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Pfizer to make Gilead’s COVID-19 treatment remdesivir

Pfizer to make Gilead’s COVID-19 treatment remdesivir



(Reuters) – Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) said on Friday it signed a multi-year agreement to make Gilead Sciences Inc’s (GILD.O) antiviral drug remdesivir in a bid to ramp up supply of the COVID-19 treatment.

Gilead is aiming to supply enough of the drug by the end of the year to treat more than 2 million COVID-19 patients, and agreed to send nearly all of its remdesivir supply to the United States through September.

But hospital staffers and politicians have complained about difficulties getting access to the drug, which is one of only two to have demonstrated an ability to help hospitalized COVID-19 patients in formal clinical trials.

Earlier this week, a bipartisan group of state attorneys general urged the U.S. government to allow other companies to make Gilead’s remdesivir, to increase its availability and lower the price of the antiviral drug.

Gilead said its manufacturing network for the drug had grown to more than 40 companies in North America, Europe and Asia to add capacity.

Separately on Friday, Britain’s Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK.L) said it has started manufacturing remdesivir at its Portugal plant.

Pfizer will provide contract manufacturing services through its McPherson, Kansas plant, the drugmaker said. It was not immediately clear if Pfizer would supply only for the U.S. market.

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a sign outside Pfizer Headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., July 22, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Pfizer, with Germany’s BioNTech (22UAy.F), is also rushing to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus.


Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva

Reuters source:

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London Luton Airport to open two new lounges as part of “commitment to providing first-class passenger facilities”

The following article was published by Future Travel Experience
Airport Dimensions (a Platinum Sponsor of FTE APEX Asia Expo, 8-9 November 2023, Singapore)…



The following article was published by Future Travel Experience

Airport Dimensions (a Platinum Sponsor of FTE APEX Asia Expo, 8-9 November 2023, Singapore) is working with its joint venture partner Swissport to open two new lounges at London Luton Airport in 2024.

Airport Dimensions (a Platinum Sponsor of FTE APEX Asia Expo, 8-9 November 2023, Singapore) is working with its joint venture partner Swissport to open two new lounges at London Luton Airport in 2024.

Airport Dimensions (a Platinum Sponsor of FTE APEX Asia Expo, 8-9 November 2023, Singapore) is working with its joint venture partner Swissport to open two new lounges at London Luton Airport (LLA) in 2024. The lounges will be operated by No1 Lounges.

The new spaces will open under two different brands under the No1 Lounges portfolio – My Lounge and No1 Lounge. They are being developed to the latest specifications and will feature a variety of amenities to suit different travellers’ needs. Both will be accessible to Priority Pass and LoungeKey cardholders.

“The opening of these two new lounges will provide an additional dimension to the simple, friendly passenger experience that we offer at London Luton Airport, providing the perfect start to any leisure or business trip,” said Jonathan Rayner, Chief Commercial Officer, London Luton Airport. “This significant investment from No1 Lounges demonstrates our continued commitment to providing first-class passenger facilities and an even greater choice for our passengers.”

The My Lounge space will offer a relaxing environment for all types of traveller to unwind before they fly. With a capacity of 155 seats, the lounge design is inspired by loft-style living and will offer views of the main terminal. Travellers will also be able to enjoy a self-service pantry with premium beers, wines, and spirits. The space will replace the current Aspire Lounge and will be completely refurbished in due course.

The No1 Lounge, the hero lounge brand in the portfolio, will have capacity for 70 travellers and offer a more premium experience, in a variety of different seating to emphasise the stylish pre-departure experience with flexibility and choice. Visitors will be able to choose from freshly prepared hot and cold dishes served in buffet style, along with an extensive range of premium beverages available from a fully tended bar.

“Our ongoing partnership with Swissport is going from strength to strength,” said Errol McGlothan, President of Airport Dimensions, EMEA & APAC. “By coming together, we’ve been able to create two new superb quality spaces at one of the UK’s busiest airports, London Luton. We’re on a journey of growth and will continue expanding our network to offer greater choice and differentiated experiences to travellers. It’s a privilege to be trusted to develop and operate these spaces at LLA and we’re confident guests will love them as much as we do.”

Hear more from Airport Dimensions at FTE APEX Asia Expo, taking place in Singapore on 8-9 November 2023. Syaifullah Sarip, Head of Business Development, APAC, Airport Dimensions, will deliver a presentation in Premium Conference focused on “The evolving role of Airport Lounges to elevate the passenger experience on the ground”. Meanwhile, Nick Redpath, Business Development Director EMEA & APAC, Airport Dimensions, is speaking on the Expo Stage in a session entitled “New ideas and opportunities to enhance e-commerce, ancillary revenue and retail in air transport”.

Register for the free-to-attend FTE APEX Asia Expo 2023 >>

Article originally published here:
London Luton Airport to open two new lounges as part of “commitment to providing first-class passenger facilities”

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Why heating your home this winter may be even harder than last year

Time is running out to ensure that people in fuel poverty can afford to keep warm this winter.




Daisy Daisy/Shutterstock

Domestic energy prices more than doubled during 2022 compared with the year before. This meant that the number of UK households in fuel poverty who could not afford to heat their homes to a safe level rose from 4.5 million to 7.3 million.

The UK government attempted to alleviate the impact of rocketing bills with a package of support measures. This included capping the unit cost of electricity and gas, a £400 rebate to all households using mains gas for heating and £200 for those using alternative fuels, and a further £650 “cost of living payment” to claimants of means-tested benefits.

Many of these schemes ended in spring 2023. And with wholesale gas costs and the government’s energy price cap having come down somewhat, you could be forgiven for thinking that the worst of the energy crisis has passed.

But that’s not the case for many billpayers – in fact, this winter is likely to be worse than the last for many households.

The energy price cap, introduced in 2019 by market regulator Ofgem, limits how much people pay for each unit of gas and electricity. The latest price cap, set on October 1 2023, means that a typical household will pay £1,834 a year for energy – less than £2,000 for the first time in 18 months.

This might sound like good news, but it’s still a substantial increase on the pre-crisis cap. In August 2021, the most a typical household could expect to pay in a year for energy was £1,277.

Although the unit prices of electricity and gas have fallen, there has been a steep increase in standing charges. These are a levy on all energy bills which cover the costs associated with supplying energy to homes.

Standing charges have gone up from around £186 a year pre-crisis to just over £300 now – effectively adding £110 to bills.

An engineer atop of wooden electricity transmission pole.
Standing charges pay for the upkeep of the UK’s energy supply network. KingTa/Shutterstock

Standing charges are regressive because they are the same for everyone, regardless of how much energy you consume. Poorer households often use much less energy than wealthier ones, so standing charges make up a larger proportion of their energy costs.

In fact, some low-income households use such small amounts of energy that they are paying little more than their standing charges.

Energy bill rebates ended

The £400 energy bill rebate paid to all households last winter has now ended. Meanwhile, cost of living payments to claimants of means-tested benefits have increased from £650 to £900 a year. This will be helpful to those who qualify, but one third of households eligible for means-tested welfare payments do not claim them due to stigma, lack of awareness or bad experiences with the assessment process, and so will receive no assistance.

Many households who do receive these cost of living payments will spend it on other expenses, such as food, rather than heating their home. This reflects the fact that energy is often seen by struggling households as something that can be rationed.

If you’re in a household that does not qualify for the cost of living payment then the savings of around £150 that resulted from the lowering of the cap will soon be more than cancelled out by the lack of a rebate.

Cold homes can kill

Despite the financial support offered last winter, average levels of energy debt for people contacting Citizens Advice in England and Wales have risen sharply over the last year, from around £1,400 per household on average in March 2022 to £1,711 in July 2023. One-third of UK energy customers are now in arrears.

So although energy bills have fallen slightly, many households are less resilient to financial shocks than they were in early 2022. Volatile energy prices are predicted to last until the end of the decade.

Research last winter found that households in fuel poverty were underheating their homes, causing damp and mould that can create serious health problems and exacerbating anguish and stress. The health risks of a cold home increase with repeated exposure.

A PVC window frame with black mould growing on it.
Poorly heated homes are at risk of damp. Burdun Iliya/Shutterstock

As temperatures begin to fall again, a range of measures are urgently needed to prevent a crisis worse than that of last winter.

What can be done to help?

Since energy prices are expected to remain high for years, long-term solutions are vital. There must be increased investment in efforts to insulate the UK’s leaky housing stock. But with winter just weeks away, what can the government do right now?

To start, it could offer greater energy bill rebates. Given the scale of the fuel poverty problem, eligibility for these rebates must be wide enough for anyone on a below average income to receive help.

Alternatively, the government could make the rebates universal again, and potentially recoup the costs by increasing taxes on the most wealthy or energy company profits. At the very least, unclaimed energy bill support from last winter should be used to support those likely to struggle in the coming winter, rather than being returned to the treasury.

Cut funding for government-backed advice services could also be restored. And there are reforms to the retail energy market that could be implemented fairly quickly, such as bringing standing charges in line with levels of usage.

More fundamentally, there are a number of proposals that would be fairer than the current system and could be implemented together for maximum impact. These include a “green power pool”, which would ensure that the cheap power generated by renewables such as wind and solar benefits those most in need first and foremost, social tariffs (discounted energy bills for low-income households), or a national energy guarantee that would secure access to enough free energy to meet everyone’s basic needs.

The government’s forthcoming autumn statement must not sidestep these issues if people in fuel poverty are to stay safe and warm this winter.

Aimee Ambrose receives funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council and the Energy Innovation Centre.

Lucie Middlemiss receives funding from Horizon 2020, the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions and the British Academy. She has previously received funding from the UK Energy Research Centre (UKRI) and the Nuffield Foundation.

Neil Simcock receives funding from the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions. He has previously received funding for fuel poverty research from the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and the EU under the Horizon 2020 programme.

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Is someone using your pictures to catfish? Your rights when it comes to fake profiles and social media stalking

Depending on what the fake account is doing, the law may not be on your side.



Ekateryna Zubal/Shutterstock

If you’ve ever used a dating app, you’ve probably experienced the disappointment of meeting someone who doesn’t look quite like their photos. You may have even been a victim of catfishing, where someone creates a fake identity to deceive or scam others online. But what if someone uses your photos to catfish someone else?

Setting up a social media account or dating profile is as easy as entering a name and email address. Platforms do very little to verify users’ identities, making it easy for someone to scam you, harass you – or pretend to be you.

There is very little known about how many online accounts are fake. What we do know is that many of these fake profiles use images from real people – often an unsuspecting third party’s public social media account. This, of course, can cause problems for the person whose photo is used. Their face is now attached to online behaviour that may be illegal, dishonest or just plain embarrassing.

Quarter life, a series by The Conversation

This article is part of Quarter Life, a series about issues affecting those of us in our twenties and thirties. From the challenges of beginning a career and taking care of our mental health, to the excitement of starting a family, adopting a pet or just making friends as an adult. The articles in this series explore the questions and bring answers as we navigate this turbulent period of life.

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Fake profiles can also include the personal contact details of an innocent third party, a form of doxing (revealing identifying or personal information about someone online) that can lead to unwanted calls, texts, emails, or even in-person visits and violent attacks.

Can the law help?

Unfortunately, if a fake account is using your image or contact details, there are not always reliable legal protections to help you stop it.

There are some relevant criminal offences in the UK, but they can be difficult to investigate and prosecute. For example, if the profile is being used to carry out a financial scam, it might be fraud. Doxing that results in the target being bombarded with unwanted messages could be stalking or harassment.

There is also a communications offence that criminalises knowingly sending false messages or persistently using the internet to cause someone annoyance, irritation or needless anxiety. New online safety laws could make it harder to establish criminality for this, by requiring proof that the perpetrator intended to cause the target physical or “non-trivial” psychological harm.

Other legal options include suing whoever set up the fake account. There are potential civil claims in harassment, defamation or copyright law. However, this is expensive, time-consuming and reliant on being able to identify the account holder, which is not straightforward. Perpetrators may be located in a different country, so outside of court jurisdiction – if they can be tracked down at all.

If you think that a crime has been committed, contact the police for their advice, particularly if you think that you know who is behind the account. Evidence is vital, so make sure you take screenshots before you do anything else.

What platforms can do

Asking the platforms to remove fake profiles may be your best option. If the account is using photographs that you took yourself, one of your most effective legal protections will be copyright law. Platforms are not generally liable for the content posted by users, but if you use their tools to report copyright infringement, they will take it seriously.

You can also report fake accounts using websites’ own tools. This can sometimes turn into a game of fake profile “whack-a-mole”, as new accounts spring up as soon as one is shut down. Additionally, platform responses to such reports have not always been adequate.

Photo illustration showing a woman and a man in different scenes, but facing each other and both on computers. The man is a shadowy figure in a dark room, suggesting that he is scamming the woman he is chatting to
Is your online date who they say they are? Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock

A new law might help. Under the online safety bill, which is awaiting royal assent, platforms must take steps to prevent users from encountering “priority illegal content” that amounts to certain criminal offences, including stalking and harassment. This legal obligation should make platforms more proactive about addressing these types of harms.

The new law will also require the largest and riskiest platforms (such as the main social media sites) to offer users a way to verify their identity. Verified users will also be able to block non-verified users from seeing their content, reducing the risk of unknown users accessing their photographs and personal information.

How to protect yourself

1. Make a report

Use platform reporting tools to request that profiles are taken down. Speak to the police if you think a crime such as fraud, stalking or harassment has taken place, and take screenshots of messages or false accounts as evidence.

2. Tell your networks

Let your friends and family know that you have come across a fake profile using your information. If they know it is out there, they are less likely to think it’s you. Consider agreeing code words so that friends and family can check it is really you, and not a scammer, before sharing personal or financial information via messaging apps.

3. Protect your images

This is certainly not foolproof, but adding a watermark to photos, such as your social media handle, can reduce their appeal to fraudsters.

4. Review your privacy settings

It is not always feasible or desirable to have a private account, but make sure you have made conscious choices about your online privacy, rather than relying on default settings.

The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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