The Trump administration just backed down on its attempt to kick out foreign students

The Trump administration announced Tuesday that it will rescind a policy change that would have prohibited international students from remaining in the US if they are taking only online classes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement came during a hearing in Massachusetts federal court. Harvard and MIT, backed by more than 200 other universities, had challenged the new policy, which would have forced students taking solely online classes to either return home, transfer to programs with in-person classes, or face the risk of deportation.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the policy change last week, just hours after Harvard …

The other infectious diseases spreading in the shadow of the pandemic

In recent decades, the world has made dramatic progress in lowering the number of deaths from infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, HIV, malaria, and polio. But as campaigns are paused or cut back and as people miss routine care due to the coronavirus pandemic, these illnesses are getting a rare opportunity to come roaring back.

A new study in The Lancet Global Health estimates that deaths from tuberculosis could increase by 20 percent over five years — and deaths from malaria by 36 percent — if Covid-19 runs rampant in areas where these illnesses are prevalent. Others suggest that the …

Many technologies needed to solve the climate crisis are nowhere near ready

Global warming can often feel overwhelming, given its political, social, and economic complexities. From a purely engineering perspective, though, it is surprisingly simple. There is a clear goal and a bounded set of technological tools to achieve it — just the kind of problem engineers like to solve.

The clear goal is net-zero global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a target around which much of the world is coalescing in the wake of the recent IPCC report.

Reaching global net-zero is necessary to stabilize the atmosphere at any temperature. Otherwise, it continues warming. “The difference between one and a …

Trump reduced fines for nursing homes that put residents at risk. Then Covid-19 happened.

Few places represent the calamity of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the Life Care Center of Kirkland.

Starting in February and escalating into early March, the nursing home in a Seattle suburb became one of the disease’s first hot spots in the United States. By March 9, more than a week before any state had issued a stay-at-home order, the Kirkland facility already had 129 cases (81 among residents; the rest among staff and visitors) and 23 deaths from the novel coronavirus, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

Before long, it became …