While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, May 5

Cuomo outlines reopening plan with construction, manufacturing first

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday outlined a phased reopening of business activity in the state hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, starting with select industries like construction and the least affected regions.

Cuomo did not give a timeline, but the state’s stay-at-home order is due to expire on May 15. The governor has previously said that the areas with fewer infections and enough spare hospital beds could consider reopening after that date.

While short on specifics, the outline disclosed by Cuomo at a daily briefing was the most detailed sketch so far on how the state – the epicentre of the crisis in the United States – would start to loosen restrictions on businesses and daily life.

Cuomo said he understood the feelings of protesters pushing for a faster reopening but also warned that moving too quickly could rekindle the virus, noting that the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic was deadlier in its second wave.


Britain to recommend sweeping changes to workplaces after coronavirus lockdown

The British government will recommend a wide range of changes to how people organise their working lives when the coronavirus lockdown is gradually loosened, according to a report on BuzzFeed on Monday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to give more details this week on how his government plans to gradually lift strict restrictions on movement that have been in place since March 23 without risking a new peak in coronavirus transmission.

BuzzFeed said it had obtained seven guidance documents drawn up by ministers that would form the basis of the government’s proposals.


Apple, Google ban use of location tracking in coronavirus contact tracing apps

Apple and Alphabet’s Google on Monday said they would ban the use of location tracking in apps that use a new contact tracing system the two are building to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Apple and Google, whose operating systems power 99% of smart phones, said last month they would work together to create a system for notifying people who have been near others who have tested positive for Covid-19, the disease sometimes caused by the coronavirus.

Both companies said that privacy and preventing governments from using the system to compile data on citizens was a primary goal. The system uses bluetooth signals from phones to detect encounters and does not use or store GPS location data.


Elon Musk puts two Bel Air homes on market after vow to sell most possessions

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk listed two of his California homes for sale Sunday, days after announcing that he would get rid of most of his possessions.

He’s seeking a combined US$39.5 million for the Bel Air properties, including one that was previously owned by the late Gene Wilder, according to the listings on Zillow.

Bel Air is among the most expensive districts in Los Angeles.


Disney announces new Star Wars theatrical film directed by Taika Waititi

Oscar-winning “Jojo Rabbit” screenwriter Taika Waititi will direct and co-write a new “Star Wars” feature film for theaters, Walt Disney Co said on Monday.

A new “Star Wars” series for streaming service Disney+ also is in development from “Russian Doll” writer Leslye Headland, the company said in a statement.

No release dates for either project were announced.


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