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Happening in the World: Yesterday, Japan detected its first bird flu outbreak in the winter of 2021 and began the process of culling about 143,000 egg-laying chickens. This comes after the intense flu season of last winter when over three million chickens had to be culled. Notably, recent outbreaks of bird flu have also been reported in Poland where over 650,000 poultry have been infected (Reuters).
Happening in the US: Facebook announced that it would begin to limit the ability of advertisers to target users in sensitive categories—including health, race, political affiliation, religion, and sexual orientation groups. This comes after Facebook dealt with several lawsuits in 2019 that alleged discrimination in ads related to housing, employment, and credit. Facebook also faced criticism for using highly specific targeted advertising that would even allow advertisers to direct ads to racist users. Despite this announcement, targeted advertising will still exist for categories that are not deemed sensitive, such as age, gender, and location (CNN).
Happening in NYC: New York City has closed down yet another public school due to a COVID-19 outbreak. The elementary school, P. S. 166 Henry Gradstein in Queens will go fully remote for ten days after 19 students and three. staff members tested positive in the last week alone—bringing its total case count to 34. Unlike last year, when school buildings were shut down if two to four cases could be traced to in-school transmission, the Department of Education. maintains that it would only shut schools down now if evidence of widespread transmission was observed (Gothamist).
Happening in Our Community: Today at 8 pm, head over to the Russian Film Club’s screening of Closeness (2017) followed by a discussion between Mark Lipovetsky and Daria Ezerova. The film was the winner of the FIPRESCI prize at Cannes and tells the story of the aftermath of the Chechen conflict and the lives of ethnic minorities in Russia. The event is in Room 501 of Schermerhorn Hall, and you can reserve your seat here.
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