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The UK is hopeful of rolling out a coronavirus vaccine 'soon after Christmas' - Business Insider - Business Insider
England's deputy chief medical officer told MPs that a vaccine, developed at Oxford University, could be available in January.
The UK government hopes that a coronavirus vaccine will be available by December, say reports. England's deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, this week told members of Parliament that the vaccine being developed at Oxford University with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca could be available to high-priority groups in time for the New Year, according to The Times of London newspaper. He reportedly told MPs: "We aren't light years away from it. It isn't a totally unrealistic suggestion that we could deploy a vaccine soon after Christmas. That would have a significant impact on hospital admissions and deaths." An MP who attended who briefing told the newspaper that Van-Tam was "very bullish about the third stage AstraZeneca results, which he expects between the end of this month and the end of next." If a vaccine is developed, Boris Johnson's government plans to initially offer it to the elderly, the vulnerable, and key workers to reduce the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths significantly. Van-Tam reportedly told MPs that this would make it much harder for young people infected with the virus to pass it on to more at-risk people. Thousands of National Health Service staff will receive training in vaccination before the end of the year, The Times of London report said. Professor Van-Tam's comments come as the UK confronts a second spike of the virus, with Johnson's government enforcing an array of local lockdowns in a bid to tackle soaring numbers of new infections across the country. The UK prime minister this week urged MPs to temper their expectations over a virus, warning them that failure to develop a vaccine for Sars shows "it cannot be taken for granted." Asked by Conservative MP Steve Baker on Monday to provide a specific timeline for the development of a vaccine, Johnson said: "Alas, I can't give him a date by which I can promise confidently that we will have a vaccine. "There are some very hopeful signs, not least from the Oxford AstraZeneca trials that are being conducted. "But, as he knows, Sars took place 18 years ago, we still don't have a vaccine for Sars. I don't wish to depress him, but we must be realistic about this. "There is a good chance of a vaccine, but it cannot be taken for granted." Until and unless a vaccine is developed, Johnson's government hopes that upgrading the UK's testing regime plus the development of new therapeutic treatments will make it easier to suppress the virus and reduce the need for harsh lockdown restrictions. Loading Something is loading.
China demands French exhibition on Genghis Khan remove his name - Business Insider - Business Insider
The museum postponed the exhibition for three years in response to what the director called "acts of censorship of the central Chinese authorities."
Chinese authorities have demanded a French exhibition remove the words "Genghis Khan" from its exhibition on the Mongolian warlord, the museum director said in a statement seen by the Associated Press. The exhibition at the Château des ducs de Bretagne museum in Nantes, western France, devised in partnership with the Inner Mongolia Museum in Hohhot, China, was about the infamous Mongolian leader who conquered a huge empire in the 12th century. The museum's director Bertrand Guillet said in a Monday statement that the exhibition had been postponed for three years, citing "acts of censorship of the central Chinese authorities," according to Le Monde. Guillet said the Chinese Bureau of Cultural Heritage had demanded numerous changes, including removing the words "Genghis Khan," "empire," and "Mongol," according to the AP. The bureau also requested that it take control over exhibition brochures, maps, and legends, the AP reported. Guillet said the bureau tried to make changes "including notably elements of biased rewriting of Mongol culture in favor of a new national narrative," according to the AP. Guillet said that he took the decision to postpone "in the name of the human, scientific and ethical values that we defend," the AP reported. According to Le Monde, he also connected the bureau's requests to the increased persecution of ethnic Mongolians in China in recent months. China has accelerated its crackdown on ethnic and religious culture in the country, including Uighur, Hui, and Utsul Muslims, as well as Tibetans, in recent years. In August, the Chinese government also imposed a policy of reduced lessons in the Mongolian language in favor of more Mandarin Chinese lessons. That move sparked widespread protests, prompting more than 300,000 students to go on strike, according to The Diplomat. The government retaliated by issuing thousands of arrest warrants for suspected ringleaders, the outlet reported. The Genghis Khan exhibition had been due to open in Nantes in October and would have run through to April 2021, according to the museum's announcement of future programming. Business Insider has contacted the Chinese embassies in London and Paris for comment.
Pope Francis echoes Warren Buffett in a letter blaming free markets for rising inequality | Markets - Business Insider
Pope Francis echoes Warren Buffett in a letter blaming free markets for rising inequality
Getty Images / Drew Angerer
- Pope Francis followed Warren Buffett in arguing free markets can't address growing inequality in a letter to the Catholic Church's bishops on Sunday.
- The pontiff said "magic theories" such as trickle-down economics won't solve all society's problems.
- Buffett argued earlier this year that markets reward some skills but not others, exacerbating inequality in the absence of government intervention.
- "It isn't some diabolical plot, or anything," the billionaire investor told Yahoo Finance. "It's because of the market system."
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
US stock futures fall after 'chaotic' presidential debate, risk aversion rattles oil and silver | Markets - Business Insider
US stock futures fall after 'chaotic' presidential debate, risk aversion rattles oil and silver
U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in the first 2020 presidential campaign debate held on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., September 29, 2020. Olivier Douliery/Pool via Reuters US stock futures fell on Wednesday, under pressure from renewed uncertainty over the outcome of the November election, following what pundits called a "chaotic" presidential debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden overnight. The dollar steadied, up 0.13%, recouping some losses from the previous day, when a bout of profit-taking sent the dollar index down 0.4%, in its biggest one-day sell-off in a month.. Futures on the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 were down between 0.5 and 0.7%. In Europe, major indices took their lead from the weakness across the US markets, rather than the modest show of strength in Asia on the back of Chinese manufacturing data that showed factory activity in the world's largest economy continues to recover. "Equity markets in Asia are largely positive in the wake of the manufacturing data from China, but the US index futures have drifted lower in the last few hours on the back of the first US Presidential debate," CMC market strategist David Madden said. "The event was described by some as 'chaotic' as both candidates were regularly interrupting each other," he said. Read More: UBS says the chances of a Democratic sweep have risen to 50% as Trump and Biden square off in their first debate. These 9 assets will help investors profit if a blue wave comes crashing in. Meanwhile, a private survey of Chinese manufacturing showed factory activity continued to expand in September. The Caixin survey came in at 53, against estimates for 53.1, while the official manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index for September was 51.5, up from August's 51, and versus a forecast for 51.2. In spite of the signs of improvement in the Chinese economy, banks, airlines and travel stocks were among the biggest laggards in early European trade. London-listed budget airline EasyJet was down 1.4% while German carrier Lufthansa was down 1.1%. The FTSE 100 was virtually flat, while Frankfurt's DAX fell 0.1% and Paris' CAC 40 fell 0.4%. Overnight, the Hang Seng rose 0.9%, while the Shanghai Composite edged up 0.1% and Seoul's KOSPI rose 0.8%. The pound fell across the board following data that confirmed the British economy entered recession in the second quarter of this year, although the contraction was not as bad as initially thought. Against the dollar and the yen, sterling fell 0.4%. The euro gained 0.2% against the pound, but fell 0.2% against the dollar. "It's not clear the presidential debate will have some big sway on markets across Wednesday. It's been described as the worst debate ever and most will probably agree it won't have swung the dial in either direction," London Capital Group strategist Jasper Lawler said. "American political moderates and undecideds are left with a difficult choice after those performances." Highlighting the souring in investor risk appetite was the broad-based decline in commodities, which tend to benefit from a weaker dollar. Silver lost over 2% on the day to trade around $23.90 an ounce, while nickel, which is predominantly used in stainless steel, fell 0.8% to $14,340 a ton on the London Metal Exchange. Crude oil came under pressure, with Brent crude futures dropping 0.6% to $41.43 a barrel, while WTI futures fell 0.5% to $39.11 a barrel. With rising cases of Covid-19 fueling concern about more restrictions on movement and limited air travel, oil prices are struggling to make any upward headway beyond $40 in Brent and $39 in WTI, with both contracts set for a roughly 8% decline this month. Read More: JPMORGAN: The best defenses against stock-market crashes are delivering their weakest results in a decade. Here are 3 ways to adjust your portfolio for this predicament.
Trump has lost more than $315 million on his golf courses in 20 years - Business Insider - Business Insider
After buying Trump National Doral golf resort in Miami for $150 million in 2012, Trump lost $162.3 million on the property over the next six years.
President Donald Trump has lost $315.6 million since 2000 from the 15 golf courses he owns in the US, Scotland, and Ireland, The New York Times reported Sunday in an in-depth investigation into Trump's tax returns. Trump's largest golf resort, Trump National Doral in Miami, has an $125 million mortgage due in three years. Trump bought Doral for $150 million in 2012 and, over the next six years, lost $162.3 million on the property, according to Trump's tax documents obtained by The Times. The president's three European golf courses have reported a total of $63.6 million in losses. But Trump has also seen revenue at his golf courses and other properties jump since he launched his presidential bid in 2015. This has raised a host of questions about conflicts of interest between the president's businesses and his role as commander-in-chief. Following a membership spike beginning in 2015 at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, the president took $26 million out of the resort between 2015 and 2018 — almost three times what he took in the previous two years. This came as Trump doubled membership initiation fees at the resort — which he nicknamed the "winter White House" — when he took office in January 2017. Last year, Trump floated holding the 2020 Group of 7 Summit at his Doral golf resort. He backtracked after members of his own party pushed back on the move, raising legal concerns about the president leveraging his office for profit. The New York attorney general is currently investigating whether Trump illegally inflated the value of the Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles in order to boost his tax deductions. The Times noted that the general and administrative business expenses Trump claimed for his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, was five times higher in 2017 than it was in 2016. No reason was given for the dramatic spike in expenses, which Trump used to reduce his taxable income. The losses that Trump has experienced at his golf courses aren't an anomaly — The Times investigation found the president has lost millions of dollars at nearly all of his major businesses. The Times' bombshell report includes a slew of previously unreported information about the president's finances and taxes. Among these revelations are that Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and another $750 in 2017. The real estate mogul got a $72.9 million tax refund from the federal government in 2010 after claiming massive losses, but this refund is now the subject of an elongated IRS audit. If Trump's claimed losses are deemed illegitimate, he could owe the IRS more than $100 million, The Times reported. On top of that, Trump is personally responsible for more than $300 million in loans due in the next four years.
The Ferrari Omologata is a one-off supercar with retro racing styling - Business Insider - Business Insider
Ferrari built the bespoke grand tourer for a "discerning European client," but didn't say how much that client paid for the treatment.
If you're going to drop a whole lot of money on a new Ferrari, you might as well make sure it's exactly right. For most, that means choosing a color, interior finishes, and maybe some special rims. But one "discerning European client" took it a step further by ordering a fully custom car straight from Maranello. It's called the Omologata, and Ferrari said it spent two years designing the car from the ground up upon announcing it on Friday. Although the car shares its underpinnings, windscreen, and headlights with the 812 Superfast, most of it — including its hand-formed aluminum body — is completely custom. Most notably, Ferrari included a handful of design features meant to acknowledge the brand's racing heritage. The exterior boasts a custom livery and retro window louvers, while the interior has elements reminiscent of Ferrari's race cars of the '50s and '60s. Take a closer look at the Ferrari Omologata below.
China kept building Uighur internment camps despite release claims: report - Business Insider - Business Insider
China claimed last year that all camp "trainees" had "graduated." Researchers have since found 380 suspected camps, 14 of which still under construction.
China has continued to build suspected detention facilities in the western region of Xinjiang, despite officials' claiming last year that all the camp's "trainees" had "graduated" from its programs, according to a new report. Using satellite imagery, victim testimony, government reports and on-the-ground journalistic reports, researchers from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) reported and mapped a total of 380 suspected facilities in the region that had been built or expanded since 2017. They added that 61 sites were expanded between July 2019 and July 2020 alone — many to become more securitized — and 14 are still under construction as of July 2020. The ASPI report is one of the most comprehensive mapping of such camps since the Chinese government began to detain members of the Uighur Muslim population of the state in 2017. A previous analysis by the activist group the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement in November 2019 estimated that there were 391 suspected camps in existence. 'Re-education' China officially denied the existence of the camps up until 2018, but in October that year wrote "re-education centers" into law, framing them as facilities that tackle extremism through "thought transformation," and "vocational training." Beijing has often claimed that it is preventing Uighurs, a mostly-Muslim ethnic group, from being influenced by religious radicalism or being affected by poverty. A complex formally known as the "Artux City Vocational Skills Education Training Service Center" in Artux, Xinjiang. AP Photo Researchers estimate that at least 1 million Uighurs have been detained in the camps. In the face of China's claims, victim testimonies have detailed physical and psychological torture in some of the camps, including being shackled to chairs, sleep deprivation and beatings. Detainees have been forced to sing propaganda songs for their food and repeat lines in praise of Chinese premier Xi Jinping, one victim told the BBC's "Newsnight." The effects of the camps made detainees look as though they had "lost their memory," he told the program. Relatives living outside Xinjiang have been cut off from people in the region for fear of getting into trouble, with many exiled Uighurs previously telling Business Insider that they had been blocked by their family. China says detainees have 'graduated,' but suspected camps seem to be growing In December 2019, Xinjiang officials said without evidence that all "trainees" participating in its programs have "graduated" and are now "living a happy life." According to ASPI, 70 of the sites it had found — most of them lower-security facilities — appear to be being desecuritized, with the removal of fencing and perimeter walls. Eight may have been closed, the report said. But this doesn't automatically mean the program is winding up, ASPI said. "Instead, available evidence suggests that many extrajudicial detainees in Xinjiang's vast 're-education' network are now being formally charged and locked up in higher security facilities, including newly built or expanded prisons, or sent to walled factory compounds for coerced labor assignments," the researchers said. Business Insider has contacted the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United Kingdom for comment on the ASPI report. A 3D rendering of a suspected low-security site near Kashgar, Xinjiang. Orion_Int/ASPI ICPC From low- to high-security sites The ASPI report defines four kinds of suspected internment camps, ranging from lower-security re-education camps to maximum security prisons. The report says that the suspected lower-security camps have had features like barbed wire removed — which had previously formed "tunnels" filtering detainees between buildings. Around half of the 14 new facilities currently under construction are high-security sites, "which may suggest a shift in usage from the lower-security, 're-education centers' toward higher-security prison-style facilities," the report said. A view of a new suspected tier-four detainment camp in Kashgar, Xinjiang. Google Earth The researchers noted that the evidence is not conclusive, but said that the desecuritization of some low-security camps matches survivors' suggestion that those who have not shown satisfactory progress could have been transferred to the newly expanded higher security sites. One brand-new site in Kashgar just opened in January, the report said, with 33-feet-high watchtowers and a 45-foot-high perimeter wall. The researchers estimate it can accommodate more than 10,000 people.
Satya Nadella said the TikTok-Oracle deal is unrecognizable from the one Microsoft bid on - Business Insider - Business Insider
"It's not something I recognize, and it's definitely not the deal I bid on," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told CNET.
The deal TikTok has managed to strike with Oracle and Walmart is a far cry from what it originally offered Microsoft, according to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. In an interview with CNET published on Monday, Nadella commented on the deal announced between TikTok, Oracle, and Walmart last week: "It's not something I recognize, and it's definitely not the deal I bid on." Microsoft was originally in the running to acquire TikTok's US operations, and was even tipped as the frontrunner. "The deal has obviously changed a lot since then," Nadella told CNET. Microsoft announced on September 13 that its bid for TikTok's US operations had been rejected. On Saturday Oracle and Walmart announced their intention to buy 20% of a newly created entity called TikTok Global from TikTok's parent company ByteDance. The deal has created great public confusion and continues to be at the center of US-China political tensions. The Oracle-TikTok deal comes after the Trump administration ordered that the popular, Chinese-owned app hive off its US operation or face a nationwide ban. The Trump administration maintains TikTok as it stands poses a national security threat because it is owned by a Chinese company called ByteDance, and has accused it of spying on US citizens for China. TikTok denies spying for any government, and filed a lawsuit challenging Trump's order on the grounds it was denied due process. Questions of ownership are still plaguing the deal, which has yet to be officially approved by the both the US and China. President Trump said on Saturday that he had given the deal the go-ahead "in concept," but also said that China would not have any involvement. ByteDance put out a statement Monday countering that it would maintain 80% control of TikTok Global, and Trump appeared to threaten that the deal may not receive approval. "If we find that [Oracle] don't have total control then we're not going to approve the deal," Trump told Fox News.
NASA: 'Unknown' space junk nearly hit the International Space Station - Business Insider - Business Insider
An astronaut and two cosmonauts had to hunker down in a Russian spaceship attached to the ISS while NASA moved the orbiting laboratory out of the way.
A "piece of unknown space debris" passed within several kilometers of the International Space Station on Tuesday night, NASA said in a blog post. Engineers predicted the mystery hunk of space junk would zip by the space station at about 6:21 p.m. ET at a distance of just 1.39 kilometers, or less than 0.9 miles away. That's an extremely close shave for objects moving at about 17,500 mph, or more than 10 times faster than a speeding bullet. Though a miss was forecast, NASA acted out of "an abundance of caution" to avoid a collision with the football field-size facility by conducting an avoidance maneuver. During the operation, the three Expedition 63 crew members who live aboard the station — astronaut Chris Cassidy and cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner — sealed themselves inside a Soyuz spaceship attached to the ISS. In the unlikely event that debris actually struck the station, this would have improved their chances of escape. Then, starting around 5:19 p.m., Mission Control fired the thrusters of a Russian cargo spaceship for 150 seconds to boost the larger orbiting laboratory complex that it was attached to out of harm's way. Such drastic maneuvers are standard protocol if there's a greater than 1-in-10,000 chance of collision, according to NASA. Shortly afterward, crew members left their Soyuz "safe haven," tweeted NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. Space junk has been a problem for the ISS for years. The station has executed at least 29 avoidance maneuvers since 1999, though near-misses are becoming more common. "The @Space_Station has maneuvered 3 times in 2020 to avoid debris. In the last 2 weeks, there have been 3 high concern potential conjunctions," Bridenstine said in another tweet. "Debris is getting worse!" Even small pieces of junk are a major threat; a hit by a 10-centimeter sphere of aluminum would be akin to detonating 15 pounds of TNT, NASA senior scientist Jack Bacon told Wired in 2010. And in Earth's orbit right now, millions of pieces of space junk are flying around at similar speeds, including more than 650,000 objects that are softball- to fingernail-sized, as Business Insider previously reported. That number is only expected to increase as the US and other nations enter a new era of commercial space travel and satellite use. Of the nearly ten thousand satellites humans have put into orbit since the 1950s, about 70% of them are destroyed, disabled, or dead, according to The New Yorker. Sometimes a dead satellite can collide with another dead satellite, or a functional one, generating enormous new clouds of debris. Additionally, the US, Russia, and India in recent years have tested anti-satellite weapons that launch a "kill vehicle" (essentially a large bullet) on a large missile to obliterate in-orbit spacecraft, spreading countless pieces of debris in the process. An illustration of space debris around Earth. NASA If enough debris is made, the expanding chaos could trigger what's called the Kessler Syndrome, in which so much junk is flying around the planet that launching almost anything into space would be too risky. Essentially, we could trap ourselves in our own junk, as Donald J. Kessler, the astrophysicist behind the Kessler Syndrome theory, has said. "We are entering a new era of debris control," he wrote in 2009. "An era that will be dominated by a slowly increasing number of random catastrophic collisions." For now, the US military-run Space Surveillance Network (SSN) and its partners are monitoring as many objects in space as it can — plus all potential space collisions. The network documents hundreds of thousands of possible conjunctions (or near-misses) each year, notifying satellite operators — and agencies like NASA — as far ahead of time as possible to avoid a hit. In 2020, the US Department of Commerce's Office of Space Commerce has sought $15 million in additional funds for its budget next year, to increase efforts to monitor and remove space debris from orbit. Those funds have not yet been approved, as Bridenstine noted after the ISS avoidance maneuver. "Time for Congress to provide @CommerceGov with the $15 mil requested by @POTUS for the Office of Space Commerce," he tweeted. Dave Mosher contributed reporting.
Russia's top space official tried to claim that the planet Venus belongs to the Kremlin - Business Insider - Business Insider
The head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, also said the country plans to send its own mission to Venus.
The head of the Russian space agency has staked the country's claim on Venus, saying this week that it is a "Russian planet." Dmitry Rogozin, who is the director general of Russian space corporation Roscosmos, revealed that the country plans to send its own mission to Venus. This would be on top of an already-proposed joint venture with the United States called "Venera-D" that would include sending an uncrewed space mission to the planet in either 2026 or 2031. Speaking to reporters at an international helicopter exhibition in Moscow on Tuesday, Rogozin said: "Our country was the first and only one to successfully land on Venus. The spacecraft gathered information about the planet — it is like hell over there," according to The Times. "Resuming Venus exploration is on our agenda. We think that Venus is a Russian planet, so we shouldn't lag behind," he added, CNN reported. Rogozin's comments come days after new research suggested that a gas on Earth called phosphine had also been detected in the atmosphere of Venus, meaning the planet's clouds could be harboring microbial life. In the study, published in the journal Nature Astronomy on Monday, Cardiff University professor Jane Greaves and her team said that their discovery makes Venus a new area of interest. "Our hoped-for impact in the planetary science community is to stimulate more research on Venus itself, research on the possibilities of life in Venus' atmosphere, and even space missions focused to find signs of life or even life itself in the Venusian atmosphere," Seager said, according to CNN. Venus is the second furthest planet from the Sun and is considered one of the hottest in our solar system. The planet's atmosphere is made up almost entirely of carbon dioxide and is the second brightest object in the night sky, after the moon. The Soviet Union became the first country to successfully land a spacecraft on Venus in 1970. The Venera 7 was one of many probes to be sent to the planet and became the first to transmit data from there back to Earth. Although it made a successful soft landing, it melted within seconds. Its successor Venera 9 — also launched by the Russians — took the first and only image of the Venusian surface from the ground-level perspective in 1975. The country plans to send its own mission to Venus between 2021 and 2030, Rogozin said, according to CNN.