Finally, progress on regulating facial recognition

Amid the current need to continually focus on the COVID-19 crisis, it is understandably hard to address other important issues. But, on March 31st, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed landmark facial recognition legislation that the state legislature passed on March 12, less than three weeks, but seemingly an era, ago. Nonetheless, it's worth taking a moment to reflect on the importance of this step. This legislation represents a significant breakthrough – the first time a state or nation has passed a new law devoted exclusively to putting guardrails in place for the use of facial recognition technology.

For more on Washington's privacy legislation, visit Microsoft On The Issues.

The coronavirus pandemic has monopolized much of the world's attention for months now, but the conflicts and crises plaguing some of the most vulnerable countries have not stopped. In some cases they have only gotten worse. Here's a look at what's been happening in some of the world's most intractable hotspots in the months since the COVID-19 crisis took center stage.

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The United States reached a grim milestone Wednesday, surpassing 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus in just twelve weeks. It's the highest death toll in the world – and by a big margin. But Americans are not united by grief. In fact, they are more divided than ever. Polls show that Democrats overwhelmingly support stay-at-home orders, anxious to contain the virus' spread, while Republicans are more likely to be concerned with the economic impact of lockdowns and want to get back to work, regardless of the public health toll. Here's a look at how the pandemic, and the measures to contain it, have affected each state to date.

How are public companies giving back during the COVID-19 pandemic?

So, you've seen communities around the world come together to support each other during this pandemic. And we've seen private companies, organizations, as well as public companies use their resources. Many of those public companies are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. So, we wanted to recognize a few of those. There's too many of them to name one by one. But a few you do stand out.

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Iran's parliament sits (at a distance): They arrived in masks. They had their temperature taken. And then 268 members of Iran's newly elected parliament were sworn in, convening for the first time, with the appropriate distance between members. The body, which has no influence over foreign policy but does shape economic policy and the annual budget, is this time dominated by religious conservatives who are suspicious of engagement with the West, after many moderates and reformers were disqualified ahead of the most recent election in February. The new parliament has its work cut out: Iran's economy is in freefall as a result of US sanctions, low oil prices, and a coronavirus outbreak that was one of the worst in the Middle East. According to official data, which are widely suspected of being spotty, there have been 141,000 confirmed cases and 7,500 deaths. Two of the dead were newly elected members of parliament.
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