Economists and businesses react as U.K. Chancellor Sunak unveils emergency jobs program

The U.K. Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled an emergency jobs program on Thursday as part of a wider ‘winter economy plan’ to stave off mass unemployment.

The program, replacing the job furlough one, will see the government support “viable jobs” by topping up the wages of workers on reduced hours in a bid to encourage businesses to retain staff.

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced tighter COVID-19 restrictions, including 10 p.m. pub and restaurant curfews, which could last for six months amid rising daily infections.

“The resurgence of the virus, and the measures we need to take in response, pose a threat to our fragile economic recovery,” Sunak told lawmakers in Parliament.

“The government will directly support the wages of people in work, giving businesses who face depressed demand the option of keeping employees in a job on shorter hours, rather than making them redundant,” he added. The chancellor

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SA renewables sector unveils skills development programme

The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) and the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) have come together to launch an innovative programme to drive change, enhance the local skills base and ensure South Africa reaps the full benefits of a decarbonised economy.

Niveshen Govender, SAPVIA COO explained, “Historically we have relied on much-needed foreign investment and know-how, but the time has come for South Africans to step up and step into the role of developer. We have so much to gain by empowering local communities and upskilling individuals across the RE value chain.”

The Developing Developers programme, which launched 17th September with more than 600 participants in attendance, is designed to address the gaps in the local industry and ensure effective knowledge sharing across the value chain of South Africa’s nascent renewables sector.

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“We have set ambitious targets for the growth

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UK government unveils ‘Winter Economy Plan’ to protect jobs and firms

a statue of a person walking on the sidewalk talking on a cell phone: Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak arrives at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), ahead of a cabinet meeting to be held at the FCO, for the first time since the COVID-19 lockdown in London, Britain July 21, 2020. Stefan Rousseau/Pool via REUTERS

Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak arrives at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), ahead of a cabinet meeting to be held at the FCO, for the first time since the COVID-19 lockdown in London, Britain July 21, 2020. Stefan Rousseau/Pool via REUTERS

The UK chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a “radical” new package of support for the UK economy, including new income grant schemes, more business loan funding and tax cuts.

Sunak confirmed he had ditched plans for an autumn budget, instead setting out a string of contingency plans on Thursday to urgently shore up the economy with both infection rates and job losses rising.

The “Winter Economy Plan” unveiled by the finance minister in parliament included:

  • A six-month “jobs support scheme” from November, with wage subsidies for workers in “viable” jobs, as long as they work and are paid as normal for at least a third of

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Rishi Sunak unveils new emergency jobs scheme as hospital death toll rises by 33

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Rishi Sunak has unveiled his plans to protect millions of jobs in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

The Chancellor reveals details of a new job support scheme, which will see the Government “directly support” the wages of people in viable jobs working at least a third of their normal hours.

He also announced a “pay as you grow” scheme to allow firms to repay bounce back loans over a period of up to 10 years and said he would keep VAT at 5 per cent for hospitality and tourism until March 31 2021.

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock encouraged Brits to download the new Covid-19 app as he stressed it will give people “added protection for you and your loved ones”. It came as the Covid-19 death toll in UK hospitals rose by 33 .

“Chancellor reveals jobs support scheme amid new Covid restrictions”

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Tesla unveils battery puzzle pieces of smart material science, design, and manufacturing innovation

At its Battery Day event, Tesla unveiled its new 4680 battery cell developed in-house and the manufacturing process behind it.

The highly anticipated presentation went deep into details about all the different pieces of material science, design, and manufacturing innovations that it took to deliver the masterpiece of a puzzle that the automaker needed to put together to reduce battery costs by more than 50% in just 3 years…

Over the last few years, Tesla has been making a lot of moves related to batteries.

We are talking about buying companies like Maxwell and Hibar, and applying for patents on new technology, like a tabless battery cell and a cell to pack design.

While all these moves were mostly evaluated on their own merits, it wasn’t clear how all those things would fit together.

That’s exactly what Tesla demonstrated at its Battery Day.

Tesla explained how they have made major

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Fitbit unveils ‘most advanced smartwatch’ capable of tracking stress levels

Fitbit has unveiled a new smartwatch it says can help measure health and wellbeing as well as track fitness and other activities.

The wearables firm’s new Fitbit Sense smartwatch includes an electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor which can be used to monitor stress levels, Fitbit said.

The device also includes heart rate tracking tools and a new ECG app and a skin temperature sensor, which the technology firm says can help users track health and wellbeing metrics such as heart rate variability and breathing rate.

Fitbit said the Sense was its “most advanced health smartwatch”, and was unveiled alongside new versions of existing smartwatches – the Versa 3 and the Inspire 2.

Fitbit Sense
The products will go on sale in late September (Fitbit)

Company co-founder and chief executive James Park said mental health and stress were just as vital metrics to track as physical wellbeing and were a key part of the

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Elon Musk unveils brain-reading chip in pigs

Elon Musk has revealed new wireless technology, which he hopes will help people with severe neurological conditions, has been implanted into pigs.

The Tesla and SpaceX founder showed off the technology during a demonstration from his startup Neuralink which appeared aimed at recruiting new staff.

The entrepreneur showed off a prototype of the device, about the size of a large coin, which had been surgically placed inside several pigs shown in an enclosure behind him.

He said of one pig: “We have a healthy and happy pig, initially shy but obviously high energy and, you know, kind of loving life, and she’s had the implant for two months.”

He described the chip as “a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires”.

He said: “The neurons are like wiring, and you sort of need an electronic thing to solve an electronic problem.”

Neuralink has sought approval from the US Food and

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California Unveils Plans for K-12 Anti-Racism Curriculum

Illustration for article titled California Announces ‘Education to End Hate’ Curriculum, Trump’s Threats to Withhold Funding Be Damned

Photo: Sam Wasson (Getty Images)

California has decided to swipe left on y’all’s president’s threats to withhold funding from the state if it implements antiracism courses into its school curricula. On Monday, the Golden State unveiled plans to offer antiracist training to public school officials and students as well as mandatory ethnic studies courses for public schools.

Newsweek reports that California’s Department of Education defines the “Education to End Hate” initiative as a training program that aims to “empower educators and students to confront the hate, bigotry, and racism rising in communities across the state and nation.”

From Newsweek:

The initiative will offer educators $200,000 annually in mini-grants for receiving antiracism and bias training; allow students, educators, and families to attend a “virtual classroom series” to address modern-day discrimination and how to end it; and roundtable discussions between lawmakers, educators and prominent racial and social justice organizations

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The Technology 202: Trump administration unveils $1 billion quantum and artificial intelligence initiative

The announcement is a shot across the bow in the broader tech race with China – and seems positioned to be a feather in Trump’s cap during the week of the Republican National Convention. 

Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior adviser who is speaking at the convention this week, credited Trump with this “defining achievement as we continue to shape and prepare this great Nation for excellence in the industries of the future.” 

A significant chunk of the funding which includes $300 million in contributions from academia and industry will go toward establishing new centers focused on research in quantum within five of the Department of Energy labs.  The administration is also awarding $140 million toward seven National Science Foundation-led institutes focused on artificial intelligence, which will be housed at colleges including the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The investments

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Vancouver Minor Hockey Association unveils synthetic ice sheet for skill development

Normally, at this time of year, minor hockey teams across the province would be gearing up to hit the ice, but the COVID-19 pandemic has put a chill on the start of this season.

The Vancouver Minor Hockey Association has a synthetic solution that’s helping players maintain their skills while waiting until it’s safe to get going.

An artificial ice sheet, made of plastic, mimics the feel of real ice and allows players to use their regular hockey skates.

“It’s a bit hard and it sticks a lot. But other than that, it’s really realistic and fun,” said 12-year-old Jacob Amos as he and two teammates worked on their shots.

The synthetic surface is the centrepiece of VMHA’s new, state-of-the art training facility in a converted warehouse in an industrial park on Mitchell Island.

The space also includes a classroom area for off-ice instruction and a fully-equipped gym

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