The latest animated Pokémon movie is coming to Netflix on October 8th

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After making its debut in Japan last year, the Pokémon franchise’s 23rd animated movie is . Outside of Japan, China Korea, Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle will debut globally on the streaming platform on October 8th. The premiere will mark the film’s international debut.

The film is essentially Pokémon’s take on the tale of Tarzan. When Ash Pikachu go to explore the forest of Okoya, they discover a boy named Koko. Thanks to an upbringing at the hands of a Pokémon named Dada Zarude, Koko believes he too is a Pokémon. Ash Pikachu’s arrival in his forest home leads him to question everything he thought was true about his existence.

Ahead of the movie’s release, you can add Dada Zarude a shiny Celebi to your  roster by signing up for the Trainer’s Club newsletter by September 25th. The Pokémon Company, Niantic Netflix also plan a special Pokémon Go event tied to the film’s release. They promised to share more information on that front soon. 

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The Pandemic Has Set Back the Fight Against H.I.V., TB Malaria

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The Covid-19 pandemic has severely set back the fight against other global scourges like H.I.V., tuberculosis malaria, according to a sobering new report released on Tuesday.

Before the pandemic, the world had been making strides against these illnesses. Overall, deaths from those diseases have dropped by about half since 2004.

“The advent of a fourth pandemic, in Covid, puts these hard-fought gains in great jeopardy,” said Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC, a nonprofit organization promoting H.I.V. treatment worldwide.

The pandemic has flooded hospitals disrupted supply chains for tests treatments. In many poor countries, the coronavirus diverted limited public health resources away from treatment prevention of these diseases.

Many fewer people sought diagnosis or medication, because they were afraid of becoming infected with the coronavirus at clinics. And some patients were denied care because their symptoms, such as a cough or fever, resembled those of Covid-19.

Unless comprehensive efforts to beat back the illnesses resume, “we’ll continue to play emergency response global health Whac-a-Mole,” Mr. Warren said.

The report was compiled by the Global Fund, an advocacy group that funds campaigns against H.I.V., malaria tuberculosis.

Before the arrival of the coronavirus, TB was the biggest infectious-disease killer worldwide, claiming more than one million lives each year. The pandemic has exacerbated the damage.

In 2020, about one million fewer people were tested treated for TB, compared with 2019 — a drop of about 18 percent, according to the new report.

The number of people treated for drug-resistant TB declined by 19 percent, for extensively drug-resistant TB by 37 percent. Nearly 500,000 people were diagnosed with drug-resistant TB in 2019.

“We’ve been hit really hard on TB,” said Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund. “I’m afraid that inevitably means hundreds of thousands of extra deaths.”

India, which has the highest TB burden in the world, had resumed its pre-Covid rate of TB diagnoses by late 2020, but the outbreak this spring is likely to have reversed that progress, Mr. Sands said.

A drop in TB diagnoses can have far-reaching consequences for a community. One person with untreated TB can spread bacteria to as many as 15 people each year.

Compared with 2019, the number of people in 2020 who sought testing for H.I.V. declined by 22 percent, those who opted for H.I.V. prevention services by 12 percent. Medical male circumcision, thought to slow the spread of the virus, decreased by 27 percent.

“Because there isn’t a cure for H.I.V., every single person who gets infected is a long-term impact,” Mr. Sands said.

Diagnoses of malaria fell by a small amount, according to the report. Most countries were able to adopt measures that limited the impact on diagnosis treatment.

As many as 115 million people have been driven into extreme poverty because of Covid-19, further limiting their access to treatment support. In some countries, school closures lockdowns made it particularly difficult for adolescent girls young women to receive health services.

There were a few glimmers of hope amid the bleak news: The crisis forced health agencies ministries in many poor countries to adopt innovations that may outlast the pandemic. Among them: dispensing to patients multi-month supplies of TB H.I.V. drugs, or condoms, lubricants needles; using digital tools to monitor TB treatment; testing simultaneously for H.I.V., TB Covid-19.

For example, in Nigeria, community health workers who tested people for Covid also looked for cases of H.I.V. TB. As a result, the country became one of the few to see a rise in H.I.V. diagnoses compared with 2019.

In Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, community health workers on motorbikes delivered insecticide-treated bed nets door to door, rather than distributing them from trucks in village squares, allowing them to reach more households than before, cutting down the number of malaria infections.

“It’s a bit more expensive” to deliver nets to individual households, Mr. Sands said, but “that was an investment that was clearly worth doing.”

To minimize the impact of the pandemic, the Global Fund has spent about $1 billion more than its usual budget, Mr. Sands said. In March 2020, the organization released $500 million to help countries cope; as of August 2021, it had raised $3.3 billion for use in 107 countries.

The funds have been used to shore up health systems, to provide tests, treatments oxygen, to give personal protective equipment to health care workers.

Donors have committed to provide another $6 billion for H.I.V. $2 billion for TB over the next three years, Mr. Sands said.

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Twitter web test lets you remove followers without blocking them

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Twitter has launched its second feature test in one day, this one could be particularly helpful if you’ve ever been subjected to online abuse. A newly available web test lets you remove followers without blocking them. You’ll disappear from their feed without notifications that might spark harassment threats.

The social network hasn’t said if or when it might roll out follower removals. This is coming alongside a string of anti-harassment privacy-related projects, though, including a “Safety Mode” test an experimental option to automatically archive tweets. It might be just a matter of time before tighter follower control is available to a wider audience.

This test may be particularly useful in fighting abuse. Until now, Twitter users have typically had to either report offending accounts (hope Twitter takes action) or block them risk retaliation. This won’t prevent creeps from following your activity if you have a public account, but it could lessen the chance of immediate outrage.

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Apple loses automotive executive Doug Field to Ford

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Add another wrinkle to Apple’s oft-rumored efforts to build its own electric vehicle. On Tuesday, Ford . The former Tesla executive, known for his involvement in the , most recently held the position of vice president of special projects at Apple. It’s believed Field oversaw Project Titan.

In his new position of chief advanced technology embedded systems officer, Field will report to Ford CEO president Jim Farley. He will oversee Ford’s Embedded Software Hardware division, which will see him lead development on the automaker’s Blue Oval intelligence stack. It’s expected he will have a say in everything from vehicle controls to enterprise connectivity features driver assistance technology. For Field, this is something of a return to where everything started. He began his career at Ford back in 1987.

What’s unclear is what this means for Apple’s automotive ambitions. Bloomberg reporter Apple insider Mark Gurman says it’s bad news for the company. “This is probably the largest setback in a history filled with setbacks for Apple’s car project,” he tweeted. “As I wrote in January, there is no Apple Car launching anytime soon, not 2024, not 2025. Further out now, if ever.” Apple does have executives who could take over Field’s role. For instance, the company recently hired , a former BMW executive who led the development of the i3. All the same, it’s never a good sign when a high-profile executive leaves a company. 

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Continental’s eco-friendly concept tire includes a renewable tread

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Many efforts are underway to reduce the environmental impact of cars, but what about the tires those cars ride on? Continental thinks it might help. Roadshow reports the company has introduced the Conti GreenConcept (yes, a concept tire) where more than half of the materials are “traceable, renewable recycled.” You can even renew the natural rubber tread with little trouble — not a completely new idea, but refreshable treads have generally been reserved for large commercial trucks. Three renewals would be enough to ensure the material used for casing is cut in half relative to the total mileage.

About 35 percent of the materials are renewables, including dandelion rubber, silicate made from rice husk ash a string of vegetable oils resins. Another 17 percent is polyester yarn made from recycled PET bottles, reclaimed steel recovered carbon black.

The design should improve the efficiency of the cars themselves, Continental added. New casing, sidewall tread patterns make the GreenConcept about 40 percent lighter than a conventional tire at about 16.5lbs, That, in turn, leads to 25 percent lower rolling resistance than the highest-rated tires in the EU. Continental estimates you’d get six percent more range from an electric vehicle.

While you might not outfit your car with these exact tires any time soon, this is more than just a thought exercise. Continental plans to gradually deploy its recycling technology starting in 2022, including the production of tires using recycled bottles. 

Efforts like the Conti GreenConcept are partly meant to burnish Continental’s public image. It wants to be the most environmentally responsible tire company by 2030, become completely carbon-neutral by 2050 “at the latest.” However, it also hints at a more holistic approach to eco-friendly cars where many components, not just the powertrain, are kinder to the planet.

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