Bombardier Challenger 350 Jet Most Delivered in Category for Seventh Consecutive Year, Company Also Ends 2020 With Highest Total Market Share in Fourth Quarter

MONTREAL, Feb. 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bombardier announced today that its best–selling Challenger 350 aircraft was the most–delivered medium category business jet in 2020, making it the category leader for a seventh consecutive year. As detailed in the General Aviation Manufacturers Association's (GAMA) annual shipment and billings report released February 24, the company also outpaced competitors by delivering 44 aircraft in the fourth quarter of 2020. This accomplishment was driven by a record 16 Global 7500 business jet deliveries in that timeframe.

Bombardier's comprehensive family of business jets firmly positions it to respond to the growing interest in private aviation and the enhanced safety they provide during these exceptional times.

As more people seek to avoid crowds and interest in fractional and air charter increases, the best–selling Challenger 350 aircraft is there to take passengers where they need to be, and it continues to surpass expectations while doing so.

In 2020, Bombardier announced a firm order for 10 Challenger 350 aircraft in a transaction valued at $267 million U.S. and also marked the 350th delivery of the Challenger 350 business jet, a milestone reached after only seven years in service. The best–selling Challenger 350 aircraft now features an expanded selection of sophisticated and contemporary interior design schemes, high–speed Viasat Ka–band connectivity and a refreshed cabin management system, inspired by the industry's flagship Global 7500 business jet.

In addition to the Challenger 350 aircraft, Bombardier's Challenger 650 business jet is a masterful expression of high–end craftsmanship and functionality. With its ideal combination of range, speed and field performance capabilities, the Challenger 650 aircraft is perfectly suited for both private and specialized missions, including medevac. The Challenger 650 aircraft is in service with many governments worldwide for various special missions.

About Bombardier
Bombardier is a global leader in aviation, creating innovative and game–changing planes. Our products and services provide world–class experiences that set new standards in passenger comfort, energy efficiency, reliability and safety.

Headquartered in Montral, Canada, Bombardier is present in more than 12 countries including its production/engineering sites and its customer support network. The Corporation supports a worldwide fleet of approximately 4,900 aircraft in service with a wide variety of multinational corporations, charter and fractional ownership providers, governments and private individuals.

News and information is available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

Notes to Editors
Visit the Bombardier Business Aircraft website for more information on our industry–leading products and services.

Follow @Bombardierjets on Twitter to receive the latest news and updates from Bombardier Aviation.

To receive our press releases, please visit the RSS Feed section.

Bombardier, Challenger, Challenger 350, Challenger 650 and Global 7500 are either unregistered or registered trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.

For Information
Anna Cristofaro
Bombardier
+ 1 514–855–8678
anna.cristofaro@aero.bombardier.com


By External Source
Feb 26 2021 (IPS-Partners)

 

International Women’s Day 2021

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On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2021, IPS Inter Press Service is pleased to bring to it’s readers, opinions, views and perspectives of women leaders on the Covid19 crisis, the centrality of women’s contributions and the disproportionate burdens that women carry.


Renewed, More Ambitious Targets of Paris Agreement Needed

As a small island developing state, Saint Lucia is disproportionately vulnerable to external economic shocks and extreme climate-related events that can instantly erase decades of its development gains. A new report by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) states that many countries have strengthened their commitments to the Paris Agreement by “reducing or limiting emissions by 2025 or 2030”, but called for amped-up mitigation pledges. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

As a small island developing state, Saint Lucia is disproportionately vulnerable to external economic shocks and extreme climate-related events that can instantly erase decades of its development gains. A new report by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) states that many countries have strengthened their commitments to the Paris Agreement by “reducing or limiting emissions by 2025 or 2030”, but called for amped-up mitigation pledges. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

By Alison Kentish
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 26 2021 – Projected reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are falling “far short” of what is required to achieve the targets of the Paris Agreement.

That is according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which released its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC’s) Scorecard today, Feb 26.

NDC’s are the plans each nation outlines to build resilience to climate change in areas such as mitigation, adaptation and climate financing.  Those plans are critical to fulfilling the goals of the Paris Agreement, in particular, an urgent target of keeping global average temperatures well below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

The NDC’s considered in the report makeup 40 percent of Paris Agreement signatories and account for about 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2017.

“For limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, carbon dioxide emissions need to decrease by about 25 percent from the 2010 level by 2030 and reach net zero around 2070,” the report said. “The estimated reductions fall far short of what is required.”

The first NDCs were submitted in 2015 and require updating every 5 years, with increasingly ambitious targets for combating climate change.

The report states that many countries have strengthened their commitments to “reducing or limiting emissions by 2025 or 2030”, but called for amped-up mitigation pledges.

“Deep reductions are required for non-carbon dioxide emissions as well,” it stated, adding that the projections highlight “the need for parties to further strengthen their mitigation commitments under the Paris Agreement”.

Reporting countries registered mitigation measures in industry, agriculture and waste as priorities to achieving their targets. Energy is another pillar of mitigation with renewable energy generation seen as one of the most critical initiatives to providing clean power to populations. Clean energy and a transition to more efficient modes of transport were hallmarks of several NDC’s.

One noted difference between the old and new commitments is a focus on adaptation. There is increased attention to National Adaptation Plans, which complement the Sustainable Development Goals. Food security, disaster risk management, coastal protection and poverty reduction are listed as priority areas in adaptation.

The report also states that some of the countries which submitted renewed NDC’s are aligning their commitments to broader national policy agendas that are based on a transition to sustainable, low-carbon economies. Saint Lucia, in the Caribbean, is doing just that.

Saint Lucia submitted its first NDC’s in 2015 and its renewed pledges in January 2021. That country’s commitments are prefaced with the reminder that as a small island developing state, it is disproportionately vulnerable to external economic shocks and extreme climate-related events that can instantly erase decades of its development gains.

Saint Lucia’s Chief Sustainable Development and Environment Officer Annette Rattigan-Leo told IPS that the country’s renewed commitments are mitigation focused.

“Saint Lucia’s efforts remain within the energy sector, given that this sector by analysis, proves to be the highest emitter of greenhouse gases. The aim, as expressed in the updated NDC, is to reduce emissions in the energy sector by 7 percent by 2030,” she said.

Saint Lucia’s previous commitment was a 2 percent reduction in emissions by 2030. Leo said the updated NDC not only reflects increased ambition, but the country is proud of its focus on gender, children and youth.  Saint Lucia’s Gender Relations Department is developing a national gender equality policy and strategic plan, which includes environmental sustainability and climate change as priority areas. According to the report, countries are embracing gender integration to boost the effectiveness of their climate plans.

The NDC’s also explored finance and implementation. For a world still battling COVID-19, the pandemic was cited by many countries, but it might be too soon for an assessment of its impact on the NDC’s. The report stated that longer-term effects will depend on the duration of pandemic and recovery efforts.

Saint Lucia is confident of achieving its NDC’s despite the pandemic. Rattigan-Leo says with the right investments and partnerships, Saint Lucia can harness resources to sustainably support and achieve its targets.

“Economic recovery efforts around COVID-19 will require strategic partnerships and investments that focus on resilience and green recovery. As such NDC-related initiatives particularly those on renewable energy and energy efficiency are emphasised for pursuit in the next 5 years.”

The UNFCCC’s scorecard is an initial report. It is based on information from 48 NDC’s that represent 75 members of the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC.

The final version is scheduled for release before the Glasgow Climate talks in November and will contain the most up-to-date information. Data and commitment from some of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters are absent from this report including India and the United States. China, the top emitter, is not represented.

 


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Money Laundering: the Darker Side of the World’s Offshore Financial System

Closing loopholes that allow money laundering, corruption and tax abuse and stopping wrongdoing by bankers, accountants and lawyers are steps in transforming the global economy for the universal good

Credit: UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

By Thalif Deen
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 26 2021 – A sign outside a laundry in New York city had a frivolously flippant slogan: “We launder dirty clothes, not dirty money.”

And a 2019 movie titled “Laundromat,” based on a book ‘Secrecy World’ by Pulitzer Prize winning author Jake Bernstein, exposed the byzantine world of money laundering.

That’s the insidiously darker side of the world’s financial system – with millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains finding safety in offshore banks– a crime perpetrated on a global scale, says a High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda (FACTI).

Ibrahim Mayaki, FACTI co-chair and former prime minister of Niger points out closing loopholes that allow money laundering, corruption and tax abuse and stopping wrongdoing by bankers, accountants and lawyers are steps in transforming the global economy for the universal good.


In a report released February 25, the UN panel has called on governments to agree to a Global Pact for Financial Integrity for Sustainable Development.

The panel, comprising former world leaders, central bank governors, business and civil society heads and academics, says as much as 2.7 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP) is laundered annually, while corporations shopping around for tax-free jurisdictions cost governments up to $600 billion a year.

At a time when billionaires’ wealth soared by 27.5 percent, even while 131 million people were pushed into poverty due to COVID-19, the report says a tenth of the world’s wealth could be hidden in offshore financial assets, preventing governments from collecting their fair share of taxes.

Recovering the annual loss to tax avoidance and evasion in Bangladesh, for example, would allow the country to expand its social safety net to 9 million more of the elderly; in Chad, it could pay for 38,000 classrooms, and in Germany, it could build 8000 wind turbines, according to the report.

Professor Kunal Sen, Director, UN University– World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), told IPS: “At a time when developing countries are facing sharp declines in tax revenues due to the economic crisis generated by the pandemic, it is imperative to find solutions to the large losses to public exchequers due to illicit financial flows”

This is a key challenge to development, as provision of crucial public services, such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure, rely on states having money to spend, he pointed out.

“Global coordination of taxation policies, preferably led by the G-7 (world’s industrialized) countries, that limit tax evasion and money laundering is the need of the hour,” he noted.

James A. Paul, a former Executive Director at Global Policy Forum, told IPS the new report by the UN High Level Panel is certainly welcome, but there is reason to wonder where it will take us.

“It provides a devastating analysis of the corrupt global financial system and how the financiers undermine well-being, fairness and legitimacy”.

The report, he said, argues that the system’s architecture and rules make sustainable development (and the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals) difficult, if not impossible to achieve.

“Those who have been critically following the global financial system over the past few decades will not disagree, but they will find little here that is truly new”, said Paul, author of “Of Foxes and Chickens”—Oligarchy and Global Power in the UN Security Council.

He also pointed out that “It has been clear, then, for a long time that the world’s richest families and nations are the primary beneficiaries of this system, that they have a hammerlock on politics, and that they have no intention of changing things in any fundamental way”.

In particular, the national leaders of this global corruption mafia are nationals of the United States and the United Kingdom, whose financial institutions and oligarchies are the world’s most powerful, he added.

“They have ruled the global financial system for a long time and (in spite of declarations to the contrary) they are dead-set against reforms that would increase “fairness,” “transparency,” and the other good things the High-Level Panel seeks to promote,” said Paul.

This brings us to the dilemma of the UN– and its capacity to analyze and to resolve the world’s most fundamental problems”.

However, he said the Presidents of the UN General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council are to be congratulated for setting up this Panel and for reminding us once again how the global oligarchy is practicing corruption on a breathtaking and devastating scale.

The report’s authors are unable to go far enough, however. This is no surprise.

“For we need something more fundamental — nothing less than a roadmap towards a global democratic order, freed from the grip of the financial oligarchy and guided at last by the needs and the will of the people themselves… UN and its capacity to analyze and to resolve the world’s most fundamental problems”.

A former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, a national of Ghana, once said that “billions of dollars of public funds continue to be stashed away by some African leaders — even while roads are crumbling, health systems are failing, school children have neither books nor desks nor teachers, and phones do not work.”

Dr. Richard Ponzio, Senior Fellow and Director of the Global Governance, Justice & Security Program at the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C, told IPS that aside from eroding national tax bases and diverting funds from critical public expenditure projects, tax abuse, corruption, and money laundering help fuel insecurity in today’s hyperconnected global economy by sustaining the work of criminal syndicates and international terrorists to the detriment of global security and justice.

The recommended global pact for financial integrity for sustainable development, he argued, should help extend the Financial Action Task Force’s (created in 1989 by the G7 and later joined by a few dozen countries) global reach in coordinating global anti–money laundering efforts.

In addition, more (especially non-OECD) countries should be encouraged to participate in the OECD Declaration on Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) in Tax Matters, which aims to increase banking transparency and decrease tax evasion worldwide.

The AEOI standard—which benefits poor and rich nations alike—makes it harder for money launderers to hide their proceeds and easier for the victims of tax evasion to recover funds.

For developing countries to fully realize the benefits of this new transparency, he said, the developed world and international institutions should recognize and help overcome the financial and capacity restraints that prevent less well-off countries from participating in a multilateral regime for AEOI.

Simultaneously, developed and developing countries should promote the transparency of corporate registries to prevent money launderers from operating behind shell companies.

Paul told IPS that NGOs, both local and international, have long been pointing out the staggering sums diverted from public treasuries by banks and financial managers, aided by corrupt politicians and systematically covered up by journalists, professors and other apologists.

The honest investigations have shown, among other things, how taxes are avoided or evaded and how the richest individuals and companies pay almost nothing in support of public projects and programs.

“This knowledge has deepened public distrust of governments and it has led us into the present crisis of global authoritarianism, but it has done little to change regulatory laws, improve the harvesting of taxes, or reduce public corruption. If anything, the trend has been moving in the opposite direction.”

Ponzio said the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other corporate social responsibility standards can also contribute to improving due diligence requirements to prevent or decrease illicit financial flows (IFFs) in different economic sectors (including financial, accounting, and legal).

He said participatory budgeting and a human rights approach to budget monitoring can shine a spotlight on whether IFFs divert government expenditure from promoting the public good.

Empowered with the right information, civil society organizations, the media, and the general public can each play significant roles in holding states, businesses, and facilitators (lawyers and accountants) to their human rights obligations.

  

Biden-Harris Administration Committed to Building Resilient Agricultural Supply Chains

The task of building resilient American supply chains amidst the current challenges is no doubt difficult but it can be achieved by focusing on healthy soils, vaccinated crops and equitable and just agricultural systems

Soil degradation: over one-third of the Corn Belt, the epicenter of American corn and soybean production, has lost its carbon-rich top soil.  Credit: Bigstock.

By Esther Ngumbi
URBANA, Illinois, Feb 26 2021 – The White House, under the Presidency of Joe Biden just released an Executive Order on America’s Supply Chains stating the country needs to have resilient, diverse and secure supply chains to ensure economic prosperity and national security. Among the acknowledged threats that can reduce the resilience of America’s supply chains include climate change and extreme weather events.

Indeed, climate change and extreme weather, all of which have become very frequent and of economic importance, can have a huge impact on the agricultural sector. This was already evident before the global pandemic.

Soil degradation is a global problem with a third of Earth’s soil considered to be degraded in part due to agriculture. Without healthy soils, that play many critical roles including storing soil carbon, resilient agriculture won’t be possible

For example, recently, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service reported that 2020 was tied with 2016 as the hottest year on record. In the same year, the United States experienced many climate change related extremities including the Iowa derecho, a costly thunderstorm disaster, California wildfires and flooding in Michigan . These extremities have already began happening in 2021, and are expected to continue.

The move by the Biden Administration is commendable. A question that becomes central is –how does a resilient agricultural system that is resistant to climate change and extreme weather events look like? What are the pillars?  Can resiliency in today’s United States agricultural systems be achieved? Could we unleash operation warp speed to create resilient agricultural systems that are critical to meeting US food security needs?

Of course, there will be many visions and pathways to achieving resilience in agricultural sector, because agriculture and the agricultural value and supply chain is complex with many pillars and activities that are linked and interdependent. Despite the complexities involved in building resilience, there are a few fundamental and key things that must happen.

First and foremost, a resilient agricultural system must be rooted in healthy soils. Soils is the foundation of life and the base upon which we grow resilient crops. Healthy soils are necessary and a prerequisite to achieving sustainable national food security. They are also a useful resource in the fight against the worsening climate change as they absorb carbon from air and store it.

Alarmingly, soils are unhealthy and degraded.  A recently published paper reported that over one-third of the Corn Belt, the epicenter of American corn and soybean production, has lost its carbon-rich top soil.  Soil degradation is a global problem with a third of Earth’s soil considered to be degraded in part due to agriculture. Without healthy soils, that play many critical roles including storing soil carbon, resilient agriculture won’t be possible.

Secondly, resilient agricultural system must be fully vaccinated from climate change and extremities that come with a changing climate. Just like we have rolled operation warp speed to tackle COVID-19, it is important to unleash science based solutions to vaccinate our agricultural systems. From using artificial intelligence to predict climate-related disasters such as flooding, drought, and insect pests to planting climate-smart crops that can withstand disasters to using smart and intelligent systems all through the agricultural value and supply chains to ensure that agriculture and food systems stay ahead of all the challenges.

Thirdly, resilient agricultural systems must be racially inclusive, just and equitable. According to data evidence, there are fewer Black farmers, a number that has reduced from nearly 1 million farmers in 1920 to less than 50 000 farmers, because of historic discrimination, exclusion and inequities in federal agricultural policies.

It is commendable that US Senators led by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tina Smith (D-MN), Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) are taking the lead in changing these statistics by introducing a comprehensive bill that addresses these injustices.

Finally, resilient systems must be built in ways that allow for ways to transparently monitor and track progress made. Americans deserve transparency.

The task of building resilient American supply chains amidst the current challenges is no doubt difficult but it can be achieved by focusing on healthy soils, vaccinated crops and equitable and just agricultural systems. The time is now.

 

Dr. Esther Ngumbi is an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and a Senior Food Security Fellow with the Aspen Institute, New Voices.

Entera Bio Announces Publication of Phase 2 Hypoparathyroidism Study in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research

"' EB612 When Added to Standard of Care Led to a Statistically Significant Decrease in Supplemental Calcium Usage ""

"' Oral Human Parathyroid Hormone (1–34) Has the Potential to Have a Major Impact on Compliance, Adherence, Therapeutic Impact and Quality of Life for Patients ""

BOSTON and JERUSALEM, Feb. 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Entera Bio Ltd. (NASDAQ: ENTX), a leader in the development of orally delivered large molecule therapeutics, announced today the publication of the results of its previously completed Phase 2a study of EB612 in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. The article, titled "Safety and Efficacy of Oral Human Parathyroid Hormone (1–34) in Hypoparathyroidism: An Open–Label Study," discussed the results of the four–month study in which EB612 was evaluated in 2015 as an adjunct to standard calcium and vitamin D supplement treatment in patients with hypoparathyroidism (HypoPT). EB612, an oral human parathyroid hormone (1–34) (PTH), has received Orphan Drug designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of HypoPT.

The Phase 2a study demonstrated the safety and tolerability of EB612 administered four times daily for 16 weeks to patients with HypoPT. The study achieved its primary and secondary endpoints, including a reduction in calcium supplements, reductions in serum phosphate and 24–hour urine calcium excretion, maintenance of albumin–adjusted serum calcium (ACa) within the reference range, and an improvement in quality of life. Specific results of this trial included:

  • A significant reduction of 42% (p=0.001) from baseline in median calcium supplement use;
  • Maintenance of median ACa levels above the lower target level for HypoPT patients (>7.5 mg/dL) throughout the study;
  • A rapid decline of 23% (p=0.0003) in median serum phosphate levels 2 hours following the first dose that was maintained within the normal range for the duration of the study;
  • A notable median decrease of 21% (p=0.07) in 24–hour urine calcium excretion between the first and last treatment days; and
  • An increase in quality of life score of 5% (p=0.03) from baseline by the end of the treatment period.

In this study, patients were titrated up to a maximum of 12 EB612 0.75 mg tablets a day (total daily dose of 9 mg) by the investigator, according to each subject's ACa, and supplement treatment regimen. Of the 19 enrolled subjects, 17 completed the trial (of which 15 were per protocol). No drug–related serious adverse events were reported and most of the adverse events were not considered study drug–related.

"The publication of our Phase 2a EB612 study results in this leading peer–reviewed journal support our HypoPT development program and the value of our platform technology. The availability of an oral PTH is expected to improve compliance, as well as therapeutic impact and may offer patients with HypoPT a much–needed alternative to the currently available parathyroid hormone replacement therapy options which are administered via daily injections. We are currently working on improved formulations of EB612 and the design of the next clinical trial which we expect to initiate in 2022," stated Entera CEO Spiros Jamas. "In addition, through the use of our previously announced at–the–market equity program, we have continued to strengthen our balance sheet in the first quarter of 2021, and we are now funded into the fourth quarter of 2021."

The full peer–reviewed publication will be available on Entera's website once the final article is released for publication and can be found here.

About Hypoparathyroidism

Hypoparathyroidism (HypoPT) is a rare condition in which the body produces insufficient amounts of parathyroid hormone. Individuals with HypoPT typically exhibit abnormally low levels of calcium in the blood (hypocalcemia), and high levels of phosphate in the blood (hyperphosphatemia). They also develop increased urine calcium (hypercalciuria). HypoPT is estimated to affect approximately 77,000 individuals in the United States. Historically, the treatments for HypoPT have been calcium supplements and active vitamin D (calcitriol or alfacalcidol). Phosphate binders that inhibit phosphate absorption and thiazide diuretics that reduce urine calcium are occasionally added. It is often difficult to titrate the dose of both calcium supplements and active vitamin D to reduce symptoms of hypocalcemia without producing increased urine calcium or hypercalcemia with tissue calcification during chronic use, which can result in kidney injury and significant healthcare costs. Moreover, the high doses of calcium supplements may produce stomach and gastrointestinal symptoms as well as other symptoms that negatively affect a patient's quality of life. A once–daily, injectable form of parathyroid hormone has been approved by the FDA and EMA for the treatment of hypocalcemia in patients with HypoPT.

About Entera Bio

Entera is a leader in the development of orally delivered large molecule therapeutics for use in areas with significant unmet medical need where adoption of injectable therapies is limited due to cost, convenience and compliance challenges for patients. The Company's proprietary, oral drug delivery technology is designed to address the technical challenges of poor absorption, high variability, and the inability to deliver large molecules to the targeted location in the body through the use of a synthetic absorption enhancer to facilitate the absorption of large molecules, and protease inhibitors to prevent enzymatic degradation and support delivery to targeted tissues. The Company's most advanced product candidates, EB613 for the treatment of osteoporosis and EB612 for the treatment of hypoparathyroidism are in Phase 2 clinical development. Entera also licenses its technology to biopharmaceutical companies for use with their proprietary compounds and, to date, has established a collaboration with Amgen Inc. For more information on Entera Bio, visit www.enterabio.com.

Forward Looking Statements

Various statements in this release are "forward–looking statements" under the securities laws. Words such as, but not limited to, "anticipate," "believe," "can," "could," "expect," "estimate," "design," "goal," "intend," "may," "might," "objective," "plan," "predict," "project," "target," "likely," "should," "will," and "would," or the negative of these terms and similar expressions or words, identify forward–looking statements. Forward–looking statements are based upon current expectations that involve risks, changes in circumstances, assumptions and uncertainties. Forward–looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results and may not be accurate indications of when such performance or results will be achieved.

Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in Entera's forward–looking statements include, among others: changes in our interpretation of the interim data from the ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial of EB613, the timing of data readouts from the ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial of EB613, unexpected changes in our ongoing and planned preclinical development and clinical trials, the timing of and our ability to make regulatory filings and obtain and maintain regulatory approvals for our product candidates; a possible suspension of the Phase 2 clinical trial of EB613 for clinical or data–related reasons; the impact of COVID–19 on Entera's business operations including the ability to collect the necessary data from the Phase 2 trial of EB613; the potential disruption and delay of manufacturing supply chains, loss of available workforce resources, either by Entera or its collaboration and laboratory partners, due to travel restrictions, lay–offs or forced closures or repurposing of hospital facilities; impacts to research and development or clinical activities that Entera is contractually obligated to provide, such as pursuant to Entera's agreement with Amgen; overall regulatory timelines, if the FDA or other authorities are closed for prolonged periods, choose to allocate resources to review of COVID–19 related drugs or believe that the amount of Phase 2 clinical data collected are insufficient to initiate a Phase 3 trial, or a meaningful deterioration of the current political, legal and regulatory situation in Israel or the United States; the availability, quality and timing of the data from the Phase 2 clinical trial of EB613 in osteoporosis patients; the ability find a dose that demonstrates the comparability of EB613 to FORTEO in the ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial of EB613; the size and growth of the potential market for EB613 and Entera's other product candidates including any possible expansion of the market if an orally delivered option is available in addition to an injectable formulation; the results of formulation development work on EB612 the impact on future clinical trials, the scope, progress and costs of developing Entera's product candidates including EB612 and GLP–2; Entera's reliance on third parties to conduct its clinical trials; Entera's expectations regarding licensing, business transactions and strategic collaborations; Entera's operation as a development stage company with limited operating history; Entera's ability to continue as a going concern absent access to sources of liquidity; Entera's expectations regarding its expenses, revenue, cash resources, liquidity and financial condition; Entera's ability to raise additional capital; Entera's interpretation of FDA feedback and guidance and how such guidance may impact its clinical development plans; Entera's ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval for any of its product candidates; Entera's ability to comply with Nasdaq's minimum listing standards and other matters related to compliance with the requirements of being a public company in the United States; Entera's intellectual property position and its ability to protect its intellectual property; and other factors that are described in the "Special Note Regarding Forward–Looking Statements," "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" sections of Entera's annual and current filings which are on file with the SEC and available free of charge on the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov. Additional factors may be set forth in those sections of Entera's Quarterly Report on Form 6–K for the quarter ended September 30, 2020, filed with the SEC in the fourth quarter of 2020. In addition to the risks described above and in Entera's annual report on Form 20–F and current reports on Form 6–K and other filings with the SEC, other unknown or unpredictable factors also could affect Entera's results. There can be no assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by Entera will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, Entera. Therefore, no assurance can be given that the outcomes stated in such forward–looking statements and estimates will be achieved.

All written and verbal forward–looking statements attributable to Entera or any person acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to herein. Entera cautions investors not to rely too heavily on the forward–looking statements Entera makes or that are made on its behalf. The information in this release is provided only as of the date of this release, and Entera undertakes no obligation, and specifically declines any obligation, to update or revise publicly any forward–looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


Lebanon: A Lion Pit for Journalism

By Cendrella Azar
BEIRUT, Lebanon, Feb 25 2021 – Our deadliest nightmare is back: Political assassinations in Lebanon is back with the horrific murder of Luqman Slim, a vocal critic of Hezbollah. Slim’s assassination is the first killing of a high-profile activist and outspoken journalist in years. What do the political assassinations in Lebanon tell us about the history of this country?

Lebanon, the Sectarian Pie

People are often baffled by Lebanon’s complex governing system. This small country was always subjected to sectarian tensions, where different sects historically competed for power. Those ancient tensions had disastrous consequences dragging the country into 15 years of a bloody civil war. In 1989, the Taif agreement ended the war and ensured that this pie, Lebanon, is equally divided among the different sects. Everyone must have a slice of the pie. This fragile power sharing system, led to fragile peace and turned Lebanon in to a victim of political, social and economic paralysis.

State of Freedom of Speech in Lebanon

Free speech has the lion’s share when it comes to hardships in Lebanon. Reporting on issues of public interest, including government policies and legislation and providing unbiased information to the public subjected journalists to intimidation, harassment and violence. In the Lebanese scene, the space for freedom of expression and independent media is dwindling. Attacks on journalists and those who try to shape opinions are seldom investigated and offenders rarely brought to justice. Arbitrary detentions, and kidnappings, ill-treatment and other forms of terrorization are forcing journalists to retreat in the midst of the absence of effective safety training, laws and judiciary measures.

Why are Lebanese Journalists in Danger?

Samir Skayni, a Lebanese journalist who authored the books “Once Upon a Sunday” describe the many aspects of the Lebanese civil war and its aftermath, highlighted in exclusive comments to IPS, the reasons for Lebanese journalists being under threat: “Journalists are at risk in Lebanon given the fields of their interventions, in other words, the sensitive files that they tackle. Journalists are filling the void caused by the reluctance of security and judicial forces to take actions. In addition, when criticizing, any file will certainly affect parties due to the network of clienteles relations and overlapping of parties’ interests within state sectors. Journalists are additionally at risk due to the affiliation of the judiciary sector to political parties, these threats take their toll and enter the realm of benefit without being deterred.” Skayni also defined political assassinations stating: “In principle, political assassinations are rejected. An assassination aims at eliminating an opponent or an enemy. Often, in the Lebanese case, the “opponent” is usually unarmed. The victim is generally opposing the ruling authorities. In those cases, assassinations are not acceptable. Yet, the concept of assassinations is seen as an act of resistance, if the opponent is armed and inflicting hardships on groups and communities.”

Weak Laws & Absent Syndicate

Today, the existing press syndicate headed by Aouni Al-Kaaki, represents nothing but the interest of the political elites. All of the journalists and the media workers’ demands are effectively falling on deaf ears. No serious actions have been taken to improve the state of the press, especially in an era where the press freedom in Lebanon is “partially free” according to the Freedom House. In the face of all the assaults, the syndicate was nothing but an idle bystander.

Speaking to IPS, Lebanese civil activist and member of Lihaqqi group Pierre Khoury, stated: “It feels like the Big Brother is watching us. We have reached unprecedented and alarming levels of repression.” He added: “The National Audiovisual Council in Lebanon is completely biased. A few days ago, all TV Station chiefs were summoned to stand before the Council following Journalist Dima Sadek’s episode which tackled the assassination of Louqman Slim.” When asked about potential solutions, Khoury revealed “The solution is to abolish the Ministry of Information. The law does not provide the essential needed protection for journalists, but rather, it transfers any “disturbing” opinion to trial through the Publications Law. Laws are restricting freedom of expression.”

Chrystine Mhanna, Communication and Advocacy officer at the Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH), stated to IPS that the present laws are insufficient. Mhanna said: “the laws are not sufficient, or we would have seen accountability taking place when it comes to assassinations or illegal prosecutions. Alternatives could include having independent investigations when it comes to freedom of expression cases, respecting human rights treaties, having clear policies when it comes to freedom of expression through digital platforms and ensuring that summons and procedures are legal when someone is called for investigation.” Mhanna added, “In a democratic country, freedom of expression laws should only limit hate speech, harm, slander and libel when an actual harm is done, not when the opposing opinion doesn’t appease the authority”.

Silenced Voices, Stolen Justice

Media is a traditional agent of social change; it has the power to influence people and shape opinions and attitudes. Media is a also a contributor to values and beliefs and when the media is controlled, the access of the public to information and facts are limited. Consequently, democracy and social justice are doomed. Lebanon is no longer considered as a bastion of freedoms in this region that is filled with censorship and oppression; the country has joined neighboring states in exercising oppression, crushing protests using violence. The right of journalists to execute their work within a safe environment, without facing extensive forms of harassment, attacks and even being killed is a topic of great importance. Today more than ever we ask: When will this nation finally celebrate Justice?

 


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UN Peacebuilding Commission must Prioritise Protecting Youth Activists Facing Retaliation

Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg has faced massive backlash for supporting the Indian farmers’ protests. (File photo) Credit: Anders Hellberg/CC BY-SA 4.0

Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg has faced massive backlash for supporting the Indian farmers’ protests. (File photo) Credit: Anders Hellberg/CC BY-SA 4.0

By Samira Sadeque
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 25 2021 – The United Nations Peacebuilding Commission must prioritise the protection of youth activists who face retaliation from state and non-state actors, said UN Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake.

Wickramanayake was speaking at the Peacebuilding Commission high-level virtual meeting on Youth, Peace and Security, where she outlined numerous ways the commission can assist youth activists around the world — especially with their grassroots efforts.

“I hope you will consider including young people in your delegation to building commissions, consult young people in your own countries to input to your work and, most importantly, ensure the protection of young people who you decide to engage with as we have seen many incidents of retaliation against young activists by state and non-state actors for simply deciding to speak up and working with the UN,” Wickramanayake, from Sri Lanka, told the commisison.

Other speakers at the event included Mohamed Edrees, chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, Allwell O. Akhigbe of Building Blocks for Peace Foundation in Nigeria and Oscar Fernández-Taranco, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support.

Wickramanayake comments come when youth activists are facing attacks and harassment online and offline. Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg has faced massive backlash for supporting the Indian farmers’ protests, while Indian youth activist Disha Ravi was arrested because of her activism in support of the protests.

Wickramanayake further highlighted the importance of acknowledging and promoting local grassroots organisations working in the field of youth peacebuilding.

“Young people around the world are building national coalitions, conducting baseline studies and monitoring efforts in support of youth-led peacebuilding,” she said.

She added that these organisations require “adequate, predictable and sustained” financing to thrive but this was yet to be explored.

“I would like to challenge this commission today to consider what the peacebuilding commission can do to encourage this critical support and resources at the local level where they are actually making a big difference,” she said.

Wickramanayake recommended that the commission should not only support a “substantial increase in the financial resources” for peace and security, but it should also make sure that the resources go directly to youth working on “homegrown building strategies”. 

Mia Franczesca D. Estipona, from the Generation Peace Youth Network in the Philippines, also shared the importance of involving youth who are directly affected by issues such as conflict.

“In creating facilities for youth projects and capacity building for support, we must make an effort to directly engage with youths in areas affected by conflict, understand their work and how it contributes back to the community,” Estipona said. “This is highly important especially for community-based youths who have programmes and projects but cannot be sustained due to lack of access to funding and support.” 

Both Estipona and Wickramanayake emphasised the importance of representation and being inclusive of marginalised youths or those whose stories are often left behind.

Wickramanayake highlighted the work of a colleague who promotes the voices of youth with disabilities and had reportedly briefed the Security Council on the situation in the Central African Republic by broadcasting the issue of youth, peace and security in sign language.

“[Their] organisation removes barriers limiting the participation of young people with disabilities in peacebuilding, actively mobilising the deaf community to act on Resolution 2250,” she said, referring to the UN Security Council Youth, Peace & Security thematic resolution that deals with the topic of youth from an international peace and security perspective.

Meanwhile, Estipona pointed out: “Many youth organisations have established strong programmes that truly represent and attend to youth who are in areas affected by conflict – their voices are most left behind.”

“We should pursue representation that truly represents and focuses on the collective efforts of youth as a community — and as a sector of society, not just as a different individual,” she said.

Other speakers at the event agreed with both Wickramanayake and Estipona.

Ambassador Rabab Fatima, the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN, said that it’s crucial to address the “distinct needs” of the youth as the world recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

She highlighted the importance of access to education, sufficient funding, and including youth participation in peacebuilding as part of the “broader national policy framework”. 

Estipona said the engagement of the youth must be sustained in various stages of the process of peacebuilding: consultation, crafting, implementation and monitoring.

“Continuity of these efforts is still a challenge because they are constantly shifting priorities of stakeholders and leadership,” she said.

In offering recommendations on how to strengthen youth participation and involvement, Wickramanayake said there must be a periodic review of the efforts to increase engagement with young people.

“Accountability is key,” she said, “[we] want to hear your strategic plan. Also think beyond security and think about the intersection of peace, sustainable development, and human rights.” 

She also urged leaders to “walk the talk” – and prioritise the development of dedicated local, national and regional road maps and action plans.

 


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A Growing Shift in the Narrative about Climate Action

Forest women in Anantagiri forest in the south-east of India check out their solar dryer. (file photo) There is a growing shift and awareness in mainstream political, corporate and public debate about the need for climate action. Credit: Stella Paul/IPS.

Forest women in Anantagiri forest in the south-east of India check out their solar dryer. (file photo) There is a growing shift and awareness in mainstream political, corporate and public debate about the need for climate action. Credit: Stella Paul/IPS.

By Samira Sadeque
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 25 2021 – A keen awareness about the intersection of our ecosystem and the “accelerating destabilisation of the climate” is helping shift the narrative for climate action and can help us transition from being polluters to becoming protectors of the climate, said Marco Lambertini, Director General at the World Wide Fund for Nature.

“Science has never been clearer. We are currently witnessing a catastrophic decline in our planet’s ecosystems and biodiversity, and an accelerating destabilisation of the climate. And today we also understand that the two are interconnected,” Lambertini told IPS. “This isn’t in fact new.”

Lambertini spoke to IPS following the Fifth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) which took place this week, with the launch of the “Medium-Term Strategy” by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Over two days, world leaders gathered virtually to discuss climate sustainability and how deeply the coronavirus pandemic worsened the current climate crisis.

“Humanity continues to misappropriate nature, commoditise it, destroy it,” Keriako Tobiko, the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Kenya, said on Monday. “The consequences of our actions are obvious – we’re paying a heavy price for that.”

Indian environmental activist Afroz Shah, a UNEP Champion of the Earth, said during UNEA-5 that leaders must go beyond talk and ensure implementation of measures to protect the environment.

“There must be a paradigm shift in the narrative, to go from being a polluter to a protector,” he said, urging leaders to make sure this message was given to every citizen.

Lambertini told IPS this “shift” in the narrative was already happening.

“What is new is that this awareness is beginning to reach mainstream political, corporate and public debate,” Lambertini added. “The narrative is also shifting. Conserving nature is not only being seen as an ecological and moral issue, but also an economic, development, health and equity issue. This is a true cultural revolution in our civilisation.”

Lambertini’s insight complemented what was said during UNEA-5.

Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP, said during the assembly that a “green recovery” from the COVID-19 pandemic would be a step in the right direction of implementing changes to protect the environment.

Tackling environmental sustainability was, after all, another means to ending poverty, she said.

“We need to start putting words into action after UNEA-5 and that means backing a green recovery from the pandemic, stronger and national determined contributions to the Paris Agreement, more funding for adaptation, agreeing on an ambitious and implementable post-2020 biodiversity framework, and a new progress on plastic pollution,” Andersen said.

Meelis Münt, Estonia’s Secretary General of the Ministry of the Environment, echoed Andersen’s point.

“We are confident that a green and digital transition will support our post-pandemic recovery,” he said, adding Estonia aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, with their government’s plans to “lead the production of solid coastal fuel based electricity by 2035”.

Other speakers at UNEA-5 included ministers from Kenya, Brazil, Jamaica and Malawi, among others, many of whom shared the initiatives their countries were implementing to protect the environment.

Marcus Henrique Morais Paranaguá, Brazil’s Deputy Minister for Climate and International Relations, pointed out that for Brazilians it was a unique situation where development and preservation of the Amazon forest had to be balanced.

“The Amazon forest alone occupies 49 percent of our territory and over 60 percent of our territory is covered today with natural vegetation,” he said. “Brazil must implement innovative public policy to balance nature conservation and the promotion of sustainable development.”

Pearnel Charles Jr., Jamaica’s Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, shared that his country’s government was in the process of updating their climate change policy so that it complemented the Paris Agreement. He added that Jamaica’s administration also increased its “emissions reduction ambition,” and was implementing a tree planting initiative to reduce biodiversity loss. 

Tobiko of Kenya said a big milestone for the country was banning single-use plastic in public conservation areas. Kenya has recently been acknowledged and applauded for its successful fight against single use plastic.   

“We cannot afford another lost decade for biodiversity,” Lambertini told IPS. “Many ecosystems like coral reefs and tropical forests are heading towards tipping points and one million species are now threatened with extinction.”

“If we are to collectively survive and thrive, particularly in this COVID-19 pandemic, we must take the opportunity to review, reevaluate and possibly reinvent in charting the most sustainable way forward,” Charles Jr. said.

Overall, Lambertini was hopeful, citing a heightened awareness of climate justice among activists, and the fact that nature conservation was now seen as an economic, health and equity issue.

“We need clarity and alignment, to create a level playing field, and a north star/southern cross able to unite governments, businesses, investors and consumers around the ambition science demands,” he told IPS. “Only in this way we will meet the challenge to transition to an equitable, nature-positive and net-zero carbon world and forums like UNEA-5 must pave the way for these commitments and more importantly, concrete actions.”

FXCM Stock Baskets Traders Go Big on BIOTECH and ESPORTS in January

LONDON and SYDNEY, Australia and JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Feb. 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — FXCM Group, LLC (“FXCM Group” or “FXCM”), the leading international provider of online foreign exchange trading, CFD trading and related services, is today releasing the volume increases for the month of January in its proprietary stock basket product line.

FXCM's stock basket products combine the shares of multiple companies from one sector into a single tradeable instrument. This allows customers to speculate on sectors as a whole instead of having to select a single company. FXCM now boosts a portfolio of thirteen stock baskets.

For the 5th month in a row, FAANG continues to be the most popular traded stock basket at FXCM, as the Cannabis and Chinese Technology baskets were the best performing sectors.

On the back of the news surrounding global vaccinations, the Biotechnology basket along with the Esports and Gaming baskets have seen the biggest comparative monthly jumps in FXCM client interest in early 2021 vs December 2020.

The list of companies and weightings is available on FXCM's stock basket website (https://www.fxcm.com/markets/stock–baskets/)

Volume Rank Sector Symbol Jan Price Change1 Monthly Change in FXCM Volume2
1 Big US Tech FAANG –0.50% 55.32%
2 Biotech BIOTECH 1.90% 364.42%
3 Chinese E–Commerce CHN.ECOMM 1.98% –29.87%
4 Cannabis CANNABIS 35.02% 42.40%
5 Chinese Tech CHN.TECH 24.80% 75.26%
6 Esports & Gaming ESPORTS –2.87% 628.38%
7 Airlines AIRLINES –2.96% –33.29%
8 US–Ecommerce US.ECOMM 7.20% 71.56%
9 Travel and Hospitality TRAVEL –7.29% 230.10%
10 US Banks US.BANKS 0.56% –74.36%
11 Casinos CASINOS –6.04% 67.12%
12 Work From Home WFH 4.18% –17.67%
13 US Automotive US.AUTO 8.93% 76.95%

Past Performance is not an indicator of future results.
1 Price change figures are calculated using FXCM's opening bid price from 4 January 2021 and the closing price from 29 January 2021.
2 Percent change month–over–month (December 2020 vs. January 2021) is derived from FXCM client volume data.

About FXCM:

FXCM is a leading provider of online foreign exchange (FX) trading, CFD trading, and related services. Founded in 1999, the company's mission is to provide global traders with access to the world's largest and most liquid market by offering innovative trading tools, hiring excellent trading educators, meeting strict financial standards and striving for the best online trading experience in the market. Clients have the advantage of mobile trading, one–click order execution and trading from real–time charts. In addition, FXCM offers educational courses on FX trading and provides trading tools, proprietary data and premium resources. FXCM Pro provides retail brokers, small hedge funds and emerging market banks access to wholesale execution and liquidity, while providing high and medium frequency funds access to prime brokerage services via FXCM Prime. FXCM is a Leucadia Company.

Forex Capital Markets Limited: FCA registration number 217689 (www.fxcm.com/uk)

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76.31% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

FXCM EU LTD: CySEC license number 392/20 (www.fxcm.com/eu)

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.

The vast majority of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs.

You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

FXCM Australia Pty. Limited: AFSL 309763. Losses can exceed your deposited funds. The products may not be suitable for all investors. Please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved. If you decide to trade products offered by FXCM AU, you must read and understand the Financial Services Guide, Product Disclosure Statement, and Terms of Business on www.fxcm.com/au.

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