>Star-struck teacher suspended
The education bureau of Su'qian city in Jiangsu province has suspended a local primary teacher for organizing her students to support an idol.
On Sunday, a video circulated widely on Weibo showed the teacher direct the entire class to shout slogans supporting popular Chinese actor and singer Xiao Zhan, sparkling public outcry on social media.
Many netizens and official organizations condemned the teacher for breaking professional standards and neglecting children's proper education, prompting the Su'qian education bureau to step in and launch an investigation.
>Gates funds COVID-19 tests
Bill Gates is funding a new program to provide at-home coronavirus testing kits to residents in the Seattle area.
The initiative aims to help researchers better understand how COVID-19 spreads through communities.
The Microsoft co-founder said in his blog post that he is funding a first-of-its-kind disease surveillance program called the Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN) to detect cases of COVID-19 in the greater Seattle area - the first hotspot of the outbreak in the US.
SCAN allows people to collect their own nasal samples using a self-swab test and then ship them to a lab - all without ever leaving home.
The program is testing both healthy and sick people.
According to Gates, SCAN is already testing 300 people per day.
Seattle residents interested in taking part in the program can apply on its website.
Those chosen will be mailed an at-home test kit and given access to SCAN's online portal to view their results.
>Fed rejects negative rates
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell pushed back against the prospect the central bank would deploy negative interest rates in the US, though he didn't fully rule out the option as a potential tool in the future.
"The evidence on negative rates is mixed," Powell said Wednesday in answer to a moderator's question after giving a speech via video.
He noted Fed officials had debated whether to follow other central banks in that direction and opted to use other tools and said, "for now it's not something we're considering."
The S&P 500 fell at the open and traders pushed bets on a negative Fed benchmark rate later into next year as investors absorbed Powell's speech, which highlighted the risks of lasting economic harm due to the coronavirus pandemic.
>Children going online early
The proportion of children who have access to the internet before they enter primary school is continuing to rise, according to a report released on Wednesday that calls for improved internet literacy education and more protection of minors. The report was jointly published by the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League and the China Internet Network Information Center.
It said 175 million minors used the internet in China last year, with the rate of internet access among children and teenagers reaching 93.1%.
It found that 32.9% of primary school students had begun surfing the internet before they started school, and the rate was increasing.
That means there is a greater need for more internet skills education for families, better online content supervision and management and a targeted protection mechanism for minors.
With the internet now an indispensable part of daily life, it is important for adults to put it into perspective for minors and show them how to use it properly, said Wei Peng'ju, head of the Institute of Cultural Economics at Central University of Finance and Economics.
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