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via science.sciencemag.org02/26/2021

Plitidepsin has potent preclinical efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 by targeting the host protein eEF1A - Science

Many host proteins play a role in the life cycle of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and some are required for viral replication and translation. There are efforts toward finding drugs that target viral proteins, but a complementary approach is to target these required host proteins. White et al. explored the antiviral activity of the cyclic depsipeptide drug plitidepsin, which targets the hosts cell's translational machinery (see the Perspective by Wong and Damania). The authors show that in cells, the drug is substantially more potent than remdesivir against SARS-CoV-2, with limited cellular toxicity. Prophylactic treatment protected mice against SARS-CoV-2 infection, so further investigation of plitidepsin as a therapeutic is warranted. Science , this issue p. [926][1]; see also p. [884][2] Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral proteins interact with the eukaryotic translation machinery, and inhibitors of translation have potent antiviral effects. We found that the drug plitidepsin (aplidin), which has limited clinical approval, possesses antiviral activity (90% inhibitory concentration = 0.88 nM) that is more potent than remdesivir against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro by a factor of 27.5, with limited toxicity in cell culture. Through the use of a drug-resistant mutant, we show that the antiviral activity of plitidepsin against SARS-CoV-2 is mediated through inhibition of the known target eEF1A (eukaryotic translation elongation factor 1A). We demonstrate the in vivo efficacy of plitidepsin treatment in two mouse models of SARS-CoV-2 infection with a reduction of viral replication in the lungs by two orders of magnitude using prophylactic treatment. Our results indicate that plitidepsin is a promising therapeutic candidate for COVID-19. [1]: /lookup/doi/10.1126/science.abf4058 [2]: /lookup/doi/10.1126/science.abg6837

via urdupoint02/25/2021

Residents of Retirement Home in Lithuania Caught COVID-19 Despite Vaccination - UrduPoint News

An outbreak of the coronavirus has been registered in one of Lithuanias retirement homes despite the vaccination of its residents, the facility said.A new outbreak of the coronavirus disease has been registered in a retirement home in Lauksargiai, the Taurage District. 14 out of 15 people infected ..

via arabnews02/21/2021

Saudi Arabia eyes place in world's top 30 digital economies - Arab News

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) completed the delivery of optical fiber to 3.5 million homes by the end of December 2020, according to Al Arabiya. This has passed the optical fiber deployment initiative goal set by the National Transformation Program. The Ministry of Communications aims to place the Kingdom among the top 30

via arabnews02/21/2021

Swiss spooked by using debt to prop up economy - Arab News

ZURICH: Germany, which is known for strict budgets, has tapped debt markets to prop up its virus-hit economy, while neighboring Switzerland has consistently curbed borrowing despite calls to change course. With Swiss firms struggling through another lockdown, the federal government last week finally loosened its purse strings a bit, doubling emergency aid to 10 billion Swiss

via arabnews02/20/2021

Saudi Central Bank to launch 24/7 payments systems on Sunday - Arab News

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) announced it will launch the instant payments system on Sunday, Feb. 21, after a successful trial phase with several Saudi participating banks. The 24/7 electronic payment system allows financial institutions, companies, and individuals to transfer money instantly. The move was part of a wider campaign to make Saudi Arabia a leading center for

via schengenvisainfo02/19/2021

Estonia Exempts Arrivals From Eight EU/Schengen Countries From Entry Restrictions - -

The Estonian authorities have exempted from the entry restrictions arrivals eight European Union and Schengen Area Member States, a decision that becomes effective on February 22, Monday, and expires at the end of the last day of the month. According to a press release of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, throughout next week, arrivals […]

via startribune02/17/2021

Estonia report: Russia bets on COVID-19 weakening the West - Minneapolis Star Tribune

Estonia's foreign intelligence agency said Wednesday that Russia is counting on the COVID-19 pandemic to weaken unity in the West which would help Moscow gain a more prominent role in international affairs and lead to "declining Western influence on the global stage."

via bnn-news02/25/2021

Epidemiologist warns Covid-19 situation in Latvia has worsened again -

After a drop that lasted several weeks the epidemiological situation in Latvia has become worse again, because the number of Covid-19 infection cases in a seven-day period is on a rise, said epidemiologist of the State Disease Prevention and Monitoring Centre Jurijs Perevoščikovs at a meeting of the government.

via thepointsguy02/23/2021

Where you can go with a vaccine passport; A country-by-country guide - The Points Guy

Editor’s note: This post was updated Feb. 23, 2021 with new information.  The time has finally come when COVID-19 vaccination programs in countries all over the world are in full swing. And there’s hope for a return of at least some aspects of pre-COVID-19 normalcy. As more of the world’s population gets vaccinated, travel could …

via arabnews02/21/2021

UK fintechs seek 'cure for Brexit' in Lithuania - Arab News

VILNIUS: Thanks in part to Brexit, Lithuania is becoming a fintech hub as a growing number of UK-linked digital financial companies are getting licenses there so they can continue to operate in the European Union. The Baltic eurozone state with a population about a third the size of London is now leading the EU in fintech with over 230 companies, according to the Invest

via arabnews02/20/2021

Saudi Arabia issues 5963 licenses in metals, gemstone sectors - Arab News

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Commerce issued 5,963 licenses in precious metals and gemstones sectors since early 2020, a report in Al-Eqtisadiah quoted a ministry spokesman as saying. Abdul Rahman Al-Hussein said during the current year the ministry issued 60 licenses until mid-February. The Law of Precious Metals and Gemstones stipulates not to engage in the trade or

via bnn-news02/20/2021

Week in Lithuania: 103 years' since independence proclamation marked, hackers leak data of data of 110,000 users -

Last week, the top news stories in Lithuania were quarantine celebration of the anniversary of signing of the Act of Independence, cyber criminals leaking data of 110,000 Lithuanian-registered users and Chinese luggage scanners being banned at airports. Avia Solutions Group reveals plans in Vilnius airport Avia Solutions Group, an aviation business group, announced Monday, February […]

via bnn-news02/18/2021

BNN ANALYSES | Lithuanian government under pressure to allow to reopen much more widely -

Linas Jegelevičius for the BNN The genie is out of the bottle in Lithuania – with the country’s hairdressers and small non-food shop owners allowed to reopen from this week, all the others, still under the quarantine constraints, gruntle, demanding a greenlight from the government to go back to «business as usual». But the latter […]

via emerging-europe02/17/2021

Romania's economy outperformed the rest of the EU in Q4 2020 - Emerging Europe

Loose Covid-19 containment measures in much of Central and Eastern Europe appear to have paid off for the region's economies, with strong growth in the fourth quarter across much of the region. Romania saw the EU's highest levels of growth, defying all expectations.

via schengenvisainfo02/22/2021

Lithuania Updates List of COVID-19 Highly Affected Countries – Obliges Carriers to Self-Isolate - -

Lithuania had updated its list of highly affected world countries, including those in the European Union, by marking Albania, the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Republic of Seychelles and Slovakia, as countries where the risk to get infected has increased. This means arrivals from these countries will be subject to stricter entry measures upon arrival in […]

via arabnews02/21/2021

Sudan devalues currency to meet key condition for debt relief - Arab News

KHAROTUM: Sudan’s central bank sharply devalued the currency on Sunday, announcing a new regime to “unify” official and black-market exchange rates in an effort to overcome a crippling economic crisis and access debt relief. The change is a key reform demanded by foreign donors and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but was delayed for months as shortages of basic goods

via arabnews02/21/2021

COVID-19: Could empty office buildings help solve France's housing crisis? - Arab News

PARIS: Covid-19 has emptied office buildings and business districts, and with working from home expected to be the norm after the pandemic, some want to convert them to residential use to help solve inner city housing crises. France has already begun to experiment with such conversions and “the significant rise in remote working encourages scaling up” such projects, French

via arabnews02/20/2021

Swiss firm sets up Saudi division to target shipbuilding sector - Arab News

RIYADH: Switzerland’s ABB Marine and Ports is setting up a local division in Saudi Arabia in a bid to expand its client base across the Kingdom’s shipping, ports and offshore sectors. The company also aims to help develop the local shipbuilding industry, part of the Kingdom’s ambitions to diversify its economy away from a focus on the hydrocarbons sector under Saudi Vision

via voanews02/20/2021

Navalny Faces Decisive Rulings in Moscow Legal Marathon - Voice of America

The Kremlin's most prominent opponent, Alexey Navalny, faces two court decisions Saturday that could seal a judge's ruling to jail him for several years, after he returned to Russia following a poisoning attack. A Moscow court is due to rule on Navalny's appeal of a decision this month to imprison him for nearly three years for violating the terms of a suspended sentence on embezzlement charges. But if Navalny wins his appeal Saturday, his victory could be short-lived. Prosecutors in a separate trial have called for him to be fined the equivalent of $13,000 for calling a World War II veteran a

via delfi.lt02/18/2021

Winner of tender to provide coronavirus testing at Lithuanian Airports announced - EN DELFI

site.title - Lithuanian Airports have announced that the medical testing company „“ has won a public tender to provide Coronavirus testing services at the country’s airports. Coronavirus testing is scheduled to begin near Vilnius Airport by the end of February, and by April – at Kaunas and Palanga airports.