Omicron significantly reduces Covid antibody protection in small study of Pfizer vaccine recipients

Nurse Mary Ezzat administers a Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot to Jessica M. at UCI Medical Center in Orange, CA, on Thursday, August 19, 2021.Jeff Gritchen | MediaNews Group | Orange County Register via Getty ImagesSouth African scientists say the omicron Covid variant significantly reduces antibodies generated by Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine, although people who have recovered from the virus and received a booster shot will likely have more protection from severe disease, according to a small preliminary study released…

Retail icon Mickey Drexler on breaking up department stores: “I don’t get it.”

Mickey Drexler has led some big retail brands, and he sees challenges ahead for the sector even as in-store shopping is picking up again. But he doesn't understand how the latest Wall Street idea for retail —spinning off growing online operations — will solve more issues than it ends up creating.Drexler who has led some of the biggest retailers such as Gap and J. Crew, and was the founder of Old Navy and Madewell, said he always goes by common sense and can't imagine splitting off any of those businesses."It doesn't make…

Space infrastructure company Loft Orbital raises $140 million from BlackRock and others

The company's YAM-2 spacecraft during integration for launch.Loft OrbitalLoft Orbital, a space infrastructure start-up, raised $140 million in a new round of funding was led by investment behemoth BlackRock.The San Francisco-based company launched its first missions to space earlier this year, with Loft planning to use the new capital to scale its business and double its team."The best way to think of us is we provide space-infrastructure-as-a-service," Loft Orbital co-founder and COO Alex Greenberg told CNBC."If you're a…

Omicron Covid variant has spread to more than 50 countries and 19 U.S. states, CDC director says

Teka77 | iStock | Getty ImagesThe omicron Covid-19 variant that has prompted global travel restrictions and fresh vaccine mandates since its discovery in southern Africa last month has now been found in 50 countries and 19 states across the U.S., CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday."While we are still working to understand the severity of omicron as well as how it responds to therapeutics and vaccines, we anticipate that all of the same measures will at least, in part, provide some protection against omicron,"…

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U.S. court temporarily halts Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors nationwide

A man wears an anti-vaccine button as people and teachers protest against New York City mandated vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in front of the United States Court in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., October 12, 2021.Mike Segar | ReutersA U.S. district court in Georgia halted the Biden administration's vaccine mandate for federal contractors on Tuesday, writing that the president likely exceeded his authority.The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia said the Associated…

Jeff Bezos climate fund gives millions to energy efficiency start-up BlocPower

VCG | Visual China Group | Getty ImagesThe Bezos Earth Fund announced new donations of $443 million to a wide range of climate and environmental groups this week, including a $5.5 million grant to BlocPower, an energy efficiency technology start-up focused on building construction and retrofits in urban areas.BlocPower, which is a CNBC Disruptor 50 company, has completed 1,000 green energy projects to date in the New York City area. It plans to use the Bezos grant to add 125 million buildings and additional cities to its…

Green hydrogen hub backed by $5 billion of investment planned for the UAE

Solar panels in Abu Dhabi, April 2019.Martial Colomb | Photodisc | Getty ImagesFrance's Engie and Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy business Masdar have established a strategic alliance focused on the development of projects related to green hydrogen.In an announcement at the end of last week, the companies said the agreement would "explore the co-development of a UAE-based green hydrogen hub."While fine details of the plan were relatively sparse, the firms will look to develop projects with an electrolyzer capacity of 2…

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