May 2, 2018

Boy Scouts rename main program as girls join ranks

A Boy Scout salutes the American flag. Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

Boy Scouts of America's flagship program for 11-to 17-year-olds will be changing its name to Scouts BSA in February 2019, as it begins to accept girls to the program.

Why it matters: The change follows last year's announcement that girls could join the younger Cub Scout units. The parent organization to Scouts BSA will still be known as Boy Scouts of America, the AP reports, but the latest change will allow girls to attempt Eagle Scout rank, the highest achievement of the organization. Mike Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive, told the AP "[w]e're trying to find the right way to say we're here for both young men and young women."

But, but, but: The Girl Scouts are ramping up a competitive campaign in response. New additions to their program will include a heavier focus on STEM and the outdoors, as well as an expansion of networking opportunities for Girl Scouts alums.

  • Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girls Scouts of the USA, said in a statement: "We are, and will remain, the first choice for girls and parents who want to provide their girls opportunities to build new skills, explore STEM and the outdoors, participate in community projects, and grow into happy, successful, civically engaged adults."

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Japan to close schools through late March to control coronavirus outbreak

A couple takes photos in front of the Olympic rings in Tokyo. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Thursday that the government will ask elementary, middle and high schools around the country to close until late March as an attempt to contain its novel coronavirus outbreak, AP reports.

Why it matters: The government's decision — impacting 12.8 million students across 34,847 schools — comes as concerns mount about the spread of the virus in Japan, which has 189 confirmed cases and hundreds more abroad the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Go deeper: The latest coronavirus updates

What the coronavirus means for Trump's presidency

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

A poor response to the coronavirus could be politically devastating for President Trump, and so far his administration has given the strong impression that it’s still scrambling as the risk of a pandemic mounts.

Why it matters: There’s only so much any president can do to stop a virus from spreading, and for now the coronavirus is still very much under control within the U.S. But if the disease get worse in the months ahead, and if the administration seems to be caught off guard, that spells trouble for public confidence in Trump.

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Coronavirus updates: New global case numbers surpass China's

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. As Denmark and Estonia reported their first cases Thursday, Scott Morrison, prime minister of Australia — which has 23 confirmed infections — told a news conference, "The risk of a global pandemic is very much upon us."

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