Wednesday, August 4

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Coronavirus update: Global case tally hits 12.5 million with U.S. accounting for a quarter as death toll starts to rise again

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus illness COVID-19 worldwide rose to 12.5 million on Saturday, with the U.S. accounting for about a quarter of that tally and the U.S. death toll rising again after a surge in infections in states in the South and West. American states including Arizona are pleading for help with increasing testing, while other states say they are running short of personal protective equipment, or PPE, essential protection for health-care workers. Public-health experts stepped up efforts to persuade Americans that the pandemic is far from over as some hospital systems are becoming overwhelmed. “Somehow we thought that we could basically win an argument with this virus and now we know we can’t,” said Michael Osterholm, head of the Cente...
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Mitt Romney joins top Democrats slamming Trump’s decision to commute Roger Stone’s sentence

President Donald Trump's decision on Friday to commute the sentence of former Republican strategist Roger Stone sparked outrage across top lawmakers.The negative reaction wasn't entirely partisan, as Sen. Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican, called Trump's actions "unprecedented, historic corruption."House Speaker Nancy Pelosi similarly said the president committed an "act of staggering corruption" and called on the House to pass legislation to prevent such actions in the future.Stone was convicted by a jury in November on seven counts related to false statements to the FBI, to congressional investigators, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Prominent lawmakers on both sides of the aisle Saturday express...
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The CEO of Lucid Motors reveals the most important lesson he learned from Elon Musk when he worked for him at Tesla

Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson worked for Tesla CEO Elon Musk from 2009 to 2012.Rawlinson said the biggest lesson he learned from Musk is the importance of relentless optimism."Sometimes you have to put all your chips in," Rawlinson said.Are you a current or former Lucid employee? Do you have an opinion about what it's like to work there? Contact this reporter at [email protected], on Signal at 646-768-4712, or via his encrypted email address [email protected] .com.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Peter Rawlinson worked for Tesla CEO Elon Musk from 2009-2012 as he led the development of the electric-car maker's groundbreaking Model S sedan. Now the chief executive of the electric-vehicle startup Lucid Motors, Rawlinson learn...
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KKR is looking to make a big push into life insurance with a $4.4 billion acquisition. Here’s why private-equity giants keep elbowing in on the $30 trillion insurance industry.

Private-equity firms are starting to look a bit more like insurance investor Berkshire Hathaway.KKR this week announced plans to acquire Global Atlantic Financial Group, paying $4.4 billion in a deal that, subject to regulatory approval, would place the insurance giant on KKR's own balance sheet. It marks the next phase of PE's move into the $30 trillion global insurance industry, as PE shops expand their relationships with insurers, taking them from limited partners to managing their entire businesses. Private-equity firms have been drawn to the permanent capital insurance giants bring to the table.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Private-equity firms are starting to look a bit more like Berkshire Hathaway as they tack on insurance arms to ...
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Tesla boss Elon Musk now richer than Warren Buffett

Elon Musk is seeing green. The CEO of Tesla TSLA, +10.78% zoomed past Warren Buffett on the Bloomberg Billionaire Index after the electric automaker’s stock rose 11% on Friday. Musk, 49, controls about 20% of Tesla’s stock, and his now $70.5 billion fortune makes him the seventh richest person on Earth. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 has been a boom year for Tesla with share prices rising 269%. Musk earned about $6.07 billion on Friday alone. Buffett, 89, saw his fortune decline after donating $2.7 billion of his Berkshire Hathaway stock to charity. The Oracle of Omaha has given away $37 billion in shares since 2006. He has promised to give at least half his fortune to charity during his lifetime or upon hi...
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JetBlue founder David Neeleman’s new airline is pushing back its launch to 2021 – here’s what we know about Breeze Airways

David Neeleman's new start-up airline, Breeze Airways, is pushing back its launch to 2021 as the coronavirus pandemic continues to suppress travel. The low-cost airline is Neeleman's fifth, with his most notable in the US being JetBlue Airways, and plans to offer a convenient alternative to the major airlines by flying direct routes between secondary markets.The Airbus A220 will be the flagship aircraft of the fleet making Breeze the third US airline to fly the next-generation Canadian aircraft behind Delta and JetBlue. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. The US will not be gaining another low-cost airline this year as Breeze Airways, the new start-up airline founded by David Neeleman of JetBlue Airways fame, is delaying its launch of operation...
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Health needs not hard cash should determine who gets the coronavirus vaccine first, says Bill Gates

Bill Gates said that once a coronavirus vaccine is discovered, it should be distributed fairly and not just go to the "highest bidders."The billionaire Microsoft founder was speaking at a virtual conference on the coronavirus hosted by the International AIDS Society on Saturday. "If we just let drugs and vaccines go to the highest bidders, instead of to the people and the places where they're most needed, we'll have a longer, more unjust, deadlier pandemic."We need leaders to make these hard decisions about distributing based on equity, not just on market-driven factors," Gates said. Gates' appeal follows the United States' buying up of almost the entire world's stock of remdesivir, a drug that has proved effective in helping patients recover faster from ...
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The WHO says countries may have to return to’total lockdown’ after concerning surges in coronavirus cases

The World Health Organization has said countries going back under full lockdowns could be possible as coronavirus cases surge in areas across the world. Dr. Michael Ryan, WHO's Health Emergencies Program executive director, said Friday countries going back under full lockdowns could be "the only option" if they fail to squash "small embers," or early signs of resurging outbreaks. Though regions that were previously hit hard by the pandemic, like Italy and New York City, have begun promising promising reopenings, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this week that worldwide data indicate that "the virus is not under control; it's getting worse."Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Top officials with the World Health Organizati...
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This virtual reality motion simulator could be used to train military pilots — see how to works

New Zealand startup Eight360 created, a virtual reality motion simulator.Nova is a motion simulator that can make VR feel more real by turning in any direction. Creators see the device being used for military training and e-racing in the future. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Eight360, a startup in Wellington, New Zealand has a way of tricking your brain into thinking you're driving a racecar, riding a rollercoaster, or even flying a jet.The company's VR motion simulator, NOVA, can turn 180 degrees in any direction in only one second, combining visual, audio, and physical elements to make the experience as realistic as possible. Eight360 even says that this scary-looking contraption makes motion sickness less of a problem, because it mat...
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Tesla’s stock is forming a bubble and new buyers should buckle up for a crash

“Tesla is a bubble that is going to pop.” That’s the headline of a column I wrote in early February — and I’m repeating that prediction now. To be sure, I have no expectation that this forecast will come to pass quite as quickly as it did after my early-February column. Over the six weeks following its publication, shares of Tesla TSLA, +10.78% dropped almost 60% in a plunge that admittedly was caused in large part by the coronavirus pandemic-induced bear market. COVID-19 had nothing to do with my forecast then. Instead, the prediction was based on the sheer magnitude of Tesla’s stock price runup in prior months. According to a model constructed by three researchers at Harvard, the odds of a crash increase in lockstep with how much a stock...