Despite recent headwinds brought on by the pandemic, Mastercard still offers plenty of opportunity for investors.
Joe Exotic is disappointed he wasn't pardoned by former president Donald Trump.
Scientists are reporting troubling signs that some recent mutations of the virus that causes COVID-19 may modestly curb the effectiveness of two current vaccines, although they stress that the shots still protect against the disease. Researchers expressed concern Wednesday about the preliminary findings, in large part because they suggest that future mutations could undermine vaccines. The research tested coronaviruses from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, and was led by Rockefeller University in New York with scientists from the National Institutes of Health and elsewhere. A different, more limited study out Wednesday gave encouraging news about one vaccine's protection against some of the mutations. One way vaccines work is to prompt the immune system to make antibodies that block the virus from infecting cells. The Rockefeller researchers got blood samples from 20 people who had received either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine and tested their antibodies against various virus mutations in the lab. With some, the antibodies didn't work as well against the virus -- activity was one-to-threefold less, depending on the mutation, said the study leader, Rockefeller’s Dr. Michel Nussenzweig. “It’s a small difference but it is definitely a difference,” he said. The antibody response is “not as good” at blocking the virus. Earlier research established that the two vaccines are about 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 illness. The latest findings were posted late Tuesday on an online website for researchers and have not yet been published in a journal or reviewed by other scientists. Nussenzweig is paid by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which also supports science coverage at The Associated Press. The university has applied for a patent related to his work. The coronavirus has been growing more genetically diverse, and scientists say the high rate of new cases is the main reason. Each new infection gives the virus a chance to mutate as it makes copies of itself. Recent variants, or versions of the virus that emerged in the U.K., South Africa and Brazil seem to spread more easily and scientists say that will lead to more cases, deaths and hospitalizations. The new variants do not seem to cause more serious disease but their ability to eventually undercut vaccines is a concern. E. John Wherry, an immunology expert at the University of Pennsylvania, said the Rockefeller scientists are “among the very best in the world" at this work and their results are concerning. “We don’t want people thinking that the current vaccine is already outdated. That’s absolutely not true,” he said. “There’s still immunity here ... a good level of protection,” but the mutations “do in fact reduce how well our immune response is recognizing the virus.” The news comes at “a really important time in the pandemic,” said Dr. Buddy Creech, a vaccine specialist at Vanderbilt University, “We’ve got an arms race between the vaccines and the virus. The slower we roll out vaccine around the world, the more opportunities we give this virus to escape” and develop mutations, he said. Dr. Matthew Woodruff, an immunology researcher at Emory University, agreed. “This is going to be kind of a slow walk of evolution. We’re going to have to have tools that slowly develop with it,” such as treatments that offer combinations of antibodies rather than one, he said. Dr. Drew Weissman, a University of Pennsylvania scientist whose work helped lead to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, said the antibody findings are worrisome, but noted that vaccines also protect in other ways, such as spurring responses from other parts of the immune system. The new work involved only 20 people and not a huge range of ages or races, “and all of that matters” in how generalizable the results are, he said. On Wednesday, Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech reported a second round of reassuring findings about its vaccine against one of the variants. Earlier this month, Pfizer and researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch said that the vaccine remained effective against a mutation called N501Y from new variants found in the U.K. and South Africa. Likewise, there was no sign of trouble when they tested some additional mutations. The latest work tested all the mutations from the variant from the U.K. at once rather than one-by-one. Tests from 16 vaccine recipients showed no big difference in the ability of antibodies to block the virus, the researchers said in a repor t. Pfizer didn’t immediately comment about the Rockefeller findings, but its chief scientific officer, Dr. Philip Dormitzer, previously said next steps include testing the vaccine against additional mutations found in the variant from South Africa. Moderna and AstraZeneca, which makes a different type of COVID-19 vaccine used in some countries, also have been testing how their vaccines hold up against different mutations. If the virus eventually mutates enough that the vaccine needs adjusting — much like flu shots are altered most years — tweaking the recipe wouldn’t be difficult for vaccines made with newer technologies. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are made with a piece of the virus genetic code that is simple to switch. It’s “wishful thinking” to believe that first-generation vaccines will be enough, or that vaccines alone will solve our problems, said Mayo Clinic vaccine expert Dr. Gregory Poland. “We are shooting ourselves in the foot by allowing unmitigated transmission of this virus” and not doing “common sense” measures such as mandating mask-wearing as some other countries are doing, he said. “How can the bars and restaurants be full? It’s like ‘what pandemic?’ We’ve reaped the seeds we’ve sown," he said. ___ Medical writer Lauran Neergaard contributed reporting. __ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Marilynn Marchione, The Associated Press
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FIBA will bring teams back to bubble formats next month for the final round of qualifying games for the 2022 AmeriCup. The 16 teams are split into four groups for the qualifying; two groups will be going to Cali, Colombia, the other two - including the group that USA Basketball is part of - will be going to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The U.S. and Brazil have already qualified for AmeriCup, the 12-team tournament that serves as the championship of the teams in the FIBA Americas zone which covers nations from North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean.
Netflix's explosive growth has come largely thanks to its massive international expansion efforts.
WILMINGTON, Del., Jan. 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rigrodsky Law, P.A. announces that it is investigating Jaws Acquisition Corp. (“Jaws Acquisition”) (NYSE: JWS) regarding possible breaches of fiduciary duties and other violations of law related to Jaws Acquisition’s agreement to merge with Cano Health, LLC. To learn more about this investigation and your rights, visit: https://www.rl-legal.com/cases-jaws-acquisition-corp. You may also contact Seth D. Rigrodsky or Gina M. Serra cost and obligation free at (888) 969-4242 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Rigrodsky Law, P.A., with offices in Delaware and New York, has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of investors and achieved substantial corporate governance reforms in securities fraud and corporate class actions nationwide. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. CONTACT: Rigrodsky Law, P.A.Seth D. RigrodskyGina M. Serra(888) 969-4242 (Toll Free)(302) 295-5310Fax: (302) email@example.com https://rl-legal.com
A new U.S. president is in the Oval Office but the same protectionist policies will likely remain.
MADRID — Third-division club Alcoyano came from behind to eliminate Real Madrid 2-1 in the round of 32 of the Copa de Rey on Wednesday. The small club from eastern Spain scored in the 80th minute to force extra time and again in the 115th to make it to the last 16. Alcoyano had gone a man down because of a red card just minutes before Juanan Casanova scored the winner from close range after a quick counterattack. Based in eastern Spanish city of Alcoy, the small club of Alcoyano made it to the Copa quarterfinals in 1946. It has played four seasons in the first division, but not since 1950-51. Madrid was seeking its first Copa title since 2014, which was the last time it reached the final. It was eliminated by Zaragoza in the round of 16 last season. It hadn't been eliminated in the round of 32 since it lost to Cádiz in 2015-16. Crosstown rival Atlético Madrid had already been eliminated by a third-division club in the second round, losing to Cornellà, which will host Barcelona on Thursday. Playing without some regular starters, Madrid controlled possession from the start but couldn’t open the scoring until Éder Militão headed in a cross by Marcelo in the final minute of the first half. Madrid continued to struggle to create scoring opportunities and the hosts eventually found the equalizer with a close-range shot by José Solbes after a corner kick. Alcoyano threatened again before the end of regulation and in extra time, but it went a man down in the 109th minte when Ramón López was sent off with a second yellow card for a hard tackle on Casemiro. The winner by Casanova came after a missed chance by Madrid off a corner kick. Alcoyano goalkeeper José Juan Figueras, 41, had to make a couple of key saves to keep Madrid from recovering. The game was played at the 5,000-capacity El Collao Stadium, which was without fans because of the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier, Real Sociedad eliminated third-division club Córdoba 2-0 with a pair of second-half goals by William José, the Brazilian forward who was expected to seal a move to English club Wolverhampton Wanderers. Last season's Copa final between Sociedad and Basque Country rival Athletic Bilbao has yet to be played after being postponed indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic. SPANISH LEAGUE In the Spanish league, Villarreal regained fourth place after drawing 2-2 with seventh-place Granada at home. The visitors took the lead Roberto Soldado in the 21st before Villarreal rallied with goals by Rubén Peña in the 29th and Moi Gómez in the 65th. Kenedy equalized for Granada in the 75th and Villarreal striker Paco Alcácer missed a chance to score the winner by missing a penalty in stoppage time. Villarreal had won four consecutive games in all competitions. Real Betis defeated Celta Vigo 2-1 with a pair of goals by Sergio Canales. Celta took the lead through Santi Mina in the 15th but Canales helped the hosts rally with goals in the 25th and 44th minutes. It was the fourth loss in a row for Celta in all competitions. It dropped to 11th place in the league standings, while Betis moved to eighth. Getafe defeated last-place Huesca 1-0 with a 69th-minute winner by Mauro Arambarri. It was the second consecutive win for Getafe, which sits 10th in the 20-team standings. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni Tales Azzoni, The Associated Press
A group of Republican senators on Wednesday called on newly sworn-in President Joe Biden to submit his plan to re-engage the United States in the Paris climate agreement to lawmakers for "review and consideration," moments after Biden signed an executive order to rejoin the accord. Biden's announcement that he would seek to return the United States to the international Paris Agreement to fight climate change was the centerpiece of a raft of day-one executive orders aimed at restoring U.S. leadership in combating global warming.
As one of his first executive orders, President Joe Biden directed the Department of Education to extend student loan relief by extending a pause on interest and principal payments for direct federal loans extends until at least September 30, 2021.
By swiftly reversing several Trump policies, Biden wants to show the world the U.S. has turned the page.
Portugal international Ronaldo registered the 760th strike of a remarkable career during Juventus’ Italian Super Cup victory against Napoli.
OKLAHOMA CITY — One name missing in President Donald Trump's flurry of pardons is “Tiger King” Joe Exotic. His team was so confident in a pardon that they had readied a celebratory limousine and a hair and wardrobe team to whisk away the zookeeper-turned-reality-TV-star, who is serving a 22-year federal prison sentence in Texas. But he wasn't on the list announced Wednesday morning. Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was sentenced in January 2020 to 22 years in federal prison for violating federal wildlife laws and for his role in a failed murder-for-hire plot targeting his chief rival, Carole Baskin, who runs a rescue sanctuary for big cats in Florida. Baskin was not harmed. Maldonado-Passage, who has maintained his innocence, was also sentenced for killing five tigers, selling tiger cubs and falsifying wildlife records. A jury convicted him in April 2019. In his pardon application filed in September, Maldonado-Passage’s attorneys argued that he was “railroaded and betrayed” by others. Maldonado-Passage, 57, is scheduled to be released from custody in 2037, but his attorneys said in the application that “he will likely die in prison” because of health concerns. Maldonado-Passage's backers, who referred to themselves as “Team Tiger,” said in a statement Wednesday that “140 million Joe Exotic fans had a hard time getting out of bed this morning.” “We are as disappointed that the president did not sign Joe’s pardon, as we were confident yesterday that he would,” the statement said. The blond mullet-wearing zookeeper, known for his expletive-laden rants on YouTube and a failed 2018 Oklahoma gubernatorial campaign, was prominently featured in the popular Netflix documentary “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.” The Associated Press
European roundup: Real Madrid crash out of Copa del Rey to third-tier side
Atlanta, Jan. 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Piedmont Office Realty Trust (NYSE: PDM) (“Piedmont”), a real estate investment trust (REIT), announced today the tax treatment of its 2020 common stock dividends as described below. Stockholders are encouraged to consult with their personal tax advisors as to their specific tax treatment of Piedmont dividends. Record DatePaid DateDividend per ShareOrdinary DividendsCapital GainsUnrecaptured Section 1250 Qualified DividendSection 199A Dividend RateNov 29, 2019 Jan 3, 2020$0.21*N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AFeb 28, 2020Mar 20, 2020$0.21$0.021--$0.000015$0.209985May 29, 2020Jun 19, 2020$0.21$0.200023--$0.000015$0.200008Aug 28, 2020Sep 18, 2020$0.21$0.169042--$0.000015$0.169027Nov 27, 2020Jan 4, 2021$0.21**N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A *The $0.21 per share distribution paid on January 3, 2020 was taxable to stockholders in 2019.** The $0.21 per share distribution paid on January 4, 2021 will be taxable to stockholders in 2021. About Piedmont Office Realty Trust Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: PDM) is an owner, manager, developer, redeveloper, and operator of high-quality, Class A office properties located primarily in select sub-markets within seven major Eastern U.S. office markets, with the majority of its revenue being generated from the Sunbelt. Its geographically-diversified, approximately $5 billion portfolio is currently comprised of approximately 17 million square feet. The Company is a fully-integrated, self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT) with local management offices in each of its markets and is investment-grade rated by S&P Global Ratings (BBB) and Moody’s (Baa2). As of December 31, 2020, approximately 64% of the company’s portfolio was ENERGY STAR certified and approximately 43% was LEED certified. For more information, see www.piedmontreit.com. Shareholder Services/Transfer Agent Services Contact:Computershare, Inc.firstname.lastname@example.org
Hill insisted on Wednesday that he wasn't being a "hothead" or a "diva."
Sudden rise in infections raises fears over lunar new year, when people usually travel around the country
With the third executive order of his new administration, President Joe Biden said the US will rejoin the Paris Agreement.
Bruce Springsteen, Demi Lovato and John Legend are among the artists performing at the Celebrating America concert
New York, NY, Jan. 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OCA Acquisition Corp. (the "Company" or "OCA"), a special purpose acquisition company, today announced the closing of its initial public offering of 14,950,000 units at a price of $10.00 per unit, including 1,950,000 units issued pursuant to the full exercise by the underwriters of their over-allotment option. The units began trading on The Nasdaq Capital Market ("Nasdaq") on Friday, January 15, 2021 under the ticker symbol "OCAXU". Each unit issued in the offering consists of one share of the Company's Class A common stock and one-half of one redeemable warrant. Each whole warrant entitles the holder thereof to purchase one share of Class A common stock at a price of $11.50 per share. Once the securities comprising the units commence separate trading, the shares of Class A common stock and redeemable warrants are expected to be respectively listed on Nasdaq under the symbols "OCAX" and "OCAXW". No fractional warrants will be issued upon separation of the units and only whole warrants will trade. Stifel and Nomura acted as joint book-running managers for the offering. A registration statement relating to these securities was declared effective by the SEC on January 14, 2021. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction. Of the proceeds received from the consummation of the initial public offering and a simultaneous private placement of warrants, $151,742,500 (or $10.15 per unit sold in the public offering) was placed in the Company’s trust account. An audited balance sheet of the Company as of January 20, 2021 reflecting receipt of the proceeds upon consummation of the initial public offering and the private placement will be included as an exhibit to a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The offering was made only by means of a prospectus. Copies of the prospectus may be obtained for free by visiting EDGAR on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Alternatively, copies may be obtained, when available, from Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, Attention: Syndicate Department, One South Street, 15th Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, email: email@example.com, or by telephone: (855) 300-7136 and Nomura Securities International, Inc., Attention: Equity Syndicate Department, Worldwide Plaza, 309 West 49th Street, New York, New York 10019-7316, or by telephone at 212-667-9000, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. About OCA Acquisition Corp. OCA Acquisition Corp. is a newly formed special purpose acquisition company incorporated for the purpose of effecting a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses. While the Company may pursue an acquisition opportunity in any industry or geographic region, it intends to focus on a U.S. business in the technology-enabled business services (including healthcare and education) or financial services sectors. OCA’s sponsor is Olympus Capital Asia V, L.P., the fifth pan-Asia private equity fund advised by Olympus Capital Asia, one of the longest standing middle market private equity firms in Asia with a 20+ year history of investing in the region. OCA intends to acquire a business which will benefit from Olympus Capital's extensive industry network and experience helping companies expand in Asia. Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains statements that constitute "forward-looking statements," including with respect to the initial public offering and search for a business combination. Forward-looking statements are subject to numerous conditions, many of which are beyond the control of the Company, including those set forth in the "Risk Factors" section of the Company's registration statement and prospectus filed with the SEC. Copies are available on the SEC's website, www.sec.gov. The Company undertakes no obligation to update these statements for revisions or changes after the date of this release, except as required by law. OCA Media Contact:Corliss Ruggles, Communications Advisercorliss.email@example.com OCA Investor Relations Contact:Humberto Galleno, Corporate & Business Developmenthgalleno@olympuscap.com SOURCE: OCA Acquisition Corp.