$40 billion pledged at Paris conference for gender equality
World leaders, philanthropists and other organizations have pledged to provide at least $40 billion at an international conference in Paris to boost gender equality, as women across the world have been deeply affected by the consequences of the pandemic.
Paris conference aims to fast-track road to gender equality
The head of the U.N.’s premiere global body fighting to empower women says an international conference opening in Paris on Wednesday aims to fast-track the slow road to gender equality and mobilize millions of dollars to achieve the long-sought goal quickly.
Bill Gates' leadership roles stay intact despite allegations
Despite damaging allegations suggesting Bill Gates pursued women who worked for him, don’t expect changes to his roles at the two iconic institutions he co-founded, Microsoft and his namesake philanthropic foundation, raising accountability concerns from critics.
Diplomats, donors concerned about sex abuse reports at WHO
British, European and American diplomats and donors have voiced serious concerns about how the World Health Organization handled sex abuse allegations involving its own staff during an outbreak of Ebola in Congo, as reported this week by The Associated Press.
Melinda Gates says philanthropy, government work best united
FILE - Melinda Gates attends a meeting at the G-7 Finance in Chantilly, north of Paris, on Thursday, July 18, 2019. Philanthropy is in a unique position to speed global change, but government action is necessary to implement it, Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said Wednesday, March 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, file)NEW YORK – Philanthropy is in a unique position to speed global change, but government action is necessary to implement it, Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said Wednesday. Facebook will now offer family members of domestic violence victims up to 20 days of paid leave. “It’s a horrific number and that’s before coronavirus where we know that domestic violence is spiking ….
Warren Buffett's fortune tops $100B as his stock soars
FILE - In this May 5, 2019, file photo Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, speaks during a game of bridge following the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha, Neb. Investor Buffett's fortune surged above $100 billion Wednesday, March 10, 2021, when shares of his company hit a record high at over $400,000 apiece. – Investor Warren Buffett's fortune surged above $100 billion Wednesday when shares of his company hit a record high at over $400,000 apiece. Buffett's fortune, which is mostly tied to his ownership of 248,734 Class A shares, topped $101 billion at the stock's peak Wednesday. Amazon's Jeff Bezos is listed as the world's richest man with a $179.6 billion fortune.
$40M gender equality fund by Gates, Scott picks finalists
In this Feb. 1, 2019, Melinda Gates speaks while being interviewed in Kirkland, Wash. A gender equality philanthropic initiative spearheaded by Melinda Gates investment company, with support from MacKenzie Scott, has announced 10 project finalists for $40 million in funding slated to be awarded this summer. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)A gender equality philanthropic initiative spearheaded by Melinda Gates’ investment company, with support from MacKenzie Scott, has announced 10 project finalists for $40 million in funding slated to be awarded this summer. Gates, who committed $1 billion in 2019 toward advancing gender equality in the U.S., citing the low rates of women in leadership positions, said in the announcement of the finalists that solutions towards gender equality require investment. AdScott said in the announcement that the 10 finalists “inspire hope for change.”Other philanthropic initiatives towards gender equality were also announced on Monday, including from Google.org, the charitable arm of Google. It has put out an open call for applications for a $25 million challenge that aims to fund organizations “creating pathways to prosperity for women and girls."
Yellen taps Obama administration vets for key Treasury roles
Treasury Secretary-nominee Janet Yellen sits in a chair before the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)WASHINGTON – The Treasury Department announced Wednesday that Didem Nisanci will serve as Janet Yellen's chief of staff once Yellen is confirmed by the Senate. Jason Leibenluft will serve as counselor to the Treasury secretary after having been a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. He worked during the Obama-Biden administration in a variety of roles, including deputy director of the National Economic Council. Other staff picks, according to Treasury, include Calvin Mitchell as the assistant secretary for public affairs.
Donations soar but nonprofits still struggle with pandemic
Meals on Wheels volunteers sort prepared meals prior to deliver to seniors, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020 at the Renton Senior Activity Center in Renton, Wash., south of Seattle. That’s a $60 million drop for the iconic fundraising drive being crippled by the pandemic in numerous ways. There’s even a national coin shortage, in part because pandemic shopping has turned increasingly digital. The IRS is urging the public to utilize a special $300 tax deduction that can be claimed next year for cash donations in 2020 to tax-exempted nonprofits. The national advocacy group projects 12,000 arts and cultural nonprofits are at risk of being wiped out forever.
On World AIDS Day, South Africa finds hope in new treatment
Laboratory technicians test a blood sample for HIV infection at the Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (RHI) in Johannesburg, Thursday, Nov. 26 2020. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted the new drug in a weekly newsletter, saying the long-term acting and injectable HIV drug has “the potential to significantly strengthen our response to the epidemic.”The region is especially hard-hit. South Africa has the biggest epidemic in the world with 7.7 million people living with HIV, according to UNAIDS. She said that while PrEP has been pivotal, this new injectable drug will make life easier. The clinical trials were conducted among more than 3,200 women at research sites in South Africa, Uganda, Eswatini, Kenya, Malawi, Botswana and Zimbabwe.
Europe, Gates pledge funds to get vaccines to poor nations
That includes Covax, an ambitious but troubled global project to buy and deliver virus vaccines for the world’s poorest people. France and the European Union's executive commission each promised 100 million euros (about $118 million) for the WHO vaccine efforts. Spain promised 50 million euros (about $59 million), and the Gates Foundation promised $70 million (about 59.3 million euros). The new financing is in addition to the funds that countries previously contributed to Covax. Many European countries are back under various levels of lockdowns and with their hospitals under heavy strain.
Study finds long-acting shot helps women avoid HIV infection
Results so far suggest that the drug, cabotegravir, was 89% more effective at preventing HIV infection than Truvada pills, although both reduce that risk. The results mirror those announced earlier this year from a similar study testing the shots versus the daily pills in gay men. It promises HIV prevention help to young women, “those who need it the most,” he said. There were more side effects, mostly nausea, with the daily pills. “People need choices for HIV prevention,” and this gives a new option, Warren said in a statement.
Push to bring coronavirus vaccines to the poor faces trouble
Refrigeration, cargo planes, and, above all, money: All risk being in short supply for the international initiative to get coronavirus vaccines to the worlds most vulnerable people. Covax was conceived as a way of giving countries access to coronavirus vaccines regardless of their wealth. Countries taking part in the project can either buy vaccines from Covax or get them for free, if needed. Other countries, including France and Germany, will technically join Covax but won't procure vaccines for their citizens via the initiative. “We would have no say over the vaccines, the price, the quality, the technical platform or the risks,” Auer said.
The Latest: 2 Philippine tourist spots partially reopen
A separate data system operated by state health officials has documented around 2,300 infections among school-age children since Sept. 1. ___MILAN — Italy has tallied 2,548 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily total in five months. — Maryland is reporting zero coronavirus deaths in a 24-hour period for the first time since March 28. That doesn’t necessarily mean no COVID-19 deaths occurred in that time frame, because sometimes there is a delay in the submission of a death certificate. ___LONDON — The European Medicines Agency has begun its first review process for an experimental COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.
Bill Gates Sr., father of Microsoft co-founder, dies at 94
FILE - In this April 21, 2010 file photo, Bill Gates Sr. talks to reporters in Seattle. Gates, a lawyer and philanthropist and father of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, died Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, at age 94. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren,File)SEATTLE – William H. Gates II, a lawyer and philanthropist best known as the father of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, has died at 94. “My dad’s wisdom, generosity, empathy, and humility had a huge influence on people around the world,” Bill Gates wrote in a tribute. Gates Sr. was a towering figure by reputation and in person — he stood 6-foot-7 (2 meters) tall — and his counsel was often sought.
Global vaccine plan may allow rich countries to buy more
Politicians and public health leaders have publicly committed to equitably sharing any coronavirus vaccine that works, but the top global initiative to make it happen may allow rich countries to reinforce their own stockpiles while making fewer doses available for poor ones. Activists warn that without stronger attempts to hold political, pharmaceutical and health leaders accountable, vaccines will be hoarded by rich countries in an unseemly race to inoculate their populations first. That means rich countries can sign deals on their own with drugmakers and then also get no-strings-attached allocations from Gavi. By giving rich countries this backup plan, theyre getting their cake and eating it too, said Anna Marriott of Oxfam International. Right now theres no vaccine for anyone, he said, and were trying to solve that problem.Berkley said Gavi needed to make investing in a global vaccine initiative attractive for rich countries.
Pakistan to resume polio campaign as COVID-19 cases decline
Police departments have received requests to ensure the safety of the polio workers. Rana Mohammad Safdar, who oversees anti-polio operations in the country, said polio workers would adhere to social distancing regulations while carrying out their duty. Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are the three countries in the world where polio a disabling and life-threatening disease caused by the polio virus is still endemic. Since January, Pakistan has reported 58 new polio cases from various parts of the country, including the northwestern region bordering Afghanistan. Pakistan has had more than 253,000 cases of the coronavirus, including 5,320 deaths, since the first infection was detected in February.
Amazon's homeless shelter faces Seattle crisis, criticism
A rooftop patio outdoor space is shown at Mary's Place, a family homeless shelter located inside an Amazon corporate building on the tech giant's Seattle campus, Wednesday, June 17, 2020. The shelter marks a major civic contribution bestowed by Amazon to the hometown it has rapidly transformed. But the facility also serves as a stark display of haves-and-have-nots, given that some blame Amazon's explosive growth over the past decade for making living in Seattle too costly for a growing number of people. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Amazon's homeless shelter faces Seattle crisis, criticism
A rooftop patio outdoor space is shown at Mary's Place, a family homeless shelter located inside an Amazon corporate building on the tech giant's Seattle campus, Wednesday, June 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)SEATTLE A homeless shelter built on Amazons perfectly manicured urban Seattle campus is a major civic contribution that pushes the company to face the crisis and criticism in the hometown it has rapidly transformed. Believed to be the first homeless shelter built inside a corporate office building, Amazons partnership housing a local nonprofit could be seen as the company's answer to criticism that it hasnt given back enough to the city. Marty Hartman, executive director of Marys Place, said the shelter is a life-saving gift for the local community. Amazon estimates the new Marys Place building and ongoing utilities and maintenance will amount to a $100 million commitment to the homeless shelter program.
AIDS report: Kids are lagging and COVID-19 is harming care
Four years ago, the United Nations set goals for limiting HIV infections and improving treatment by the end of 2020, and all will be missed because the coronavirus pandemic is hurting access to care, the report concludes. Here are highlights from the report:INFECTIONSAbout 1.7 million new HIV infections occurred in 2019 down 23% since 2010 but far short of the 75% reduction goal. Were still seeing 150,000 kids being newly infected with HIV each year.In sub-Saharan Africa, girls and young women make up 10% of the population but account for 25% of new HIV infections. It breaks my heart that 4,500 girls, young women, were being infected every week in Africa every week! Were very, very worried, profoundly worried, about COVID-19 harming patients and efforts to curb the HIV, she said.
First drug proves able to improve survival from COVID-19
Researchers in England say they have the first evidence that a drug can improve COVID-19 survival: A cheap, widely available steroid called dexamethasone reduced deaths by up to one third in severely ill hospitalized patients. It did not appear to help less ill patients. Steroid drugs reduce inflammation, which sometimes develops in COVID-19 patients as the immune system overreacts to fight the infection. The World Health Organization advises against using steroids earlier in the course of illness because they can slow the time until patients clear the virus. ___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institutes Department of Science Education.
Malaria drug didn't help virus patients, big UK study finds
Leaders of a large study in the United Kingdom that is rigorously testing the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and other medicines for hospitalized COVID-19 patients say they will stop putting people on the drug because its clear it isnt helping. Results released Friday from 1,542 patients showed the drug did not reduce deaths, time in the hospital or other factors. The results convincingly rule out any meaningful mortality benefit, study leaders at the University of Oxford said in a statement. The Oxford study is the largest study so far to put hydroxychloroquine to a strict test. The World Health Organization is leading a similar study testing hydroxychloroquine and several other therapies versus standard of care.
Beyonc to give graduation speech alongside the Obamas
NEW YORK Beyonc has been added to the list of guest speakers for YouTube's virtual commencement ceremony that will also feature the Obamas. YouTube announced Tuesday that Beyonc will deliver an inspirational message to the 2020 class for its Dear Class of 2020" event, which will take place June 6 at 3 p.m. EDT and will stream on YouTube. Barack and Michelle Obama will also speak at the virtual celebration, which will include appearances from Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Bill and Melinda Gates, Jennifer Lopez, Billy Porter, Malala Yousafzai, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Zendaya, Alicia Keys, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Demi Lovato, Hasan Minhaj and more. Dear Class of 2020" will include music performances from BTS, Lizzo, Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, Chloe x Halle, Maluma, CNCO and Camila Cabello.
Melinda Gates pledges $1 billion toward gender equality
(CNN) - It'll take more than 200 years before gender equality is a reality in the U.S.That's why Melinda Gates is doing something about it. This week, the philanthropist and global rights advocate said she's pledging $1 billion to expand women's power and influence. Over the next 10 years, Gates says, her company Pivotal Ventures will distribute that hefty sum to its partners who are implementing innovative strategies to advance women's power and leadership. Gates is a vocal advocate for increased opportunities for women in tech, global health investment and technology as a pathway out of poverty. Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which she co-chairs with her husband, she has awarded over $50 billion in grant funding.