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Google’s big warning to staff about vaccine mandate

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Google is getting tough on it’s employees who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID

Google has told its employees they will lose pay and eventually be fired if they do not follow its COVID-19 vaccination rules.

A memo circulated by Google’s leadership team stated that employees had until December 3 to declare their vaccination status and upload documentation showing proof. The tech giant stated that after that date, employees would be contacted by management for a ‘please explain’ – with those who have applied for an exemption also to expect a call if their exemption request was denied.

The document said employees who haven’t complied with the vaccination rules by the Jan. 18 deadline will be placed on “paid administrative leave” for 30 days. After that, the company will put them on “unpaid personal leave” for up to six months, followed by termination.

Google is one of many big companies to enforce COVID mandates.

FILE PHOTO: A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is seen at a clinic in Aschaffenburg, Germany, January 15, 2021. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File PhotO/File Photo

Biden’s mandate on COVID vaccinations

President Joe Biden’s administration has ordered U.S. companies with 100 or more workers to ensure their employees are fully vaccinated or regularly tested for Covid-19 by January 18.

A federal court issued a stay on the order back in early November, putting a halt to the administration’s efforts.

Still, Google asked its more than 150,000 employees to upload their vaccination status to its internal systems, whether they plan to come into the office or not, and the company indicated that it plans to follow Biden’s order.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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X panic as viral hoax claims Gmail is shutting down

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A hoax statement purportedly issued by Google claimed that the search giant was shutting down its ubiquitous Gmail service — sending the internet into a panic.

The fake news release, which appeared to be addressed to the 1.8 billion users of the service worldwide and was posted on X, stated: “Google is sunsetting Gmail. After years of connecting millions worldwide, enabling seamless communication, and fostering countless connections, the journey of Gmail is coming to a close.”

The notice, featuring the company’s logo, emerged shortly after Google announced it was pausing the release of its text-to-image AI tool Gemini following outcry over the software rendering factually and historically inaccurate images.

The statement even provided a specific date — Aug. 1, 2024 — as the deadline until which Gmail users would “be able to access and download all your emails.”

It ominously added, “After this date, Gmail accounts will become inaccessible.”

Spread quickly

The hoax swiftly spread across social media platforms, although many users were quick to identify it as false.

However, speculation arose that the hoax may have originated from Chris Bakke, a self-described tech entrepreneur known for internet pranks.

Bakke has a history of internet pranks, including using a photoshopped news article about McDonald’s Hamburglar to mock a New York Times profile of convicted Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, as reported by Business Insider.

Email platform

Gmail, with a user base of 1.8 billion people representing one-fifth of the world’s population, remains the most popular email platform globally.

Despite criticisms of Google’s privacy policies, including accusations of scanning user messages for targeted advertising, the company has affirmed its commitment to Gmail.

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U.S. lands on Moon after last-minute glitch

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A last-minute communications glitch caused tension at NASA as the fate of the lunar lander hung in the balance.

However, cheers erupted at mission control as NASA confirmed the successful landing of the space lander, Odysseus, on the moon’s surface.

After a nail-biting delay of about ten minutes, NASA announced that Odysseus had touched down at 10:23 AEST, marking a historic moment in space exploration.

“We are on the surface,” declared Tim Crain, the chief technology officer leading mission control. “Odysseus has a new home,” he added, eliciting jubilation from NASA staff.

Successful landing

This successful landing not only marks a significant achievement for NASA but also for American firm Intuitive Machines, which becomes the first private company to accomplish a lunar landing.

It is also the first successful US landing on the moon since the Apollo missions half a century ago.

The spacecraft, aptly named Odysseus, initiated its powered descent to the moon’s surface earlier in the morning.

This milestone achievement comes after fellow US company Astrobotic was forced to abandon its own moon landing attempt in January due to a fuel leak.

Odysseus, the private lunar lander, had been in orbit around the moon as it aimed for a precise touchdown on Friday.

Its journey began six days ago from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, culminating in a historic moment for space exploration and the burgeoning private space industry.

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Will doctors turn to AI to help fix professional burnout?

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Doctors across the United States are grappling with burnout, staffing shortages, and excessive administrative burdens, according to a recent survey.

However, amidst these challenges, many physicians express optimism about the potential of artificial intelligence to alleviate these issues, the survey found.

Commissioned by Athenahealth, a provider of cloud-based healthcare tools, the survey unveiled that more than 90% of physicians experience burnout regularly.

The primary driver behind this burnout is cited as excessive administrative tasks, with 64% of doctors feeling overwhelmed by paperwork requirements.

Read more – social media dubbed the least trusted industry

Over 60% of respondents admitted to considering leaving the medical field due to these challenges.

Manage workloads

Physicians are resorting to spending an average of 15 hours per week working beyond their regular hours to manage their workloads, a phenomenon often referred to as “pajama time.”

Additionally, nearly 60% of doctors expressed dissatisfaction with the amount of in-person time they have with patients, while over 75% reported feeling burdened by patients’ excessive communication demands outside scheduled visits.

The survey also shed light on the challenges faced by healthcare organizations, with 78% of physicians acknowledging the impact of poor staff retention and shortages within their workplaces. Furthermore, less than 40% of doctors expressed confidence in their employers’ financial stability.

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