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Jack of all Trades Top Pentributor
Highly edible human, designer of all things digital, co-founder of Pendect, creative native, constant wa/onderer, morse code lady, full-time dog pillow.
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Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Actress Helen McCrory dies aged 52
Helen McCrory and Damian Lewis in 2013
Helen McCrory and Damian Lewis in 2013 Credit: Sean Reynolds from Liverpool, United Kingdom, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The British actress Helen McCrory, best known for her roles in Harry Potter, Peaky Blinders and Penny Dreadful, has died at the age of 52 after a battle with cancer.

Her husband Damian Lewis announced her death on Twitter, writing: "I'm heartbroken to announce that after an heroic battle with cancer, the beautiful and might woman that is Helen McCrory has died peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family. She died as she lived. Fearlessly. God we love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives. She blazed so brightly. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you."

Science • Medicine
A third Pfizer dose is likely needed within 12 months, says CEO
A third Pfizer dose is likely needed within 12 months, says CEO
Credit: U.S. Secretary of Defense, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, stated that a third dose of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine is "likely" needed within 12 months in order to get fully vaccinated.

“A likely scenario is that there will be likely a need for a third dose, somewhere between six and 12 months and then from there, there will be an annual revaccination, but all of that needs to be confirmed. And again, the variants will play a key role,” so Bourla.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Amazon introduces new Echo Buds with improved performance and design
Echo Buds, Glacier White
Echo Buds, Glacier White Credit: Amazon

Amazon has announced the launch of its second-generation wireless earbuds "Echo Buds", featuring a more comfortable design as well as improved active noise cancellation and better microphones.

“The all-new Echo Buds are better in so many ways—a smaller design, a more comfortable fit, Active Noise Cancellation technology, a new color and wireless charging option, and high-performance drivers for dynamic audio,” said Tom Taylor, Senior Vice President, Amazon Alexa.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Ponzi scheme architect Bernie Madoff dies in prison aged 82
Ponzi scheme architect Bernie Madoff dies in prison aged 82
Credit: U.S. Department of Justice, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Bernard L. Madoff, the con artist behind the largest private Ponzi scheme in history, has died at the age of 82 in federal prison. Madoff bilked thousands of investors, including Steven Spielberg, Fred Wilpon and Kevin Bacon, out of an estimated $65 billion and was convicted in 2009 to 150 years in prison. He defrauded around 37,000 people in 136 countries.

Regional News • Europe
Johnson & Johnson to delay vaccine rollout in Europe
Johnson & Johnson to delay vaccine rollout in Europe
Credit: Ashles Winkler for Pendect

Johnson & Johnson has announced Tuesday it will "proactively delay the rollout of our vaccine in Europe" after six women in the US developed a rare disorder involving blood clots.

"The safety and well-being of the people who use our products is our number one priority. We are aware of an extremely rare disorder involving people with blood clots in combination with low platelets in a small number of individuals who have received our Covid-19 vaccine. The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are reviewing data involving six reported US cases out of more than 6.8 million doses administered. Out of an abundance of caution, the CDC and FDA have recommended a pause in the use of our vaccine," the company said. "In addition, we have been reviewing these cases with European health authorities. We have made the decision to proactively delay the rollout of our vaccine in Europe. We have been working closely with medical experts and health authorities, and we strongly support the open communication of this information to healthcare professionals and the public."

Science • Medicine
US health agencies recommend pausing Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine after blood clots
US health agencies recommend pausing Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine after blood clots
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler.

After six women developed a rare disorder involving blood clots after being administered the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, US health agencies have called for an immediate pause of the vaccine.

“Today FDA and @CDCgov issued a statement regarding the Johnson & Johnson #COVID19 vaccine. We are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution,” the Food and Drug Administration wrote on Twitter.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Next Apple event apparently on April 20, according to Siri
Next Apple event apparently on April 20, according to Siri
Credit: Apple

The date for this Spring's Apple event will take place on April 20, according to Siri. When asked about the date of the next Apple, Siri responded with "The special event is on Tuesday, April 20, at Apple Park in Cupertino, CA. You can get all the details on Apple.com," MacRumors reported.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Vienna extends hard lockdown until May 2
Vienna extends hard lockdown until May 2
(Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The hard lockdown in Austria's capital of Vienna has been extended until at least May 1, Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig announced on Monday. While Covid-19 infections have decreased in the past weeks, the city's hospitals are at capacity with a new record of 611 patients in the ICU as of Monday.

The measures include a 24-hour curfew, closure of all non-essential shops and mandatory FFP2 masks in all rooms where more than one person is present.

Regional News • World
North Korea will not participate in Tokyo Summer Olympics over fear of Covid-19
North Korea will not participate in Tokyo Summer Olympics over fear of Covid-19
Credit: unsplash.com / Thomas Evans

North Korea will not attend the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the North's Olympic Committee announced, saying it "decided not to participate in the 32nd Olympic Games during the general assembly to protect our athletes from the global health crisis situation related to the coronavirus as proposed by committee members."

The country, which has a history of no transparency, claims that it has not had any confirmed cases nor deaths related to Covid-19.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Fashion
Saks Fifth Avenue to stop selling fur by 2023
Saks Fifth Avenue to stop selling fur by 2023
Credit: unsplash.com / Thom Bradley

Saks Fifth Avenue has announced it will "no longer offer products from animals raised for the use of their fur, including but not limited to mink, fox, chinchilla and sable, as well as fur products derived from wild animals, such as coyote and beaver" by 2023, both online and in stores.

"We evaluate a number of factors when making decisions about our assortment, including customer preferences and societal shifts," so Saks Fifth Avenue Chief Merchandising Officer Tracy Margolies on Wednesday. "We recognize that trends constantly evolve, and that the sale of fur remains a significant social issue."