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U.S. daily COVID-19 deaths top 3,250.

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DECEMBER 10, 2020

Reuters News Now

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS TODAY

U.S. daily deaths top 3,250
The United States on Wednesday crossed an ominous new threshold of more than 3,250 lives lost to COVID-19 in a single day, while public health officials stepped up preparations for a vaccine campaign of historic scope ahead of final regulatory review.
Steady movement toward a vaccine rollout on the eve of a critical review by leading U.S. medical experts comes as COVID-19 caseloads surged alarmingly higher, straining healthcare systems in some pandemic hot spots to the breaking point.
Intensive care units at hundreds of hospitals in cities and rural communities across the country were reported to be at or near capacity.

Hackers steal Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine data
U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech said on Wednesday that documents related to development of their COVID-19 vaccine had been "unlawfully accessed" in a cyberattack on Europe's medicines regulator.
The European Medicines Agency, which assesses medicines and vaccines for the European Union, said hours earlier it had been targeted in a cyberattack. It gave no further details.
Pfizer and BioNTech said they did not believe any personal data of trial participants had been compromised and EMA "has assured us that the cyber attack will have no impact on the timeline for its review".

India gears up for vaccine race
India, the world's biggest vaccine maker, is getting set for a massive global blitz to contain the pandemic, with its pharmaceutical industry and partners freeing up capacity and accelerating investments even without firm purchase orders.
India manufactures more than 60% of all vaccines sold across the globe, and while its $40 billion pharmaceutical sector is not yet involved in the production of the expensive Pfizer and Moderna shots, the nation will play a pivotal role in immunizing much of the world.

Japan plans vaccine freezer buying binge
Japan said on Thursday it would buy 10,500 deep freezers to store vaccines as it prepares for the "extraordinary task" of protecting its people, while Tokyo reported a record number of new infections.
Japan, with a population of 126 million, has agreements to buy a total of 290 million doses of vaccines from Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna, or enough for 145 million people.
Pfizer's vaccines need to be kept at around minus 75 Celsius (minus 103 Fahrenheit), and Moderna's at about minus 20C, posing complex logistics challenges in rolling them out.

Cruise ship scare a false alarm
A passenger who tested positive for COVID-19 aboard a 'cruise-to-nowhere' from Singapore, forcing the ship to return to dock and nearly 1,700 guests to isolate, has been found not to have the virus.
Passengers on Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas vessel were held in their cabins for more than 16 hours on Wednesday after an 83-year old man, who sought medical help on the ship for diarrhoea, tested positive for COVID-19.
When the ship returned to port on Wednesday, the passenger was taken to hospital where he took two further tests which did not reveal infection. A third negative test on Thursday led authorities to declare him virus free.

From Breakingviews: Corona Capital - Agnelli M&A, Ocado, Hong Kong. The Agnelli family is swimming against the luxury M&A tide, the pandemic-fueled craze for online groceries may be running out of steam and Hong Kong kick-starts another round of restrictions to fend off a fourth wave of Covid-19. Catch up with the latest financial insights.

Reuters reporters and editors around the world are investigating the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

We need your help to tell these stories. Our news organization wants to capture the full scope of what’s happening and how we got here by drawing on a wide variety of sources.

Are you a government employee or contractor involved in coronavirus testing or the wider public health response? Are you a doctor, nurse or health worker caring for patients? Have you worked on similar outbreaks in the past? Has the disease known as COVID-19 personally affected you or your family? Are you aware of new problems that are about to emerge, such as critical supply shortages?

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TOP NEWS

Facebook could be forced to sell its prized assets WhatsApp and Instagram after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and nearly every U.S. state filed lawsuits against the social media company, saying it used a “buy or bury” strategy to snap up rivals and keep smaller competitors at bay.
With the filing of the twin lawsuits on Wednesday, Facebook becomes the second big tech company to face a major legal challenge this year after the U.S. Justice Department sued Alphabet’s Google in October, accusing the $1 trillion company of using its market power to fend off rivals.

China said on Thursday it would revoke visa exemption treatment for U.S. diplomatic passport holders visiting Hong Kong and Macau after the United States imposed financial sanctions and a travel ban on more than a dozen Chinese officials.
Beijing will also implement reciprocal sanctions against some U.S. officials, members of Congress, personnel at non-governmental organizations, and their family members, over their “vile” behavior on Hong Kong, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a news conference.

President-elect Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden, a focus of attacks from President Donald Trump and his Republican allies during the campaign for the White House, said on Wednesday the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware is investigating his tax affairs.

WORLD

Britain told the European Union on Thursday it should make significant concessions to break the impasse in Brexit trade talks by the end of the weekend to give some clarity about the finale to the five-year-old Brexit crisis.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the European Union’s chief executive Ursula von der Leyen gave themselves until the end of the weekend to seal a new trade pact after failing to overcome persistent rifts over a “lively” dinner of turbot on Wednesday.

Two U.S. senators have called on their government to consider imposing sanctions on any political or military officials found to be responsible for human rights violations during a month of conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region.
The proposed resolution was introduced on Wednesday by Senator Ben Cardin, a Democrat, and Senator Jim Risch, a Republican.

A few hundred Hondurans formed a caravan bound for the United States on Wednesday after hurricanes battered the country, posing a fresh challenge to efforts to stem illegal immigration from Central America on the cusp of a new U.S. administration.

BUSINESS

Manufacturers hunt for deals amid pandemic wreckage

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a disaster for many U.S. manufacturers, but it is also creating acquisition opportunities.

6 MIN READ

S&P DJI removes Chinese firms from indexes after U.S. order

S&P Dow Jones Indices on Thursday became the second major index provider to remove some Chinese companies from its index products following a Trump administration executive order, in the latest market disruption from persistent Sino-U.S. tensions.

5 MIN READ

Newsmax plans expansion to capitalize on Trump support, anger at Fox News

Newsmax, a conservative cable news channel promoted by President Donald Trump, plans to expand in the United States and Britain, Chief Executive Chris Ruddy told Reuters.

6 MIN READ

Leveraging the lessons of 2020 to reimagine work and well being

How can companies leverage the lessons of 2020 to fundamentally reimagine work and boost productivity?

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