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India infections top five million mark

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Healthcare officials have been carrying out oxygen level testing across India
Healthcare officials have been carrying out oxygen level testing across India

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in India has surpassed five million, officials say, the second-highest in the world after the US.

The virus is spreading much faster in India than any other country, with daily cases crossing 90,000 for the five days up until Tuesday.

More than 80,000 people have died, amid reports of shortages of intensive care beds and oxygen supplies.

But the death rate is lower than in many countries with a high caseload.

The rise in infections comes as the government continues to lift restrictions throughout the country to try to boost an economy that lost millions of jobs when the virus hit in March.

In the initial stages of Covid-19, India appeared to be doing fairly well, imposing a strict lockdown, but the virus then hit megacities like Mumbai and the capital Delhi, before surging in smaller cities and rural areas.

Despite the increase, the government has eased restrictions.

As India opens up its economy and people return to work, Covid-19 cases have been surging. Some 600,000 cases were added just last week.

India’s caseload now stands at 5,020,359 after it added 90,123 cases in the last 24 hours.

What about reported oxygen shortages?

Demand for oxygen has risen exponentially recently.

Hospitals and care centres are consuming up to about 2,700 tonnes of oxygen every day this month, compared with 750 tonnes in April, according to data obtained from All India Industrial Gases Manufacturers Association.

Large hospitals depend on liquid oxygen with backup cylinders
Large hospitals depend on liquid oxygen with backup cylinders

Oxygen manufacturers say the demand for industrial oxygen has also shot up because more factories are now reopening.

The states seeing a worrying uptick in infections – Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh – are suffering the most. It is a lives-versus-livelihoods question that India is grappling with now, BBC India correspondent Soutik Biswas reports.

India will now need to increase capacity to make sure that both industries and patients do not suffer, our correspondent adds.

Most oxygen plants are built near cities and big towns. So supplies to far flung districts where Covid-19 patients are filling hospitals have to be sent by special lorries carrying cryogenic tanks – India has some 1,500 such vehicles.

Many states – the capital, Delhi, for example – do not have a single oxygen manufacturer, and all supplies have to come from neighbouring regions.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Mike Pence’s most controversial comments about women

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Mike Pence’s most controversial comments about women
(Getty Images)

Mike Pence describes himself as “a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order” – a moral framework which has dictated every aspect of his life, including his relationships with women.

The 61-year-old vice president has been married to Karen for 34 years – the pair met while she was playing guitar at Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Indianapolis, a Catholic church they both attended. Both later became evangelicals.

In 2002 he told The Hill that he never dines alone with a woman who is not his wife, and, unless his wife is present, will not attend a function where alcohol is being served.

“If there’s alcohol being served and people are being loose, I want to have the best-looking brunette in the room standing next to me,” he said.

“It’s about building a zone around your marriage.”

Kamala Harris, who will on October 7 debate Mr Pence, has already described his rule as “ridiculous”.

“I disagree with him when he suggests it’s not possible to have meetings with women alone by himself,” she said in March 2019.

“I think that’s ridiculous — the idea that you would deny a professional woman the opportunity to have a meeting with the vice president of the United States is outrageous.”

Working Families

Mr Pence has a long history of making eyebrow-raising comments about women.

In 1997, while working as a conservative radio show host, he wrote a letter to The Indianapolis Star claiming that “day-care kids get the short end of the emotional stick” and that households with two working parents lead to “stunted emotional growth.”

He condemned what he called “the big lie that ‘Mom doesn’t matter'”.

“For years, we have gotten the message from the mouthpieces of the popular culture that you can have it all, career, kids and a two-car garage,” he wrote.

“Sure, you can have it all, but your day-care kids get the short end of the emotional stick.”

Two years later, he claimed that the Disney film Mulan was an attempt by some “mischievous liberal” to influence the debate over women in the military.

Mulan Outrage

The 1999 op-ed ran on a website for Mr Pence’s radio program, which was uncovered by BuzzFeed News.

“Despite her delicate features and voice, Disney expects us to believe that Mulan’s ingenuity and courage were enough to carry her to military success on an equal basis with her cloddish cohorts,” wrote Mr Pence.

He says the moral of Mulan is that men and women will be invariably attracted to each other, making the idea of women in the military impossible.

“Put them together, in close quarters, for long periods of time, and things will get interesting,” he wrote.

“Just like they eventually did for young Mulan. Moral of story: women in military, bad idea.”

Family Values

Elected to Congress in 2000, Mr Pence maintained his traditional views about a woman’s place.

In 2006, as head of the Republican Study Committee, a group of the 100 most-conservative House members, Mr Pence rose in support of a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

In his speech, Mr Pence quoted a Harvard researcher and said: “societal collapse was always brought about following an advent of the deterioration of marriage and family.”

Pence also called being gay a choice, and said keeping gays from marrying was not discrimination, but an enforcement of “God’s idea.”

While he was governor of Indiana, in March 2013, Democrat politicians from the Indiana Legislature were invited to dinner at the governor’s mansion, and noticed how he repeatedly referred to his wife as “Mother”.

Mr Pence’s actions towards women, as well as his words, are also notable.

Abortion Laws

In Congress, Mr Pence co-sponsored a 2011 bill that would have redefined rape and limited federal funding for abortion to women who suffered “forcible rape”.

While governor of Indiana, he signed eight anti-abortion bills into law in his less than four years.

And also while governor, he signed a “religious freedom” law which trans and lesbian women said was a direct attack on them, allowing any individual or corporation to cite religious beliefs as a defense when sued by a private party.

So many businesses and LGBT advocates said they worried it would open the door to widespread discrimination that a week later Mr Pence was forced to reissue the bill, explicitly barring a business from denying services to someone on the basis of categories that include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Mr Pence seems unconcerned by the criticism of his views, however, and is proud of his policies.

International Women’s Day

On March 2018 he tweeted: “Today, on #InternationalWomensDay – and ALL days – we recognize the countless contributions women have made to our economy, our communities, & our Nation.

“The Trump Admin will continue to strive to empower women across America to keep making a profound impact.”

He was mocked mercilessly on social media.

One man replied: “Unless it has anything to do with their reproductive rights of course.  You certainly wouldn’t want to empower them to have any control over their own bodies, you tool.”

Another woman simply said: “Is this supposed to be funny?”

Read more

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Clare Bronfman sentenced to nearly 7 years in sex-cult case

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Clare Bronfman sentenced to nearly 7 years in sex-cult case

Clare Bronfman was sentenced to 81 months in prison on Wednesday for her role in NXIVM, a self-help group that feds say operated as a pyramid scheme and sex-trafficking cult. The nearly seven year punishment is even more than the five years prosecutors sought. She is the first of six of the organization’s prominent members to be sentenced.

Bronfman, an heiress to the Seagram liquor fortune, helped bankroll NXIVM for years. In April 2019, Bronfman pleaded guilty to charges including identity theft and immigration fraud. She denied knowing anything about sexual abuses within the group’s secret women-branding sorority.

“Today, Clare Bronfman is the first of many to be sentenced for the crimes she committed in furtherance of NXIVM’s objectives,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney said in a statement. “While her fate in no way removes the trauma NXIVM’s victims will likely continue to suffer, it does highlight the government’s efforts to bring to justice all of those involved in a series of illegal acts carried out for the benefit of this organization. She recently wrote to the judge telling him that NXIVM and Keith Raniere had changed her life for the better. She will now have more than six years behind bars to contemplate that sentiment, and decide once and for all if it’s as easy to accept as she once believed it to be.”

Clare Bronfman was remanded into custody after she was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison. (Photo: Reuters)

In a letter to a Brooklyn federal judge last month, Bronfman, 41, declared “NXIVM and Keith greatly changed my life for the better.” Raniere was convicted for a multitude of crimes, including sex trafficking, forced labor, alien smuggling and child exploitation offenses.

While some are surprised at Bronfman’s refusal to disavow the NXIVM founder, psychologist and Yahoo Mental Health Contributor Dr. Jen Hartstein explained why disavowing Raniere could be hard for Bronfman.

“Many people, when in a group like NXIVM, suffer from psychological manipulation,” she tells Yahoo Entertainment. “There is a coercive control from the leader of the [group], which causes those involved to pledge devotion to him [or] her and their rules. Often, those involved are isolated, lonely and looking to connect to someone who can make them feel a part of something. It is hard to believe that that person would do anything to harm them in any way.”

Harstein added, “It can be very hard to undo the programming that someone has had when being part of a group like NXIVM. It requires helping that individual let go of the beliefs that they had, and to really see the damage that was done. It requires a lot of psychotherapy to educate the member on the negative and harmful teachings that they might have experienced.”

Bronfman was a high-ranking member of NXIVM’s Executive Board and spent millions of dollars of her inherited fortune on Raniere’s endeavors for over a decade, prosecutors stated. Along with nearly seven years in prison, the court imposed a fine of $500,000 and ordered that restitution to be paid to one victim.

Bronfman, who has spent the last two years on house arrest, was remanded into custody after the hearing. Her attorney told CNN she plans to appeal immediately.

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Stock futures hug the flat line after worst September since 2011

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Stock futures hug the flat line after worst September since 2011

TipRanks

Goldman Sachs Predicts Over 40% Rally for These 3 Stocks

A new wave of optimism is splashing onto the Street. Investment firm Goldman Sachs just gave its three-month stock forecast a boost, lifting it from Neutral to Overweight, with it also projecting “high single-digital returns” for global stocks over the next year.What’s behind this updated approach? Goldman Sachs strategist Christian Mueller-Glissmann cites the impressive rebound in global earnings growth and reduced equity costs as the drivers of the estimate revision. On top of this, a “broader procyclical shift” in stocks and other assets could take place during the remainder of this year.“We have shifted more cyclical on sectors and themes tactically but still prefer growth vs. value on a strategic horizon… In the near-term, elevated uncertainty on U.S. elections and a better global growth outlook might benefit non-U.S. equities more, but in the medium term a large weight in structural growth stocks is likely to support the S&P 500,” Mueller-Glissmann noted.As for the “most important catalyst” that could spur growth optimism in the next year, the strategist points to additional clarity on when and how a COVID-19 vaccine will be available.Turning Mueller-Glissmann’s outlook into concrete recommendations, Goldman Sachs’ analysts are pounding the table on three stocks that look especially compelling. According to these analysts, each name is poised to surge in the 12 months ahead.Raytheon Technologies (RTX)First up we have Raytheon Technologies, which is an aerospace and defense company that provides advanced systems and services for commercial, military and government customers. While shares have stumbled in 2020, Goldman Sachs thinks the weakness presents a buying opportunity.Representing the firm, analyst Noah Poponak points out that RTX is “too high quality and well positioned of a company to trade at an 11% free cash flow yield on the fully aerospace-recovered and fully synergized 2023E free cash.”The analyst’s bullish outlook is largely driven by the company’s aerospace aftermarket (the secondary market that deals with the installation of equipment, spare parts, accessories and components after the sale of the aircraft by the original equipment manufacturer) business, which Poponak argues is “the best sub-market within Aerospace over the long-term.” This segment makes up roughly 45% of RTX’s aerospace revenue.Even though COVID-19 flight disruptions have weighed on this part of the business, Poponak points out total aircraft in service is down only 25% year-over-year, and flights have dipped less than 50%. He added, “China domestic traffic is now up year on year, and while international remains depressed, we believe the recovery in global air travel could be quicker from here than broad expectations for a recovery by 2023-2024.”Poponak highlights that in previous downturns, the aftermarket had to confront headwinds that arose from the increased use of parting out, inventory pooling and delayed aftermarket spending. “Even then, aftermarket grew at or faster than ASMs, and we believe there was pent-up demand heading into this downturn that support aftermarket tracking the recovery in global air travel. Long-term, we expect air traffic to grow 2X global GDP, as it has historically,” the analyst commented.Adding to the good news, the Geared Turbo Fan, which is a type of turbofan aircraft engine, product cycle could generate substantial revenue and EBIT growth at Pratt & Whitney, in Poponak’s opinion.“Given the high OE exposure to the A320neo, which has the strongest backlog of any aircraft in the market, we see Pratt OE revenue holding up better and recovering faster than peers. New GTF deliveries will drive expansion in the installed base for Pratt, which was declining for most of the 2000s. Despite the end of V2500 OE deliveries, that program is just moving into the sweet-spot for shop visits on the aftermarket side,” Poponak opined.What’s more, Poponak sees merger synergies as capable of fueling margin expansion and cash generation, with the historical synergy capture in the space implying that upside to guidance isn’t out of the question.In line with his optimistic approach, Poponak stays with the bulls. To this end, he keeps a Buy rating and $86 price target on the stock. Investors could be pocketing a gain of 49%, should this target be met in the twelve months ahead. (To watch Poponak’s track record, click here)In general, other analysts echo Poponak’s sentiment. 7 Buys and 2 Holds add up to a Strong Buy consensus rating. With an average price target of $78.63, the upside potential comes in at 36.5%. (See RTX stock analysis on TipRanks)Boeing (BA)Moving on to another player in the aerospace space, Boeing has also struggled on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, with it failing to match the pace of the broader market. That being said, Goldman Sachs has high hopes for this name going forward.Firm analyst Noah Poponak, who also covers RTX, points out that BA has already trimmed production rate plans by half, compared to the peak plan from before the COVID crisis and MAX grounding. A slower-than-anticipated air travel rebound could result in more reductions, but the analyst argues these would be much smaller than the reductions that have already been witnessed. He added, “Historically, the best buying opportunities in BA shares are right after it has capitulated to production rate cuts.”According to Poponak, compared to previous economic declines, the peak to trough in the current downturn is larger and faster, although this is partly related to the grounding of the 737 MAX in 2019. “We believe this will result in a less severe dislocation of supply and demand balance, and see deliveries recovering to 2018 levels by 2024 as global air travel recovers and airlines replace accelerated retirements,” he explained.As for how the company can fulfill its new production rate plan “given the mix of its backlog is so much more weighted to growth than replacement,” Poponak believes “the answer is that airlines during this downturn are revising that mix.” Since the pandemic’s onset, airlines have revealed higher aircraft retirement plans, and braced for less growth. “That means for a given revision in an airline’s order book, there is also a substantial mix shift toward replacement from growth within the new delivery numbers. Therefore, the backlog will not necessarily lose all of its growth orders,” the analyst stated.Additionally, following an uptick in aircraft order cancellations in March and April, the pace has slowed. “Even assuming another 200-plus unit cancellations this year, we estimate the 737 MAX would have nearly 6X years of production by the middle of the decade at our revised production rate estimates,” Poponak mentioned.When it comes to free cash flow, the analyst is also optimistic, with Poponak forecasting that BA will see positive free cash flow in 2021. “We think the market is underestimating the mid-cycle achievable aircraft unit cash margins across the major programs, extrapolating temporarily negative items into the future, and underestimating the degree of inventory unwind likely to occur in 2021,” he said.If that wasn’t enough, the MAX recertification could be a major possible catalyst. The company is working towards recertification and return to service, with Poponak expecting both to come before year-end.Taking all of the above into consideration, Poponak maintains a Buy rating and $225 price target. This target conveys his confidence in BA’s ability to climb 35% higher in the next year.Turning to the rest of the analyst community, opinions are mixed. With 8 Buys, 8 Holds and 1 Sell assigned in the last three months, the word on the Street is that BA is a Moderate Buy. At $192.40, the average price target implies 16% upside potential. (See Boeing stock analysis on TipRanks)Immatics (IMTX)Combining the discovery of true targets for cancer immunotherapies (therapies that utilize the power of the immune system) with the development of the right T cell receptors, Immatics hopes to ultimately enable a robust and specific T cell response against these targets. Based on its cutting-edge approach, Goldman Sachs counts itself as a fan.Writing for the firm, analyst Graig Suvannavejh notes that unlike CAR-T approaches, a T cell receptor (TCR)-based approach can go after targets inside the cell, and fight the 90% of cancers which are solid tumor in nature. The company is advancing two technologies: ACTengine, designed for personalized TCR-based cell therapies, and TCER, which targets TCR-based bispecific antibodies.ACTengine is the more advanced technology, with its four assets IMA201, a genetically engineered T cell product candidate that targets melanoma-associated antigen 4 or 8, IMA202, which targets melanoma-associated antigen 1, IMA203, which targets preferentially expressed antigen in melanoma (PRAME) and IMA204 that targets COL6A3 (found in a tumor’s stroma and is highly prevalent in the tumor microenvironment/TME in a broad range of cancers) expected to enter the clinic soon.Using the TCER platform, IMTX is developing IMA401 and IMA402, or “off-the-shelf” biologics consisting of a portion of the TCR which directly recognizes cancer cells and a T cell recruiter domain which recruits and activates the patient’s T cells.Speaking to the market opportunity, Suvannavejh mentioned, “Cancer immunotherapies have made great strides over the past decade, and in particular, advances seen with CAR-T have paved the way for cell therapy-based approaches… CAR-T, however, has to date only shown limited effect in treating cancers that are solid tumor in nature. With more than 90% of all cancers being solid tumors — with lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancers accounting for c.60% of the total — this is the opportunity for IMTX.” To this end, he believes cumulative 2035 sales could land at $15.5 billion for the ACTengine-based assets.Reflecting another positive, since 2017, IMTX has inked at least one significant partnership per year with top global biopharma companies. According to Suvannavejh, each provided non-dilutive funding opportunities.The analyst added, “…the ARYA Sciences Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), merger that enabled IMTX to become a publicly traded entity brought in a deep roster of well-known, experienced healthcare-dedicated institutional investors. Taken together, we find these to be validating of IMTX’s longer-term prospects.”Looking ahead, the initial clinical data readouts for IMA201, IMA202 and IMA203, which are slated for Q1 2021, and investigational new drug (IND) application submissions for IMA204 and IMA401 in 2021 and YE2021, respectively, reflect key potential catalysts, in Suvannavejh’s opinion.Everything that IMTX has going for it convinced Suvannavejh to reiterate his Buy rating. Along with the call, he attached a $17 price target, suggesting 73% upside potential. (To watch Suvannavejh’s track record, click here)Are other analysts in agreement? They are. Only Buy ratings, 4, in fact, have been issued in the last three months. Therefore, the message is clear: IMTX is a Strong Buy. Given the $19 average price target, shares could soar 93% in the next year. (See Immatics stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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