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Pfizer vaccine 94% effective in real world.

Views expressed in this geopolitical news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.

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Accessed on 25 February 2021, 1954 UTC, Post 1022.

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Russ Roberts

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FEBRUARY 25, 2021

Reuters News Now

TODAY'S TOP STORIES

Vaccine optimism gets a shot in the arm, it's game on again for GameStop shares, and will Trump allow a Republican show of unity?

The first big real-world study of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to be independently reviewed shows the shot is highly effective at preventing COVID-19, in a potentially landmark moment for countries desperate to end lockdowns.

A new coronavirus variant that shares some similarities with a more transmissible and intractable variant discovered in South Africa is on the rise in New York City.

Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio has expressed optimism that high school students could return to their classrooms before the end of the current academic year.

An advertising campaign to combat vaccine hesitancy in the U.S. is kicking off with celebrity help from the likes of Rosie Perez, Daveed Diggs and Angela Bassett.

And China has denied requiring U.S. diplomats to take anal swab tests for COVID-19.

See our COVID-19 global tracker for all the latest on the pandemic.

 Audience members listen to music and dance after they had to show a pass for those vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter a live performance by Israeli singer Nurit Galron, in Tel Aviv, Israel, February 24, 2021

U.S. POLITICS

 FILE PHOTO: Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden's nominee for Director of the Office of Management and Budget, speaks at a hearing with the Senate Committee on the Budget on Capitol Hill, February 10, 2021

The White House is standing by Joe Biden's budget pick for budget director, Neera Tanden, as Senate support wavers over her harsh tweets about Republicans. If she fails to get the votes she would be the first high-profile Biden nominee to be rejected.

Senators are eyeing potentially significant cuts to Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill as they await a ruling on whether the measure can include raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The next few days will give Republicans opportunities to stand together or fight among themselves.

Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy have focused on rallying their caucuses against Biden’s massive relief bill and away from internal hostilities.

But those efforts could prove hard to maintain when Donald Trump speaks to the Conservative Political Action Committee on Sunday.

Capitol Police were aware of the possibility of violence from armed extremists when the building was attacked by Trump supporters, but quickly became overwhelmed by “insurrectionists,” according to the acting police chief.

MARKETS

World stocks are headed back towards record highs with a third day of gains, after top Federal Reserve and European Central Bank officials took aim at rising bond market yields.

GameStop’s Frankfurt-listed shares trebled at one point today, overshooting the videogame retailer’s 100% surge on Wall Street, as European retail traders joined in the fresh buying push.

The bull-run in global stocks fueled by cheap cash and reflation hopes will continue for at least another six months, Reuters polls predict, but a rise in bond yields as inflation expectations grow could throw a spanner in the works.

Central bankers worldwide have been unequivocal: There are no plans to cut back on money-printing any time soon, let alone raise interest rates. But markets do not seem to be buying it.

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