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British royals William and Kate name their baby Prince Louis Arthur Charles



Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge depart the Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England.

Samir Hussein | WireImage

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge depart the Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary’s Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England.

Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate named their newborn son Louis Arthur Charles.

“The baby will be known as His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge,” Kensington Palace said.

The prince, who is fifth in line to the British throne, was born at 1001 GMT on April 23. He weighed 8 lbs 7oz at birth.

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U.S. can afford higher corporate tax if it coordinates globally



Treasury secretary nominee Janet Yellen speaks after US President-elect Joe Biden announced his economic team at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware, on December 1, 2020.

Chandan Khanna | AFP | Getty Images

Janet Yellen, President-elect Joe Biden’s choice for Treasury secretary, testified Tuesday that the U.S. could afford a higher corporate tax rate if it coordinates with other economies around the globe.

“We look forward to actively working with other countries through the [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] negotiations on taxes on multinational corporations to try to stop what has been a destructive, global race to the bottom on corporate taxation,” she said in response to a question from Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho.

“In that context, we would assure the competitiveness of American corporations even with a somewhat higher corporate tax,” she added, referring to what could be a coordinated effort to bolster corporate rates.

During his presidential campaign, Biden proposed raising the corporate rate to 28% from the current 21%. Prior to the 2017 tax cuts, the U.S. corporate rate was 35%.

Still, Yellen was quick to caution that any plan to seek a higher corporate rate could start only after the administration felt that the U.S. had overcome the coronavirus.

Yellen’s comments came during her testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, which will debate whether she should be confirmed for the Cabinet role. If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen would be the first woman to lead the Treasury Department.

Biden “has said that eventually, as part of a larger package that would include significant spending and investment proposals — not now while the pandemic is really depressing the economy — that he would want to repeal parts of the 2017 tax cuts that benefited the highest-income Americans and large companies,” Yellen said.

“He wants to reverse the law’s incentives to offshore operations and profits. But he has been very clear that he does not support a complete repeal of the 2017 tax law,” she added.

Yellen, 74, also promised lawmakers that she would prioritize the needs of everyday workers and ensure that the U.S. can offer well-paying jobs to workers in cities and rural areas.

In that light, she defended Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, saying the bill would provide relief to struggling households and businesses and offer the U.S. economy the most “bang for the buck.” The measure includes another round of checks, extended and enhanced jobless benefits, funding for universities and the creation of a nationwide vaccine program.

The former Federal Reserve chair said higher corporate rates would come as part of a broader plan to reverse parts of President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax law when the economy is strong enough to stomach higher levies.

A principal goal of Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was to spur U.S. companies to bring foreign profits to the U.S. and away from low-tax jurisdictions like Ireland and Bermuda. Before the bill, many multinational companies would establish subsidiaries in such low-tax havens as a backdoor way of protecting profits from U.S. collectors.

An American manufacturer, for example, could buy goods from its Ireland-based subsidiary, book the profits at a lower rate, and sell the goods in the United States. This is what Yellen referred to as a global “race to the bottom” of the corporate tax ladder, a worldwide competition to attract companies with lower and lower rates.

The OECD has for years sought a solution to the downward spiral. In late 2019, the body proposed a global minimum tax that would apply to companies with income from cross-border activities that pay taxes below a certain level.

What Yellen may have suggested on Tuesday is to work together with other nations to raise corporate rates around the globe. That way, if the U.S. wanted to generate more revenue from a corporate rate hike, it could do some more effectively since corporations wouldn’t have a far-more-attractive option.

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SpaceX bought former Valaris oil rigs to build Starship launchpads



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UK hospitals use blockchain to track coronavirus vaccine temperature



1.8ml of Sodium chloride is added to a phial of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine concentrate ready for administration at Guy’s Hospital at the start of the largest ever immunization progran in the U.K.’s history on December 8, 2020 in London, United Kingdom.

Victoria Jones – Pool | Getty Images

LONDON — Two hospitals in the U.K. are actively using blockchain technology to help maintain the temperature of coronavirus vaccines before administering them to patients.

The National Health Service facilities in South Warwickshire, England, are using tech developed by U.K. firm Everyware and U.S. organization Hedera Hashgraph. Everyware uses sensors to monitor equipment in real-time, while Hedera is a blockchain consortium backed by the likes of Google and IBM.

Though originally created as the digital ledger underpinning bitcoin, blockchain has since been adapted by various industries for applications outside the realm of finance. IBM and Walmart, for instance, have used blockchain to trace food supply chains and identify potential contamination.

Tom Screen, technical director at Everyware, told CNBC that its sensors would monitor the temperature of refrigerators storing vaccines. It then transmits the data to its own cloud platform where it is encrypted and then passed on to Hedera’s blockchain network.

The point of this operation is to keep a tamper-proof digital record of temperature-sensitive vaccines, like the ones developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. The hospitals would, in theory, be able to pick up on any irregularities in the storage of the vaccines before administering them to patients.

Pfizer’s vaccine must be stored at subzero temperatures (-70 degrees Celsius), and can only last at two-to-eight degree Celsius conditions for up to five days, creating big hurdles for the logistics in distributing it.

The vaccines developed by Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca, however, can be stored at temperatures that are within the reach of the average home refrigerator for longer.

Blockchain saw much hype back in 2017, as the value of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin skyrocketed. It led to several projects from major companies including IBM and Walmart, as well as governments, lured in by the promise of replacing various old, paper-based processes for record keeping.

Today, the buzz around blockchain seems to have died down, with barely any trials and products based on the technology being announced by big corporates.

Asked why blockchain was needed rather than a regular database, Everyware’s Screen said “data held in a private database can be verified against the state of data recorded on the public ledger.”

“The benefits of an immutable ledger to verify the validity of data as close to the source as possible has a positive effect on the accuracy of downstream analytics, where any error in source data would be magnified in output datasets,” he said.

Everyware competed in an open tender process involving other bidders to provide its services to the South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, Screen said.

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