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After the pandemic recovery, we must tackle the national debt

  • So even with a $21 trillion debt serving as a flashing warning sign, and with no plan to get the borrowing under control once the economy is strong again, there is very little political interest in doing something about it.
  • Once the economy is strong enough, as indicated by growth and employment (rather than political whims), the administration and Congress should gradually implement sensible measures to get control of the debt.
  • To Biden's credit, his campaign plan included trillions of dollars in revenue raisers and spending reforms, creating opportunities for lawmakers to fund new public investments in a fiscally responsible manner.
  • Debt naysayers will want the new administration to opt for the free lunch approach -- borrowing rather than paying for new priorities -- but that is a dangerous economic plan in the long run that invites serious risk and leaves us vulnerable at a time we should be pursing an agenda of economic strength.

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UK approves Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, first in West - Business Insider

  • The country's regulatory body, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), gave its approval to the vaccine developed by US drugmaker Pfizer and the small German firm BioNTech.
  • It said: "The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for use.
  • The MHRA said that Pfizer's vaccine protects against COVID-19 — the disease caused by coronavirus — and is safe, after it reviewed all the vaccine's data including from a large, late-stage clinical trial of 43,661 volunteers.
  • Pfizer's vaccine is a new mRNA technology that uses genetic material to stimulate the immune system to protect against coronavirus infection.
  • The regulatory approval in the UK marks a milestone for Pfizer, but also for other vaccine-makers, like Moderna, that use mRNA technology too.

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CDC experts voted: Here’s who should get the first COVID-19 vaccine doses

  • The very first doses of any approved COVID-19 vaccine should go to both front-line healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities, a committee of expert advisors for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended in an emergency meeting Tuesday evening.
  • In a press briefing last week, top officials for Operation Warp Speed—the federal government’s program to swiftly develop and deliver COVID-19 vaccines and therapies—said that the first 6.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed to states on a per capita basis—to “keep this simple.” The decision was a reversal for Warp Speed, which previously suggested it would allocate vaccine based on each state’s high-risk groups—matching the ACIP recommendations.
  • The committee noted that there’s an estimated 21 million or so frontline health workers and about 3 million long-term care facility residents who would be covered in the Phase 1a distribution.The total number of people covered is just over the estimated 20 million vaccine doses expected to be available this month.

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Meet the aspiring king of Trump TV

  • Ruddy declined to describe his specific arrangements with the cable providers, but said, "It's not unusual for companies to do that when they start out." And it's partly because big advertisers have fled right-wing talk shows, leaving even the widely viewed prime-time shows on Fox News with less lucrative "direct response" ads for pillows and medical devices.
  • Newsmax now needs to raise more money, or sell fast, if it's going to keep upgrading its talent and production quality to press its advantage with Fox News – which has nervously begun trying to block guests from appearing on the network.
  • Fox News' Tucker Carlson regularly tells his audience that the college-educated snobs in New York who preside over the major outlets view conservatives as unsophisticated rubes, misled by misinformation, not as people who actually believe in the ideas pushed by Trump, like immigration should be sharply curtailed.

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COVID-19: Which interventions reduce transmission?

  • In a new study, scientists develop an equation that can help determine the likely number of people contracting SARS-CoV-2 from a single other person with the virus at different types of events.
  • As a consequence, the researchers were able to develop an equation that may help people estimate the likely number of infections resulting from one person with the virus attending an event.
  • After studying various reported events where SARS-CoV-2 was transmitted — including a choir practice where 52 of 60 people contracted the virus, and a bus journey during which five people acquired the virus from a fellow passenger — the researchers gathered enough data to make estimations of various key factors that govern rates of infection at events.
  • The authors of the study suggest that further information on transmission events would continue to help researchers determine what the most effective interventions are for specific venue types.

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AI Trends and Applications for Finance & Technology

  • With regard to the Data Science Salon for Finance & Technology from December 8–10, we had the chance to talk to leading data scientists in the Fintech industry and ask them about their favorite AI use cases, the power of AI to fight COVID-19 challenges, AI trends for 2021 as well as the challenges of successfully implementing AI projects.
  • AI and machine learning are helping financial institutions to improve risk management, automate manual work and provide better customer service.
  • If you’re interested in learning more about how AI is applied in Fintech join us for the Data Science Salon for Finance & Technology coming up virtually from December 8–10 to learn more about AI and machine learning applications in the Fintech industry.

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Floww raises $6.7M for its data-driven marketplace matching founders with investors, based on merit

  • Floww – a data-driven marketplace designed to allow founders to pitch investors, with the whole investment relationship managed online – says it has raised $6.7M / £5M to date in Seed funding from angels and family offices.
  • Having made over 160 investments himself, De Wever says he recognized the need for a platform connecting investors and startups based on merit, clean data, and transparency, rather than a system built on “warm introductions” which can have inherent cultural and even racial biases.
  • Floww’s idea is that it showcases startups based on merit only, allowing founders to raise capital by providing investors with data and transparency.
  • Startups have free access to the platform, and a premium model to contact and send their deal to multiple VCs. Floww’s pitch is that VCs can, in turn, manage deal-sourcing, CRM, as well as reporting to their investors and LPs. Quite a claim, given all VCs to-date handle this kind of thing in-house.

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Ask HN: Who is hiring? (December 2020)

  • That's the vision — and if that resonates with you, say hello!We have several positions open:* Senior Site Reliability Engineer (SF, Seattle, US Remote or Portugal)* Senior Software Engineer, Frontend (Portugal) * Software Engineer, Frontend (Portugal)* Software Engineer, Database Engine (SF, Seattle, US Remote or Portugal)Careers page with individual links for each open position: you want to learn more about the engineering work we do, check out free to email directly at david at memsql dot com.

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Growth investing tips from Morgan Stanley fund manager Dennis Lynch - Business Insider

  • The head of Morgan Stanley's growth-focused Counterpoint Global business, which manages more than $140 billion in assets, Lynch has managed a slew of the best stock funds in the world for almost 20 years.
  • Counterpoint's more globally focused funds can brag of the same kind of success thanks to managers Lynch brought on board, including Kristian Heugh.
  • He added Zoom Video to many of his portfolios in late 2019, and it's now the largest single position in several funds because of the company's enormous success in the last nine months.
  • While Lynch isn't giving up on those bedrock ideas, he says he's diversifying his funds and adding more software as a service companies.
  • He added that in 2020 he's had to pay more attention to the markets his companies serve, balancing the risks faced by firms that mostly sell to COVID-threatened small businesses against the increased adoption of their services.

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Qualcomm announces the new Snapdragon 888 chip

  • The chipmaker is clearly saving some key information for later in the virtual event, because it has yet to reveal a ton about its next SoC.
  • We do know that some key device makers have signed up to include the chip on future handsets, including ASUS, Black Shark, LG, MEIZU, Motorola, Nubia, realme, OnePlus, OPPO, Sharp, vivo, Xiaomi and ZTE.
  • For some, it signifies infinity, success or inner wisdom, while for others it symbolizes luck.
  • While in Chinese numerology 888 is a representation of triple luck.
  • Naturally, 5G is on board.
  • There’s also a 6th-gen AI Engine, capable of performing 26 tera operations per second (TOPS) with improved power efficiency.
  • Imaging is, naturally, a big piece of the puzzle, as well.
  • Gaming performance has also been improved, courtesy of an update to its Elite Gaming platform.

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