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#434

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In deze editie

2 min.
indiana panel backs ban on drivers using handheld phones

A proposal to ban drivers from using handheld cellphones on Indiana roads is advancing in the state Legislature. A state Senate committee voted 8-1 to endorse the bill that only permits cellphone use with hands-free or voice-operated technology, except in emergencies. It would broaden the state’s current ban on texting while driving that officials say is unenforceable and doesn’t include actions such as emailing and using Snapchat or other apps. The House approved a similar version of the bill last month, which supporters say will help combat distracted driving and prevent many serious crashes. Tina Smith testified from a wheelchair about how she and her husband, Lorin, had stopped their motorcycle along a road when they were hit by a minivan whose driver was looking at a cellphone. Each lost a leg in…

5 min.
can ai flag disease outbreaks faster than humans? not quite

Did an artificial-intelligence system beat human doctors in warning the world of a severe coronavirus outbreak in China? In a narrow sense, yes. But what the humans lacked in sheer speed, they more than made up in finesse. Early warnings of disease outbreaks can help people and governments save lives. In the final days of 2019, an AI system in Boston sent out the first global alert about a new viral outbreak in China. But it took human intelligence to recognize the significance of the outbreak and then awaken response from the public health community. What’s more, the mere mortals produced a similar alert only a half-hour behind the AI systems. For now, AI-powered disease-alert systems can still resemble car alarms — easily triggered and sometimes ignored. A network of medical experts and sleuths…

2 min.
boeing asks lawmakers to suspend preferential tax rate

Washington state lawmakers introduced bills Wednesday, at The Boeing Co.’s request, to suspend the aerospace giant’s preferential business and occupation tax rate unless the United States and European Union reach an agreement on their long-running international trade dispute that would allow the lower tax rate. Democratic Sen. Marko Liias and Democratic House Majority Leader Rep. Pat Sullivan are the sponsors of the companion bills in the Senate and House. Under the legislation, starting on April 1, the company will no longer receive the 40% tax break that the Legislature adopted for the aerospace industry in 2003, which was expanded in 2013. Last year, the World Trade Organization body ruled that Boeing received an illegal U.S. tax break from Washington state that damaged sales by European archrival Airbus. The decision by the WTO’s appellate…

1 min.
airbus to cut over 2,300 jobs at defense and space division

European plane maker Airbus said Wednesday that it plans to cut more than 2,300 jobs at its defense and space division by the end of next year, spreading the cuts across several countries. The company said Airbus Defence and Space presented the plan to employee representatives and launched a consultation process for the cuts. The plan would eliminate 2,362 positions in all — 829 in Germany, 357 in the U.K., 630 in Spain, 404 in France and 142 elsewhere. Airbus pointed to a “flat space market and postponed contracts on the defense side.” It noted that it had announced the need for restructuring in December and underlined the issue during an annual news conference earlier this month. The defense and space division “will provide updates on its plans and continues a constructive dialogue with…

1 min.
jennifer lawrence to star in adam mckay comedy for netflix

Jennifer Lawrence will star in the Adam McKay comedy “Don’t Look Up” for Netflix. The streaming giant on Wednesday announced that it acquired the the project. McKay, who wrote the script, will direct the film about two low-level astronomers who go on a media tour to warn of an approaching asteroid heading for Earth. Lawrence has been little seen on the big screen lately, most recently co-starring in last year’s “X-Men: Dark Phoenix.”The 29-year-old actress took a roughly two-year hiatus from acting but has recently returned to work. She recently wrapped production on an untitled film for A24 directed by Lila Neugebauer. “I’m so thrilled to make this movie with Jen Lawrence,” McKay said in a statement. “She’s what folks in the 17th century used to call ‘a dynamite act.’ And the…

2 min.
google updates terms in plain language after eu scrutiny

Google is attempting to make sure people know exactly what they’re signing up for when they use its online services — though that will still mean reading a lengthy document. The company updated its terms of service on Thursday — its largest update to the general use contract since 2012 — in response to a pair of court orders in Europe. Google has been updating its policies and tweaking what is and isn’t allowed on its sites for the past couple of years as scrutiny of the tech industry heats up across the U.S. and Europe. Google, Facebook, Twitter and other digital companies have been forced under a spotlight as regulators and customers examine just how much the companies know about their users and what they do with that information. Facebook last year…