Day: September 5, 2020

Leading US drugmakers will sign a pact to produce a safe coronavirus vaccine amid concerns about shots being rushed to market before the presidential election

Scientists work on a potential COVID-19 vaccine. <p class="copyright">Carl Recine/Reuters</p>
Scientists work on a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

The race to develop a coronavirus vaccine has already shattered records.

In March, the biotechnology company Moderna entered its vaccine candidate in a clinical trial less than 70 days after the virus was sequenced, shaving a year off the development process. Since then, two US drug companies, Moderna and Pfizer, have published early data showing that their vaccines generated immune responses without causing serious side effects.

That could put the companies on track to finish their human trials in October, under the most optimistic scenario. But scientists and public-health experts worry about the push to bring a vaccine to market before data clearly shows it’s safe and effective. 

To assuage these concerns, Moderna and Pfizer — along with US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson and French pharmaceutical company Sanofi — are preparing to release a joint statement that promises to put

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How to land the cheapest 15-year mortgage rate for your refinance

Refinancing remains at the top of many homeowners’ to-do lists, and it has taken on more urgency as a new refi fee is expected to push mortgage rates higher this fall.

A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage might be your automatic first choice. But if you’ve been in your house a few years, refinancing into a 15-year mortgage can keep you from dragging out the debt and piling up massive interest costs.

The monthly payments can be steeper, but the loans come with lower interest rates — currently averaging a record low 2.42%, according to mortgage company Freddie Mac. And this summer, some lenders have even been offering 15-year mortgages at under 2%.

Here are four tips on how to get the very best deal when refinancing into a 15-year mortgage.

1. Run the numbers on 30- and 15-year loans

Most mortgage lenders offer both 30- and 15-year terms. Compare the current

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Police accused of facilitating assault on press freedom

Officers should have used “whatever powers were available” to allow people to go about their business, according to the former Home Secretary - Paul Grover/The Telegraph
Officers should have used “whatever powers were available” to allow people to go about their business, according to the former Home Secretary – Paul Grover/The Telegraph
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Police have been criticised for failing to halt a demonstration intended to stifle the freedom of the press as Extinction Rebellion was accused of crossing the line “from protest to planned criminality”.

The condemnation came as it emerged warnings the group – known as XR – was planning to target newspaper printworks were reported nine months ago.

David Blunkett, the former Labour home secretary, said the anarchic behaviour of the protesters should have been quashed quickly by Hertfordshire Constabulary, which apparently sent only six officers to the Broxbourne plant when the alarm was raised shortly after 10pm on Friday.

Asked about the failure of police to remove more than 100 demonstrators who had sat down in the road or chained themselves to

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15-year mortgage rates are at an all-time low. Here’s how to get the best one

Refinancing remains at the top of many homeowners’ to-do lists, and it has taken on more urgency as a new refi fee is expected to push mortgage rates higher this fall.

A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage might be your automatic first choice. But if you’ve been in your house a few years, refinancing into a 15-year mortgage can keep you from dragging out the debt and piling up massive interest costs.

The monthly payments can be steeper, but the loans come with lower interest rates — currently averaging a record low 2.42%, according to mortgage company Freddie Mac. And this summer, some lenders have even been offering 15-year mortgages at under 2%.

Here are four tips on how to get the very best deal when refinancing into a 15-year mortgage.

1. Run the numbers on 30- and 15-year loans

Most mortgage lenders offer both 30- and 15-year terms. Compare the current

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Kenosha’s unusual economic evolution made it the perfect political flashpoint

In the span of less than two weeks, the city of Kenosha, Wisc., has gone from an unassuming bedroom community nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan, into a flashpoint for the social and political fault lines that have flared up during this most fraught of election years.

The shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, by a police officer in Kenosha on August 23 has reignited the tensions that sparked a national protest movement after the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis earlier this year. Thousands of protesters have taken to Kenosha’s streets over the past two weeks, raising their voices against police violence that disproportionately affects communities of color. The demonstrations have also devolved in arson, looting, and property destruction, as well as violence that has left multiple people dead.

But though Kenosha has been in the news daily as of late, many

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Is this infamous society con woman about to make an almighty comeback?

German heiress Anna Delvey
German heiress Anna Delvey
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Every few years, a story will capture the public imagination and become something akin to a parable for our times. In an age in which the Kardashians and their ilk can earn billions out of their ‘curated’ lives, these stories tend to be ones of ambition, self-invention, and audacity to the point of affrontery, in which fact is supplanted by fiction on an epic scale.

Think of Rachel Dolezal, the white president of her local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People chapter, exposed for passing herself off as black in 2015. Take Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of the blood-testing company Theranos, who was valued at $4.5 billion in 2015, zero a year later – and who will soon stand trial, charged with fraud. There was Billy McFarland’s influencer-hyped Fyre Festival of 2017, promising an island paradise and world-class hospitality, while delivering cheese sandwiches

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How Independent Film Is Getting Going Again

Are there signs of green shoots of recovery for the indie film industry following the profound business disruption wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic?

“We’re living through a rapidly changing time,” says Brian Beckman, CFO of international sales company and producer Arclight Films, which is handling worldwide sales on “The Furnace,” an Australian adventure story, screening in Venice Film Festival’s Horizons section. “I think it feels like the worst part of the situation is now behind us.”

Physical production remains a challenge for independent filmmakers, amid continuing difficulties in securing COVID-19 production insurance as well as international travel restrictions.

However, many independents realize that there is now a unique window of opportunity for those who are able to make and deliver films.

Some have risked shooting films without specific COVID-19 related insurance, such as L.A.-based finance, production and distribution firm Voltage Pictures and producer/financier Limelight. Others, such as Arclight, are working

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Trump Faces Uproar Over Reported Remarks Disparaging Fallen Soldiers

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Latrobe, Pa., on Thursday evening, Sept. 3, 2020. (Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times)
President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Latrobe, Pa., on Thursday evening, Sept. 3, 2020. (Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump confronted a political crisis Friday that could undercut badly needed support in the military community for his reelection campaign as he sought to dispute a report that he privately referred to American soldiers killed in combat as “losers” and “suckers.”

Trump, who has long portrayed himself as a champion of the armed forces and has boasted of rebuilding a military depleted after years of overseas wars, came under intense fire from Democrats and other opponents who said a report in The Atlantic demonstrated his actual contempt for those who serve their country in uniform.

The president’s foes organized conference calls, blasted out statements, flocked to television studios and quickly posted advertising online calling attention to the reported comments. At a news conference, former

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How to escape your social media bubble before the election

How to escape your social media bubble before the election
How to escape your social media bubble before the election

Mashable’s series Algorithms explores the mysterious lines of code that increasingly control our lives — and our futures.

You live in an online bubble.

But, you’re not alone. We all live in an online . Social media algorithms control much of what we see when we log into Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter.

Why? Why else! These social media companies are chasing after the almighty dollar. For Big Tech companies, it’s all about keeping you on these platforms for as long as they can, engaging with as much content as possible. They make more money from advertisers that way.

So, for example, if you’re a big Donald Trump supporter and follow your favorite Fox News pundits, the social media algorithms are going to recommend to you more right-wing pundits to watch and more pro-Trump content to consume.

The consequences:

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12 Stable Investments Everyone Needs in Their Portfolio Right Now

Let’s be clear: There’s no one single investment that everybody “needs,” and there’s no investment that provides the ultimate dream of unlimited return with no risk. Investments exist along a risk continuum, with higher-risk investments typically offering the potential for higher rewards. And while most investors could benefit from having at least a portion of their money in traditional safe havens like CDs insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., there are plenty of other investment types that can help stabilize the returns of your portfolio as a whole — even if they themselves may be volatile, nontraditional or outside the textbook definition of “safe.”

Here’s a look at a number of money moves along that risk continuum, from more traditional offerings that can anchor your portfolio to more exotic or creative choices that can help stabilize your long-term investments.

Last updated: Sept. 3, 2020

1. Online Savings Accounts

Online

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