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Novavax reports promising early trial results of COVID-19 vaccine

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:59
US biotech company Novavax on Tuesday announced its experimental COVID-19 vaccine elicited a robust immune response, producing more antibodies than are present in recovered patients, and with generally tolerable side-effects in its early-stage trial. The company was given $1.6 billion by the US government last month to develop and fund the drug under Operation Warp Speed -- but in terms of timeline it is behind other firms including Moderna and AstraZeneca which have entered the final stages of their trials. It reported in a press release that the phase one stage of its placebo-controlled trial involved 131 healthy adults aged 18-59 and two dose groups of five and 25 micrograms...

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Categories: Breaking News

Fireworks, ammonium nitrate likely fueled Beirut explosion

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:55
Fireworks and ammonium nitrate appear to have been the fuel that ignited a massive explosion that rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut, experts, and videos of the blast suggest. The scale of the damage --- from the epicenter of the explosion at the port of Beirut to the windows blown out kilometers (miles) away --- resembles other blasts involving the chemical compound commonly used as an agricultural fertilizer. But the compound itself typically doesn't detonate on its own and requires another ignition source. That likely came from a fire that engulfed what initially appeared to be fireworks that were stored at the port. Online videos of the disaster's initial moments show...

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Categories: Breaking News

BREAKING: PH’s confirmed COVID-19 cases near 116,000 mark

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:54
MANILA, Philippines --- The country's total of confirmed COVID-19 cases is nearing the 116,000 mark as the Department of Health (DOH) reported on Wednesday 3,462 additional cases. The latest bulletin showed that the total number of infected patients has jumped to 115,980, while 66,270 of which have recovered after another 222 recoveries recorded. The death toll is now at 2,123, after an additional nine deaths. DOH data shows that most of the 3,462 newly-reported cases came from the National Capital Region with 2,434, followed by Laguna (105), Rizal (101), Cavite province (73), and Cebu province (62). Of the areas with the highest number of new cases, four are within areas...

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Categories: Breaking News

Now for the hard part: Argentina must fix economy after debt deal

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:47
BUENOS AIRES-- It took months of tough talks for Argentina to reach agreement on restructuring $65 billion in debt. Now, economists and policymakers say, the real work begins: reviving Latin America's No. 3 economy from its currency and fiscal crises. Though both government and creditors celebrated Tuesday's deal that should help Argentina avert a messy default, it still faces a 10%-plus contraction this year, an over-valued peso, spiking poverty and a deep fiscal hole. "This was the easy step," Stephen Liston, senior director at the Council of the Americas, said of the debt deal. How the once-wealthy grains producer does from now is the acid test for Peronist President Albe...

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Categories: Breaking News

Bigger GDP drop in 2020 seen as NCR reverted to MECQ

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:43
The Washington-based Institute of International Finance (IIF) has further downgraded its economic outlook for the Philippines as full-year contraction is seen hitting a bigger 3.9 percent from 3 percent previously, no thanks to the resumption of stricter COVID-19 lockdown in areas accounting for two-thirds of the economy. On Wednesday, or a day before the government will report on the second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) performance, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said that the economy shrank by a faster 0.7 percent year-on-year during the first quarter of 2020. Last May, the PSA announced first-quarter GDP contraction of 0.2 percent due to the eruption of Taal Vo...

Keep on reading: Bigger GDP drop in 2020 seen as NCR reverted to MECQ
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PhilHealth ‘anomalies’ cry for more financial forensic experts — Cayetano

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:42
MANILA, Philippines --- The alleged anomalies hounding the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation's (PhilHealth) underscores the need for more financial forensics experts in the country, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said Tuesday. Cayetano called on the Commission on Audit (COA) and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC)to employ more financial forensics experts, especially for "white-collar types of crimes." "Pagdating sa paper trail na at sa white-collar na type of crimes, what we need is not the street type of investigators pero yun nga yung mga forensic, financial forensic," Cayetano told reporters. (When it comes to the paper trail and white-collar types of...

Keep on reading: PhilHealth ‘anomalies’ cry for more financial forensic experts — Cayetano
Categories: Breaking News

DOH eyes contract extension of its health workers

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:42
MANILA, Philippines --- The Department of Health (DOH) is eyeing to extend the contracts from three months to six months of health workers who were hired to augment the medical workforce in the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Wednesday that the DOH will also expedite the emergency hiring of health workers for priority areas such as Metro Manila, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon), Central Luzon, and Cebu to augment medical personnel. She said these are among the measures to be undertaken by the DOH to maximize the "timeout" requested by the medical community during the modified enhanced commun...

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DOH: 74 more COVID-19 testing labs to open soon

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:31
MANILA, Philippines --- Another 74 laboratories may soon be ready to process tests for the coronavirus disease 2019 in the coming weeks, in addition to the 99 currently licensed testing laboratories across the country. Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Wednesday that these additional laboratories are already on the stages 3 and 4 of accreditation and comprise 85 percent of those applying for a license to process COVID-19 tests. "So if we look at that, there would be additional 74 laboratories in the coming weeks that will be licensed to add more to these 99 licensed laboratories that we already have in the country," she said in an online forum. Of the accredited ...

Keep on reading: DOH: 74 more COVID-19 testing labs to open soon
Categories: Breaking News

A ‘rich, competent’ businessman must lead PhilHealth – Sotto

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:31
MANILA, Philippines --- Amid latest allegations of corruption in the state health insurance firm, Senate President Vicente Sotto III thinks a rich and competent businessman should be at the helm of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZ54ZM_q50&feature=youtu.be Sotto also urged President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday to replace PhilHealth officials in "controversial" positions. On Tuesday, Sotto led a Senate investigation on claims of widespread corruption within the agency. "Sa ngayon...sinubukan ng doktor nung araw pa, hindi daw mahusay ang pagpatakbo. Pinalitan military, eh mukhang hindi rin maayos 'yung takbo. Businessman an...

Keep on reading: A ‘rich, competent’ businessman must lead PhilHealth – Sotto
Categories: Breaking News

Isn’t being Filipino enough? Jennylyn Mercado strikes down ‘qualifications’ to speak on social issues

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:25
Actress-singer Jennylyn Mercado appeared to address some quarters asking her to tone down her social commentaries or stop expressing her opinion. "The moment you hinder someone from speaking their mind to is the moment you failed to respect the rights of your Fellow Filipino," she declared on Twitter Monday, Aug. 3. She then questioned if one needed certain qualifications to speak up. "May qualification ba dapat bago ka magkaron ng karapatan na magkomento sa mga isyung panlipunan? "Hindi ba sapat na [mamamayan] ka ng Pilipinas at nagbabayad ka ng buwis?" she asked. (Is there a qualification before you have the right to comment on social issues? Isn't it enough that you...

Keep on reading: Isn’t being Filipino enough? Jennylyn Mercado strikes down ‘qualifications’ to speak on social issues
Categories: Breaking News

PH factory production numbers point to recovery, says top economist

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:16
Production in Philippine factories is slowly increasing as 3/4 of the economy started to regain movement in June following near paralysis as a result of pandemic lockdowns. This augurs well for economic recovery, according to the country's chief economist on Wednesday (Aug. 5). The Philippine Statistics Authority's (PSA) monthly integrated survey of selected industries (Missi) report for June showed that the volume of production index (VoPI)--a proxy for factory output--dropped 19.3 percent last June, which was narrower than 28.5 percent in May and 38.8 percent in April. Mega Manila and large parts of the country were on enhanced community quarantine, the most stringent form of ...

Keep on reading: PH factory production numbers point to recovery, says top economist
Categories: Breaking News

AI helps doctors fight COVID-19 in Brazil

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:16
Doctors in Brazil, the country with the second-highest number of cases and deaths in the coronavirus pandemic, have a new tool in their fight against COVID-19: artificial intelligence to detect infections. Under-testing remains a huge problem in the sprawling South American country, but AI is helping fill the gap, thanks to a system called RadVid-19 developed using algorithms from German company Siemens and Chinese firm Huawei. Brazil has been hit harder by the pandemic than any country except the United States, with nearly 2.8 million infections and 95,000 deaths. Experts say the numbers would be much higher if there were more widespread testing. RadVid-19 seeks to fill ...

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Categories: Breaking News

Satellite imagery reveals new penguin colonies in Antarctica

CNN Top Stories - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:08
Satellite imaging has revealed that there are nearly 20% more emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica than previously thought.
Categories: Breaking News

Broadway musical on Da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ in the works

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:04
After selling for a historic $450 million in 2017 at Christie's, Leonardo Da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" will now take the stage as the subject of a new Broadway musical. "Salvator Mundi! The Musical" is currently in development by Tony Award-winning production company Caiola Productions, whose previous musicals include "Dear Evan Hansen" and "Tina: the Tina Turner Musical". The forthcoming musical has been described as "mix[ing] the historical reportage of 'Hamilton' with the fantasy and delight of Willy Wonka's golden ticket." "It will follow the story of how a shredded, scratched wooden panel painting of Jesus purchased for $1,100 in 2005, evolved to become the Leonardo Da V...

Keep on reading: Broadway musical on Da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ in the works
Categories: Breaking News

Fulham beats Brentford to secure return to Premier League

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:03
LONDON --- Fulham secured an instant return to the Premier League on Tuesday after one season away by beating west London rival Brentford 2-1 in the Championship playoff final. Joe Bryan scored twice in extra time at Wembley to give Fulham the win in what is widely called the most lucrative game in football. Fulham will receive at least 135 million pounds ($176 million) over three years after securing promotion, a year after being relegated from the world's richest football league. Fulham owner Shahid Khan failed with a bid to buy Wembley a year ago, and his team had to celebrate in an empty stadium on Tuesday due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bryan broke the deadlock after c...

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Categories: Breaking News

Pandemic’s silver lining: PH inflation is in check, says BSP

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:01
The pace of price increases in the country will likely remain in check for the foreseeable future due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the central bank said on Wednesday (Aug. 5). It came after the government released the official inflation rate for July of 2.7 percent. In a statement, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said the latest inflation rate was also within the BSP's forecast range of 2.2--3 percent. "The latest inflation outturn is consistent with the BSP's prevailing assessment that inflation is expected to remain benign," said Diokno, attributing this largely "to the potential adverse impact of COVID-19 on the domestic and global econom...

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Categories: Breaking News

WNBA: Taurasi, Mercury beat Dream for third straight win

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:01
BRADENTON, Florida--- Diana Taurasi scored 16 of her 20 points in the fourth quarter, had six rebounds and six assists and the Phoenix Mercury beat the Atlanta Dream 81-74 on Tuesday night. Brittney Griner added 18 points and Skylar Digging-Smith and Bria Hartley each scored 10 for Phoenix (3-2), which has won three in a row. Rookie Chennedy Carter had a season-high 26 points for Atlanta (2-3) and Betnijah Laney added 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals. Elizabeth Williams made two free throws to give the Dream a nine-point lead with 48.1 seconds left in the third quarter but Taurasi answered with a 3 and the Mercury went into the fourth quarter trailing ...

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Categories: Breaking News

Ammonium nitrate: Fertilizer behind many industrial accidents

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:00
WASHINGTON, United States --- Ammonium nitrate, which Lebanese authorities have said caused the devastating Beirut blast, is an odorless crystalline substance commonly used as a fertilizer that has been the cause of numerous industrial explosions over the decades. These include notably at a Texas fertilizer plant in 2013 that killed 15 and was ruled deliberate, and another at a chemical plant in Toulouse, France in 2001 that killed 31 people but was accidental. When combined with fuel oils, ammonium nitrate creates a potent explosive widely used in the construction industry, but also by insurgent groups such as the Taliban for improvised explosives. Two tonnes of it was used...

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Categories: Breaking News

Palace condoles with blast victims in Beirut; assures aid to Filipinos affected

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 15:53
    MANILA, Philippines --- Malacaang on Wednesday expressed solidarity with Lebanon following blasts in its capital Beirut that led to the death of at least a hundred people, including two Filipinos. "The Philippines is in solidarity with the people of Lebanon in this period of great grief. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Lebanese people," presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement. "We are one with the families and friends of Filipinos who passed or were injured during the event," he added. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported two Filipinos died, eight were injured while 12 were reported missing following the blast in Beirut...

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Categories: Breaking News

Japanese engineers create smart mask that can speak 8 languages

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 15:53
Whether in terms of gastronomy or technology, the Japanese never seem to run out of innovative ideas. The current context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the widespread wearing of masks proves to be no exception. A few months ago, Japanese engineers imagined and designed a smart facial mask connected to an app that makes it capable of transcribing dictation, amplifying the wearer's voice, and translating speech into eight different languages (Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indonesian, English, Spanish and French.) It's a good way to communicate more clearly with those we meet in stores or on the street without removing our masks. Called "C-Mask," the unit is made of whi...

Keep on reading: Japanese engineers create smart mask that can speak 8 languages
Categories: Breaking News

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