Texas

Technology • Internet & Web
US court rules that Apple needs to pay $506 million over patent violations
US court rules that Apple needs to pay $506 million over patent violations
Credit: unsplash.com / Mika Baumeister

A federal jury in Texas has decided that Apple needs to pay $506,2 million in damages and interest for using patented 4G technology in hardware made by the company.

Following the jury verdict, five patents were willfully infringed leading the District Judge Rodney Gilstrap to be able to increase the compensation amount by three times compared to what the jurors have set. Panoptis Patent Management had sued on behalf of one of its clients as they manage the intellectual property and patents for companies in order to enable them to focus on "innovation and new development".

According to local media Apple will appeal the decision made by the court.

Regional News • Americas • United States
US surpasses 5 million total Covid-19 cases, experts
COVID-19 yard signs along Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, Maryland. They are in Amharic, English, and Spanish.
COVID-19 yard signs along Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, Maryland. They are in Amharic, English, and Spanish. Credit: Farragutful / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The United States has surpassed 5 million Covid-19 cases early Sunday while experts warn that the estimated number of true cases might be many times higher.

"That's a huge number of cases and a very large number of hospitalizations and deaths -- and more to come. Because over much of this country, this virus is spreading unimpeded because so many folks are not getting with the program to contain it," so Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University.

40% of cases are attributed to only 5 states: Florida, Texas, New York, Georgia and California – the latter has reported the most cases in the country.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Texas hospital creates "death panel" to decide which Covid-19 patients will be treated

The Starr County Memorial Hospital in Starr County, Texas has set up a "death panel" and issued guidelines for the doctors containing criteria on which patients are sent home without treatment and will receive treatment due to a higher chance of recovery.

The hospital is the only one in the rural Texas county which has reported 1,769 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 64,000 total population.

On the Facebook page of the county, Judge Elroy Vera has stated that "Unfortunately, Starr County Memorial Hospital has limited resources and our doctors are going to have to decide who receives treatment, and who is sent home to die by their loved ones."

Climate & Environment
Hurricane Hanna makes landfall in South Texas, causes flooding and power outages
National Hurricane Center's 5-day track and intensity forecast cone of Atlantic AL072020 Tropical Depression Eight.
National Hurricane Center's 5-day track and intensity forecast cone of Atlantic AL072020 Tropical Depression Eight. Credit: National Hurricane Center / Public domain

Hurricane Hanna has made landfall in South Texas and Northeastern Mexico and left over 280,000 without power in Texas on Sunday morning. Flash flood emergencies have been declared in Mission and Hidalgo County.

Meteorologist Chris Birchfield warns that the hurricane is far from over and that they were "still expecting catastrophic flooding."

"Any hurricane is an enormous challenge," Texas Governor Abbott said on Saturday. "This challenge is complicated and made even more severe, seeing that it is sweeping through an area that is the most challenged area in the state for Covid-19."

Regional News • Americas • United States
Chinese consulate in Houston ordered to close by US government

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, China has been ordered to "cease all operations and events" at its consulate in Houston, Texas. The police in Houston has reported smoke from the consulate courtyard as Chinese officials allegedly have burned documents.

Morgan Ortagus, a spokeswoman for the US State Department, has stated that the closure of the consulate has been ordered "to protect American intellectual property and Americans' private information".

Regional News • Americas • United States
San Antonio, Texas requests refrigerated trucks to store bodies as Covid-19 deaths rise

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg has stated that in the county only 10 percent of all hospital beds were available and morgue spaces are running out. As a consequence refrigerated trucks have been requested to store the bodies of people that have died from Covid-19.

Dr. Ken Davis, chief medical officer of Christus Santa Rosa Health System has stated that "In a hospital, there are only so many places to put bodies. We're out of space, and our funeral homes are out of space, and we need those beds. So, when someone dies, we need to quickly turn that bed over".

Regional News • Americas • United States
Texas Gov. Abbott issued executive order, makes face masks mandatory
Texas Gov. Abbott issued executive order, makes face masks mandatory
Credit: unsplash.com/David Emrich

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued an executive order on Thursday, making the wear of face coverings in public mandatory. The order applies to counties which have at least 20 confirmed Covid-19 cases. Children under the age of 10 and people with some medical conditions are exempt. Masks are also not required while dining out and during certain athletic activities if a distance to others can be maintained.

"We have the ability to keep businesses open and move our economy forward so that Texans can continue to earn a paycheck, but it requires each of us to do our part to protect one another — and that means wearing a face covering in public spaces," so the Governor in a statement.

Regional News • Americas • United States
U.S. reports 55,000 new Covid-19 cases – daily global record
U.S. reports 55,000 new Covid-19 cases – daily global record
Credit: unsplash.com/United Nations COVID-19 Response

On Thursday, there were 55,274 new Covid-19 reported in the United States, breaking both a single-day record and daily global record. Florida reported over 10,000 cases, also a single-day record, and Texas around 8,000 cases. Infections are rising in 37 U.S. states. Almost 129,000 people have died from a Covid-19 infection.

Regional News • Americas • United States
U.S. reports highest daily Covid-19 case count
U.S. reports highest daily Covid-19 case count
Credit: unsplash.com/Gabe Pierce

The United States reported its highest daily case count with around 50,000 new confirmed Covid-19 infections on Wednesday. Several states, including California, Texas and Georgia, hit single-day case records.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Texas is pausing reopening plans amid surge in Covid-19 cases
Gov. Greg Abbott in 2016
Gov. Greg Abbott in 2016 Credit: World Travel & Tourism Council / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In a press conference on Thursday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced a temporary pause on reopening measures amid a surge in Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations. The state reported almost 6,000 new cases on Thursday and a record high for Covid-19 hospitalisations.

"The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses. This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business," so the Governor.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Justin Bieber accused of sexual assault, denies allegations
Justin Bieber in concert with Soother Braun in Rosemont, Illinois (2015)
Justin Bieber in concert with Soother Braun in Rosemont, Illinois (2015) Credit: Lou Stejskal / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

On Friday, a Twitter user by the name "Danielle" claimed she was "sexually assaulted by Justin Bieber" in Houston, Texas on March 9, 2014. She describes meeting Bieber during an event at a bar in Houston where she and her friends "took some pictures and chatted for about 20 minutes" with the singer who later invited them to the Four Seasons Hotel. In the hotel, she was separated from her friends, who were taken into another room by one of Bieber's friends. Bieber then allegedly kissed her and later "forced himself inside" her after she told him "to get off".

Bieber responded to the allegations on Twitter, stating that "this story is factually impossible" and that he "will be working with twitter and authorities to take legal action". He added that, even though he was at the mentioned event location, he didn't stay at the Four Seasons Hotel on March 9, posting receipts from his stay at an AirBnB and the Westin Hotel on the nights of March 9 and 10, 2014, where he said he had stayed with his then-girlfriend Selena Gomez and their friends.

The Twitter user "Danielle" (handle @danielleglvn) has since deleted both the tweet and her account.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Texas surpasses 2,000 hospitalized Covid-19 patients for the first time
Covid-19 Illustration
Covid-19 Illustration Credit: unsplash.com/ United Nations COVID-19 Response

With a rising number of hospitalized patients due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic for the third consecutive day, Texas has surpassed the mark 2,000 of simultaneously hospitalized patients. Since the Memorial Day holiday, the number of hospitalized patients has risen by 36%.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Today's funeral of George Floyd to be live-streamed
George Floyd mural
George Floyd mural Credit: Lorie Shaull (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

George Floyd will be laid to rest in Houston, Texas today. The funeral and celebration of his life will be held at The Fountain of Praise Church at 11 AM CT. The service is limited to 500 people but will be live-streamed by major news networks such as ABC, CBS and MSNBC.

Mia K. Wright, co-paster of the church, told Don Lemon on Monday: "We celebrate a life that had its ups and downs as many lives do but also a life that was connected to God and one that all people around the world have now connected to because of the tragedy and the trauma by which he passed."

Science • Space
Starship rocket is the top priority for SpaceX
Starship | First test vehicle
Starship | First test vehicle Credit: SpaceX (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

As SpaceX employees and fans all over the world celebrate the success of the Crew Dragon Demo 2 mission that launched two American Astronauts off American soil to the International Space Station just last week, Elon Musk emailed the SpaceX staff to remind them of the next major goal they should turn their attention to.

“Please consider the top SpaceX priority (apart from anything that could reduce Dragon return risk) to be Starship”

The CEO underlined that Starship development progress needs to be accelerated "dramatically and immediately". As the company just fulfilled its first promises by delivering Nasa astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station as part of the commercial crew program, it will now be able to allocate significantly more resources, in terms of both staff and finance to the development of the Starship program.

In his email, Elon also re-assured his employees that those who are considering moving to Texas in order to better support the companies new objectives, will be able to shuttle using a dedicated SpaceX aircraft.

Science • Space
SpaceX Starship "hops" expected in coming weeks, launch debut still on track for 2020
Starship | First test vehicle
Starship | First test vehicle Credit: SpaceX (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

SpaceX's Starship is undergoing extremely fast-paced development in South Texas, Boca Chica Beach where the 5th, 6th and 7th prototypes are currently being assembled, some of them about to be ready for testing.

On Friday, May 29th the 4th Starship prototype had just successfully completed a static fire test, when liquid methane was being spotted leaking in huge quantities. Shortly thereafter the liquid methane ignited and detonated the Serial Number 4 build of Starship, with steel debris being propelled all around the development and testing area.

In an interview by Spiegel, Hans Koenigsmann, VP of Build and Flight Reliability at SpaceX and veteran employee of 18 years stated among other things, that despite the latest deveopments he expects the first test flights of 150 m altitude hops to happen in the coming weeks. Moreover, he stated that with the tests going according to plans, Starship is still predicted to debut its orbital launch by the end of 2020.

While Starship SN4 performed an "Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly" as SpaceX employees and fanatics often call a rocket exploding beyond repair, the next prototype in line SN5 is effectively complete and ready for testing.

Per Koenigsmann, the first Starship 150m flight could debut by the end of June 2020.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Joe Biden to attend George Floyd's funeral
Joe Biden in Munich, 2019
Joe Biden in Munich, 2019 Credit: Kuhlmann/ MSC / CC BY 3.0 DE (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden is said to attend George Floyd's funeral next week, according to the family's lawyer Ben Crump. The funeral will be held in Houston, Texas on June 9. The White House didn't comment on whether Trump would attend the funeral as well.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves deliver masks to hospitals in rural Texas

The actor has posted on Facebook that he and his wife started delivering 110.000 face masks to hospitals in need across rural Texas. In the post, he stated that the luxury carmaker Lincoln had donated them.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Musk announces that Tesla will move headquarters from California to Texas/Nevada

The CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, has announced in a tweet that the company will move its headquarters from California to Nevada, Texas. Musk also questioned if the manufacturing plant in Fremont will keep operating in the future after he complained about the Alameda county regulation that all but essential businesses are not allowed to operate until the end of May, due to the coronavirus.

Technology • Internet & Web
School buses to provide free WiFi to homebound students and residents
School Buses equipped with WiFi bring internet to residents
School Buses equipped with WiFi bring internet to residents Credit: unsplash.com/@marcelocidrack

School buses in various American cities are being equipped with WiFi to provide free WiFi to communities that are lacking proper internet access. The initiative gets help from companies like Google, AT&T and the Duke Energy Foundation. WiFi school buses are currently deployed in many states, among them North Carolina, Texas and Ohio.

In a statement, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper stated “In many communities, school buses are already delivering meals to students and their families. Now they’re delivering Wi-Fi for online learning".

Business • Economy
Price for US Western Texas Intermediate oil turns negative
Pumpjack located south of Midland, Texas
Pumpjack located south of Midland, Texas Credit: Eric Kounce (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

Oil producers have started paying buyers to take the oil out of their hands, as storage capacity is running low. A worldwide overproduction of oil is currently recorded due to a decline in demand following the spread of the coronavirus.

The lowest recorded price for a barrel (around 159 liters) of West Texas Intermediate oil was recorded at minus $37.63.