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Trump declares in tweet: ‘KOREAN WAR TO END’

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President Donald Trump hosts a bilateral meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida U.S., April 17, 2018.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

President Donald Trump hosts a bilateral meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida U.S., April 17, 2018.

U.S. President Donald Trump is tweeting “KOREAN WAR TO END” after a historic meeting between the leaders of North Korea and South Korea.

Trump is responding to the meeting of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in South Korea. They pledged in a joint statement to rid their peninsula of nuclear weapons — but didn’t identify any specific new measures to achieve that.

Trump is expected to meet with Kim in late May or June.

He tweeted: “KOREAN WAR TO END! The United States, and all of its GREAT people, should be very proud of what is now taking place in Korea!”

In a separate tweet sent minutes earlier, Trump said “good things are happening, but only time will tell.”



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Coronavirus antibodies fall after infection, study says

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Commuters wearing a face mask or covering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, walk past a London underground tube train at Victoria station, during the evening ‘rus hour’ in central London on September 23, 2020.

TOLGA AKMEN | AFP via Getty Images

LONDON — Antibodies against the coronavirus fall as people recover from the disease, according to the findings of a major U.K. study, potentially dealing a blow to those pushing for so-called herd immunity.

Researchers from Imperial College London screened 365,000 people in England over three rounds of testing between June 20 and September 28.

Analysis of finger-prick tests carried out at home found that, rather than people building immunity over time, the number of people with antibodies that can fight Covid-19 declined roughly 26% over the study period.

The REACT-2 study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, found that 6% of those tested had antibodies to the virus when the U.K.’s lockdown measures were relaxed over the summer. However, by the start of the second wave of cases last month, this figure had fallen to 4.4%.

“This very large study has shown that the proportion of people with detectable antibodies is falling over time,” said Helen Ward, one of the authors of the study and professor at Imperial College London.

“We don’t yet know whether this will leave these people at risk of reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19, but it is essential that everyone continues to follow guidance to reduce the risk to themselves and others.”

What does it mean for herd immunity?

The findings suggest that there may be a decline in the level of population immunity in the months following the first wave of the coronavirus epidemic, potentially dashing the hopes of those calling for a controversial herd immunity response strategy.

Herd immunity occurs when enough of a population is immune to a disease, making it unlikely to spread and protecting the rest of the community, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can be achieved through natural infection — when enough people are exposed to the disease and develop antibodies against it — and through vaccinations.

Health experts estimate that around 70% of the population would need to be vaccinated or have natural antibodies to achieve herd immunity.

A man wearing a protective face mask, shelters from the rain under an umbrella as he walks past Chancery Lane underground station in London on October 21, 2020, as the government considers further lockdown measures to combat the rise in novel coronavirus COVID-19 cases.

JUSTIN TALLIS | AFP via Getty Images

Some epidemiologists have suggested that aiming for herd immunity would be a better response to the pandemic than lockdown measures. Many others, however, have sharply criticized a strategy that could require vulnerable people to shield at home while the virus spreads through the young and healthy.

Earlier this month, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S.’s top infectious disease expert, described calls to let the virus rip through the U.S. population unchecked as “nonsense” and “dangerous.”

To date, more than 43.5 million people around the world have contracted the coronavirus, with 1.16 million related deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Implications for reinfection

Late-night drinkers after 10pm in Soho, London, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that from Thursday pubs and restaurants will be subject to a 10pm curfew to combat the rise in coronavirus cases in England.

Yui Mok – PA Images | PA Images | Getty Images

“Our study shows that over time there is a reduction in the proportion of people testing positive for antibodies,” said Professor Paul Elliott, director of the Real Time Assessment of Community Transmission program at Imperial, and one of the authors of the study.

“Testing positive for antibodies does not mean you are immune to COVID-19. It remains unclear what level of immunity antibodies provide, or for how long this immunity lasts,” he continued.

“If someone tests positive for antibodies, they still need to follow national guidelines including social distancing measures, getting a swab test if they have symptoms and wearing face coverings where required.”

— CNBC’s Noah Higgins-Dunn contributed to this report.

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Facebook ex-HR boss worries grads will miss out due to coronavirus

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Fiona Mullan, former vice president of global human resources at Facebook.

Fiona Mullan

LONDON — Graduates are likely to find the workplace “much more challenging” in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the former vice president of global human resources at Facebook, who said companies are finding it harder to offer them a satisfactory experience.

Fiona Mullan, who spent almost six years at Facebook, said she is particularly concerned that graduates won’t be able to form the same kinds of relationships with their colleagues that they normally would when they enter the world of work.

“We made some of our best friends in that first job,” Mullan told CNBC via Zoom last week. “We did that because we went on holiday together or we went on boozy nights together or … we learned together. That cohort experience for graduates is going to be much more challenging.”

Mullan, who is now chief people officer at cellphone top-up company Ding, said she’s interested to see whether the pandemic ends up diluting company cultures or whether there’s a difference in job satisfaction levels between employees who joined pre-Covid and post-Covid. “How will it be for people who have never been inside an office or met a physical person of the company that they’re going to work for?”

While some industries such as travel and retail have been decimated by the pandemic, tech on the whole has continued to grow, albeit slightly slower than before, said Mullan.

“The tech industry will be better positioned to continue to invest in graduate hiring than other industries,” Mullan said. However, she highlighted that there likely will be fewer graduate roles available at tech companies this year as a result of the virus.

Engineers, moderators and software developers

In terms of recruitment, Mullan said social media platforms will continue to focus on hiring engineering talent, moderators, and people with the skills to develop software that can automate moderation.

“They’re building for the future and their appetite for the market’s best technical talent is always a strategic plan,” she said. “If they miss a year, they feel the negative impact of that in future years so they will be keen to continue to invest there.”

Indeed, The Telegraph newspaper on Monday reported that TikTok was hiring a new “university relations recruiter” at its London office to find at least nine people to start work at the company next year. Some of the new recruits will reportedly work on developing the company’s machine-learning software that underpins the app’s recommendation algorithm, while others will work in marketing, content development and creative strategy.

Focus on efficiencies

Looking ahead, Mullan said tech firms would likely look to make their finance, legal, and HR teams more “efficient” in the pandemic.

Chris Bray, a recruiter at Heidrick & Struggles who helps U.S. tech giants to find talent in Europe, agreed that strategic decisions around recruitment were now being made, after a difficult period earlier in the year. 

“At the outset of Covid, we witnessed a semi-paralysis amongst many large players, with spending reined in and recruitment strategies put on hold,” he told CNBC.

However, he added: “Over the past quarter, a definite pattern has emerged now that uncertainty is the new-normal and a number of companies have thrived during their first six months in a Covid economy, they are starting to make braver moves and we are seeing a lot of more strategic decision making.”

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China is a competitor to the U.S. — not an adversary, professor says

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A man wearing a face mask as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus walks along a pedestrian street in Shanghai on October 23, 2020.

Hector Retamal | AFP | Getty Images

SINGAPORE — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is right in characterizing China as a competitor rather than an adversary, a professor told CNBC this week.

Anthony Arend of Georgetown University made these comments after both Biden and U.S. President Donald Trump’s gave separate interviews on 60 Minutes by CBS News.

Both men said they considered China a competitor, but Trump also said the Asian country is “a foe in many ways” and an “adversary,” according to CBS.

“I think Biden has it correct, it is much more of a competition rather than an adversarial relationship,” Arend told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Tuesday.

We can’t defeat China. We have to engage China. We have to criticize where necessary, but we have to try to cooperate where possible.

Anthony Arend

Georgetown University

The U.S. has to recognize that, whether they like it or not, China is a “great power,” he said. At the same time, China is violating human rights and making “ridiculous assertions of jurisdictional claims” in the South China Sea, he added.

“So you have to hold them to task for that, but respect the fact that they are a great power and that we can’t just ignore them or deal with them as if they were a minor actor in the international system,” said Arend.

He added that the term “adversary” is wrong because it conveys the idea that China can be defeated.

“We can’t defeat China. We have to engage China,” he said. “We have to criticize where necessary, but we have to try to cooperate where possible.”

The U.S. and China have been locked in a trade war with both countries slapping tariffs on the other country’s goods. Technology is also becoming a battleground for the two countries.

While China is not an adversary, it is the “greatest” threat to the U.S. where geopolitics is concerned, Arend said.

“I would say China presents the broadest geopolitical threat because of their power, their influence and their ability to extend globally,” he said.

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