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Drugstore Drones: UPS Will Fly CVS Prescriptions to Customers

United Parcel Service Inc’s new Flight Forward drone unit will soon start home prescription delivery from CVS Health Corp.The service, which will debut in one or two U.S. cities in the coming weeks, shows how the world’s biggest parcel delivery company is expanding the reach of its upstart drone delivery service beyond hospital campuses.UPS Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer Scott Price said the Atlanta-based company, which owns 251 aircraft and charters nearly 300 more, said, “Flight Forward will work with new customers in other industries to design additional solutions for a wide array of last-mile and urgent delivery challenges.”UPS this month won the U.S. government’s first approval to operate a drone airline, taking a lead over rivals like Amazon.com Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Wing.Regulators are still hammering out rules for how the unmanned winged vehicles will operate in U.S. airspace and guidelines are expected in 2021.On Monday, Flight Forward and partner Matternet also announced a deal to deliver biological samples and other cargo on University of Utah Health hospital campuses. That program is similar to the program at WakeMed Hospital in North Carolina, Flight Forward’s first client.Flight Forward has also inked a hospital campus deal with health care provider Kaiser Permanente, UPS said.In addition, the company said pharmaceutical distributor AmerisourceBergen Corp will use Flight Forward drones to move pharmaceuticals, supplies and records to select U.S. medical campuses it serves.UPS rival FedEx Corp last week delivered a residential package to a home in Christiansburg, Virginia, as part of a trial service with Alphabet’s Wing Aviation.
 

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Underwater Robots Swim Discover Remains of WWII Japanese Warship

Victory there was a key turning point in World War II. Historians call it an essential win for dominance in the Pacific. Now, nearly eight decades later, researchers and underwater robots discover the remains of a Japanese aircraft carrier sunk in the Battle of Midway. VOA’s Arash Arabasadi takes us deep underwater on a journey back in time.

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Internet Overuse Grows as Does Reliance on the Internet

While the internet has definitely made our lives easier, it has come at a cost. Studies show that internet addiction is on the rise, specifically among young people. In Turkey, a recent study shows that internet addiction has risen over the last two decades. For VOA, Yildiz Yazicioglu and Murat Karabulut report from Ankara, Turkey, in this story narrated by Bezhan Hamdard.

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Floating Lab Aims to Accelerate a Transition to Greener Energies

The future of green energy just finished a 25-country tour. It moves as quietly as a whisper, uses the sun, wind and hydrogen for fuel, and emits zero greenhouse gases.  VOA’s Arash Arabasadi sails us through this story.

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Poor Posture Linked to Chronic Pain

Cellphones and computers are everywhere in almost every country across the globe, and it is common to see people hunched over these devices.When Dr. Lushantha Gunasekera at Orlando Health began feeling back pain, he thought he needed strength training.  “It was mainly pain in my upper back and neck and shoulder area,” he said. “It was just on the one side.”Nathaniel Melendez, a fitness specialist at the Orlando Health gym, was certain the doctor’s pain was from poor posture.”The internally rotated shoulders, the rounded back, head is down, neck is down,” he said, describing what he saw in Gunasekera.Hunching over a computer screen or cellphone compresses the neck muscles, which causes fatigue, muscle tension and headaches, and can injure vertebrae, Melendez says, but adds that it can be prevented and corrected.”You’d be surprised what strengthening your core and doing postural corrective exercises can do for your body,” he said.Melendez says even a slight misalignment can cause major strain, but researchers at Orlando Health found that less than half the Americans they surveyed seemed to care — until the pain sets in.As for Gunasekera, he says changing his posture made a huge difference.”It’s really helped out,” he said. “Now, I don’t have pain there anymore.”Experts advise computer users who are seated to be at eye level with the screen. Cellphone and computer users are encouraged to take frequent breaks and to remain aware of their posture.  
 

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Zuckerberg Defends Facebook’s Approach to Free Speech, Draws Line on China

Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday defended the social media company’s light regulation of speech and lack of fact checking on political advertising, while citing China’s censorship as a roadblock to operating in the country.Facebook has been under fire in recent years for its lax approach to fake news reports, state-backed disinformation campaigns and violent content spread on its services, prompting calls for new regulations around the world.In a speech at Georgetown University filled with references to the First Amendment and the fight for democracy, Zuckerberg stood his ground, saying social media had introduced transformative avenues for speech that should not be shut down.Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Georgetown University in Washington, Oct. 17, 2019.”People having the power to express themselves at scale is a new kind of force in the world. It is a Fifth Estate alongside the other power structures of society,” he said.Zuckerberg framed the company’s decisions around that concept, including its recent retreat from years of aggressive courtship of China, an obstacle to his vision of connecting the world’s population.He attacked the rapidly growing Chinese-owned app TikTok, saying the short video platform censored political protest, including in the United States — a charge the company denies.In leaked audio of an address to Facebook employees weeks earlier, Zuckerberg spoke about TikTok as a formidable competitor, calling it the first consumer internet product built by a Chinese tech giant to find global success, but did not mention its approach to speech.FILE – Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, talks with Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg at Microsoft’s main campus in Redmond, Wash., Sept. 23, 2015.Over the course of Facebook’s charm offensive, Zuckerberg met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, learned Mandarin and posted a photo of himself running through Tiananmen Square.Facebook briefly won a license to open an “innovation hub” in Hangzhou last year, but it was later revoked.Zuckerberg effectively closed the door to China in March, when he announced his plan to pivot Facebook toward more private forms of communication and pledged not to build data centers in countries with “a track record of violating human rights like privacy or freedom of expression.”He repeated his concern about data centers on Thursday, this time specifically naming China.”I wanted our services in China because I believe in connecting the whole world and I thought we might help create a more open society,” Zuckerberg said. “I worked hard to make this happen. But we could never come to agreement on what it would take for us to operate there, and they never let us in.”He received a question from the audience about what conditions or assurances he would need to enter the Chinese market, but did not address them in his response.’Feigned concern for free expression’Zuckerberg also defended the company’s political advertising policies on similar grounds, saying Facebook had at one time considered banning all political ads but decided against it, erring on the side of greater expression.That assertion was immediately panned by critics, among them candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination who have asserted the company should do more to address disinformation and abuse ahead of the November 2020 election.Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign quickly accused Zuckerberg of using “the Constitution as a shield” for Facebook’s bottom line.”His choice to cloak Facebook’s policy in a feigned concern for free expression demonstrates how unprepared his company is for this unique moment in our history and how little it has learned over the past few years,” said spokesman Bill Russo.FILE – Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks during the fourth U.S. Democratic presidential candidates 2020 election debate in Westerville, Ohio, Oct. 15, 2019.U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, another leading contender for the Democratic nomination, has been especially vocal about her critiques of Facebook, bashing its advertising policy and calling for the company to be broken up on antitrust grounds.She recently challenged Facebook’s policy that exempts politicians’ ads from fact-checking, running ads on the social media platform containing the false claim that Zuckerberg endorsed Trump’s re-election bid.But the focus on free speech is likely to win Zuckerberg some friends on the right, whom he has been courting aggressively in a recent visit to Washington and dinners at his home in California.Republican lawmakers routinely accuse the company of showing “anti-conservative bias” in its content moderation, without offering evidence. The company denies any favoritism.Facebook has been under scrutiny after finding Russian propaganda on its platform which many believe affected the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, won by Donald Trump.Trump has disputed claims that Russia has attempted to interfere in U.S. elections. Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied it.
 

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These Smart Technologies Might Land in Your Home in 2030

The future was here at a recent marquee tech show in Japan.  The Consumer Exhibition of Advanced Technology, or CEATEC, showcased technologies that may simplify our lives … or rapidly bring them to an end. VOA’s Arash Arabasadi takes us back to the future!