Global virus vaccine race heats up, but not without controversy

first_imgGlobal tensions simmered over the race for a coronavirus vaccine Thursday, as the United States and China traded jabs, and France slammed pharmaceuticals giant Sanofi for suggesting the US would get any eventual vaccine first.Scientists are working at breakneck speed to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, which has killed more than 300,000 people worldwide and pummeled economies.From the US to Europe to Asia, national and local governments are easing up on lockdown orders to get people back to work — while fretting over a possible second wave of infections. A move to reopen The reopening of economies continued in earnest across Europe, where the EU has set out proposals for a phased restart of travel and the eventual lifting of border controls.”Maybe it’s a mistake, but we have no choice. Without tourists, we won’t get by!” Enrico Facchetti, a 61-year-old former goldsmith, said of Venice’s reopening.And Japan — the world’s third largest economy — lifted a state of emergency across most of the country except for Tokyo and Osaka.New Zealanders mingled with friends and hit the shopping malls for the first time in seven weeks as a national lockdown ended.And Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said national parks would partially reopen on June 1.But in Latin America the virus continued to surge, with a 60 percent leap in cases in the Chilean capital of Santiago, prompting authorities to impose a total lockdown on the city.South Sudan reported its first COVID-19 death. And in Bangladesh, the first case was confirmed in the teeming Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, which are home to nearly one million people. ‘Darkest winter’ On Capitol Hill, an ousted US health official told Congress that the Trump government had no strategy in place to find and distribute a vaccine to millions of Americans, warning of the “darkest winter” ahead.”We don’t have a single point of leadership right now for this response, and we don’t have a master plan,” said Rick Bright, who was removed last month as head of the US agency charged with developing a coronavirus vaccine.The United States has registered more than 84,000 deaths linked to COVID-19 — the highest toll of any nation. Topics : Two US agencies warned Wednesday that Chinese hackers were trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine research — a claim Beijing rejected as “smearing” its reputation.US President Donald Trump, who has ratcheted up the rhetoric against China, said he doesn’t even want to engage with Chinese leader Xi Jinping — potentially imperiling a trade deal between the world’s top two economies.”I’m very disappointed in China. I will tell you that right now,” he said in an interview with Fox Business.”There are many things we could do. We could do things. We could cut off the whole relationship.”center_img Increased freedom of movement means an increased risk of contracting the virus, and so national labs and private firms are laboring to find the right formula for a vaccine.The European Union’s medicines agency offered some hope when it said one could be ready in a year, based on data from clinical trials already underway.But Marco Cavaleri, the EMA’s head of vaccines strategy, acknowledged that timeline was a “best-case scenario,” and cautioned that “there may be delays.”The race for a vaccine has exposed a raw nerve in relations between the United States and China, where the virus was first detected late last year in the central city of Wuhan. US jobless claims rise The prospect of the disease lingering leaves governments facing a delicate balancing act between suppressing the pathogen and getting their economies up and running.In the US, more grim economic data emerged Thursday, with nearly three million more Americans applying for unemployment benefits. That takes the overall total to 36.5 million — more than 10 percent of the US population.Further signs of the damage to businesses emerged when Lloyd’s of London forecast the pandemic will cost the global insurance industry about $203 billion.European markets closed down, but Wall Street rallied despite the new jobless claims. France miffed at SanofiWorld leaders were among 140 signatories to a letter published Thursday saying any vaccine should not be patented and that the science should be shared among nations. “Governments and international partners must unite around a global guarantee which ensures that, when a safe and effective vaccine is developed, it is produced rapidly at scale and made available for all people, in all countries, free of charge,” it said.But a row erupted in France after drugmaker Sanofi said it would reserve first shipments of any vaccine it discovered to the United States. The comments prompted a swift rebuke from the French government — President Emmanuel Macron’s office said any vaccine should be treated as “a global public good, which is not submitted to market forces.”Sanofi chief executive Paul Hudson said the US had a risk-sharing model that allowed for manufacturing to start before a vaccine had been finally approved — while Europe did not.”The US government has the right to the largest pre-order because it’s invested in taking the risk,” Hudson told Bloomberg News. Macron’s top officials are scheduled to meet with Sanofi executives about the issue next week. The search for a vaccine became even more urgent after the World Health Organization said the disease many never go away and the world would have to learn to live with it for good. “This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away,” said Michael Ryan, the UN body’s emergencies director.last_img read more

Swiss pension fund association welcomes cut to minimum interest rate

first_imgThe Bundesrat noted that the yield on Swiss seven-year bonds stood at -0.38% when the commission made its recommendation in August.In a statement, Hanspeter Konrad, president at ASIP, told IPE he supported the proposed reduction.“The decision is necessary in light of the low-interest-rate environment, accentuated through the negative rate of interest set by the Swiss National Bank.The industry has repeatedly criticised the central bank’s monetary policy, as well as its now-reversed decision to shield both the country’s largest pension fund, Publica, and its own occupational scheme from the impact of negative deposit rates.But Konrad struck an upbeat note about the return prospects for the country’s second pillar.“Due to the current low-price environment, this [1.25% rate] nevertheless results in a welcome real return,” he said. The rate has fallen, if not steadily, over the last decade, standing at 2.5% in 2006 and falling to 1.5% by 2012.It was then increased to 1.75% in 2014.According to the Credit Suisse Pensionskassenindex, the average fund would have seen a loss of 0.14% over the first half of the year. The Swiss government’s decision to cut the minimum interest rate for pension funds has been welcomed by local pension association ASIP.The Bundesrat said 2016’s rate would be set at 1.25%, a reduction of 50 basis points over the level agreed for 2015.The cut is in line with a recommendation supported by a significant majority of the statutory occupational pensions commission (BVG-Kommission).The Mindestzins, which dictates the level of compensation active members must be granted each year, is reviewed annually in line with prevailing Swiss government debt yields and return expectations from other assets.last_img read more

​NBIM urges GRI standards to track outcomes of human rights efforts

first_img“We believe these proposed revisions will contribute to more comparable and comprehensive sustainability reporting by companies,” the manager said.While supporting the revisions, Carine Smith Ihenacho and Wilhelm Mohn, chief corporate governance officer and head of sustainability at NBIM, respectively, who signed the letter, also said: “It would be helpful for the GRI to also include quantitative and qualitative indicators on the outcomes and effectiveness of companies’ efforts to address potential and actual negative impacts.”The pair said they encouraged the GSSB to consider including such indicators in both the universal and topic standards.Smith Ihenacho and Mohn also said they supported the Valuing Respect Project of US non-profit organisation Shift, which they said aimed to develop more meaningful ways of evaluating business respect for human rights – and outcomes for people in particular.“Over time, we expect a clearer and more complete picture of indicators measuring outcomes and effectiveness to emerge,” NBIM said, adding that this underlined the need for a dynamic approach to standards for human rights disclosure, where metrics gradually crystallised.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here. Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), has called for a major set of sustainability standards to include indicators about actual outcomes of work companies do to improve human rights.The Oslo-based manager of the NOK10.3trn (€963bn) sovereign wealth fund made the suggestion in its response to the Global Sustainability Standards Board’s (GSSB) consultation on revisions to the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Universal Standards, which ended on Wednesday.In the letter published on NBIM’s website, the division of central bank Norges Bank said it was commenting specifically on responsible business conduct and human rights disclosures, saying it saw this as an important addition to the GRI Universal Standards.NBIM welcomed the proposed revisions, including a clarification of the focus of the GRI standards, revised definitions of key concepts such as ‘impact’, ‘material topic’ and ‘stakeholder’, as well as a proposal that firms reporting according to the standards would no longer have a choice between core and comprehensive options.last_img read more

Babies can ‘hear’ emotion as early as three months old

first_img Sharing is caring! HealthLifestyle Babies can ‘hear’ emotion as early as three months old by: – July 1, 2011 Share By James GallagherHealth reporter, BBC NewsScanning babies’ brains in an fMRI scan shed new light on how early they hear emotion in voicesBabies can respond to emotions in a human voice at just three months old – earlier than previously thought – researchers believe.The results of scans on 21 sleeping babies suggested the brain responded to the type of sounds being played.Researchers said it had previously been unclear when human brains developed the ability to process voices and emotions.Scientists hope to learn the difference between the way autistic and non-autisitc brains develop as a result.They used functional magnetic-resonance imaging (fMRI) to record how babies responded to tapes playing “emotional sounds”, such as laughing and crying, as well as background noises, like water or toys.A part of the brain – the temporal cortex – was activated when human voices were played – the same region as in adults.‘Advance in understanding’The limbic brain region responded strongly to negative or sad sounds, but did not differentiate between neutral and happy sounds.Professor Declan Murphy, from King’s College London, said: “This discovery fundamentally advances our understanding of infant development.”Dr Evelyne Mercure, of University College London, said: “It is a rare demonstration that specialised areas exist in the brain very early in development.”The researchers hope the study will allow them to compare what happens in autistic and non-autistic brains.Professor Murphy told the BBC: “By identifying when brain systems come on stream, we can understand where it goes wrong.”The researchers are also scanning the brains of babies thought to be at risk of developing autism, such as those who have a sibling with the condition.They are investigating when differences can be detected. Sharecenter_img 27 Views   no discussions Share Tweetlast_img read more

Tostada Pizza.

first_img Sharing is caring! 52 Views   no discussions Food & DiningLifestyle Tostada Pizza. by: – August 16, 2011 Share Tostada Pizza.Turn an old Italian favorite distinctly Mexican using this recipe. Beef, beans, and cheese take over instead of regular tomato sauce and pepperoni toppings while chili powder and peppers add some spice. Using refrigerated pizza dough makes preparation quick and easy so you can get dinner on the table fast.Nutrition facts * Calories423 * Total Fat (g)17 * Saturated Fat (g)7, * Monounsaturated Fat (g)7, * Polyunsaturated Fat (g)1, * Cholesterol (mg)67, * Sodium (mg)939, * Carbohydrate (g)41, * Total Sugar (g)2, * Fiber (g)6, * Protein (g)28, * Vitamin A (DV%)0, * Vitamin C (DV%)23, * Calcium (DV%)20, * Iron (DV%)23, * Starch (d.e.)2.5, * Vegetables (d.e.).5, * Medium-fat Meat (d.e.)3, * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.Ingredients:1 pound lean ground beef3/4 cup water1 4-ounce can diced green chile peppers, drained2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix1 teaspoon chili powder1 tablespoon cornmeal1 13.8-ounce package refrigerated pizza dough1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)1 cup shredded lettuce1 medium tomato, chopped1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (4)Bottled taco sauce (optional)Directions:In a large skillet cook ground beef until brown. Drain off fat. Stir in the water, chile peppers, taco seasoning mix, and chili powder. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes or until most of the liquid is gone.Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet and sprinkle with the cornmeal. Unroll pizza dough onto the baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes.In a small bowl mash pinto beans with a fork. Spread beans over partially baked dough to within 1/2 inch of edges. Spoon meat mixture over beans. Bake, uncovered, 10 minutes more or until crust is just golden. Sprinkle with the cheese. Bake 1 to 2 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Top with lettuce, tomato, and green onions. Cut into 12 pieces. If desired, serve with taco sauce.Makes 6 servingsTaco Pizza: Prepare as above, except add crushed tortilla chips or corn chips to the toppings. In desired, serve with dairy sour cream. Per 2 pieces: 470 cal., 20 g total fat (8 g sat. fat), 67 mg chol., 989 mg sodium, 47 g carbo., 6 g fiber, 29 g pro. Daily Values: 24% vit. A, 23% vit. C, 22% calcium, 24% iron Exchanges: 3 Starch, 3 Medium-Fat Meat, 1/2 Vegetable Recipe source: Better Homes and Gardens Share Share Tweetlast_img read more

Small business entrepreneurs training session underway

first_img Share Share 8 Views   no discussions LocalNews Small business entrepreneurs training session underway by: – August 27, 2011 Sharecenter_img Sharing is caring! Tweet Parry Bellot. Photo credit: Flickr.comSeveral small business entrepreneurs are expected to form part of a small training session today, geared at sharpening business skills.Government’s productivity advisor Parry Bellot says the initiative is part of productivity in focus activity.He says the event also targets persons who have an interest in owning and managing their own business.“It a public session for small business entrepreneurs or persons who are planning to open a small business. A lot of the existing clients of the NDFD and those receiving assistance from the small business development unit of government will be there. It will involve a lot of helpful information from persons who have been long in the business field,” he said.Bellot said prominent business managers like Robert Tongue and Ronald Knight are expected to address the forum.The event commenced at 10 am at the Krazy Koconuts in Castle Comfort.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

Dominica observes Administrative Professionals Week

first_img Share Photo credit: FacebookActivities to commemorate Administrative Professionals Week have commenced in Dominica.Over the years the Dominica Association of Administrative Professionals has hosted several Amembersnnual Luncheons and Seminars for Administrative Professionals. The members attended a church service at the Trinity Baptist Church of Roseau on Sunday April 22, 2012 in observance of the week. The rest of the week will be focused on membership growth and retention and a cocktail will be held on Administrative Professional’s Day for the Association’s members.Wednesday of this week will be celebrated as Administrative Professionals Day under the theme “Embracing Diversity … Critical to Organizational Success”.The aim of the Association is to provide an organization for Administrative Assistants to promote the interest of all persons engaged in the practice of administrative duties and to also educate and upgrade Office Professionals on the island. The organizers have explained that their goals are achieved through workshops, seminars and other educational activities. The Association is a registered non-profit organization and has been in existence for nine (9) years. Dominica Vibes News Share Share LocalNews Dominica observes Administrative Professionals Week by: – April 24, 2012center_img Sharing is caring! Tweet 16 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

Premier League reveal latest decision on offside rule amid VAR row

first_img Loading… The Premier League are not set to change the way VAR works for tight offside calls for the rest of this season. VAR has proved controversial with fans during its first campaign in the Premier League mainly due to marginal offside decisions – with five close ‘armpit’ calls during the most recent weekend of action. Wolves , Brighton , Norwich, Crystal Palace and Sheffield United all had goals chalked off by the review system which looked level with the naked eye. “There should not be a lot of time spent to find something marginal. “If something is not clear on the first sight, then it’s not obvious and it shouldn’t be considered. “Looking at one camera angle is one thing but looking at 15, trying to find something that was potentially not even there, this was not the idea of VAR. It should be clear and obvious.” Former Premier League referees Mark Clattenburg and Dermot Gallagher have both given different opinions of VAR. “The excitement and spirit of the game is in danger of being damaged by the precise nature of the VAR technology when it comes to offside,” Clattenburg wrote in a column for The Daily Mail . “So why not go back to assistant referees flagging for offside and we stick to their decision?” Gallagher added on Sky Sports: “We know that the system is not 100 per cent, nothing ever is, but the system is the best available. The International Football Association Board (IFAB), which makes the game’s laws, claims VAR should only overturn blatant errors rather than forensically examine replays looking for potential offsides. IFAB are set to issue guidance to leagues during their annual meeting in February. The Premier League are not set to change the way VAR works for tight offside calls for the rest of this season. VAR has proved controversial with fans during its first campaign in the Premier League mainly due to marginal offside decisions – with five close ‘armpit’ calls during the most recent weekend of action. Wolves , Brighton , Norwich, Crystal Palace and Sheffield United all had goals chalked off by the review system which looked level with the naked eye. The International Football Association Board (IFAB), which makes the game’s laws, claims VAR should only overturn blatant errors rather than forensically examine replays looking for potential offsides. IFAB are set to issue guidance to leagues during their annual meeting in February. But according to the Daily Mail, the Premier League have no plans to alter the way VAR makes offside decisions – with the report claiming that the league think changing the rules halfway through a season would ‘affect the integrity of the competition’. “Clear and obvious still remains — it’s an important principle,” said IFAB general secretary Lukas Brud.center_img Promoted ContentHow They Made Little Simba Look So Lifelike in ‘The Lion King’Top 7 Best Car Manufacturers Of All Time14 Hilarious Comics Made By Women You Need To Follow Right NowIs This The Most Delicious Food In The World?10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The Universe7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend Better8 Things To Expect If An Asteroid Hits Our PlanetThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreInsane 3D Spraying Skills Turn In Incredible Street Art6 Most Handsome Indian Actors6 Most Breathtaking Bridges In The World Read Also: Team of the decade: Guardiola explains why Man City toppled Liverpool “It may be that when IFAB have their meeting, they could tweak something because they take notice of what people say and the Premier League do the same. “We have to remember that they have already said it will take a few years to get it right. It will take time and there could be a few bumps in the road – this may be one of the biggest bumps. “But it’s not going to be the same product for the entirety. It will be an on-going thing and people will cascade ideas down.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

End of Game Scenario

first_imgDoes it bother you when a team is involved in a rout and one team plays all of their players and the other team keeps their starters in to the bitter end?  If you want to build a program, you play younger players in these types of games so they learn what it is like playing on a Friday night.  I have seen several high school football games this year where one of 2 things happens.  Team A gets ahead by 4 or 5 touchdowns in the 4th quarter so they take out their starters and play the younger players.  They do this when the game is beyond reach.  In that same game, the losing team keeps their starters in until the last play of the game. I have seen losing teams play senior starters until the last play of the game leaving the younger athletes sitting on the bench.  What are they thinking? How about playing the younger athletes?  The game is over!On the other hand, I have seen teams winning by several touchdowns in the 4th quarter and they play their starters to the bitter end so they can run up the score on a hapless opponent.  This is probably even worse since in most cases, they are doing this to enhance their power ranking.  What happens when these stars all graduate and the younger athletes have to take over?  Also, what do you say when your star player has a season-ending injury on the last play of a rout?last_img read more

Courtois clarifies comments about Barcelona and La Liga title

first_imgThibaut Courtois has a bit of a knack for talking his way into trouble, and the Real Madrid goalkeeper has managed it again.Advertisement Loading… Last week he commented that it wouldn’t be fair to award Barcelona the title on the merit of games played so far, given that his side had beaten the Blaugrana in one of their matches and drawn in the other. Promoted Content12 Stars You Would Never Recognize Without Their Signature Look10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do10 Phones That Can Easily Fit In The Smallest Pocket7 Worst Things To Do To Your Phone5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks6 Ridiculous Health Myths That Are Actually True10 Gorgeous Asian Actresses No Man Can Resist8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its Growth8 Ways Drones Are Going To Change Our Lives5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?The Funniest Prankster Grandma And Her Grandson He’s had to row back from those slightly inflammatory comments in words quoted by Mundo Deportivo today.“I never said that they should declare Real Madrid champions if the league ends now,” the former Chelsea stopper said, before repeating his belief that his team could still lift the title:“If we play the eleven remaining games I have confidence that my team can win the league.”Thibaut Courtois of Real MadridRead Also: Spain needs football, claims Real Madrid starTo be honest he’s never said anything too controversial, and there would be plenty of people unhappy if this feeble Barcelona team were just given the title on a plate, not least Madrid fans who have seen their team look better for stretches of the season.But Courtois’ tendency to get trapped into saying things like this can lead to more pressure on him and his team, and given nobody knows how things will turn out in the next couple of months, he will have to hope he’s not eating his words.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more