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IMF plans to meet with El Salvador’s president, potentially discussing move to adopt Bitcoin

The International Monetary Fund has previously spoken out against smaller nations like the Marshall Islands recognizing a digital currency as legal tender.
The International Monetary Fund has said El Salvador’s recent decision to…

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The International Monetary Fund has previously spoken out against smaller nations like the Marshall Islands recognizing a digital currency as legal tender.

The International Monetary Fund has said El Salvador’s recent decision to make Bitcoin legal tender in the country may raise legal and financial concerns.

In a Thursday press briefing from the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, spokesperson Gerry Rice said the group was already in discussions with lawmakers in El Salvador over a loan to support the country’s economy, having approved emergency funds related to the pandemic last year. However, Rice said an IMF team would be meeting with President Nayib Bukele today and implied crypto would be a likely topic for discussion.

“Adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender raises a number of macroeconomic, financial and legal issues that require very careful analysis,” said Rice. “We are following developments closely, and we’ll continue our consultations with the authorities.”

Spokespeople for the IMF have often voiced concerns about countries adopting digital currency. In March, the group issued a similar warning against the Marshall Islands’ recognizing its digital sovereign currency, called SOV, as legal tender, as it may pose similar legal and financial risks. In that case, a spokesman said the islands’ local economy had been strained by the economic fallout of the pandemic and likely wouldn’t be corrected with the SOV.

Related: Marshall Islands digital currency would 'raise risks,' says IMF

In the case of El Salvador, the time between the introduction of ideas and action is seemingly short. President Bukele first announced he would propose a bill making Bitcoin (BTC) legal tender in El Salvador at a pre-recorded video message at the Bitcoin 2021 conference this weekend. The legislation passed with a supermajority in the nation's Legislative Assembly yesterday.

Though the country is still seeking support from the IMF related to the pandemic this year, it has already begun to consider the energy needs of Bitcoin miners. Bukele said he would be instructing state-owned electrical company LaGeo, to make certain facilities available to miners to utilize geothermal power from the country’s volcanoes — El Salvador currently operates the two geothermal plants in Ahuachapán and Berlín.

“Crypto assets can pose significant risks,” said Rice. “Effective regulatory measures are very important when dealing with them.”

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Stocks

VIDEO — Frank Holmes: Bullish on Gold, “Perfect Storm of Inflation” Ahead

"I think it’s quite easy this year (for gold) to take out last year’s high. It’s very easy to do that," said Frank Holmes of US Global Investors.
The post VIDEO — Frank Holmes: Bullish on Gold, “Perfect Storm of Inflation” Ahead appeared first on…

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The gold price reached a new all-time high nearly 12 months ago, and as the summer months set in again investors are wondering whether it may do the same thing this year. 

Speaking to the Investing News Network, Frank Holmes, CEO and chief investment officer of US Global Investors (NASDAQ:GROW), said he thinks it’s possible for the yellow metal to set a new record in 2021.

“I think it’s quite easy this year to take out last year’s high. It’s very easy to do that,” he said.

 

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“And once people start believing that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) number is (an) inaccurate forecast of inflation — that there have to be other factors, which has happened in previous cycles — then all of a sudden gold will get a brand new element to it.”

Holmes explained that the CPI is understated because it doesn’t track food and energy. In his view, rising inflation is “baked in” for the next couple of years given the amount of pent-up demand related to COVID-19, as well as continued money-printing efforts around the world.

The US Federal Reserve remains seemingly unconcerned about inflation, and has repeatedly described inflationary activity as “transitory.” When asked if he expects any meaningful changes at this week’s Fed meeting, which runs from Tuesday (June 15) to Wednesday (June 16), Homes said he does not.

“I don’t see any changes. The stock market is acting still pretty resilient,” he explained. “I think it’s full throttle of printing money around the world — we’re talking about trillions and trillions of dollars. And you still have this pent-up demand, so therefore you’re going to have the perfect storm of inflation, and if you can borrow inexpensively you’ll be ahead of the curve.”

Holme also has a positive outlook on bitcoin, and he noted that enthusiasm and acceptance for the cryptocurrency are on the rise. However, he still believes investors should allocate a larger amount of their portfolios to the yellow metal, which he views as more stable.

“(Bitcoin is) very volatile; it’s much more volatile than gold — it’s six times more volatile. So I’d advocate 10 percent into gold and gold-related quality stocks and 2 percent into crypto.”

Watch the interview above for more from Holmes on gold and bitcoin, as well as the potential he sees for the US Global Jets ETF (ARCA:JETS).

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates! 

Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

 

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The post VIDEO — Frank Holmes: Bullish on Gold, “Perfect Storm of Inflation” Ahead appeared first on Investing News Network.

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Government

Pfizer, Moderna Jabs Cause Heart Inflammation In Some Young Men, CDC Finds

Pfizer, Moderna Jabs Cause Heart Inflammation In Some Young Men, CDC Finds

As American public health officials and political leaders struggle to entice more young adults to accept the COVID-19 vaccine, researchers have just discovered a distu

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Pfizer, Moderna Jabs Cause Heart Inflammation In Some Young Men, CDC Finds

As American public health officials and political leaders struggle to entice more young adults to accept the COVID-19 vaccine, researchers have just discovered a disturbing side effect of the Pfizer and Moderna jabs, which rely on new mRNA technology to program the body to fight the virus. While the adenovirus-vector jabs like the AstraZeneca shot have been tied to dozens of fatal cerebral blood clots, the mRNA vaccines have now been found to cause heart inflammation in some patients.

We first caught wind of this late last week when the CDC announced it would hold an "emergency meeting" about the rising number of heart inflammation cases in the US VAERs database.

According to Reuters, the CDC started investigating after Israel's Health Ministry reported that it had discovered a likely link to the condition in young men who received the Pfizer jab. Although some patients were hospitalized, most recovered on their own and (most importantly) nobody died.

The CDC told Reuters that it's still assessing the risk from the condition and has not yet concluded that there was a causal relationship between the vaccines and cases of myocarditis or pericarditis. Still, there are some lingering signs that the potential side effects from the vaccines is higher for young people. More than 50% of the cases reported to the US Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System - better known as VAERS - after people had received their second dose of the jab were in people between the ages of 12 and 24, the CDC said. Those age groups accounted for under 9% of doses administered.

"We clearly have an imbalance there," said Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, deputy director of the CDC's Immunization Safety Office, during a presentation to an advisory committee to the agency on Thursday. The bulk of these cases have emerged within a week of vaccination. Shimabukuro added that doctors saw a "preponderance" of young white men. This contrasts with the AstraZeneca brain clots, which overwhelmingly afflicted women. Just under 80% of all of these cases were found in men.

Scientists knew something was wrong because, according to VAERS, there were 283 observed cases of heart inflammation after the second vaccine dose in patients aged 16 to 24. That's compared with an expectations of 10-to-102 cases tally for that age group based on demographic data.

Another database, the Vaccine Safety Datalink, also showed a jump in incidents of heart inflammation in younger men after their second shot when compared to the rate seen after jab 1.

Meanwhile, Pfizer said it supports the CDC's assessment of the heart inflammation cases, noting that "the number of reports is small given the number of doses administered." Already 130MM Americans have already received both of the Pfizer, or both of the Moderna, jabs. Moderna spokespeople cautioned that consumers shouldn't jump to conclusions before scientists have had time to further study this issue. At this point, health authorities officially consider both vaccines to be "safe" for public use. Moderna also claimed that researchers hadn't established a "causal" relationship between the jabs and the heart complications.

OF course, it's just the latest reminder of the drawbacks when authorities take short cuts to approve vaccines.

Tyler Durden Tue, 06/15/2021 - 13:39

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Spread & Containment

New AI model helps understand virus spread from animals to humans

Credit: Daniel Bojar A new model that applies artificial intelligence to carbohydrates improves the understanding of the infection process and could help predict which viruses are likely to spread from animals to humans. This is reported in a recent study

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Credit: Daniel Bojar

A new model that applies artificial intelligence to carbohydrates improves the understanding of the infection process and could help predict which viruses are likely to spread from animals to humans. This is reported in a recent study led by researchers at the University of Gothenburg.

Carbohydrates participate in nearly all biological processes – yet they are still not well understood. Referred to as glycans, these carbohydrates are crucial to making our body work the way it is supposed to. However, with a frightening frequency, they are also involved when our body does not work as intended. Nearly all viruses use glycans as their first contact with our cells in the process of infection, including our current menace SARS-CoV-2, causing the COVID-19 pandemic.

A research group led by Daniel Bojar, assistant professor at the University of Gothenburg, has now developed an artificial intelligence-based model to analyze glycans with an unprecedented level of accuracy. The model improves the understanding of the infection process by making it possible to predict new virus-glycan interactions, for example between glycans and influenza viruses or rotaviruses: a common cause for viral infections in infants.

As a result, the model can also lead to a better understanding of zoonotic diseases, where viruses spread from animals to humans.

“With the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, we have seen the potentially devastating consequences of viruses jumping from animals to humans. Our model can now be used to predict which viruses are particularly close to “jumping over”. We can analyze this by seeing how many mutations would be necessary for the viruses to recognize human glycans, which increases the risk of human infection. Also, the model helps us predict which parts of the human body are likely targeted by a potentially zoonotic virus, such as the respiratory system or the gastrointestinal tract”, says Daniel Bojar, who is the main author of the study.

In addition, the research group hopes to leverage the improved understanding of the infection process to prevent viral infection. The aim is to use the model to develop glycan-based antivirals, medicines that suppress the ability of viruses to replicate.

“Predicting virus-glycan interactions means we can now search for glycans that bind viruses better than our own glycans do, and use these “decoy” glycans as antivirals to prevent viral infection. However, further advances in glycan manufacturing are necessary, as potential antiviral glycans might include diverse sequences that are currently difficult to produce”, Daniel Bojar says.

He hopes the model will constitute a step towards including glycans in approaches to prevent and combat future pandemics, as they are currently neglected in favor of molecules that are simpler to analyze, such as DNA.

“The work of many groups in recent years has really revolutionized glycobiology and I think we are finally at the cusp of using these complex biomolecules for medical purposes. Exciting times are ahead,” says Daniel Bojar.

###

Title: Using Graph Convolutional Neural Networks to Learn a Representation for Glycans

Publication link: https://www.cell.com/cell-reports/fulltext/S2211-1247(21)00616-1

The researchers have developed graph neural networks for the analysis of glycans. This artificial intelligence technique views a glycan as a graph and learns sequence properties that can be used to predict glycan functions and interactions. The findings have been published in Cell Reports.

Contact:

Daniel Bojar, assistant professor at the Wallenberg Centre for Molecular and Translational Medicine and the Department of Chemistry and Molecular
Biology, University of Gothenburg.

Phone number: +46 (0)722-099822

Email address: daniel.bojar@gu.se

Media Contact
Daniel Bojar
daniel.bojar@gu.se

Original Source

https://www.gu.se/node/58306

Related Journal Article

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109251

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