The Coronavirus Will Change How We Work Forever

Life on lockdown isn’t what you wanted, after all—and it may be what “office life” will be like from now on. The coronavirus pandemic has utterly disrupted the way millions of us work, and while the public health emergency will someday dissipate, some aspects of the Work From Home Revolution are likely here to stay.

“This may be the tipping point for remote work,” says Kate Lister, president of consulting firm Global Workplace Analytics. “I don’t think the office is going away, but more people will be spending at least part of the week at home.”

There is already a measurable spike in the number of at-home workers. Gartner, a research and advisory firm, reports in a March 17 survey of 800 HR executives that 88 percent of the organizations have encouraged or required employees to work from home. G&S Business Communications, found in their own “snap poll” on March 21 that 26 percent of those surveyed have moved from the office to home.

Source: The Coronavirus Will Change How We Work Forever

Listen to Hundreds of Free Audiobooks, From Classics to Educational Texts | Smithsonian Magazine

With classrooms closed due to COVID-19, millions of students across the United States are venturing into the realm of distance learning. To support these efforts, Amazon’s audiobook service, Audible, has launched an online collection of hundreds of free audiobooks primed for both education and entertainment.

The website doesn’t require a log-in, sign-up or payment information. To peruse Audible’s selection of novels, poetry and fables—from classics to modern favorites—simply click “Start Listening.”

Source: Listen to Hundreds of Free Audiobooks, From Classics to Educational Texts | Smart News | Smithsonian Magazine

How to Make Your Own COVID-19 Mask | Smithsonian Magazine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends wearing cloth face masks in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, the agency announced Friday evening. The guidance is considered a voluntary precaution to be used in addition to social distancing and proper hand-washing.

Taking into account recent evidence that people can still spread the virus if they are not showing symptoms, the CDC reversed their initial advisory that surgical masks and N-95 respirators be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.

Source: How to Make Your Own COVID-19 Mask | Smart News | Smithsonian Magazine

Boeing CST-100 Starliner

The Boeing Company is honored to be a provider for the Commercial Crew mission. We are committed to the safety of the men and women who design, build and ultimately will fly on the Starliner just as we have on every crewed mission to space. We have chosen to refly our Orbital Flight Test to demonstrate the quality of the Starliner system.

Flying another uncrewed flight will allow us to complete all flight test objectives and evaluate the performance of the second Starliner vehicle at no cost to the taxpayer. We will then proceed to the tremendous responsibility and privilege of flying astronauts to the International Space Station.

Source: Boeing CST-100 Starliner

Any EU Corona Fund must treat the cause, not just the symptoms |

Every evening, thousands of Europeans step out of their confinement for a few minutes to applaud the efforts of every health worker involved in fighting COVID-19. The first time I heard it, it gave me a sense of solidarity, shared responsibility and being part of a strong European community, writes MEP Siegfried Mureșan.

It is a symbolic act to a devoted hardship. A reminder that we are more interconnected than some want us to believe.

While it is moving to hear the moral support jangling across streets every evening for healthcare workers, we must move past that and do more. A concrete plan to invest, strengthen and prepare the healthcare systems of the EU countries for the next crisis is needed urgently.

For weeks now, we have been witnessing a severe shortage of medical equipment, protective gear, exhausted personnel and understaffed hospitals across Europe.

Source: Any EU Corona Fund must treat the cause, not just the symptoms –

Gentiloni: Virus crisis highlights importance of digital tax |

The strain imposed on Europe’s economy as a result of the coronavirus outbreak highlights the importance of agreeing on a global framework for digital taxation, the EU’s Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni has said.

Speaking at a Brussels event by videolink on Monday (6 April), Gentiloni said that while the aim is still to come to an international agreement on a levy imposed on digital giants, economic hardships prompted by the coronavirus could be a factor in persuading certain states to back a digital tax.

“Maybe the crisis will help to give a little bit more boost to multilateralism and international cooperation,” Gentiloni said during the event organized by the Bruegel think tank.

Source: Gentiloni: Virus crisis highlights importance of digital tax –

Europe’s role in stopping Nigeria’s ‘silent slaughter’ |

Murderous attacks on Christians and ethnic minorities by the Fulani and Islamic terror groups in the northern regions of Nigeria have been going on for close to two decades, leaving more than 60,000 dead.

But little has been done by successive Nigerian governments, or by the international community, to tackle and defeat the terror groups.

Campaigners want the United States to create a Special Envoy for Nigeria and Lake Chad Basin to focus on terrorism, deteriorating human rights and the root causes of violence, food insecurity and poor governance.

But what can the EU – for whom Nigeria is an important potential partner, especially as Brussels seeks to overhaul its trade and political relations with Africa – do to stop the ‘silent slaughter’?

Source: Europe’s role in stopping Nigeria’s ‘silent slaughter’ –

Coronavirus has changed the future of national security forever. Here’s how |

Nuclear war was the great fear of the 20th century and our institutions were built to respond to such threats. But Covid-19 has shown the world’s defense experts that we were blind, writes Stephan Blank.

Today, the biggest threats are in fact cellular. And the 21st century’s biggest threats are not ones we can defend against using standing armies or sophisticated weapons.

That’s why COVID-19 is changing the world and its major defense institutions. But whether that change can take place at the speed and scale the world needs is questionable.

That’s because even before COVID-19, the rise of ‘anti-globalism’, propelled by the meteoric popularity of extreme-right politics, threatened to unravel the world’s post-war security architecture. And the divisive political and economic trends of that shift led to the rapid weakening of institutions, alliances and agreements created to avoid diplomatic disagreements from turning into full-blown conflicts. Thais is why we are today witnessing a disjointed global response to COVID-19.

This lack of coordination against a global pandemic is one of the biggest challenges the world faces today. After all, the 21st Century’s biggest threats are systemic: and to fend them off, we need to rethink the very nature of national security.

Source: Coronavirus has changed the future of national security forever. Here’s how –

Russia fumes at North Macedonia’s NATO accession |

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a scathing statement on Wednesday (1 April) seeking to belittle and ridicule North Macedonia’s recent accession to NATO.

North Macedonia became NATO’s 30th member on 27 March, following the completion of the ratification procedure, in another blow to Moscow’s hope of maintaining its influence in the Western Balkans, where Montenegro and Albania have already joined the alliance.

The country’s flag was raised at the NATO headquarters in Brussels in a low-key ceremony, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The international press paid little attention to the event.

Source: Russia fumes at North Macedonia’s NATO accession –

Serbia sets the stage for Beijing’s mask diplomacy |

For weeks China has been showering European countries with millions of face masks, test kits and other aid, recasting itself as the hero in the battle against coronavirus.

EU officials have started to warn against a Beijing propaganda campaign — spun through the “politics of generosity” — that is distorting China’s initial missteps in managing a contagion that started on its soil and has now killed more than 40,000 people across the globe.

But Serbia, an EU candidate country with a long history of balancing its Western and Eastern alliances, has never been so lavish in its praise.

“Chinese experts are the first to have defeated the virus. From now on, we will do everything they say,” Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić said as state TV broadcast the arrival of the plane carrying the doctors and equipment.

Source: Serbia sets the stage for Beijing’s mask diplomacy –