Monday, 18 Jan 2021

Delta to Test Passengers for Covid in Trial of Flights to Rome

Rwanda Seeks $15 Million to Secure Early Coronavirus Vaccines

Rwanda plans to raise $15 million for its first batch of coronavirus vaccines when they become available on the market, according to Finance Minister Uzziel Ndagijimana.

The state will target 30% of the population, starting from high-risked groups including people above 65 years and front-line health workers.

“Rwanda is part of the Covax framework and arrangements are underway where some funds will be contributed and the government will raise the rest,” Ndagijimana said in the capital, Kigali.

The East African nation introduced one of the strictest Covid-19 lockdowns on the continent in March and has so far recorded 5,779 cases and 47 deaths.

Netanyahu sends condolences to Bahrain's king on death of PM – Bahrain news agency

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DUBAI (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a message of condolence to Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa on the death of former prime minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al Khalifa this month, Bahrain’s state news agency reported.

CANADA STOCKS-TSX opens flat as gains in metal miners offset by energy losses

Nov 26 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index opened flat on Thursday, hovering around nine-month highs as declines in energy stocks were offset by gains in major metal miners, while a U.S. market holiday kept trading volumes low.

* At 9:30 a.m. ET (14:30 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 7.39 points, or 0.04%, at 17,320.46.

EU fines drug makers for keeping cheap medicine off market

The European Union has fined two pharmaceutical companies for colluding to keep a cheap alternative to a sleep disorder medicine off the market for their profit and at the expense of patients.

EU antitrust commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said that Teva pharmaceuticals and Cephalon, a company it later acquired, must pay 60.5 million euros ($72 million) for agreeing between themselves to delay for years the launch of Teva's cheaper version of Cephalon's blockbuster Modafinil. In return for the delay, Teva got beneficial side deals and some payments.

Vestager said that "Teva's and Cephalon's pay-for-delay agreement harmed patients and national health systems, depriving them of more affordable medicines."

Modafinil treats excessive daytime sleepiness and under the brand name Provigil it accounted for more than 40% of Cephalon's turnover. A cheap alternative would have had a serious impact on the company, and the EU argued that Cephalon enticed Teva in 2005 to stay out of its market. In 2011, Teva acquired Cephalon.

Teva said in a statement that it maintained its innocence. "We continue to believe the modafinil patent settlement agreement did not infringe EU competition law in relation to the principles" laid out by the EU's court of justice. "We are planning to file an appeal."

UK PM Johnson appoints business consultant as new chief of staff

  • Johnson is reshaping his senior team of advisers following the departure of Dominic Cummings earlier this month.
  • Rosenfield joins from Hakluyt, a strategic advisory firm for businesses and investors.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed Dan Rosenfield, a business consultant and former treasury official, as his new chief of staff on Thursday.

Johnson is reshaping his senior team of advisers following the dramatic departure of Dominic Cummings earlier this month. Cummings was seen as the driving force behind Johnson's strategy on Brexit and most other policies, and his exit has been billed as a chance for a 'reset' for the British leader.

"The Prime Minister has today appointed Dan Rosenfield as his chief of staff," a statement from Johnson's office said. He will begin work in Downing Street on Dec. 7 and officially take up the Chief of Staff role on Jan. 1.

Rosenfield joins from Hakluyt, a strategic advisory firm for businesses and investors, where he has been global head of corporate clients and head of the UK business since 2016, the government said.

He previously worked at Bank of America as a managing director of investment banking, and spent over a decade working in the finance ministry where he served as a senior aide to former finance ministers Alistair Darling and George Osborne.

U.S. Leading Economic Index Climbs In Line With Estimates In October

A reading on leading U.S. economic indicators increased in line with economist estimates in the month of October, according to a report released by the Conference Board on Thursday.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index climbed by 0.7 percent in October, matching the increase seen in the previous month as well as expectations.

Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board, said the continued advance by the index reflected widespread improvements despite weakness from housing permits and consumers’ outlook on economic conditions.

“However, the leading index has been decelerating in recent months, which suggests growth will moderate significantly in the final months of 2020, slowing down from the unusually rapid pace in Q3,” Ozyildirim said.

He added, “Furthermore, downside risks to growth from a second wave of COVID-19 and high unemployment persist.”

The report said the coincident economic index also increased by 0.5 percent in October after rising by 0.4 percent in September.

Meanwhile, the lagging economic index inched up by 0.1 percent in October following a 0.3 percent drop in the previous month.

Delta to Test Passengers for Covid in Trial of Flights to Rome

In this article

Delta Air Lines Inc. will test passengers for Covid-19 on flights to Rome in a pilot program that marks the latest attempt by the airline industry to open up the lucrative market in trans-Atlantic travel.

The flights from Atlanta will enable quarantine-free travel to Italy under a new policy expected soon in the European country, according to a statement Thursday by Delta. Alitalia will also offer flights between Rome and New York’s JFK, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Wednesday.

The program will start on Dec. 19, Delta said. Italy, whose economy has been hit hard by the travel industry slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic, has been experimenting with testing between its airports in Rome and Milan. Airlines have been pushing for pre-flight tests to replace the system of restrictions, including quarantines, that have effectively eliminated flights across the North Atlantic, the most profitable corner of the global airline business.

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