Techlife News #518

Read the most relevant news of the week about the world of technology and its influence on our lives. New products, Apps, acquisitions in the industry, highlights about the digital world and everything about your favorite iGadgets and upgrades. Everything you need to keep well informed. A new concept of light, intelligent, innovative reading at your fingertips. A global view of Tech LifeStyle and its influence on our lives.

United States
Ivan Castilho de Almeida
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52 Números

en este número

4 min.
us, eu agree to further trade and technology talks

The United States and the European Union agreed Wednesday to carry on the work of 10 expert-level panels to explore and recommend solutions to a variety of trade disputes and challenges. During the first of two days of trade and technology talks in Pittsburgh, they instructed the working groups to continue deliberations on matters ranging from climate and clean tech and technology standards to global trade issues, including tariffs that have strained U.S.-EU relations and predatory commercial practices by China. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Trade Representative Katherine Tai led the U.S. delegation, accompanied by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, for the inaugural meeting of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council. The meeting took place in an atmosphere clouded by recent EU anger over being excluded from a new U.S.-British-Australian security initiative…

2 min.
merck spends $11.5b for acceleron, possible blockbuster drug

Merck will spend about $11.5 billion to buy Acceleron Pharma and its potential treatment for high blood pressure in vessels that connect the lungs and heart. Merck will pay $180 per share in cash for Acceleron, the Kenilworth, New Jersey, company said Thursday. Acceleron is running late-stage studies of a potential treatment, sotatercept, for patients with life-threatening pulmonary arterial hypertension. Blood vessels in the lungs become narrowed, blocked or destroyed in pulmonary arterial hypertension, according to the Mayo Clinic. Blood pressure in lung arteries rises and causes the heart to worker harder, which can lead to heart failure. Sotatercept represents a “potential blockbuster” and a way for Merck to add a new source of revenue, Mizuho Securities USA analyst Mara Goldstein wrote. Merck executives told analysts Thursday they hope to launch the drug…

4 min.
us slightly revises up its gdp estimate for q2 to 6.7%

The U.S. economy expanded at a 6.7% annual pace from April through June, the Commerce Department said Thursday, slightly upgrading its estimate of last quarter’s growth in the face of a resurgence of COVID-19 in the form of the delta variant. The government’s estimate of growth in the second quarter — its last of three — was up from its previous estimate of a 6.6% annual pace that will likely mark a high point for the economy’s expansion this year as the virus slows some activity, government support programs wind down and manufacturing supply-chain issues persist. Thursday’s report from the government showed that the nation’s gross domestic product — its total output of goods and services — accelerated from a 6.3% annual rate in the first three months of the year. A key…

5 min.
surging natural gas prices: threat to consumers this winter?

Brace for a rude surprise on your winter heating bills. After years of unusually inexpensive levels, the price of natural gas in the United States has more than doubled since this time last year. In Europe and Asia, wholesale prices are more than five times what they were a year ago. The surging costs have coincided with a robust recovery from the pandemic recession, with more homes and businesses burning all forms of fuel. That intensified demand is poised to contribute to higher heating costs in many areas of the world. Having enjoyed a prolonged period of low prices, consumers of natural gas are facing the burden of far more expensive fuel — and the prospect of much higher heating bills this winter. “Consumers got used to very low prices last year, because…

1 min.
at&t to require vaccines for 90,000 of its union workers

AT&T has become one of the largest employers in the U.S. to mandate vaccines for a significant number of frontline workers. The telecom company said Wednesday that its employees in the Communications Workers of America union will be required to be fully vaccinated by Feb. 1, “unless they get an approved job accommodation.” CWA represents about 90,000 AT&T workers, the union said. It is the largest union at the company, which had about 230,000 employees as of the end of January. The Dallas company said it is extending a vaccination policy that it set for managers in August that required them to be vaccinated by Oct. 11. Unlike the federal government’s vaccine mandate for large employers, AT&T is not offering employees the option to take a weekly test instead of getting inoculated. The federal…

1 min.
ban on single-use plastic bags goes into effect on friday

A ban on single-use plastic bags that was originally scheduled to begin on the first of this year will go into effect Friday across Washington state. The ban applies to single-use plastic carryout bags by restaurants, retail stories, small vendors, and grocery stores, KIRO-TV reported.Gov. Jay Inslee postponed the ban because there weren’t enough compliant paper or plastic bags available when the ban was supposed to go into effect. The Washington State Department of Ecology said plastic bags cause pollution other than the obvious litter. The department said harmful chemicals are released when plastics are made, used, burned, or slowly disintegrate. The bags are not easily recycled and clog sorting machines, which puts workers at risk. “Single-use plastic bags are not easily recyclable, which makes managing them at the end of their lives…