Day: October 13, 2020

Japan firms fall woefully short of meeting government goals on women in management: Reuters poll

By Tetsushi Kajimoto

TOKYO (Reuters) – About one-fifth of Japanese companies have no female managers and most say women account for less than 10% of management, a Reuters monthly poll found, highlighting the struggle for the government’s “womenomics” drive to make headway.

The survey results come as Japan is seen to delay its target this year to raise the share of women in leadership posts to 30% as part of the government’s campaign to empower women, dubbed “womenomics”, and cope with Japan’s ageing population.

The Reuters Corporate Survey, conducted Sept. 29-Oct. 8, found 71% of Japanese firms said women accounted for less than 10% of management, while 17% had no female managers at all.

Asked how much scope there was to increase female managers, 55% said by around 10%, a quarter said by about 20%, one in 10 firms said by around 30%, while 5% saw no room for that.

“Regardless of sex, we should hire talented people and promote them on their merits, rather than putting priority on the proportion,” a chemicals maker manager wrote in the survey.

A paper and pulp maker manager wrote: “We hire more female new graduates than male, but many female hires tend to leave the company after a while, making it hard to raise female managers.”

The survey, conducted for Reuters by Nikkei Research, canvassed 485 large and midsize non-financial firms. About 240 firms answered the questions on condition of anonymity.

The results were similar to the previous poll taken in 2018.

Japan’s global ranking on gender parity fell to 121st out of 153 countries in a World Economic Forum report for 2020.

New premier Yoshihide Suga’s 21-member cabinet has just two female ministers, and women account for just short of 10% of all lawmakers in parliament’s powerful lower house.

While aiming to follow his predecessor Shinzo Abe’s policies including the coronavirus pandemic response, Suga has pledged to allow insurance coverage for expensive fertility treatments.

On the pandemic impact on employment and wages, 47% of Japan firms suffered it, causing many to curb new hiring, slash wages and reduce staff, the survey showed.

One third of firms expect employment to remain short of pre-pandemic levels at the year end, while a slim majority, 52% of firms, saw capital expenditure would undershoot their initial plans, dampening prospects for sustained economic recovery.

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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Twitter to pay $100,000 for violating Washington campaign disclosure law

Twitter will pay $100,000 for failing to retain required records about political ads from Washington candidates that ran over a seven-year period before the social media platform banned all political advertising.

Twitter agreed to pay the fine, which is about half the amount the company received from Washington candidates’ political advertising from 2012 to 2019, to Washington’s Public Disclosure Transparency Account, Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Tuesday. The fine comes after Ferguson announced his intention over the summer to sue the company over campaign finance violations

Under Washington’s campaign finance law, commercial advertisers must keep certain information, such as candidates’ names, the cost of the ad and who paid for it and on what date, and the name and address of the ad sponsor. According to the attorney general’s office, at least 38 Washington candidates and committees paid $194,550 for advertising on Twitter, and the company didn’t maintain the required information.

In an emailed statement, Twitter said the resolution is “reflective of our commitment to transparency and accountability. The company ended all political advertising on its platform in November 2019, which was a decision “in line with our belief that the reach of political speech should be earned and not bought.”

In the judgment, Twitter agreed to pay the fine but didn’t waive its ability to contend in the future that its exempt from public transparency laws.

The actions from the Attorney General’s office were prompted by research from Tallman Trask, a University of Washington law student and political activist who requested information from Twitter about a dozen local campaigns. After Twitter failed to provide the requested information, he filed a complaint to the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission on Oct. 30, 2019 — the same day Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced the platform would stop political advertising.

Trask called the announcement great news for Washington voters.

“It’s particularly good news for fairness in election advertising in our state,” Trask said in an interview. “It’s a question of whether or not companies are following the laws that the people want in place, and that other companies have followed for decades. It’s more about ensuring fairness than ensuring fines.”

The judgment is part of a series of lawsuits filed by the Attorney General’s office against tech companies related to political advertising. Facebook and Google paid more than $450,000 to settle twin lawsuits in 2018, when Ferguson’s office asserted that the tech giants violated campaign transparency laws.

Facebook and Google announced after the 2018 settlement that each company would stop selling political ads, but continued to do so. Ferguson filed another lawsuit in April against Facebook, saying the company has “repeatedly and openly” violated state laws.

In contrast with Facebook,

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Law Offices of Howard G. Smith Announces Investigation of Homology Medicines, Inc. (FIXX) on Behalf of Investors

BENSALEM, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct 13, 2020–

Law Offices of Howard G. Smith announces an investigation on behalf of Homology Medicines, Inc. (“Homology” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: FIXX ) investors concerning the Company’s possible violations of federal securities laws.

In June 2019, the Company launched a dose-escalation Phase 1/2 clinical trial for HMI-102, its lead product candidate for the treatment of phenylketonuria. Homology “reported encouraging safety and efficacy data from the dose-escalation portion of the trial” and claimed that the data showed HMI-102 “produced a sustained reduction in phenylalanine (Phe).”

Then, on July 21, 2020, Mariner Research published a report, alleging that the Company’s comments “conveniently ignor[ed] the implications to efficacy and the business.” Citing data from a mouse study, the Phase 1/2 trial, and a key patient’s Facebook posts, the report concluded that HMI-102 “therapy is showing zero efficacy even for a high dose patient,” signifying that “the HMI-102 program is dead in the water.” Moreover, citing internal emails and analyst reports, Mariner Research claimed Homology had selectively discussed the patient’s Facebook posts with sell side analysts covering Homology and major investors.

On this news, the Company’s stock price fell $1.71 per share, or more than 10%, over three consecutive trading sessions to close at $14.77 per share on July 24, 2020, thereby injuring investors.

If you purchased Homology securities, have information or would like to learn more about these claims, or have any questions concerning this announcement or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please contact Howard G. Smith, Esquire, of Law Offices of Howard G. Smith, 3070 Bristol Pike, Suite 112, Bensalem, Pennsylvania 19020 by telephone at (215) 638-4847, toll-free at (888) 638-4847, or by email to howardsmith@howardsmithlaw.com, or visit our website at www.howardsmithlaw.com.

This press release may be considered Attorney Advertising in some jurisdictions under the applicable law and ethical rules.

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CONTACT: Law Offices of Howard G. Smith

Howard G. Smith, Esquire

215-638-4847

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INDUSTRY KEYWORD: LEGAL PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

SOURCE: Law Offices of Howard G. Smith

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PUB: 10/13/2020 04:30 PM/DISC: 10/13/2020 04:31 PM

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SEngine Precision Medicine to Present at Society of Functional Precision Medicine Virtual …

Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

SEATTLE, Oct. 13, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — SEnginePrecision Medicine, a precision oncology company revolutionizing cancer diagnostics and drug discovery by pre-testing drugs on patient-derived tumor organoids, today announced that Chief Medical Officer Astrid L. Margossian, MD, PhD, will present at the Society for Functional Precision Medicine (SFPM) Virtual Monthly Seminar on October 14th at 11:30 am ET.

Dr. Margossian is leading SEngine’s clinical validation initiatives for the PARIS® Test, a CLIA certified cancer organoid based drug sensitivity test for all solid tumors. The presentation is entitled, “Predictive Clinical Value of a CLIA-Approved Organoid Based Drug Sensitivity Test,” and will highlight the data on the PARIS® Test, recently presented at the ASCO 2020 and ACCR 2020 annual meetings, inclusive of organoids sensitivity results, showing clinical correlation with genomics and previous clinical treatments. Registration for the live event is available for free at https://www.sfpm.io/seminars.php.

SFPM’s virtual monthly seminar brings together distinguished guest speakers and through interactive panel discussions and Q&A sessions focuses on these key topics:

  • Demonstrating the clinical utility of functional precision medicine testing
  • Implementing functional testing in precision medicine clinical trials
  • Accelerating the application of functional testing
  • Addressing stakeholder, educational and investment challenges for functional precision medicine

About PARIS® Test
The CLIA certified PARIS® Test is based on the capability to propagate patient-specific cancer tissue as organoids ex vivo and is applicable to all solid tumors including colon, breast, lung, ovarian and pancreatic cancer. Organoids are cancer-derived cells grown in 3D outside the body, which maintain the functionality of the original tumor as well as its genomic characteristics. For cancers where the path is not clear, such as many metastatic and recurrent cancers, the PARIS test provides crucial information to the treating physicians to match the right drug to the right patient.

About SEngine Precision Medicine
SEngine Precision Medicine Inc. is a precision oncology company revolutionizing cancer diagnostics and therapies by pre-testing drugs on patient-derived organoids grown ex-vivo utilizing patient specific tumor cells. As a spin-out from the world-renowned Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, SEngine is leveraging over two decades of R&D in diagnostics and drug discovery. The Company is commercializing the PARIS® Test, a next generation diagnostic test that predicts drug responses integrating knowledge of cancer genomics with organoids, robotics, and AI-driven computational tools. SEngine’s CLIA certified PARIS® Test generates predictive drug sensitivity reports for patients with solid tumors. SEngine is also pursuing drug discovery via strategic collaborations with biopharmaceutical / pharma companies leveraging its precision oncology platform.

Discover more at SengineMedicine.com and follow the latest news from SEngine on Twitter at @SEngineMedicine and on LinkedIn.

Contact:
Stephanie Carrington
stephanie.carrington@westwicke.com
646-277-1282

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Danish government orders death of a million minks due to COVID-19 outbreak

The Danish government has ordered mink farms to cull over 1 million animals due to reported outbreaks of coronavirus among the species, prized for its fur.

The outbreak among the mink population was detected in late June after a COVID-19 patient was linked to a mink farm in North Jutland, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service said in a report.

 

As of this month, mink on around 60 farms in North Jutland have tested positive for coronavirus, and an additional 46 farms are under suspicion, Mogens Jensen, the Danish minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, told CNN.

“We have continuously launched initiatives to manage and contain the spread of infection,” Jensen said in a statement.

“In view of the recent large increase, we must unfortunately state that it has not been sufficient to prevent continued spread of infection among the North Jutland mink herds,” he added.

The order mandates that mink farms within five miles of a farm or herd that is confirmed or suspected to be infected with the coronavirus must be culled.

“It is a difficult decision that the government has made, but we fully support it,” said Tage Pedersen, chairman of the Danish Mink Breeders Association.

In Utah, cases of COVID-19 have also been detected among mink farm populations, with state officials reporting that over 10,000 animals have died from the virus.

While officials in Utah said, “research indicates there hasn’t been a spread from mink to humans,” state veterinarian Dean Taylor noted the mink suffered from respiratory issues, similar to human symptoms.

The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration and the Danish Emergency Management Agency will handle the process of culling mink in Denmark.

Mink breeders will be compensated for the cost of losing their herd and other operating losses.

Denmark is the world’s largest producer of mink skins, the Danish Agriculture and Food Council reported.

The country has nearly 1,500 Danish fur farmers that produce around 19 million mink skins per year.

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AM Best to Deliver Presentation at N.J. Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters Society’s I-Day

AM Best Chief Rating Officer Stefan Holzberger will deliver a presentation on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, titled “AM Best’s Innovation Criteria and Implementation Insights,” at the 52nd annual New Jersey I-Day conference.

In his session, hosted by the North and Central New Jersey chapters of the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) Society, Holzberger will discuss how insurance carriers are innovating to remain relevant amid a rapidly changing market. Included in the presentation will be first-half 2020 results from AM Best’s benchmarking analysis on innovation, detailing which lines of business are the most innovative and to what extent companies are harnessing innovation. He also will review AM Best’s credit rating process and methodology, including its criteria procedure on innovation, which was finalized earlier this year. Holzberger is responsible for the rating agency’s global ratings coverage and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant. He also holds the Chartered Financial Consultant designation. The session will take place at 3:20 pm EDT.

The Institutes CPCU Society is a community of credentialed property/casualty insurance professionals that provide resources and educational programs, enabling individuals to expand their technical insurance skills and business capabilities in order to improve the overall performance of the insurance industry. For more information about the event, please go to the event website.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2020 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
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Jim Peavy
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+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com

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Amy Coney Barrett dodges abortion, healthcare and election law questions

On the second day of hearings before the Senate judiciary committee, Democrats pressed supreme court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on healthcare, election law and abortion rights – and met with little success.



a person standing in front of a counter: Photograph: Demetrius Freeman/EPA


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Photograph: Demetrius Freeman/EPA

Related: ‘Slayer Pete’: Buttigieg emerges as Biden’s unlikely Fox News fighter

Donald Trump’s third nominee for the highest court dodged questions on how she might rule on a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA); if she would recuse herself from any lawsuit about the presidential election; and whether she would vote to overturn the landmark 1973 ruling Roe v Wade, which made abortion legal.



a man standing in front of a counter: Supreme court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifies during the Senate judiciary committee hearing on Tuesday.


© Photograph: Demetrius Freeman/EPA
Supreme court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifies during the Senate judiciary committee hearing on Tuesday.

Barrett argued that she was not a pundit, citing remarks by Justice Elena Kagan and the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg in saying that outside of reviewing a specific case, it was not her place to offer a position.

“No hints, no previews, no forecasts,” Barrett quoted Ginsburg as saying, after the California senator Dianne Feinstein questioned her about how she might rule in any case challenging the legality of abortion.

Barrett is a devout Catholic whose previous statements and affiliations have been closely examined by Democrats and the media. Trump has said overturning Roe v Wade would be “possible” with Barrett on the court.

At another point in Tuesday’s hearing, Barrett cited Kagan in saying she would not give “a thumbs up or thumbs down” on any hypothetical ruling.

Most of the questioning from Democrats centered on the ACA, known popularly as Obamacare, and how a ruling by the high court overturning the law would take away healthcare from millions of Americans. A hearing is due a week after election day. Democrats see protecting the ACA as a productive electoral tactic, having focused on it in the 2018 midterms, when they took back the House.

Barrett said she was not hostile to the ACA, or indeed abortion or gay rights, another area worrying progressives as the court seems set to tilt to a 6-3 conservative majority. Barrett said she was simply focused on upholding the law.

“I am not hostile to the ACA,” Barrett said. “I apply the law, I follow the law. You make the policy.”

Video: Barrett refuses to address whether Roe v. Wade should be overturned, despite prodding from Sen. Feinstein (CNBC)

Barrett refuses to address whether Roe v. Wade should be overturned, despite prodding from Sen. Feinstein

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Asked about gay rights, Barrett said: “I would not discriminate on the basis of sexual preference.”

Her choice of words conspicuously suggested that to her, sexuality is a choice. Amid scrutiny of Barrett’s past, meanwhile, it has been reported that she was a trustee at a school whose handbook included stated opposition to same-sex marriage

Republican senators also questioned Barrett on healthcare, the Iowa senator Chuck Grassley asking if she had been asked during the nomination process if

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Cue Health awarded $481 million to scale up production of COVID-19 test: HHS

(Reuters) – The U.S. government has awarded diagnostic testing company Cue Health Inc $481 million to scale up the production of rapid COVID-19 molecular test, the Department of Health and Human Services said on Tuesday.



Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in New York


© Reuters/Lucas Jackson
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in New York

The company will raise the domestic production of COVID-19 test kits to 100,000 per day by March 2021 under the deal and deliver 6 million tests and 30,000 instruments to the government to support its response to the pandemic, the health agency said.

The point-of-care test can detect the novel coronavirus in about 20 minutes with nasal swab samples collected using a Sample Wand from the lower part of the nose, the HHS said.

The system also allows results to be sent to a mobile phone via an app.

The company’s test kit was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June for emergency use in patient care settings under the supervision of qualified medical personnel.

The development of the company’s health platform was supported by funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for a molecular influenza test, starting in 2018, the department said.

BARDA later expanded the collaboration with the company to include the development of Cue’s COVID-19 test, it added.

(Reporting By Mrinalika Roy and Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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The Law Offices of Frank R. Cruz Announces Investigation of Loop Industries, Inc. (LOOP) on Behalf of Investors

The Law Offices of Frank R. Cruz announces an investigation of Loop Industries, Inc. (“Loop” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: LOOP) on behalf of investors concerning the Company’s possible violations of federal securities laws.

If you are a shareholder who suffered a loss, click here to participate.

On October 13, 2020, Hindenburg Research published a report alleging, among other things, that “[a] former Loop employee told us that Loop’s scientists, under pressure from CEO Daniel Solomita, were tacitly encouraged to lie about the results of the company’s process internally. We have obtained internal documents and photographs to support their claims.” The report also stated that “Loop’s previous claims of breaking PET down to its base chemicals at a recovery rate of 100% were ‘technically and industrially impossible,’” according to a former employee. Moreover, the report alleged that “Executives from a division of key partner Thyssenkrupp, who Loop entered into a ‘global alliance agreement’ with in December 2018, told us their partnership is on ‘indefinite’ hold and that Loop ‘underestimated’ both costs and complexities of its process.”

On this news, Loop’s stock price fell as much as 33% during intraday trading on October 13, 2020.

Follow us for updates on Twitter: twitter.com/FRC_LAW.

If you purchased Loop securities, have information or would like to learn more about these claims, or have any questions concerning this announcement or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please contact Frank R. Cruz, of The Law Offices of Frank R. Cruz, 1999 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1100, Los Angeles, California 90067 at 310-914-5007, by email to info@frankcruzlaw.com, or visit our website at www.frankcruzlaw.com. If you inquire by email please include your mailing address, telephone number, and number of shares purchased.

This press release may be considered Attorney Advertising in some jurisdictions under the applicable law and ethical rules.

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The Law Offices of Frank R. Cruz, Los Angeles
Frank R. Cruz, 310-914-5007
fcruz@frankcruzlaw.com
www.frankcruzlaw.com

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Mount Prospect Historical Society cancels annual Holiday Housewalk

The Mount Prospect Historical Society board of directors has chosen to cancel its 33rd annual Holiday Housewalk for December 2020 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“We couldn’t imagine homeowners wanting to open their homes to the public under the current conditions, and we also couldn’t foresee many people choosing to tour the homes this year,” said Jean Murphy, Housewalk co-chairman.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

“But it will be back. The Housewalk is the society’s largest fundraiser of the year,” Murphy said. “Its proceeds support the many educational endeavors of the society and help to pay for upkeep on our museum campus.”

“We have decided to miniaturize the annual event and offer the ‘2020 Holiday Housewalk: Dollhouse Edition,’ showcasing some of the dollhouses from the Historical Society collection and community in a virtual exhibit,” said Emily Dattilo, museum director. “Stay tuned for more information.”

Those interested can connect on Facebook, www.facebook.com/mphistory, or visit www.mtphist.org, to take a virtual walking tour of local historic homes; find out about scheduled events; purchase a T-shirt or other Mount Prospect-themed items; or make a memorial donation to the society.

“We thank the public for their continued interest in and support of the Mount Prospect Historical Society during this difficult time,” said Deb Rittle, society president.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

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