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Scientists say a gap in COVID vaccine research may keep us from returning to ‘normal’

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When the first COVID-19 vaccines reach market, the world will not necessarily return to ‘normal,’ say top infectious disease experts.

In a new article for the Lancet medical journal, two University of Hong Kong researchers caution that even at the conclusion of phase III clinical trials, important questions will remain about how effective vaccines are in stopping viral transmission of COVID-19.

Gabriel Leung, an infectious disease epidemiologist, and Malik Peiris, a public health virologist, argue that even though multiple vaccine makers have reached phase III clinical trials at a record pace, scientists are currently only studying part of the equation in gauging how a vaccine may help bring an end to the global pandemic.

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Oil Rises With Equities Advancing and Citi Staying Bullish

(Bloomberg) — Oil edged higher as positive European manufacturing data and rising equity markets gave some respite to recent demand worries.Futures in New York for November delivery rose to over $40 a barrel. The German economy continues to recover thanks to stronger-than-expected manufacturing figures, data showed, while equity markets in Europe are also stronger. Citgroup Inc. said it remains bullish on the outlook for oil, though the market is undergoing a fitful rebalancing.The American Petroleum Institute reported crude stockpiles increased by nearly 700,000 barrels last week, while gasoline inventories shrunk by 7.7 million barrels, according to people familiar, ahead of government data later.After a partial recovery this month, oil prices are now back in the same range as during the northern hemisphere’s summer. With the demand outlook deteriorating in recent weeks, attention is now turning to the OPEC+ alliance and whether it will try to curb output further to rebalance … Read the rest

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Who will control the new TikTok? A key question threatens the deal Trump ‘blessed’

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This past weekend saw a flurry of activity in the on-going saga to sell the U.S. operations of TikTok, the video-streaming app that the Trump administration has threatened to ban if it’s not sold to a U.S. entity. Now, the tentative weekend agreement to save the app from a U.S. ban appears to be hanging by a thread.

On Saturday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he had given his “blessing” to a deal between TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance and two U.S. corporations: technology firm Oracle and retail giant Walmart. The deal would reportedly not be an outright sale, but would rather make Oracle and Walmart strategic partners of ByteDance, with Oracle acting as steward of TikTok’s American user data.

In the deal, Oracle and Walmart … Read the rest

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Nvidia Issues Mea Culpa Over Bungled GeForce RTX 3080 Launch

Nvidia (NVDA) has apologized to customers following the hotly-anticipated launch of its GeForce RTX 3080 launch last week.NVDA called the launch “simultaneously the best GPU launch ever and the most frustrating” after the GeForce RTX 3080 sold out almost instantly.“We expected the best ever demand for the RTX 30-series, but the enthusiasm was overwhelming. We were not prepared for this level, nor were our partners. We apologize for this” it wrote on September 21.Indeed, the Nvidia store was inundated with over 10 times the traffic of its previous generation launch, the chip maker revealed.“The reception to our NVIDIA Ampere architecture GPUs has been off the charts and driven interest to heights we’ve never previously experienced. A few examples compared to our previous launch –  4 times the unique visitors to our website, 10 times the peak web requests per second, and more than 15 times the out clicks to partner … Read the rest

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The world’s biggest hedge fund is working from tents in the forest during the COVID pandemic

Ray Dalio founded his hedge fund Bridgewater Associates upon the principle he calls “radical transparency.” Yet the firm had perhaps never practiced the concept quite so literally until this spring, when they applied it to their very own walls: Indeed, for more than four months, Bridgewater has operated an office outdoors.

Out among the pine trees across from Bridgewater Associates’ headquarters in Westport, Conn., sit as many as 50 employees who help manage the $140 billion in assets of the world’s largest hedge fund. They moved out there in May, lugging monitors and other equipment into the woods as the coronavirus made traditional trading floors hazardous.

Bridgewater has plans for catastrophes—it prohibits its senior executives from taking the same plane or bus and even from mingling all together during bad flu seasons—and readies at least four locations, including a remote emergency site, so that it could still execute trades in … Read the rest

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HSBC, JPMorgan, StanChart and others processed trillions of dollars of transactions despite concerns over potential crimes, reports say

Some of the world's biggest banks, including HSBC, JPMorgan Chase and Standard Chartered, moved trillions of dollars identified as being potentially tied to money laundering or other crimes despite raising concerns about those transactions in filings with US regulators, according to media reports on Sunday.The disclosures again raised questions about the success of government efforts to stamp out the flow of illicit funds around the globe and the effectiveness of internal anti-money-laundering compliance systems, which global banks have spent tens of billions of dollars to revamp in the past decade.Shares of HSBC and Standard Chartered fell sharply in Hong Kong on Monday after the media reports, with HSBC's stock, at one point, trading at its lowest level since 1995.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.HSBC declined 2.9 per cent to HK$30.05 in morning trading in Hong Kong on Monday, … Read the rest

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The founder of wellness startup Mab & Stoke on the growth of ‘pay what you can’ options during the pandemic

This is an installment of Startup Year One, a special series of interviews with founders on the major lessons they have learned in the immediate aftermath of their businesses’ first year of operation.

After launching a career as an attorney, Christina Mace-Turner quickly realized that law wasn’t for her. A creative person at heart, Mace-Turner shifted gears in 2008 and joined Apple, where she led global business affairs and then content strategy for nearly four years. After Apple, she spent two years as head of partnerships at Flipboard, where her team planned, developed, and implemented key global partnerships with the likes of iTunes, Viacom, the New York Times, and Condé Nast.

Though these positions proved professionally rewarding, Mace-Turner says she wanted to start a business of her own. So in 2016 she cofounded natural skin-care line True Botanicals, overseeing three rounds of financing before exiting in … Read the rest

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TikTok Owner Seeking $60 Billion Valuation in U.S. Deal

(Bloomberg) — China’s ByteDance Ltd. is seeking a valuation of $60 billion for TikTok as Oracle Corp. and Walmart Inc. take stakes in the short-video app’s business to address U.S. security concerns, according to a person familiar with the matter.Oracle and Walmart have rights to buy 12.5% and 7.5% respectively of a newly established TikTok Global under an agreement that won the approval of President Donald Trump, the person said, asking not to be named discussing private negotiations. The two companies would pay a combined $12 billion for their stakes if they agree to that asking price.The final valuation had not been set as the parties worked out the equity structure and measures for data security, the person said. Terms are still in flux and the proposed valuation could still change. Beijing also has yet to approve the deal, though regulators are said to favor any transaction in which ByteDance … Read the rest

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Apollo’s Stephanie Drescher on running a global investment firm from her living room

Like most working parents, Stephanie Drescher’s days have looked a lot different since March, when the coronavirus pandemic shut down offices and schools alike—forcing millions of parents and children to see a lot more of one another during business hours.

Of course, that’s been a good thing in many ways. For Drescher—a senior partner at Apollo Global Management, one of the world’s largest alternative investment firms—and her husband, the chance to regularly have lunch with their three children (two boys and one girl, ages 3 to 13) at their home in New York has been a “welcome change.”

Yet it has also come with a new set of challenges for Drescher. As Apollo’s global head of client and product solutions, she leads an 85-person team charged with developing an array of multibillion-dollar investment products for the firm’s global base of institutional investors. Since she joined Apollo in 2004, the firm … Read the rest

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Is Roku the Future of TV Ad Monetization? Analyst Weighs In

There has been lots of talk this year of the COVID-19 benefits reaped by streaming services. As a result of the stay-at-home culture, OTT leader Roku (ROKU) has been a prime beneficiary, experiencing large account growth.But according to Rosenblatt analyst Mark Zgutowicz, Roku is particularly well placed to benefit from another trend: the move from linear to connected TV (CTV).Following discussions within OTT/CTV programmatic venues, the 5-star analyst notes there is clear indication “the demand picture for Roku will soon climb to new heights.” Zgutowicz believes the big 5 Ad agencies are “making a concerted effort to negotiate volume commitments for OTT/CTV inventory.”Importantly, Zgutowicz adds, the budgets for these advertising needs will come from “long-standing linear spend.”In other words, the agencies are realizing the untapped potential of CTV, as consumers move from the “decades old model” of linear TV to more flexible CTV services. This is great for CTV services … Read the rest