Ovidiu Dugulan/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 1.1 million people worldwide.Over 43.5 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The criteria for diagnosis — through clinical means or a lab test — has varied from country to country. Still, the actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the virus has rapidly spread to every continent except Antarctica.The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than 8.7 million diagnosed cases and at least 225,735 deaths.California has the most cases of any U.S. state, with more than 910,000 people diagnosed, according to Johns Hopkins data. California is followed by Texas and Florida, with over 898,000 cases and over 782,000 cases, respectively.Nearly 200 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, at least 10 of which are in crucial phase three studies. Of those 10 potential vaccines in late-stage trials, there are currently five that will be available in the United States if approved.Here’s how the news is developing Tuesday. All times Eastern:Oct 27, 8:24 amViolent protests erupt in Italy over new restrictionsProtesters took to the streets in Milan, Turin and several other Italian cities on Monday in anger over the latest COVID-19 restrictions, which have shuttered cinemas, gyms and other leisure venues and have forced cafes and restaurants to close early.The protests, at times, turned violent as some people smashed storefront windows, looted shops, set fires and hurled objects at police, who used tear gas to clear the tumultuous crowds.A number of people were detained overnight in connection to the violence and vandalism in various cities and towns. More than two dozen people were reportedly arrested in Milan alone.Italy, once the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, has seen an increase in infections in recent weeks. Over the weekend, the country’s civil protection agency confirmed a record 21,273 new cases of COVID-19. As of Monday night, the cumulative total was 542,789 cases with 37,479 deaths.Oct 27, 7:28 amStudy stops using Eli Lilly’s antibody treatment for COVID-19 patients due to ‘lack of clinical benefit’Researchers have stopped testing a combination of remedesivir with one of Eli Lilly and Company’s experimental antibody treatments in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, after an independent review of results found a “lack of clinical benefit.”The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is funding the clinical trial, said in a statement Monday that it plans to test other experimental drugs as COVID-19 treatments in the study.Eli Lilly and Company said that all other studies of its monoclonal antibody drug, bamlanivimab, will continue, including one in recently diagnosed COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate cases and another in people at risk of infection.“While there was insufficient evidence that bamlanivimab improved clinical outcomes when added to other treatments in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, we remain confident based on data from Lilly’s BLAZE-1 study that bamlanivimab monotherapy may prevent progression of disease for those earlier in the course of COVID-19,” Eli Lilly and Company said in a statement Monday.Earlier this month, the Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to authorize emergency use of bamlanivimab in non-hospitalized individuals with mild to moderate cases of COVID-19.Oct 27, 6:07 amRussia’s daily death toll reaches all-time highRussia registered 320 more deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, setting a new national record, according to the country’s coronavirus response headquarters.The country’s previous record of 317 deaths in a 24-hour reporting period was set less than a week ago.An additional 16,550 new cases of COVID-19 were also confirmed in the past day, down from a peak of 17,347 the day prior, according to Russia’s coronavirus response headquarters.Moscow remains the epicenter of the country’s outbreak and recent surge. More than 26% of the new cases — 4,312 — and over 19% of the new deaths — 61 — were reported in the capital.The nationwide, cumulative total now stands at 1,547,774 cases with 26,589 deaths, according to Russia’s coronavirus response headquarters.The Eastern European country of 145 million people has the fourth-highest tally of COVID-19 cases in the world, behind only the United States, India and Brazil, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.Oct 27, 5:10 amUS reports more than 66,000 new casesThere were 66,784 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the United States on Monday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.The latest daily tally is nearly 6,000 more than the previous day but still less than the national record of 83,757 new cases set on Friday.An additional 481 fatalities from COVID-19 were also registered nationwide Monday, almost half the previous day’s count and down from a peak of 2,666 new deaths in mid-April.A total of 8,704,524 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 225,735 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 80,000 for the first time on Oct. 23.Oct 27, 4:34 amAnalysis shows COVID-19 positivity rates rising in 37 US statesAn ABC News analysis of COVID-19 trends across all 50 U.S. states as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam found there were increases in the daily positivity rate of COVID-19 tests in 37 states.The analysis also found increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations in 35 states plus Puerto Rico and Guam, as well as increases in daily COVID-19 death tolls in 27 states.Meanwhile, case numbers are higher — a daily average of at least 15 new cases per 100,000 people over the past week — and staying high in 33 states plus Puerto Rico and Guam, and case numbers are lower — a daily average of under 15 new cases per 100,000 people over the past week — but are going up in nine states.Six states hit a record number of current hospitalizations in a day, while 16 states saw a record number of current hospitalizations in a week. Twenty states plus Puerto Rico reported a record number of new cases in a week. Six states reached a record number of new deaths in a week.The United States is rapidly approaching an average of 70,000 new cases a day, the highest it has been since the start of the pandemic. Just a week ago, the country was averaging 57,000 new cases a day. That average has doubled in the last six weeks. Friday and Saturday marked the two highest days on record for the country, with a combined 165,678 new cases over the 48-hour reporting period.The month of October is now on track to become the second-highest month on record for COVID-19 cases in the United States. Nearly 1.4 million daily cases have been reported since Oct. 1, and nearly half a million of those cases have been reported in the last seven days alone.Midwestern states continue to struggle, reaching record-high daily figures on Saturday. But the Midwest is not alone. Since Oct. 3, the seven-day average of new cases in the South have risen by 45%, and the West is now reporting daily case numbers not seen since mid-August.Even the Northeast, which had consistently reported improving trends after COVID-19 struck in the spring, has seen a concerning resurgence of the virus. Rhode Island hit an all-time high of new cases last week, and the average rate of positivity has now surpassed 5% in Massachusetts.The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized nationwide continues to hover around 41,000. Just in the last month, current hospitalizations have increased by 40%.In the Northeast, hospitalizations are nearing the 4,000 mark. The number of patients hospitalized in the Midwest is now the highest on record.The trends were all analyzed from data collected and published by the COVID Tracking Project over the past two weeks, using the linear regression trend line of the seven-day moving average to examine whether a state’s key indicators were increasing, decreasing or remained flat.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
Much pension fund regulation operates on a “disclose if you consider ESG” basis, giving the impression stewardship and ESG integration are optional, according to a report on responsible investment regulation by the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).The organisation responsible for the UN-backed principles said the report found that investors were still sceptical about whether responsible investment regulation was driving “real change”, even though they believed some of it was useful in terms of increasing awareness of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.The report has forewords from high-profile politicians and regulators, such as Valdis Dombrovskis, the financial services European commissioner with responsibility for the EU executive’s Capital Markets Union (CMU) project, and Frank Elderson, executive director of the Dutch pension fund supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).The report is the outcome of an analysis of almost 300 policy instruments covering pension fund and corporate disclosure rules, with the authors also deciding to assess the impact of voluntary stewardship codes. The PRI also carried out interviews with policymakers, investors and stock exchanges across the world, focusing on investors’ perceptions about the impact of regulation on investment practice.The report said it was “the first global study to analyse the impact of responsible investment-related public policy initiatives”.In a statement, the PRI said “the analysis suggests that, while regulation is having an impact, regulatory frameworks aren’t fully aligned with sustainable development. Underpinning this is a belief that governments are failing to clearly signal the importance of ESG issues.”The authors of the report note that few of the “highest-profile government sustainability commitments […] articulate the role investors are expected to play”, and that they therefore excluded these.Out of “thousands of individual environmental or social-protection regulations” that exist around the world, their analysis focused on those with an investment component.The report said “many regulations fail to send a strong enough signal and position responsible investment as a voluntary activity, or conflate financially material ESG issues with beneficiary preferences”.It examined corporate disclosure regulations and investor regulation.With respect to the former, it found that government-led mandatory ESG reporting improved corporate risk management and said voluntary disclosures were “a useful stepping stone towards more formal rules”.Pension fund regulation and stewardship codes are correlated with better ESG risk management by companies, but “we can’t prove that regulation is responsible for the result”, according to the PRI report.Problematic poor policy designThe report picked out some shortcomings in policy design – for example, stating that much pension fund regulation operates on a “disclose if you consider ESG” basis, and that financially material ESG issues were conflated with the ethical preference of members.“While it’s right that regulations give flexibility to funds to respond to their members’ ethical preferences, this is separate and distinct from the requirement to consider financially materially ESG issues,” said the report.The way in which rules are worded can also have an impact by potentially giving investors “easy opt-outs”, according to the PRI.This could happen if terms are poorly defined or phrases such as “give consideration to” are used without guidance on what this means.Nathan Fabian, director of policy and research at the PRI, said: “Too often, the drafting of ESG regulation treats ESG as an optional add-on, which investors can ignore if they so choose.”The PRI also said it found little monitoring of policy with ESG-related clauses, and that, even in those markets where individual investors were held to account, investors “remained extremely sceptical of the impact – they didn’t feel they’d seen their peers and competitors change behaviour”.The report adds: “Interviewees openly questioned whether ESG issues were a priority for the government, suggesting ESG clauses were introduced just to respond to pressure from civil society – or even debated whether the clause in question existed.”The PRI is calling on policymakers – which it distinguishes from regulators – to “make the crucial link between sustainable development and the finance industry”.As part of that, they should “build the evidence base on investor practice” – that is, collect and publish more information about how investors contribute to or undermine sustainable investment objectives.
OUT-of-favour Windies batsman Darren Bravo will not represent Trinidad and Tobago in the upcoming Regional Super50 tournament despite claims he made himself eligible for selection.The 28-year-old has, however, put the situation down to a lack of understanding. The batsman, who was out of competitive cricket for an extended period, claims he had indicated his availability for the competition to coach Kelvin Williams in late December.The information was, however, not passed on to the chairman of selectors and the player was as a result not considered.“I had a conversation with the head coach Mr Kelvin Williams and I outlined precisely my availability and that if I have to play in any of the remaining games it will be the last one in Guyana. I also told him on January 7 that I am available for the first eight games of the Regional Super50.He said the selectors have selected a 22-man squad and he will have to let the chairman know and get back to me,” Bravo said via social media website Twitter.The chairman of selectors Raphick Jumadeen insisted he was only aware of the player’s availability after the team was finalised and as such, no adjustments could be made.“The 14-man team for the Regional Super50 was selected on Saturday and only Monday was I informed by the coach that Bravo was available. We are not going to open any discussion as far as changing that 14-man team now and Bravo will not be accommodated at this time,” Jumadeen said.