Early Bird: Meghan on racism in the family. Russia is second-guessing the Pfizer vaccine. Swift's seventh Grammys
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan Markle acknowledged the royal family's concerns about their son's skin colour. Russian media are trying to discredit the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. The 63rd Grammy Awards gala evening is here! The biggest Grammy regular is the singer Taylor Swift, who will perform on the festive stage for the seventh time.
They were worried about Archie's skin colour, says Meghan Markle
In a very personal and open conversation between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and Oprah Winfrey, things came to the fore that the royal family probably won't be happy about. Meghan admitted that some members of the family had shown concern and had conversations about how dark their son Archie's skin would be when he's born.
"When I was pregnant, we have in tandem the conversation of he won't be given security, he's not going to be given a title and also concerns and conversations as to how dark his skin might be when he's born,"
she said in the interview that was broadcast on CBS on Sunday. Oprah Winfrey herself was very surprised by her answer. Markle did not reveal which family members specifically had acted that way. However, she admitted they had expressed their concerns about what it would look like if their child had dark skin to Prince Harry.
Prince Harry also shared very personal and unpleasant memories in the interview. According to his words, he had known from the beginning that their relationship would suffer in the royal family. He had been advised to let Markle keep her acting career and discouraged from pursuing the relationship.
Online admission exams for students
The situation around the pandemic impacted education in particular. Online classes for almost a year have forced many universities to change the form of their admission exams, some are even cancelling them altogether. However, the institutions where exams are to take place online are now addressing the issue of how to avoid cheating on the part of students.
At Masaryk University in Brno, for example, they have prepared online tests of study prerequisites. Applicants will be able to take a practice test and a technical test of the camera and microphone two weeks in advance.
"To ensure that students aren't cheating, we plan to create groups of a maximum of twenty applicants, who will need to have their web camera permanently on. During the test, they will be supervised via the camera by an individual monitoring their facial expressions, who will be able to ask them to share their desktop, and so on. At the same time, this person will be ready to advise the candidates,"
said Pavel Žára, spokesman of Masaryk University for Aktuálně.cz. Scio, the company in charge of National Comparative Exams, has already come up with a plan to prevent students from cheating. During online scio tests, the students will be remotely monitored by a supervisor, and they will also have to show the room where they'll be writing the test on the webcam before it starts.
Russian media have raised questions regarding the Pfizer vaccine
According to news from the Wall Street Journal, Russian journalists are trying to discredit the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. They are spreading misleading information aimed at persuading Americans to raise the question of whether the process of approving the vaccine hasn't been too fast in the United States.
It began in November when Russian President Vladimir Putin said the country hoped to distribute its Sputnik V vaccine to other countries. Russia had registered their vaccine in August, though, which means Sputnik V was approved under controversial circumstances and launched before passing Phase 3 trials. In the United States, Phase 3 is a requirement before a drug or vaccine can be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The hasty launch led health officials to speculate whether the Kremlin might have forced the producer of the vaccine to speed up its release so that they could assert themselves in the global coronavirus treatment race. U.S. intelligence officials believe this is another way to strengthen Sputnik V's status and challenge the Pfizer vaccine, as reported by the Journal.
This year's Grammy Awards will not disappoint
As per usual, there's a lot to look forward to at the Grammy Awards this year! The 63rd edition will offer a lineup composed of 22 artists. The gala will be hosted by Trevor Noah, host of "The Daily Show". The most frequent Grammy performer is American singer Taylor Swift, who will appear on the stage for the seventh time. Her indie-folk album "Folklore" has been nominated in six categories, including the most prestigious one - album of the year. She will be competing with Jhené Aiko, Black Pumas, Coldplay, Jacob Collier, HAIM, Dua Lipa and Post Malone.
Every year, the organizers try to compile a varied list of performers. Black Pumas, Harry Styles or Megan Thee Stallion will make their debut this year, while Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa or Post Malone will perform at the ceremony for the second time.
The award ceremony had originally been scheduled for January, but it was postponed due to coronavirus concerns. It will be held virtually at the Los Angeles Convention Center, to be aired on March 14 at 8 pm (US time) on CBS or Paramount+.
The White House is pushing action against Outlook
On Sunday, the White House appealed to computer network operators to take further steps to make their systems resistant to Microsoft Outlook e-mail hackers. According to information from the White House, the software leaves serious security vulnerabilities.
According to CNN, Biden's team is putting together a working group to prevent hacker attacks. Although Microsoft announced a bug fix in its e-mail software last week, the new version still allows access to compromised servers. Neither Microsoft nor the White House have specified the scope of the hacking. However, they recommended that users update the entire Outlook program.