Connect with us

International

Victor Davis Hanson Surveys Our Post-Hamas Wreckage

Victor Davis Hanson Surveys Our Post-Hamas Wreckage

Authored by Victor Davis Hanson via American Greatness,

As Hamas goes, so with it go…

Published

on

Victor Davis Hanson Surveys Our Post-Hamas Wreckage

Authored by Victor Davis Hanson via American Greatness,

As Hamas goes, so with it go many of the following related Western pretensions.

The Passions of 9/11, Redux

It has been 22 years since we saw crowds throughout the Middle East celebrating the murder of 3,000 civilians—and since newspapers had daily “idiot watch” notices of American intellectuals defending radical Islamist mass murderers. And now the madness is back again, and we are witnessing the recrudescence of normalizing radical Islamic terrorists abroad.

I suppose the theory is that no one in America cares much about radical Islamists foaming at the mouth, whether abroad or here. And the result is that they are empowered and their defense of murder is growing—yet its hubris will earn an almost-certain response, an anger slowly but insidiously growing at radical Islam.

A Middle East Policy in Ruins 

The current Biden appeasement of Iran and gift of billions of dollars in aggregate to the West Bank and Gaza are now, by bipartisan consensus, unsustainable. The only supporters of that lethal madness left are the embarrassments of BLM, the Squad, the Democratic Socialists of America, and the campus crowd.

Their collective hatred of Jews and Israelis was manifested in their delight over the post mortem mutilations of murdered women and children. And why—even before Israel had responded with air attacks—were leftists and Islamists suddenly celebrating the news of the executions of more than 1,200 Jews? It was instinctual, a Pavlovian response.

Even some leftist Democrats were shocked by their own constituents, whom they had created. Biden still might cling to his past destructive Middle East policies (and I expect him to restrict the Israelis within days after they begin to go in full force into Gaza), but the idea of continuing aid to the West Bank and Gaza or of “normalizing” relations with theocratic Iran will now be rightly seen as a suicidal delusion.

Ukraine and Gaza

Most Americans support arms for Ukraine to repel Russian aggressors.

But something is becoming strange about these two respective wars.

Why did the State Department more or less put no restrictions on Ukrainian retaliation, including operations against the Russian Black Sea Fleet—but the Secretary of State almost immediately called for a “ceasefire” to prevent Israeli retaliation, a mortal sin if he had dared say that about Ukraine’s similar response to aggression? Would an American diplomat lecture Ukraine about ending the “cycle of violence?”

Why does the U.S. discount any possibility of a strategic response from Russia—which reportedly has some 6,000-7,000 nuclear weapons—to attacks on its homeland, but seems almost terrified about calling Iran to account for its central role in arming and funding terrorists to start a war with Israel by slaughtering 1,200 civilians?

Is the U.S., as professed, really able to fund a $120 billion—and counting—war in Ukraine, and to replenish Israeli stocks (300,000 artillery shells shipped from U.S. depots in Israel to Ukraine, a reportedly mere one-month supply for Kyiv), and to restore depleted existing U.S. munitions (note the billions of dollars of equipment abandoned in Kabul), and to ramp up our forces to deter China (while allowing 8 million illegal aliens to flow across an open border and $33 trillion in national debt) without going on a massive war footing?

There are likely somewhere between 600,000 and 800,000 total wounded and dead in Ukraine, in the most lethal conflict in Europe since 1945. Why is the U.S. so eager to call for a ceasefire after a fraction of those casualties in Gaza, but it is near-taboo to mention a breather amid the historical carnage, with no end in sight, in Ukraine?

The administration always says we can do everything simultaneously, but then we never do. Rhetoric is not the same thing as trebling our arms supply chain, and cutting the budget elsewhere to pay for it, and closing our border.

The Biden Open Border

Given the common denominator of Russian and Gazan invading forces crossing poorly fortified borders, why would we not secure our own—far longer and less secure than either?

The Biden border nihilism is now a losing proposition even for the leftists who helped promote it. Biden is eroding the very base of the Democratic Party, by alienating inner-city and border-district minorities. They are irate at the hordes of people stampeding into the country with the assumption that breaking our laws is their birthright.

Even the daily mendacity of Alejandro Mayorkas and Karine Jean-Pierre cannot hide the brazen contempt for the law. Every day that the border remains open and thousands more pour in unaudited, illegally, without skills, in non-diverse fashion, and with cartel fentanyl—to the cheers of the corrupt socialist President Obrador of Mexico—the more Joe Biden is destroying his own party.

The ruin in Gaza only reminds Americans that under present policies we will soon see thousands of America-hating, anti-Semitic Gazans seeking to pour into the United States illegally, eager to join the mass demonstrations cheering on Hamas death squads. It seems to take about a month for a radical Middle Eastern refugee, having arrived with gratitude toward his new American hosts, to take to the street on a “Day of Jihad” calling for the end of Israel (and often damning America).

Allies as Enemies

Abroad, we are finally accepting the long-suppressed reality that many of our “allies” are not neutrals but enemies. The U.S. bases in Qatar and Turkey, and our indifference to the pro-Hamas sentiments, if not outright aid, of both, have empowered terrorism.

Ever so slowly, the two anti-American nations are reminding Americans that we need to draw down our forces from these hostile landscapes, which in any global crisis would likely be hostile territory for our own troops.

Everyone knows Erdogan’s Turkey has no business in NATO—and everyone has no idea how to get them out. And so everyone puts an asterisk over Turkey as a NATO member. For now, the alliance’s only Islamist, non-democratic, and anti-Western nation is best simply avoided, since expelling Turkey appears to be more trouble than tolerating its toxic presence.

The Palestinian State Solution 

The Left’s shrill demand for a “two-state” solution, and tolerance of Palestinian tired and serial threats to drive Israel into the sea, are for now over. The glee with which Gazans and West Bankers met the news of mass murder, mutilation, hostage-taking, rape, and the desecration of bodies is proof enough that these dictatorial governments probably do represent the majority of their citizens.

Most Gazans were giddy on hearing of the macabre methods of Hamas, and only wished that there had been more opportunity to spit on hostages, poke captive women, kick corpses, and torment the child and female trophies brought back from Israel. The Gazan delight in the grotesque was reminiscent of some medieval pogrom, or the Roman triumphs of old with their files of enslaved captives. And perhaps the desire to take captives and pass them back through the killing fields to Gaza reminds of the Aztec practice of seeking to capture rather than just kill their enemies, in order to have plenty of bodies for the human sacrifices on Templo Major.

The old idea of Gaza—self-governed since 2005-2006 by “one man, one vote, once” Hamas—as a possible “Singapore” with Hyatt and Four Seasons beaches, flush with hundreds of billions of dollars from the Gulf, Europe, the U.S. and the UN, is finally revealed as the farce it always was. That fantasy was simply antithetical to the Hamas nihilist charter, the logical manifestation of which was the slaughter inside Israel of hundreds of civilians.

BLM

BLM was always a corrupt, disingenuous operation—the craftier successor to the Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton 1980s corporate shake-downs. But it is has finally jumped the shark with its sick support for Hamas murderers (note its recent posters glorifying Hamas’s hang-gliding butchery).

Its pro-death advocacy of Hamas is the pièce de résistance to the corruption and abdication of its leadership, the Kendi-con, and the lethal crime wave it helped spawn in major cities. Its racist agendas may linger for a while. But BLM is going the way of the 1960s Black Panthers—that is, one leading to general disgust, then to irrelevance, and finally to nothingness.

The still-remaining BLM murals in our major downtowns are already embarrassments and eroding reminders of the insanity that swept the country from 2020 to the present.

Campuses

Universities have now crossed the Rubicon in de facto condoning their crazed students cheering on mass death. They made the argument after George Floyd that the country must listen to their pseudo-moral lectures, and now they unashamedly broadcast what they have become—traitors to the idea of an enlightened free society, and kindred spirits to the anti-Semitism, intolerance, and fascism of 1930s German universities.

Degrees from Harvard, Yale, and Stanford will soon become, not resume badges, but either embarrassments or certifications of a mediocre education. Or both.

Universities all rushed to embrace “decolonization”, starting with empty and ahistorical virtue signals and ending up paralyzed, as thousands of their own students showed the world how ecstatic they were over news that babies were murdered and women raped.

In response, their invertebrate administrators and faculty sat frozen for days, calculating how best to issue “on the one hand…on the other hand” mush. The first serious politician who calls for the taxing of the huge incomes of their endowments, for yanking the government out of the student loan business and returning the moral hazard to the universities who impoverish their own students, will win overwhelming support.

The Gaza of Hamas is going down, but so are a lot of corrupt institutions and ideas that threw in with its lot.

I would recommend against the Nazi reference: the Nazis didn’t deny knowledge of atrocities until *after the war*, making them a bad contrast to current Palestinians.

Tyler Durden Mon, 10/16/2023 - 20:35

Read More

Continue Reading

International

Four burning questions about the future of the $16.5B Novo-Catalent deal

To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.
Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand…

Published

on

To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.

Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand its own production capacity for its weight loss drugs, the Danish drugmaker said Monday it will pay $11 billion to acquire three manufacturing plants from Catalent. It’s part of a broader $16.5 billion deal with Novo Holdings, the investment arm of the pharma’s parent group, which agreed to acquire the contract manufacturer and take it private.

It’s a big deal for all parties, with potential ripple effects across the biotech ecosystem. Here’s a look at some of the most pressing questions to watch after Monday’s announcement.

Why did Novo do this?

Novo Holdings isn’t the most obvious buyer for Catalent, particularly after last year’s on-and-off M&A interest from the serial acquirer Danaher. But the deal could benefit both Novo Holdings and Novo Nordisk.

Novo Nordisk’s biggest challenge has been simply making enough of the weight loss drug Wegovy and diabetes therapy Ozempic. On last week’s earnings call, Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen said the company isn’t constrained by capital in its efforts to boost manufacturing. Rather, the main challenge is the limited amount of capabilities out there, he said.

“Most pharmaceutical companies in the world would be shopping among the same manufacturers,” he said. “There’s not an unlimited amount of machinery and people to build it.”

While Novo was already one of Catalent’s major customers, the manufacturer has been hamstrung by its own balance sheet. With roughly $5 billion in debt on its books, it’s had to juggle paying down debt with sufficiently investing in its facilities. That’s been particularly challenging in keeping pace with soaring demand for GLP-1 drugs.

Novo, on the other hand, has the balance sheet to funnel as much money as needed into the plants in Italy, Belgium, and Indiana. It’s also struggled to make enough of its popular GLP-1 drugs to meet their soaring demand, with documented shortages of both Ozempic and Wegovy.

The impact won’t be immediate. The parties expect the deal to close near the end of 2024. Novo Nordisk said it expects the three new sites to “gradually increase Novo Nordisk’s filling capacity from 2026 and onwards.”

As for the rest of Catalent — nearly 50 other sites employing thousands of workers — Novo Holdings will take control. The group previously acquired Altasciences in 2021 and Ritedose in 2022, so the Catalent deal builds on a core investing interest in biopharma services, Novo Holdings CEO Kasim Kutay told Endpoints News.

Kasim Kutay

When asked about possible site closures or layoffs, Kutay said the team hasn’t thought about that.

“That’s not our track record. Our track record is to invest in quality businesses and help them grow,” he said. “There’s always stuff to do with any asset you own, but we haven’t bought this company to do some of the stuff you’re talking about.”

What does it mean for Catalent’s customers? 

Until the deal closes, Catalent will operate as a standalone business. After it closes, Novo Nordisk said it will honor its customer obligations at the three sites, a spokesperson said. But they didn’t answer a question about what happens when those contracts expire.

The wrinkle is the long-term future of the three plants that Novo Nordisk is paying for. Those sites don’t exclusively pump out Wegovy, but that could be the logical long-term aim for the Danish drugmaker.

The ideal scenario is that pricing and timelines remain the same for customers, said Nicole Paulk, CEO of the gene therapy startup Siren Biotechnology.

Nicole Paulk

“The name of the group that you’re going to send your check to is now going to be Novo Holdings instead of Catalent, but otherwise everything remains the same,” Paulk told Endpoints. “That’s the best-case scenario.”

In a worst case, Paulk said she feared the new owners could wind up closing sites or laying off Catalent groups. That could create some uncertainty for customers looking for a long-term manufacturing partner.

Are shareholders and regulators happy? 

The pandemic was a wild ride for Catalent’s stock, with shares surging from about $40 to $140 and then crashing back to earth. The $63.50 share price for the takeover is a happy ending depending on the investor.

On that point, the investing giant Elliott Investment Management is satisfied. Marc Steinberg, a partner at Elliott, called the agreement “an outstanding outcome” that “clearly maximizes value for Catalent stockholders” in a statement.

Elliott helped kick off a strategic review last August that culminated in the sale agreement. Compared to Catalent’s stock price before that review started, the deal pays a nearly 40% premium.

Alessandro Maselli

But this is hardly a victory lap for CEO Alessandro Maselli, who took over in July 2022 when Catalent’s stock price was north of $100. Novo’s takeover is a tacit acknowledgment that Maselli could never fully right the ship, as operational problems plagued the company throughout 2023 while it was limited by its debt.

Additional regulatory filings in the next few weeks could give insight into just how competitive the sale process was. William Blair analysts said they don’t expect a competing bidder “given the organic investments already being pursued at other leading CDMOs and the breadth and scale of Catalent’s operations.”

The Blair analysts also noted the companies likely “expect to spend some time educating relevant government agencies” about the deal, given the lengthy closing timeline. Given Novo Nordisk’s ascent — it’s now one of Europe’s most valuable companies — paired with the limited number of large contract manufacturers, antitrust regulators could be interested in taking a close look.

Are Catalent’s problems finally a thing of the past?

Catalent ran into a mix of financial and operational problems over the past year that played no small part in attracting the interest of an activist like Elliott.

Now with a deal in place, how quickly can Novo rectify those problems? Some of the challenges were driven by the demands of being a publicly traded company, like failing to meet investors’ revenue expectations or even filing earnings reports on time.

But Catalent also struggled with its business at times, with a range of manufacturing delays, inspection reports and occasionally writing down acquisitions that didn’t pan out. Novo’s deep pockets will go a long way to a turnaround, but only the future will tell if all these issues are fixed.

Kutay said his team is excited by the opportunity and was satisfied with the due diligence it did on the company.

“We believe we’re buying a strong company with a good management team and good prospects,” Kutay said. “If that wasn’t the case, I don’t think we’d be here.”

Amber Tong and Reynald Castañeda contributed reporting.

Read More

Continue Reading

International

Petrina Kamya, Ph.D., Head of AI Platforms at Insilico Medicine, presents at BIO CEO & Investor Conference

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb….

Published

on

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

Credit: Insilico Medicine

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

The session will look at how the latest artificial intelligence (AI) tools – including generative AI and large language models – are currently being used to advance the discovery and design of new drugs, and which technologies are still in development. 

The BIO CEO & Investor Conference brings together over 1,000 attendees and more than 700 companies across industry and institutional investment to discuss the future investment landscape of biotechnology. Sessions focus on topics such as therapeutic advancements, market outlook, and policy priorities.

Insilico Medicine is a leading, clinical stage AI-driven drug discovery company that has raised over $400m in investments since it was founded in 2014. Dr. Kamya leads the development of the Company’s end-to-end generative AI platform, Pharma.AI from Insilico’s AI R&D Center in Montreal. Using modern machine learning techniques in the context of chemistry and biology, the platform has driven the discovery and design of 30+ new therapies, with five in clinical stages – for cancer, fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and COVID-19. The Company’s lead drug, for the chronic, rare lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, is the first AI-designed drug for an AI-discovered target to reach Phase II clinical trials with patients. Nine of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies have used Insilico’s AI platform to advance their programs, and the Company has a number of major strategic licensing deals around its AI-designed therapeutic assets, including with Sanofi, Exelixis and Menarini. 

 

About Insilico Medicine

Insilico Medicine, a global clinical stage biotechnology company powered by generative AI, is connecting biology, chemistry, and clinical trials analysis using next-generation AI systems. The company has developed AI platforms that utilize deep generative models, reinforcement learning, transformers, and other modern machine learning techniques for novel target discovery and the generation of novel molecular structures with desired properties. Insilico Medicine is developing breakthrough solutions to discover and develop innovative drugs for cancer, fibrosis, immunity, central nervous system diseases, infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, and aging-related diseases. www.insilico.com 


Read More

Continue Reading

International

Another country is getting ready to launch a visa for digital nomads

Early reports are saying Japan will soon have a digital nomad visa for high-earning foreigners.

Published

on

Over the last decade, the explosion of remote work that came as a result of improved technology and the pandemic has allowed an increasing number of people to become digital nomads. 

When looked at more broadly as anyone not required to come into a fixed office but instead moves between different locations such as the home and the coffee shop, the latest estimate shows that there were more than 35 million such workers in the world by the end of 2023 while over half of those come from the United States.

Related: There is a new list of cities that are best for digital nomads

While remote work has also allowed many to move to cheaper places and travel around the world while still bringing in income, working outside of one's home country requires either dual citizenship or work authorization — the global shift toward remote work has pushed many countries to launch specific digital nomad visas to boost their economies and bring in new residents.

Japan is a very popular destination for U.S. tourists. 

Shutterstock

This popular vacation destination will soon have a nomad visa

Spain, Portugal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Latvia and Malta are some of the countries currently offering specific visas for foreigners who want to live there while bringing in income from abroad.

More Travel:

With the exception of a few, Asian countries generally have stricter immigration laws and were much slower to launch these types of visas that some of the countries with weaker economies had as far back as 2015. As first reported by the Japan Times, the country's Immigration Services Agency ended up making the leap toward a visa for those who can earn more than ¥10 million ($68,300 USD) with income from another country.

The Japanese government has not yet worked out the specifics of how long the visa will be valid for or how much it will cost — public comment on the proposal is being accepted throughout next week. 

That said, early reports say the visa will be shorter than the typical digital nomad option that allows foreigners to live in a country for several years. The visa will reportedly be valid for six months or slightly longer but still no more than a year — along with the ability to work, this allows some to stay beyond the 90-day tourist period typically afforded to those from countries with visa-free agreements.

'Not be given a residence card of residence certificate'

While one will be able to reapply for the visa after the time runs out, this can only be done by exiting the country and being away for six months before coming back again — becoming a permanent resident on the pathway to citizenship is an entirely different process with much more strict requirements.

"Those living in Japan with the digital nomad visa will not be given a residence card or a residence certificate, which provide access to certain government benefits," reports the news outlet. "The visa cannot be renewed and must be reapplied for, with this only possible six months after leaving the countr

The visa will reportedly start in March and also allow holders to bring their spouses and families with them. To start using the visa, holders will also need to purchase private health insurance from their home country while taxes on any money one earns will also need to be paid through one's home country.

Read More

Continue Reading

Trending