With remote back-to-school, child care challenges for providers, families emerge

Christel Deskins

Student Masks.
Student Masks.

CINCINNATI, Ohio — As school officials chalk up plans for students to learn off-site, in schools or both this fall, child care providers across the country are working to create more safe spaces and care scenarios for kids. 

And they’re doing it under pressure.

School plans are iffy, so solutions must be fluid. Care centers are already working with their own coronavirus pandemic guidelines for young children, often with crippling costs. 

“We are in the midst of a tornado, and we’re trying to figure out how to educate in the middle of it. The tornado is COVID-19. It is not letting up,” said Jorge Perez, president and CEO of YMCA of Greater Cincinnati.

“The systems are in flux. We are going to have to be speedy. We are going to need additional funding.”

That need was expressed nationwide among child care providers who took part in a survey

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TV licence website down as BBC introduces fee for over-75s

Christel Deskins


The TV licensing website was briefly down on Saturday as millions of over-75s became liable for the fee.

Viewers trying to pay online were told the service was “temporarily unavailable while we update it for changes to over-75 licences”, the Sunday Times reported. The site was running again on Sunday.

Following the controversial decision to make older viewers pay the the annual £157.50 figure, only over-75s who are entitled to pension credit will be exempt from paying. However, letters explaining the exemption were not sent out in advance of the change, leading to further confusion.

Meanwhile, the BBC came under fire after it was revealed that some pensioners who called the licencing hotline number were told to submit their bank statements to prove their exemption from the fee, leading campaigners to warn this could put elderly people at risk of fraud.

“It will be extremely frustrating for older people

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We’ve been working from home for 5 months. Here’s what we learned.

Christel Deskins

We've been working from home for 5 months. Here's what we learned.
We’ve been working from home for 5 months. Here’s what we learned.

Like many, many others around the world, we’ve been working from home for close to six months here at Mashable due to the coronavirus pandemic. We miss our coworkers and our lunch spots, but we’ve managed to get by knowing we’re fortunate to be able to work from home at all.

Since we work on the internet, a big part of “getting by” has been learning the myriad ways tech can help and hinder us throughout the day. With that in mind, here are just a few of the basics that we and other remote workers have had to internalize and make part of our daily routines while our lives were turned upside down by the pandemic. We know you’d prefer to be back at the office or out with your friends, but take these tips to heart

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Jeanne Dietsch, Bedford State Senate Candidate

Christel Deskins

Senator Jeanne Dietsch

Age (as of Election Day)


Position Sought

Senate District 9

Party Affiliation



Husband, Bill Kennedy; daughter, Eva; son-in-law, Justin and son, Ethan.

Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?



Masters in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government; B.S., Western Michigan University


Tech Entrepreneur, 20 years; Educational Publishing & Software, 8 years

Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office

Current: NH Senator; Vice Chair, Senate Education Committee; member, Senate Ways & Means Committee, member, Economic Development Authority; Chair PFAS Commission; previous: member, School Board; chair, Zoning Board of Adjustment

Campaign website


Why are you seeking elective office?

I am running because I am concerned about rising generations. My parents grew up poor, on Depression-era farms, but worked hard, gained a good livelihood and sent their four children to public college for a small fee. Their efforts gave

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Egypt grapples with women’s freedoms online as #MeToo re-emerges

Christel Deskins

Cairo (AFP) – Social media has become a new and dangerous battleground for women’s rights in Egypt after young TikTok influencers were jailed while a resurgent #MeToo movement decried male sexual violence.

Last Monday, a court sentenced five female social media influencers, Haneen Hossam, Mowada al-Adham and three others, to two years in jail each on charges of violating public morals over content posted to video-sharing app TikTok.

International digital rights group Access Now described them as “all women, all young, all exercising their right to freedom of expression online”.

Just two days later, a court sentenced another young social media influencer, Manar Samy, to three years in prison over TikTok videos, deeming the clips in which she dances and lip-syncs to popular songs to be “inciting debauchery”.

Many in the deeply conservative country have cheered on the arrests, as traditional social values clash with online content seen as racy

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Online school? Some parents want to hire tutors, start mini schools this year. Most can’t afford to.

Christel Deskins

CHICAGO – Millions of parents across the nation are facing difficult decisions about what to do with their kids this school year. But the pandemic affects every family differently, for reasons that range from their socioeconomic status to their health to the fields they work in.

Some parents are in a better position than others to ensure their children stay healthy and keep up with schoolwork, and researchers are raising questions about how the pandemic may continue to exacerbate existing educational inequalities.

“Kids who are disproportionately low-income are at highest risk for learning losses,” said Ariel Kalil, a professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. “When these gaps in learning open up, absent some really serious and sustained intervention, the kids won’t (catch up). That will result in less academic achievement, lower lifetime earnings and even lower productivity in adulthood.”

USA TODAY spoke with more than

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Do lawmakers understand Google and Facebook enough to regulate them?

Christel Deskins

Many of us have had the feeling that technology, which continues to change at an ever-dizzying pace, may be leaving us behind. That was embodied this past week during a Congressional hearing, nominally convened to investigate antitrust concerns of four big tech titans: Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

While the five-and-a-half-hour inquiry touched on a range topics from pesky spam filters and search results to how companies approached acquisitions, the House Judiciary subcommittee hearing laid one thing bare: A sizable disconnect appears to exist between the technology Americans are using and depending on in their daily lives and the knowledge base of people with the power and responsibility to decide its future and regulation.

“Consumers and investors walk away feeling like a lot of these lawmakers don’t really understand the business models to an extent that they could then navigate them and put laws in place that will dictate the

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Philippines coronavirus cases top 100,000

Christel Deskins

MANILA, Philippines — Coronavirus infections in the Philippines surged past 100,000 Sunday after medical groups declared that the country was waging “a losing battle” against the virus and asked the president to reimpose a lockdown in the capital.

The Department of Health reported a record-high daily tally of 5,032, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 103,185, including more than 2,000 deaths. The Philippines has the second-most cases in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.

President Rodrigo Duterte eased a tough virus lockdown in the capital, Manila, on June 1. After shopping malls and workplaces were partially reopened and limited public transport was allowed, infections spiked sharply with increased virus testing.

More than 50,000 infections were reported in less than four weeks and leading hospitals began warning that their coronavirus wards were fast being overwhelmed to capacity again, as they were when cases soared alarmingly in April.

After Duterte further

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Barron Trump’s private school to stay closed for now

Christel Deskins

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump insists that schools reopen so students can go back to their classrooms, but the Maryland private school where his son Barron is enrolled is among those under county orders to stay closed.

Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles said his order to stay closed for in-person instruction through Oct. 1 and to conduct online classes only will be reevaluated before Oct. 1 to determine whether it should be extended, terminated or amended.

Gayles noted increases in transmission rates for COVID-19 — the disease caused by the virus — in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia, particularly in younger age groups.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have based our decisions on science and data,” Gayles said in a news release announcing the decision late Friday. “At this point the data does not suggest that in-person instruction is safe for students

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TikTok sale uncertain as Trump ban looms: reports

Christel Deskins

San Francisco (AFP) – Negotiations for Microsoft to buy the US operations of Chinese-owned TikTok are on hold after President Donald Trump threatened to bar the social media app and came out against the sale, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

Trump has pledged to get tough on the massively popular video-sharing app, which US officials have said could be a tool for Chinese intelligence — a claim the firm, owned by Chinese internet giant ByteDance, has repeatedly denied.

While there has been no sign yet of the ban he threatened on Friday to impose, his words were reportedly already adding to uncertainties for TikTok.

“Before Mr. Trump’s remarks, the two sides believed the broad strokes of a deal could be in place by Monday,” the paper reported on a possible TikTok-Microsoft sale, citing unnamed sources.

It also said Trump’s threats and opposition to the deal had prompted TikTok to

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