World News

CDC to launch new surveillance system to track coronavirus spread

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will launch a new system to track the spread of COVID-19 in the country — bolstered by the $2 trillion relief bill passed by the Senate this week, according to a new report.

The bipartisan emergency stimulus bill sets aside at least $500 million for modernization of the CDC’s public health data surveillance and analytics infrastructure, Business Insider reported.

The agency must report on the development of a “surveillance and data collection system” within the next 30 days, according to the report.

The exact nature of that surveillance system is unclear, but the federal government has reportedly expressed interest in aggregating data drawn from tech platforms and smartphone use to monitor the spread, the outlet reported.

Other countries, including China — the original epicenter of the outbreak — have already utilized modern technology to monitor citizens’ potential exposure to the virus, according to the report.

The country rolled out a mandatory smartphone app that asks people questions about their level of exposure to people with symptoms — and automatically orders certain users to quarantine themselves.

An app in Singapore uses Bluetooth to detect users’ proximity to individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 and urges anyone in close contact to get tested, according to the report.

Such a system, if implemented in the US, would speed up testing for those most at risk for the deadly bug, the outlet reported. The country currently lags behind most other developed countries when it comes to testing.

The app, if launched here, would need to comply with privacy laws like HIPAA, which prevents the sharing of personal health information between hospitals, the government and third parties.

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Walkers launch their first ever CRISP Easter egg

Walkers launch its first ever CRISP Easter egg for £20 including a sharing bag of Sensations and a bottle of wine

  •  Walkers has launched a crisp Easter Egg for £19.99, which is on sale from today 
  •  Crisp egg includes Sensations crisps with wine, bottles and glasses inside
  • Individually items cost £34.99, meaning shoppers will save £15 on the purchase 

With Easter just around the corner, most people will be opting for a chocolate treat to mark the occasion.

But for those who prefer a savoury taste can rejoice, as Walkers have launched its first ever crisp Easter Egg.

Each ‘egg’ contains a bag of crisps from the spicy Sensations range, and for £19.99, you get some extra treats for enjoying a night in with your sharing bag of Thai Sweet Chilli nibbles. 

The Easter treat comes with a snack bowl, a bottle of organic wine, two wine glasses and a £5 credit for Amazon Prime Video in the package. 

Walkers have launched their first ever crisp Easter Egg, which comes with a snack bowl, a bottle of organic wine, two wine glasses, and a £5 credit for Amazon Prime Video in the package.

It is available from today from Amazon and shoppers are making a saving of £15, because buying everything individually would cost £34.99. 

It comes with next day delivery.

The move came after Sensations noticed an increase in internet searches for ‘alternative Easter eggs’, coupled with new research that revealed a third of the nation prefer savoury over sweet treats at Easter, and two thirds prefer a night in over a night out.   

Ali Kirk from Walkers Sensations told Femail: ‘We know there’s a growing trend for savoury over sweet at Easter because 37 per cent of the public think savoury snacks are available in more exciting flavours and one in five say they think chocolate Easter eggs are for kids. 

‘So, there’s never been a better time for our savoury Easter treat to go on sale. 

The move came after Sensations noticed an increase in internet searches for ‘alternative Easter eggs’, coupled with new research that revealed a third of the nation prefer savoury over sweet treats at Easter, and two thirds prefer a night in over a night out

Alternative Easter eggs have grown in popularity in recent years as retailers seek to cash in on those who are not fans of chocolate. 

Last year, Sainsbury’s announced it was stocking the Cheesalicious Easter Egg, made from a solid 120g of cheddar from Lancashire farms, with a packet of oatcakes and sachet of chutney. 

It followed a Blacksticks Blue variety that was sold by Asda in 2018. 

And the craze for boozy advent calendars is also spilling into Easter, with treats such as bottles of gin with chocolate mini eggs on offer.  

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Ford will launch its first all-electric Transit van in 2022

Ford will launch its first all-electric Transit van in 2022 with built-in smart technology to ‘optimise fleet efficiency and reduce waste’

  • The all-electric Transit van will be released to US and Canada sometime in 2022
  • The zero emissions tech-enabled van connects up to 10 devices to the internet  
  • Ford previously announced an all-electric pick-up and slick sport utility vehicle

US vehicle manufacturer Ford has announced an electric version of its famous Transit van, a favourite with tradesman worldwide.

The Ford Transit, which is the world’s best-selling cargo van, will be available in an all-electric version for the US and Canadian markets from 2022.

It will include smart technology to ‘help the driver’s judgement’ while providing a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot with connectivity for up to 10 devices.

Data will also help to improve fleet efficiency and driver behaviour, as well as reduce waste, the company said.   

The van will help businesses achieve sustainability goals and lower the cost of ownership, while helping improve air quality and lower noise levels.

The motor company debuted its fully electric pick-up truck, the F-150, and its slick sport utility vehicle the Mustang Mach-E, last year.

Scroll down for video 

Ford has teased an all-electric version of its Ford Transit van, which is set to be ready for release in the US and Canada markets in 2022

‘Commercial vehicles are a critical component to our big bet on electrification,’ said Jim Farley, chief operating officer of Ford Motor Company.

‘As leaders in this space, we are accelerating our plans to create solutions that help businesses run better, starting with our all-electric Transit and F-150.

‘This Ford Transit isn’t just about creating an electric drivetrain, it’s about designing and developing a digital product that propels fleets forward.’

Specs are scarce regarding the new vehicle, although the company says it will reveal more details later in the year.

However, the electric Ford Transit, which will be built in the US with domestic and foreign parts, will offer ‘uncompromised cargo capacity’, with a choice of three roof heights and three body lengths.

Fleet operators of the new electric Ford Transit ‘can expect advantages beyond just eliminating trips to the gas station’, the company said.

Ford will be giving its popular Transit van an all-electric makeover. Pictured, a 2015 Ford Transit 250

All-electric vehicles mean less scheduled maintenance for owners and compared to those with internal combustion engines, plus lower operating costs including money saved from not buying petrol.

Ford says its US truck and van fleet sales have grown 33 per cent since 2015 and expects continued growth of van sales as e-commerce and last-mile delivery increase.

The company intends to lead the transition to zero emissions in the segment with its new van, which is part of an $11.5 billion investment in electrification to 2022, it says.

Ford, which is the number two automaker in the US after General Motors, unveiled its Mustang Mach-E last November.

American automaker Ford unveiled its first-ever electric version of the classic Mustang pony car (pictured) last year

The Mach E, like its gasoline-powered cousin, can go from 0 to 60 miles-per-hour in ‘the mid 3-second range,’ and an estimated 459 horsepower, according to specs.

Fully-charged Mach E’s will have a range of about 300 miles with an available extended-range battery and rear-wheel drive.

Prices start at around $45,000 (£35,000) for the environmentally-friendly version of its ‘pony car’, which is due to be released to US and European markets at the same time late this year.

The electric version of its F-150 pick-up, meanwhile, has an 8,000-pound towing capacity and can go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds.

The electric F-150 will cost $28,495 and could be released next year. 

Video footage revealed the pulling power of the electric F-150, which managed to pull a total combined weight of 1.25 million lbs over a distance of 1,000 feet.

Telsa CEO Elon Musk last November tweeted a video of his Cybertruck pulling Ford’s vehicle up a steep hill in a ‘tug of war’ between the rival next-gen vehicles.


Ford expects to release a ‘fully autonomous vehicle’ by 2021.

The company said in August 2017 that its vehicle would come without a steering wheel or pedals.

Executives said that this would bring bigger benefits to passengers, unlike GM’s Super Cruise or Tesla’s Autopilot that are semi-autonomous drive-assist systems requiring drivers to sometimes take control of the vehicle.

Ford said their car would be first offered as a ride-service option but would be available to purchase approximately 10 years later. 

In December 2017, Ford said it was  studying a system to use drones to help guide driverless vehicles, including on off-road adventures, company officials said.

A drone launched from an autonomous vehicle would help guide it by mapping the surrounding area beyond what the car’s sensors can detect.

Vehicle passengers can control the drone using the car’s ‘infotainment’ or navigation system.


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Beauty and Fashion

Superdrug launch new Mulan beauty range including bath bombs – and prices start from £5

WHO is that girl I see, staring straight back at me? Well, it's only a diehard Disney fan who has snapped up the entire new Mulan beauty range.

As if we weren't already counting down the days until the live-action remake of the hit Disney movie, Superdrug has only gone and released a dreamy new range of Mulan pampering products.

  • Disney Mulan Bath Fizzers, £5 from Superdrug – buy now

And the best part is, prices start from just £5.

From cherry blossom bath bombs to brightening pearl face, Superdrug's Disney selection is perfect for a night in with girls… or a Mulan movie marathon.

As well as a 12-shade eyeshadow palette, the range even includes a set of pretty make-up brushes for £15 complete with a pretty pink floral design.

  • Disney Mulan Face Sheet Mask, £5 from Superdrug – buy now

  • Disney Mulan Brush Set, £15 from Superdrug – buy now

  • Disney Mulan Hair Clip Set, £5 from Superdrug – buy now

And it doesn't just end with beauty products as Superdrug has even branched out into haircare too.

Along with a pretty pink paddle brush and comb, the range also includes a £5 set of hairslides – including one in the shape of Mulan's sword.

*Adds ALL to basket*

For more bargain beauty buys, Savers is selling Love Hearts-scented bubble bath for 99p and it's perfect for nostalgic 90s kids.

And parents are loving Poundland's rainbow bath fizzers that completely change the colour of your bath.

Plus beauty fans are going wild for Primark's "amazing" £1.50 dupe of MAC'S classic £17.50 lipstick Velvet Teddy.

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