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US ends emergency authorization of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19

first_imgThe United States on Monday withdrew emergency use authorizations for two antimalarial drugs favored by President Donald Trump to treat the new coronavirus, effectively shutting the door on the politically charged treatments.Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and chloroquine (CQ) were authorized in March after they were found to inactivate the virus in test tubes, and early small studies appeared to show they worked well in humans, too.Since that time, however, larger, better-controlled experiments have found that the two medicines are ineffective in treating COVID-19 or in preventing infection among people who have been exposed to the virus. Meanwhile, safety concerns have been raised around their use — particularly the risk of causing irregular heart rhythm in certain patients.”It is no longer reasonable to believe that oral formulations of HCQ and CQ may be effective in treating COVID-19,” Denise Hinton, chief scientist of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wrote in a letter.”Nor is it reasonable to believe that the known and potential benefits of these products outweigh their known and potential risk.”Accordingly, FDA revokes the EUA for emergency use of HCQ and CQ to treat COVID-19.” The emergency approvals paved the way for the medicines to be donated from a national stockpile to hospitals to fight COVID-19, and were seen as an intermediary step before full regulatory approval.Both drugs are approved for use against malaria, as well as the autoimmune conditions rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.Doctors will therefore still be able to prescribe them “off label” against COVID-19, though this is strongly discouraged by US health authorities.Even so, the end of the authorizations presents a blow to Trump, who has personally backed HCQ on numerous occasions, calling it a potential “game changer” based on his gut feelings.He has also said he used the drug to ward off infection — but a recent clinical trial found it to be ineffective for this purpose too.HCQ has likewise received ringing endorsements from right-wing news media, including Fox News, and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, as well as in France from supporters of scientist Didier Raoult, who conducted one of the early experiments that showed favorable results. On the whole, it has pitted politicians against the scientific establishment.In May, Rick Bright, a prominent government scientist, testified in Congress that he was removed from his vaccine development role because he had raised concerns about HCQ and resisted its widespread use.Two major clinical trials this month, one in the United Kingdom and another in the US and Canada, underscored the drugs’ lack of efficacy.But HCQ was also at the center of an academic scandal when the prestigious journal The Lancet retracted a study that claimed the drug raised the risk of death.The paper was withdrawn after most of its authors said they could no longer vouch for the authenticity of a dataset supplied by a small Chicago-based health care company.Despite the affair, scientific consensus appears to have hardened against HCQ’s use for COVID-19.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Switzerland sends 2,500 students into quarantine after hotel school COVID outbreak

first_imgAt roughly 33 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the last week, it remains less affected than a number of nearby countries currently at or nearer their peak.It has taken a regional approach on many precautionary measures, leaving cantonal authorities free to impose them as deemed fit.Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne said it was working with regional medical authorities to support the affected students, who thus far had only reported minor symptoms, and would continue teaching remotely throughout the quarantine period.”Important measures have been put in place on campus to ensure the highest health standards and to limit the spread of the virus as much as possible,” it said in an emailed statement.It said disciplinary measures had been taken against the students who had organized the privately held parties. Topics : The festivities Swiss authorities believe to be the origin of the school’s outbreak had been held before Vaud, which has recorded more infections than any other Swiss canton, introduced stricter measures on Sept. 17.Those included the closure of night clubs and a ban on private events of more than 100 people, as well as mandatory mask-wearing in public locations indoors.Like many European countries, Switzerland has seen a resurgence of cases since lockdown measures were eased and some international travel resumed over the summer months.Cases since the start of the epidemic recently surpassed 50,000. center_img Switzerland has quarantined the entire undergraduate body of one of its premier hospitality management schools just days after their return from summer recess, regional officials said on Wednesday, following a COVID-19 outbreak linked to one or more parties.All 2,500 undergraduate students at the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne must remain in their housing, including on-campus accommodation, until Sept. 28, authorities for the canton of Vaud said in a statement.That followed a number of major outbreaks among the student body which had made it impossible to trace which students had came into contact with the virus.last_img read more

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Active management under pressure as buyers favour passive – survey

first_imgGlobal assets under management barely grew in 2015, with traditional active managers suffering outflows, according to a survey.The survey was conducted by consultancies Casey Quirk by Deloitte and McLagan, and was of members of the US Institute and European Institute, forums for senior leaders at investment management firms.The 2016 survey, the fifteenth annual version, found that there was low growth overall in the global asset management industry, with assets under management (AUM) rising from $68trn (€61bn) in 2014 to $69trn in 2015.Industry revenue fell, from an estimated $346bn in 2014 to an estimated $344bn last year. Index-linked and multi-asset class investment strategies attracted more than 90% of net new money worldwide last year.Of firms surveyed with more than $10bn in AUM, 56% reported positive net flows compared with 60% in 2014 and 63% in 2013.The share of those reporting negative net flows was up, from 40% in 2014 to 44% last year.Net flows into passive strategies globally doubled in the past two years to reach 72% of the total in 2015.Traditional active strategies saw outflows in 2015, “against gains in 2014”, according to the consultancies.Net inflows into multi-asset class strategies increased from 18% to 24%, while new investments into alternatives fell from 10% to 8% of total net flows in 2015.Jeffrey Levi, principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP, said: “Individual investors – increasingly sceptical of active management, fee-sensitive and outcome-oriented – are the drivers of industry growth.”Traditional active managers need to adapt their business models to this environment, which also features increasing scrutiny of fees and more regulatory pressure, he added.“This shifting marketplace will, in turn, drive greater convergence in the industry across wealth management, asset management, insurance and financial technology,” he said.Credit ratings agency Moody’s recently predicted traditional active asset management would “shrink substantially” due to the shift towards passive investment.last_img read more

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Switzerland: Record backing for international assets, alternatives

first_imgSwiss pension funds have an all-time high exposure to foreign assets, according to Swiss consultancy Complementa.In its latest risk check-up on the domestic pension industry, Complementa found Switzerland’s Pensionskassen invested almost 70% of their equities portfolios outside the country, while a decade ago this figure was 60%. In bonds, the exposure to foreign securities was also at a record high of around 45%. When other asset classes were included, it gave a record exposure to foreign investments.“For the first time in the Swiss second pillar half of the assets are invested abroad,” Complementa said. At the same time, the foreign currency quota in the portfolios Complementa looked at continued to decline, reaching 17%.“The FX hedging quota is at an all time high,” the consultancy said.As Pensionskassen search for yield and diversification, their exposure to alternative investments also continued to increase. It now stands at 9.1%, another all-time high.  Additionally, Complementa said alternatives allocations were much more diversified than four years ago, when portfolios were typically made up of private equity, commodities, and hedge funds.Complementa said there had been an “unbroken trend” of adding alternative asset classes.“Pensionskassen increase exposure to or make first-time investments mainly in insurance-linked securities, private debt and infrastructure,” the consultancy said.At the same time, commodity allocations shrank in light of disappointing returns.Looking to the future, Complementa said it was pessimistic about future returns of Swiss Pensionskassen. For the first four months of 2017 the firm calculated a 2.9% return on average, after a full-year return of 3.7% for all of 2016.However, it noted the returns over the last five years were “uncharacteristically high”. This was likely to change, Complementa said: “Currently our return outlook stands at 2.2%.”last_img read more

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Sovcomflot, NYK Line Ink Loan to Refinance LNG Carrier Duo

first_imgJoint venture companies belonging to Sovcomflot and NYK Line have signed a new USD 176 million non-recourse credit facility to refinance two ice-class LNG carriers.The vessels in question are the Grand Aniva and sister ship Grand Elena, servicing the Sakhalin-2 project. The 145,000 cbm units are jointly owned and operated by SCF Group and NYK Line.The loan was signed for eight years with three international banks, namely Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation of Japan (through its German subsidiary, SMBC Bank EU AG); Société Générale of France, and Shinsei Bank of Japan.With this financing facility, SCF Group said that it is pioneering the adoption of provisions that enable lenders to comply with the Poseidon Principles, an environmental initiative by international banks that promotes a low carbon future for the global shipping industry by establishing a framework for assessing and disclosing the climate change impact of ship finance portfolios.Grand Aniva and Grand Elena, built in 2008 and 2007, transport LNG year-round from the port of Prigorodnoye on Sakhalin Island to Japan, South Korea and China under long-term contracts with Sakhalin Energy, the operator of Sakhalin-2 project.Since LNG shipments began from Sakhalin-2 in March 2009, the two carriers have completed 325 voyages, delivering over 46.5 million cubic metres of LNG.last_img read more

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15 NegOcc freed convicts endorsed to jail authorities

first_imgColonel Romeo Baleros He noted that since President RodrigoDuterte has directed the DOJ to review their cases, they can be released againonce it is confirmed that each of them has already served their sentence. Colonel Romeo Baleros, Negros OccidentalPolice Provincial Office director, said those who surrendered were brought byjail personnel to the Bureau of Corrections’ (BuCor) Sablayan Prison and PenalFarm in Occidental Mindoro. The 15 are among the 62 GCTA-releasedprisoners from Negros Occidental, based on the list provided by the CriminalInvestigation and Detection Group (CIDG). The 62 released prisoners from NegrosOccidental are among the 1,914 heinous crime convicts ordered arrested by thePresident after they were released early based on a wrong interpretation ofRepublic Act 10592, or the GCTA law. They have been considered committing thecrime of evasion of a sentence. (With a report from PNA/PN)center_img “We’re adopting a soft-hand approach. Wecoordinate with their families to know their whereabouts. They can report tothe nearest police station for accounting and turn-over to the BJMP,” Balerossaid. “We have trackers who conduct monitoringof the whereabouts of the others,” Baleros said. He added that tracker teams of police stationsare headed by chiefs of warrant sections while under the NOCPPO, men ofSpecial Operations Group are also assigned to do the task. BACOLOD City – Fifteen convicts freed under the Good Conduct Time Allowance(GCTA) law were already endorsed to the Negros Occidental District Jail of theBureau of Jail Management and Penology.last_img read more

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Martinez ducks ‘media war’ over duo

first_imgEverton manager Roberto Martinez is refusing to get involved in a war of words with predecessor David Moyes over the futures of Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini. Moyes, now manager at Manchester United, has suggested the careers of the pair could be damaged if they are not allowed to move to Old Trafford. Everton this week rejected a joint £28million bid for left-back Baines and midfielder Fellaini as “derisory and insulting”. “I don’t think it is the time to talk about the window when you have just played a game and we have another game around the corner. I am not going to go along with the circus the transfer window can become.” Martinez certainly had no concerns about playing Baines and Fellaini against the Baggies. Both performed well and Fellaini went the closest to scoring with a late shot that hit the post. Martinez said: “They are true professionals. They are true ambassadors of Everton and they have been here for a long time and they know how to perform and give everything they have.” Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard also praised the professionalism of Baines and Fellaini and is keen for them to stay on Merseyside. The American, himself a former United player, said: “It is entertaining. You look around at all the managers (saying) who is for sale, who is not for sale, then there is a fire sale at the end, all the big names. “It entertains me who is going to Real Madrid, who is going to Chelsea, who is going to Man Utd. “There is nothing we can do about it. What I will say is that Felli and Baines have been brilliant. “Other clubs have got some idiots who don’t turn up to training or train with the reserves. These guys (Fellaini and Baines) train so hard, they are out there working as hard as anyone else. “What goes on in the boardroom is not down to me. “Of course I want them to stay. They have been brilliant for us. “Hopefully that will last a long time but guys a lot smarter than me are making those decisions, so I don’t know.” Martinez, speaking after his side’s goalless draw with West Brom in the Barclays Premier League, said: “I think my comment is quite clear. “If managers start talking about players who are registered at other clubs, that is the end of the whole thing. I think everyone should look after their own things internally. “I am sure they have got many issues in the same manner and I could easily come out and give my opinions about these players but I will be more respectful than that. “Everyone has got a price (but) when you invest money in a player and five years later you get offered the same money after performing really well, that becomes a little bit of a nonsense. “The last thing I want is to get into a media war with a manager I really respect.” Baines joined the Toffees from Wigan for £6million in 2007 with Fellaini arriving from Standard Liege for £15million the following year. Everton are now bracing themselves for an improved offer from United for the pair but Martinez is determined to keep them and insists there is no set price where they will begin talks. He said: “No, no. Remember that the position we have got is we don’t want to sell, so then you haven’t got a figure. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Cricket News THIS England No.11 opens the batting, almost achieves history in Lord’s Test vs Ireland and surprises his dad

first_img New Delhi: Jack Leach, the England left-arm orthodox spinner, had only opened once in his Test career during the Pallekele Test against Sri Lanka. Leach was a typical tailender, averaging just under 10 and having scored only two first-class fifties in 80 matches. On the first day of the one-off Test against Ireland at Lord’s, England was staring down the barrel having been bowled out for 85 and then conceding a lead of 122. Leach was promoted to open the batting and he survived the last few overs of the day as a night watchman. On the second day, Leach confounded cricket fans as he counterattacked in style and blasted 92, his highest score ever in cricket. Leach’s 92 and some valuable contributions from Sam Curran helped England reach 303/9 at the close with Ireland still on top. Leach was dropped on 72 and on 92 but he failed to capitalise on an opportunity to create history as he departed for 92. Leach, though, became the fifth England player to be dismissed in the 90s as a night watchman. Alex Tudor was dismissed for 99 against New Zealand in Birmingham in 1999. Harold Larwood was dismissed for 98 against Australia in Sydney while Eddie Hemmings was bowled for 95 against Australia in Sydney in 1983. The last person to be dismissed in the 90s was Jack Russell when he was out for 94 against Sri Lanka in Lord’s in 1988.When Leach neared the possibility of nearing a century, Leach admitted that some weird thoughts were crossing his mind. “I know now that the nervous 90s are definitely a thing. You think ‘I’m only two shots away’ and I was having some weird thoughts. I was trying to tell myself not to think about it which kind of made me think about it. I can’t believe it really. I just went out to try and do a job for the team I guess and try and soak up some balls. It probably went a little bit further than I thought it would,” Leach said.Also Read | Tim Murtagh fulfils childhood dream with a historic five-wicket haul in Lord’sLeach and Jason Roy smashed 72 as the duo shared a 145-run partnership for the second wicket. However, a collapse of six wickets for 66 runs saw Ireland claw back in the contest with Mark Adair picking up three wickets followed by two wickets each from Boyd Rankin and Stuart Thompson taking two wickets each. Tim Murtagh, the first innings hero with 5/13, took the wicket of Leach to deny him his moment of glory.Also Read | 20 wickets fall in one day! Yes, this happened in Lord’s Test between England and IrelandHowever, the knock from Leach surprised his father, who was supposed to attend but did not as the record high temperatures at London prevented him from coming. Europe and Britain were reeling under a severe heatwave, with temperatures reaching 39 degrees celsius. Leach said his father could not come due to the weather. “He was going to come but he saw the weather forecast and said it was too hot. I don’t think it would have been a good place for him to be today, he could have died! I think it was best he stayed at home in the cool. I gave him my house key and he went over so he’s literally been at mine watching the whole time. I’ll catch up with him later on,” Leach said. Ireland would be hoping to create history by bowling England out and chasing a target of under 200 to achieve their first-ever Test win. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. Tim Murtagh picked up his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests.Ireland will be gunning for their first-ever Test win.Jack Leach became the fifth England night watchman to be dismissed in the 90s.center_img highlightslast_img read more

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IAAF to seek swift reversion of Swiss court’s Semenya ruling

first_img(REUTERS) – The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said it will seek a swift reversion of Monday’s Swiss court ruling in favour of double Olympic champion Caster Semenya.Semenya has appealed a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision that supported the IAAF’s rule that XY chromosome athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs), like Semenya, can only race in distances from 400m to a mile if they take medication to lower their testosterone levels.The Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT) ruled Semenya will be able to run in her favoured 800 metres event without taking medication until her appeal has been ruled on.In response to that decision the IAAF said in a statement that it would seek a “swift reversion of the superprovisional order… to avoid serious confusion amongst athletes and event organisers and to protect the integrity of the sport.”It added that the suspension of regulations applied only to Semenya and will be in effect until June 25.“The SFT’s decision was “ex parte”, meaning that it was requested and issued without the IAAF’s knowledge,” athletics’ governing body said.“The IAAF did not receive appellant’s filings or the order until today, so has not had the chance to explain why the DSD Regulations should remain in force and applicable to all affected athletes while the appeal is pending.”Reuters has contacted Semenya’s representatives for comment.In defence of its rules, the IAAF said it was committed to the full participation of women in athletics and would continue to fight for equal rights and opportunities for all women.“The IAAF fully respects each individual’s personal dignity and supports the social movement to have people accepted in society, based on their chosen legal sex and/or gender identity,” the IAAF statement added.“However, the IAAF is convinced there are some contexts, sport being one of them, where biology has to trump identity.“The IAAF also believes the right to participate in sport does not translate to a right to self-identify into a competition category or an event.”last_img read more

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