Cross-continent couples fight for ‘sweetheart’ status amid COVID-19 travel bans

Christel Deskins

Leah Howd is worried that her 5-month-old son, Johan, won’t remember his father when they are finally reunited.

“He is too small to understand the person on the computer monitor is his dad,” she said.

Howd, 39, of Peoria, Illinois, hasn’t seen her partner, Bas Bruurs, 41, of the Netherlands for three months — they are among thousands of couples now kept apart in different corners of the world by COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The U.S. has banned most foreign travelers from Europe since March, while the European Union barred Americans from visiting its 27 member states July 1.

NBC News’ Social Newsgathering team spoke to Americans desperate to be reunited with their partners who are using social media hashtags such as #LoveIsEssential and #LoveIsNotTourism to spotlight their stories.

Howd and Bruurs, who met playing the online video game Guild Wars 2 in 2015, have been dating since 2017, and they

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Remote Working Drives PC Peripheral Demand: 5 Stocks to Watch

Christel Deskins

The coronavirus pandemic has radically changed the work environment. With more employees forced to work remotely to maintain social distancing, there has been a surge in demand for computer and computer peripherals. People are equipping their home offices as the work-from-home trend is here to continue for an uncertain period of time.

Home to Office Transformation Boosts PC Peripheral Sales

In March, Shopify provided a $1,000 stipend to its employees for buying office supplies. While several companies have allowed employees to take their computers and laptops home, there was a spike in demand for peripherals like pointing devices, webcams, speakers, microphones and storage devices.

In fact, per NPD data, mice and keyboard sales grew 10% in the first two weeks of March. The report also said that shift to working from home has also boosted sales of webcams. Additional sales of big screens and dual monitor setups surged with 80,000

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These couples are stuck thousands of miles apart because of travel bans

Christel Deskins

Leah Howd is worried that her 5-month-old son, Johan, won’t remember his father when they are finally reunited.

“He is too small to understand the person on the computer monitor is his dad,” she said.

Howd, 39, of Peoria, Illinois, hasn’t seen her partner, Bas Bruurs, 41, of the Netherlands for three months — they are among thousands of couples now kept apart in different corners of the world by COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The U.S. has banned most foreign travelers from Europe since March, while the European Union barred Americans from visiting its 27 member states July 1.

NBC News’ Social Newsgathering team spoke to Americans desperate to be reunited with their partners who are using social media hashtags such as #LoveIsEssential and #LoveIsNotTourism to spotlight their stories.

Howd and Bruurs, who met playing the online video game Guild Wars 2 in 2015, have been dating since 2017, and they

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Bespoke Makers Employ New Strategies to Survive Pandemic

Christel Deskins

Click here to read the full article.

Holding a fabric up to a camera is no substitute for an in-person meeting, but that’s one of the strategies bespoke makers are using to reach customers during the pandemic. They’ve also turned to Instagram and YouTube videos, videochats and even tutorials on how to take the most accurate measurements as they search for viable alternatives to communicate with customers in a virtual world.

In a webinar Tuesday morning hosted by the upscale fabric mill Thomas Mason and moderated by Simon Crompton of the British blog Permanent Style, a group of custom shirt- and suit-makers and retailers took on the topic of how the luxury men’s wear industry can adapt to a more digital future.

Luca Avitabile, owner of the custom shirtmaker based in Naples, Italy, said since his atelier was forced to close, he has been offering videochat appointments instead of in-person

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Loss of international students could damage US economy, experts say

Christel Deskins

The world of higher education, already struggling to cope amid the COVID-19 pandemic, was rocked last week when the Trump administration issued a regulation that would prevent international students from entering the country in addition to compelling thousands already in the U.S. to leave if enrolled in schools that plan to teach exclusively online in the fall.

“These students and their families have invested so much hope and money — in some cases, their families’ life savings — to get an American education,” Kavita Daiya, an associate professor of English at George Washington University, told ABC News. “By being here, they bring so much talent and knowledge to our communities. To force them to leave is to betray the promise of opportunity and fairness that undergirds American higher education.”

Implementation of the order could cost the U.S. tens of billions of dollars and thousands of jobs, but on Tuesday the

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Trump’s plan to expel foreign students was an attack on U.S. science leadership

Christel Deskins

The Trump administration told international students at U.S. colleges and universities that they couldn't stay in this country if they did not attend classes this fall in person. Shown are students at UCLA. <span class="copyright">(Los Angeles Times)</span>
The Trump administration told international students at U.S. colleges and universities that they couldn’t stay in this country if they did not attend classes this fall in person. Shown are students at UCLA. (Los Angeles Times)

From the Trump administration perspective, suddenly forcing international students out of the country must have looked like three wins in one. It would have ejected mostly non-European immigrants, advanced the administration’s new demand that schools reopen their campuses despite the threat posed by COVID-19, and financially and academically harmed universities, which Trump views as bastions of liberal indoctrination.

Not to mention striking a blow against science, and especially against the nation’s leadership in scientific research, which has come about largely because of its globally admired university programs in engineering and laboratory science.

At least the odious preliminary directive was withdrawn Tuesday, though we don’t know how new students and those whose visas are ending

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Chegg (CHGG) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know

Christel Deskins

Chegg (CHGG) closed the most recent trading day at $69.20, moving -1.79% from the previous trading session. This move lagged the S&P 500’s daily gain of 1.34%. Elsewhere, the Dow gained 2.13%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.94%.

Heading into today, shares of the provider of online textbook rental services had gained 18.68% over the past month, outpacing the Computer and Technology sector’s gain of 7.45% and the S&P 500’s gain of 3.92% in that time.

Wall Street will be looking for positivity from CHGG as it approaches its next earnings report date. This is expected to be August 3, 2020. In that report, analysts expect CHGG to post earnings of $0.34 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 47.83%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $136.76 million, up 45.7% from the prior-year quarter.

Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts

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How to make a PowerPoint presentation into a video, so that it plays automatically without you having to click through each slide

Christel Deskins

You can make a PowerPoint presentation into a video in a few simple steps.
You can make a PowerPoint presentation into a video in a few simple steps.

Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

PowerPoint is an incredibly useful tool for giving presentations. With the click of a button, you can control how fast or slow you want the slides to progress, and when other extras like music or animation come in. 

However, if it is not your intention to give your presentation live and in person, this fact can be more of a hindrance than a help. If you intended, for example, to email it to your coworkers, or to post it online, it might be more helpful to simply have your PowerPoint be a video that people can press play on and simply sit back and watch.

Luckily, this is something that the Microsoft Office team has already thought of, and they make it just as easy to save your PowerPoint as a video as

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How to keep your space clean according to a hygiene expert

Christel Deskins

Daily cleaning of surfaces, keyboards and screens is recommended, especially if you're sharing it with others in your household: iStock
Daily cleaning of surfaces, keyboards and screens is recommended, especially if you’re sharing it with others in your household: iStock

As lockdown eases and plans to socialise with family and friends at newly opened pubs and restaurants become more frequent, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to keep the spaces you inhabit clean.

When out and about it’s strongly advised by the World Health Organisation and the UK government to use hand sanitiser (fwe’ve rounded up ones you can buy online here) along with face coverings which are already mandatory on public transport, and from 24 July, in shops and supermarkets.

But when you’re at home, there are also measures you can take to minimise any risk of transmission from contaminated surfaces.

A news release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that: “Based on data from lab studies on Covid-19 and what we know about

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Lower Merion Libraries Reopen, Services Limited

Christel Deskins

LOWER MERION, PA—Lower Merion libraries have begun in-person service this week. Due to health concerns for both staff and the public, library officials said services will be limited and hours will be restricted.

A full schedule is below:

Library officials have stressed that this will not be business as usual. To make libraries as safe as possible, the following limits will be in place:

  • Libraries will be open for browsing with a limit of 30 minutes per person.

  • Fewer people will be allowed in the building. This will allow for proper social distancing.

  • Requests for books may be placed from the library catalog.

  • The number of computers will be reduced to comply with social distancing rules.

  • Computer use will be limited to 30-minute sessions by appointment only.

  • To help maintain social distancing, not all sections of the library will be open. A large portion of the Ludington Library is closed

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