The Prison Conundrum: Keeping Inmates Jailed Or Letting Them Out, Risky Either Way

Texas A&M University experts say state prison officials are facing challenging decisions on whether to keep inmates in the system – risking more COVID-19 infections among inmates and workers – or let some out, which could increase community spread and, possibly, crime. State officials said they’ve taken a few measures to limit the spread of the sometimes-deadly disease to communities that have inmate populations. On March 29, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order barring inmates convicted or accused of violent crimes from being released without posting bail. Almost two weeks later, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) announced it will no longer would accept new inmates into

N95 masks were $1.25 six weeks ago, now they’re $7-$11. Price gouging puts lives at risk. [Opinion]

Just six weeks ago, large academic hospital systems like mine paid $1.25 for an N95 mask. Simple in their design and manufacturing, these masks are an effective tool for keeping clinicians and patients safe from the transmission of infectious diseases. With COVID-19 pummeling the nation, procuring these masks has become one of the most important things we do in a day. Sadly, this same mask now costs hospitals between $7- $11 apiece. If a large hospital system needs one million of them, it will cost more than $7 million. And surgical masks? They used to cost 7 cents — now they’re about $3 a piece. Just when we need masks the most, price gouging is rampant. Read more here

GCC to witness exit of expatriate workers due to coronavirus: Experts

Experts expect an outflow of expatriate workers from Gulf states as a result of the economic shock delivered by the coronavirus pandemic. Gulf states rely heavily on foreign workers across all sectors of the economy, from professionals to skilled workers and manual labor. Foreigners constitute 90 percent of the population of the UAE, two-thirds in Kuwait, half in Oman and Bahrain, and one third in Saudi Arabia. Read more here

Pandemic Leaves Gulf’s Key Foreign Workers in Limbo

The combined shock of collapsing oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic is forcing the Arab Gulf monarchies to rethink their policies toward the majority of the region’s private-sector workers: expatriates. The deepest peacetime recession since the 1930s is claiming millions of jobs worldwide, but in the $1.6 trillion Gulf economy job loss typically compromises everything from immigration status to the ability to open a bank account, rent an apartment or get a phone line, all of which often require employer permission. Comprising some 30 million people, virtually all foreign workers have no clear route to attain permanent residency or citizenship. Read more here

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