The Wider World

Tug-of-war over mask rules

SOME STATES have moved to drop or change indoor mask-wearing requirements, but the CDC is asking to go slow (Shutterstock).

States such as California are dropping or loosening mask requirements, but the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is pumping the brakes.

According to The New York Times, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Wednesday said, “Our hospitalizations are still high, our death rates are still high.”

The CDC is working on new rules, but “As we are encouraged by the current trends, we are not there yet.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top expert on infectious disease, said the situation is “still unpredictable.”

In addition to California, mask mandates have been changed in New York, Rhode Island, Illinois and Massachusetts.

According to The Associated Press, the White House is formulating a “less disruptive” set of guidelines as national statistics showed steep declines in new cases, although the numbers of deaths are continuing to increase.

Florida bill on gender, sex draws fire

THE RAINBOW flag is emblematic of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities (Flickr/Rflag).

A proposed bill in the Florida state legislature that would prohibit public schools from encouraging “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity” is raising some controversy.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is in support of the legislation, which proponents call a matter of  “parental rights.” Opponents of the bill argue that it would create a “hostile environment” for LGBTQ students, according to USA Today.

President Joe Biden tweeted a response, calling it a “hateful bill,” adding that he would “have your back,” referring to LGBTQ pupils.

Sports: Russians caught at “doping”?

The medal ceremony for the figure skating team event at the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing was delayed when one Russian skater – Kamila Valieva – tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

Russia was “banned” from the Olympics after being caught for widespread use of such drugs at the 2014 Winter Games. However, athletes under the name of the “Russian Olympic Committee” have been competing in these games and have won 11 medals, best overall.

Germany has the most golds, with five. The U.S. has eight medals, including two golds.

Weather: Heat highs on Thursday

SUNNY WEATHER is forecast for the weekend.

The spring-like conditions of the past few days are giving way to summer heat in the West Orange County area. Thursday’s daytime high is forecast to hit 90 degrees, with an overnight low of 54.

The days that follow will be a bit cooler: Friday and Saturday should reach 87, while Sunday is forecast for 86. Next week will offer some relief with highs dipping into the 70s and 60s.

Business: Magazines won’t be printed

Is print really dead? As more readers – and advertisers ­­– move from ink and paper to electrons and iPads, more publishers are moving to on-line only formats. The Dotdash Meredith group has announced it would be stop publishing six magazines in their traditional format and moving them to on-line only.

The magazines affected are Enterainment Weekly, InStyle, Eating Well, Parents and People en Espanol. Remaining in print will be People, Better Homes & Gardens, Food & Wine and other publications owned by the firm.

An estimated 200 employees will be discharged.

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