. The inability to repay debts could result in business shutdowns and massive unemployment.”
“Furthermore, the government should increase and extend discounts or exemptions on utilities such as water, electricity, internet, as well as on fees when registering with authorities or using government services,” he added. “These measures will help increase SMEs’ liquidity, enabling them to get back on their feet faster.”
Supant also added that the government should allocate more budget to the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation (TCG), who will act as guarantor when SMEs apply for loans. “TCG needs at least Bt200 billion to help SMEs that still have no access to soft loans provided by financial institutions, while the guarantee period should be extended to at least five years in order to help SMEs retain their employees and create liquidity in the economy system.”
FTI estimates that of the Bt200-billion loan guarantee amount that TCG will provide, Bt50 billion will go to medium-sized businesses, while Bt150 billion will be required by small enterprises which are greater in number and is the group that has suffered the most from the Covid-19 crisis.
No domestic Covid-19 cases in 45 days, five more test positive in state quarantine
There were five new cases of Covid-19 in state quarantine over a 24-hour period, the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), reported on Thursday (July 9).
There have been no domestic cases for 45 days, since the last one reported on May 25.
Of the new cases, four had returned from the United Arab Emirates -- three men and a woman aged 38-54 -- Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the CCSA, said.
This group returned on July 2 and tested positive on July 7 despite showing no symptoms.
One male student returned from Egypt on July 8 and tested positive on the same day after he lost his sense of smell.
Meanwhile, 11 patients were reported to have fully recovered and returned home.
As of July 9, the total number of confirmed cases in the country stood at 3,202 (2,444 domestic cases and 265 in state quarantine) -- 59 are under treatment, 3,085 have recovered and been discharged, and there have been 58 deaths.
Globally, the total number of confirmed cases passed 12 million, up by 210,000, with 7 million recovered while deaths stood at 552,000. Thailand ranked 99th for most cases in the world while the US still has the highest number, followed by Brazil and India.
“These numbers show that outside our country, the situation is still critical. It means that we are still in a dangerous condition. So don’t drop your guard,” said Dr Taweesin.
He also revealed that of the new patients found positive from June 1 to July 8, 33.33 per cent did not have symptoms before boarding, 36.67 per cent showed symptoms before travel, 25 per cent showed symptoms on the travel day, and 5 per cent could not identify the first date of infection.