Why the US can not vote electronically as 17 Million Minks are culled in Denmark for Coronavirus mutation

Lakshya Jain
5 min readNov 9, 2020
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Why voting electronically in the US election is not an option. 17 million minks are going to be culled in Denmark due to virus mutation. Americans are going to spend less this holiday season which will negatively impact retailers. Ethiopia is on the brink of civil war as tensions rise between the ruling and opposing parties. A new DNA study in dogs gives us more information on the domestication of dogs. Here are this week’s top stories.

1. Why the US can’t vote electronically

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

People use technology extensively and they rely on it heavily. People can send and receive money, save passwords, run their social media, manage their bank accounts on their phones, but we can't vote in the US election using technology. US citizens have to vote by mail or stand in long lines to cast their votes. Many countries have experimented with electronic voting like Canada and Estonia and they have mixed results. Most cybersecurity experts agree that there are risks involved with voting online. The US will need to invest in the digital infrastructure before voting online can become a reality. There are numerous security and privacy concerns, especially when countries like Iran, Russia, and China are trying to influence the election. The US government isn't willing to splurge on cybersecurity as even the most secure smartphones are vulnerable. It would also be tricky to authenticate the voter’s identity. In polling locations, signature, address, driver's licenses, and many more are required to vote. On a modern day smartphone, the only identification method would be a fingerprint scanner or facial recognition. There is also a big divide in technology. LTE, the network technology use by most modern smartphones, is not available in many rural areas. Many people in the US don't even have a smartphone; currently, only 81% of the population has a smartphone. The US is currently not capable to allow citizens to vote online, but as time passes this will change.

2. 17 Million Minks in Denmark to be culled for Coronavirus mutation

Reuters/Jacob Gronholt Pederson

A widespread outbreak of a new variant of the Coronavirus is spreading in Denmark. The virus mutated in Mink, after being passed on by humans. Now the new variant is getting spread in humans with more than 200 related confirmed infections. This could have devastating consequences and impact the ongoing vaccine development. Denmark has about 17 million minks and the government has decided to cull all the minks living on farms. This will minimize the risk of the virus spreading further. This is going to cost an estimated $785 million to the farms and economy, and the government has promised to compensate farmers. 207 out of the 1,139 fur farms in Denmark has been infected with COVID-19. This situation will also provide fur farms with an opportunity to move away from the horrible and outdated practice. It is an animal tragedy that so many minks will die, but defending their decision, authorities claim, that they would have anyway been killed for their fur.

3. Americans to spend less this Holiday season

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

The pandemic and the recession caused by it, is going to force Americans to spend less this holiday season. According to a survey conducted in October, families plan to spend an average of $805 on gifts this year compared to $942 last year. That's a drop of over 15% and this kind of decline will hurt retailers even more. More than two dozen major retailers like Neiman Marcus, J. Crew, and Brooks Brothers have already filed for bankruptcy during this recession. Many sectors have adapted to the pandemic and kept their sales up but the apparel sector was not able to do that. Clothing and shoe sales dropped nationally by more than 40%. Many retailers are trying to stay afloat by starting their holiday deals early. Most Black Friday deals were available by November but consumers are cutting their spending and saving instead. Coronavirus is spreading exponentially in the US and Lawmakers are failing on deciding the second stimulus as more than 10 million people are still unemployed.

4. Ethiopia’s brewing civil war

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed holding his acceptance speech after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the noble peace prize last year but now is on the brink of taking his country to a civil war. He announced the beginning of military operations against the northern Tigray state this Wednesday in response to an alleged deadly attack on a government military base by local forces in the country’s Tigray province. The federal government has also announced a six-month state of emergency, which gives them many security powers. Ethiopia's military announced it is at war with the ruling party of the country’s northern Tigray region. The tensions started when Abiy’s government delayed scheduled elections because of Coronavirus. Officials in Tigray held their own elections in September where two million people showed up. In Africa’s second most populated country with over 100 million people, tensions and fears over a Civil War are rising.

5. DNA shows Dogs are human’s oldest and first domesticated animals

Photo by Matt Nelson on Unsplash

A new study of dog DNA shows that domestication of dogs had occurred earlier than previously thought. Dog domestication can be traced back to near the end of the last Ice Age. This study also shows how rapidly dogs spread across the world after domestication, and pins their likely origin to a group of extinct wolves. According to this report, dog domestication began around 20,000 years ago, making them the first domesticated animal. By 11,000 years ago, dogs had diverged into five different lineages and spread worldwide. The spread of dogs sometimes mirrors and sometimes diverges from human migration. No new wolf DNA has entered dog genomes even after humans crossbreed wolves and dogs but, modern wolves show the incorporation of some dog DNA. Dogs evolved from an ancient wolf that went extinct thousands of years ago and is yet to be identified.

Above were my top stories for the week ending November 8, 2020, hope you liked it. See you next week!



Lakshya Jain

I share unique stories that are not widely reported in the media. Veritas! Email: lakshya5jain@gmail.com