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  • Novavax Is Working On A Wuhan Coronavirus Vaccine Candidate As First US Case Emerges

    Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX) said Tuesday afternoon it has initiated development of a vaccine candidate for the Wuhan-version of the coronavirus that has spread from China to other Asian nations and on Tuesday was confirmed to have infected at least one person in the United States. The company said it has extensive history working with coronaviruses and developing vaccine candidates, including its work on the MERS and SARS coronaviruses. "Using Novavax’ recombinant nanoparticle vaccine technology, the company expects to develop a vaccine candidate from the genetic sequence of the Wuhan coronavirus," the company said in a statement.

  • 8 Stocks To Buy With Dividend Yields Of At Least 9%

    In an unpredictable market, dividend and distribution payments are one of the few things investors can reliably count on. Unfortunately, many stocks that have the highest dividend yields come with a catch. When a stock drops, dividend yields rise given they are calculated as a percentage of share price.

  • 7 Blockbuster Drugs Expected To Be Launched In 2020

    Biotech stocks had a fairly decent run in 2019, thanks to record deal flow , several path-breaking innovation in drug research & development and the positive broader market sentiment. New molecular entity ...

Travel News from ABTA

  • Dealing with claims companies 

    Dealing with claims companies  Full Page image dhewitt@abta.co.uk Mon, 01/20/2020 - 10:17 This article was first written by Ian Skuse, Blake Morgan LLP – Partner for Travel Law Today issue eight, which can be download at abta.com/travellawtoday Claims management companies (CMC) have played a significant role in assisting consumers to make claims against businesses in the travel sector including claims for consumers alleging holiday sickness.  In January 2018, the number of CMCs dealing with holiday sickness cases fell by 37% from 225 the previous year. Across the personal injury claims sector, the total was 630, which had fallen from 868 CMCs in 20161. ABTA, with its “stop sickness scams” campaign, was praised in the regulator’s report for helping tackle the issue of fraudulent cases that had been made to various tour operators and hotels. It has not only been the area of sickness cases where CMCs operate. Airlines and those involved in other aspects of package travel and flight delay claims have had problems in managing the volumes of claims that are currently being made. Commentators suggest that with the closing of PPI claims in August 2019, we will see a significant rise in the number of CMCs taking on claims in the travel sector. A new regulator From 1 April 2019, the regulation of CMCs has been managed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and complaints about their conduct can be escalated to the Financial Ombudsman. Whilst this appears to be good news, the FCA has been set up to inherit the work of the previous regulator, the Ministry of Justice, but only certain types of claims fall within the scope of the FCA regime. In particular, whilst the FCA can deal with personal injury claims (including holiday sickness), CMCs are not required to register and be regulated for other travel claims. These might include poor quality, general breaches of contract and flight cancellations and delays. The outcome of this is that some CMCs can choose to be regulated, some must be regulated and others can simply operate without any regulation at all. In my experience, mosts CMCs are unregulated, which can cause difficulty for those in receipt of a claim. The lack of  registration with a regulator might mean a lack of proper client accounts, as well as no code of conduct, and a possibly insufficient clarity about what the CMC will do and for what price and about contract terms. When claims do settle, there are real issues about dealing with unregistered CMCs where it is not clear how the money will be kept and forwarded to the consumer after deduction of fees agreed with the customer but unknown to the payee. Understandably, unregistered CMCs will press for recognition, exclusivity of access to their ‘client’ and for urgent payment, so they can take the slice they had agreed as a commission. Taking on the CMCs In the flight delay sector, airlines have been encouraged to promote their claims procedures to passengers, and to make early compensation payments to passengers as soon as practically possible. Passengers are actively encouraged by both the CAA and the EU to contact the airline directly to recover the total compensation payable without the need to approach any third party. However, CMCs have seen the involvement of airlines as interference with their right to act as the attorney or solicitor for the claimant consumer, and to demand that they alone can contact the passenger and receive the compensation payment.  Bott & Co v Ryanair These arguments were raised in the case of Bott & Co Solicitors Ltd v Ryanair DAC (2019) (Court of Appeal). The airline had revised its conditions of carriage to include new provisions, which required all passengers wishing to claim for flight delay, cancellation or denied boarding to lodge a claim form on the airline’s own website, and to allow a 28-day period during which the airline would investigate the claim. During this period, the conditions of carriage confirmed that the airline was entitled to communicate with the passenger directly and not to correspond with any third-party CMC or solicitor instructed. The conditions of carriage stated ‘Ryanair will not process claims submitted by a third party if a passenger concerned has not submitted the claim directly to Ryanair and allowed Ryanair time to respond in accordance with (Article 15.22) above’. There was also provision for payments to be made to the passenger direct. Bott are well known solicitors in the consumer flight delay market. The Court of Appeal found against Bott’s argument that, as solicitors, they were entitled to an ‘equitable lien’ on compensation payments that contained or partly contained their professional fees. This argument, if successful, would mean that all compensation payments would have to be made to Bott rather than made by the airline direct to the passenger. The court held that this issue did not arise because despite being a firm of solicitors, the services provided by Bott were not of the nature where payment was preserved under an equitable lien as they were merely advising a client as to whether or not there was a good case and if so, then going through a mechanical process in making a claim. These were not ‘litigation services’ that could create any obligation for payments from the airline. Secondly, Bott argued that the process introduced by the changes to the conditions of carriage were an obstacle to the rights of the consumer to bring the case and accordingly unfair. Again, this argument failed. The Ryanair claims process (detailed at length in the judgement) was fair and did not create an obstacle in the path of a passenger wishing to claim. The court endorsed the statement of the CAA on its website to the effect that passengers should be encouraged to use each airline’s own claims procedure. This view was also endorsed by the European Commission, which states ‘passengers should always seek to contact the operating carrier before considering other means to seek redress for their rights’. Opportunities Ryanair’s system for compensating passengers who had experienced delays and cancellations was found to be fair, and did not interfere with the consumer’s right to recover monies due under Regulation 261/2004. Other airlines might equally benefit, particularly where enhanced passenger procedures to make a claim are simplified and quick. Where CMCs see travel claims as fertile territory, tour operators and others affected might consider: Whether they can insist upon only dealing with solicitors or whether they deal only with a registered CMC properly appointed for the claimant only after they have investigated over an agreed short period.  Whether on current booking conditions they can insist upon paying compensation or payments to their client by cheque, or direct bank payment rather than via any third party. Whether booking conditions could be amended to introduce a preliminary investigation period prior to any direct contact with any third party acting for the consumer.  Of course nothing can prevent customers seeking court resolution where alternative methods are available but fail to produce a resolution of the claim. 1 Claims Management Regulator: annual report 5 July 2018.

  • ABTA updates Brexit travel advice

    ABTA updates Brexit travel advice Full Page image dhewitt@abta.co.uk Fri, 01/17/2020 - 08:00 Brexit deal will provide continuity for 2020 travel arrangements  ABTA – The Travel Association is updating its advice for travellers in the run up to Brexit on 31 January. This latest advice highlights that the UK is now on track to enter a transition period at the end of the month meaning that all travel requirements and arrangements will remain the same until at least the end of December 2020. This new advice replaces that previously given to reflect the government’s ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ campaign which spelt out how a ‘no-deal’ scenario would affect important areas such as passport validity, European Health Insurance Cards, driving licences, taking pets abroad and data roaming.  ABTA research shows that nearly a third of people (31%1)  are unsure about how Brexit will affect their travel plans and, since the General Election, hits to ABTA’s “Brexit advice for travellers” website page have increased by over 376% 2 as Brits research their travel plans for the year ahead.  Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive, says, “The UK is primed to enter a new Brexit phase from 31 January, when trade talks begin, and when it does nothing will change when it comes to travel.  “This means that valid passports can still be used, EHIC cards will still be valid and the same gates can be used at border check points. People can continue to make their travel plans with confidence that things won’t change until at least the end of 2020. “As the UK’s most trusted travel association ABTA has been actively providing advice to travellers throughout the Brexit process and will continue to do so as the longer term relationship with the EU becomes clearer.” ABTA’s Brexit advice for travellers can be found at www.abta.com/brexit, and at the same time ABTA is communicating the message that Brits can continue to travel with confidence through a radio advertising and digital campaign until the end of January.  1 ABTA Holiday Habits report 2019. Survey of 2,043 consumers July 20192 Month after (29,694) vs. month prior (6,233) to General Election   For further information, contact: ABTA press office, press@abta.co.uk or 020 3117 0596 Jonathan Smith, Interim Head of PR and Media, jsmith@abta.co.uk or 020 3117 0514 Out of Hours:  Contact the Duty Press Officer via landline: 020 3693 0183 Web: www.abta.com Twitter: @ABTAtravel Notes to editors Europe is the number one destination for UK travellers with over 58 million trips abroad with Spain, France, Italy, Germany and Greece the most popular countries to visit. ABTA has been a trusted travel brand for over 65 years. Our purpose is to help our Members to grow their businesses successfully and sustainably, and to help their customers travel with confidence.  The ABTA brand stands for support, protection and expertise. This means consumers have confidence in ABTA and a strong trust in ABTA Members. These qualities are core to us as they ensure that holidaymakers remain confident in the holiday products that they buy from our Members.  We help our Members and their customers navigate through today's changing travel landscape by raising standards in the industry; offering schemes of financial protection; providing an independent complaints resolution service should something go wrong; giving guidance on issues from sustainability to health and safety and by presenting a united voice to government to ensure the industry and the public get a fair deal. ABTA has more than 4,300 travel brands in Membership, providing a wide range of leisure and business travel services, with a combined annual UK turnover of £39 billion. For more details about what we do, what being an ABTA Member means and how we help the British public travel with confidence visit www.abta.com.   

  • Customers should travel with confidence

    Customers should travel with confidence Full Page image dhewitt@abta.co.uk Thu, 01/16/2020 - 09:22 The industry is well into what is traditionally its peak booking period and ABTA’s campaign to ensure people carry through with their holiday plans for this year and book with a Member is well underway. Our national radio campaign on Heart, Capital, Classic and Sunrise is continuing for the rest of this month and next week the influencer part of the programme kicks off and will run until the end of February. Over 2m people have already seen our ads targeting families and younger audiences on Facebook and Instagram, and 800k have seen our “Trusted Travel Professional” video on YouTube. Please feel free to share this or download it from the marketing toolkit online and embed it on your website. To give customers confidence in the run up to Brexit on 31 January ABTA is also updating its travel advice to make it clear that nothing will change when it comes to travel when the UK enters a transition phase after this date. This is a very important message for Members to take to customers, to avoid any confusion at the end of the month about areas such as EHIC cards or passport validity requirements. As the UK’s most trusted travel association ABTA has been actively providing advice to travellers throughout the Brexit process and we will continue to do so as the longer term relationship with the EU becomes clearer. ABTA’s latest Brexit advice for travellers can be found at www.abta.com/brexit. Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive

  • Guest article: top five things to do to prepare for a cyber/data breach

    Guest article: top five things to do to prepare for a cyber/data breach Full Page image dhewitt@abta.co.uk Wed, 01/15/2020 - 15:00 Author: Debbie Venn, Partner, DMH Stallard LLP Cyber and data breaches have become part of our daily lives; from unencrypted USB sticks in car parks, to large-scale breaches such as Cambridge Analytica or British Airways. Businesses need to have a grip on measures they have in place to keep data secure (including personal data and confidential information), to protect this valuable asset and comply with the law.  The law The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations 2016 (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) mean that businesses now need to demonstrate their compliance and take appropriate technical and organisational measures in order to keep personal data secure. If you are a data controller (i.e. determining how personal data is processed) then this obligation includes reporting data breaches to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”), within 72 hours of discovering a breach. Data processors (who take their instructions from data controllers) need to notify the data controllers who they process personal data on behalf of, about any data breaches without undue delay from discovering a breach. The laws also require a data controller to notify data subjects about a data breach if the data breach causes high risk to the data subjects rights. Failure to notify can lead to enforcement action from the ICO and/or a fine, as well as compensation being payable to data subjects. What can I do to plan? Internal processes: You should have a process in place that requires data breaches to be analysed and assessed to see if a security breach leads to the accidental and unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data.  If so, then such a breach is likely to be reportable to the ICO (and potentially data subjects). Data breach policy: You should have a Data Breach Policy in place, which records the internal escalation process for raising awareness of a data breach at the earliest opportunity, so that the impact of the breach can be minimised and managed quickly. Five tops tips Conduct an audit of your systems and identify areas of vulnerability to put further protective measures in place.  Where your systems are controlled by third parties make sure you have a data processing agreement in place with a process for dealing with data breach notifications and management. Consider whether you need to notify your insurers of any personal data breaches. Give guidance and training on systems and policies relating to data protection and what to do in the event of a cyber breach. Keep under review and learn for future precaution measures and update internal policies as may be needed and communicate. Debbie Venn will be speaking at ABTA’s Cyber and Data Breach Management in Travel seminar on 5 February in central London. Attend to get further guidance and hear from other speakers including ABTA, National Cyber Security Centre, Experian, TUI and more. To view the agenda and register your place visit abta.com/abtaevents.

  • How not to stress out when booking a holiday with your mates this year

    How not to stress out when booking a holiday with your mates this year Full Page image landrews@abta.co.uk Wed, 01/15/2020 - 13:52 Win an Apple Watch This blog was written for ABTA’s Travel with Confidence campaign. Find out how to win an Apple Watch by visiting: abta.com/travelwithconfidence If you’re booking a holiday with your mates this year, we have answered some of the most common problems you may be experiencing and offered some expert solutions.Problem: So many options There are so many options out there and it’s taking me forever to get all the arrangements together. Help!Solution: Getting all the elements of a fun trip together can be time-consuming and stressful, not to mention that you won’t be protected in case you run into problems along the way. No wonder 18-24 year olds are increasingly booking package holidays, eg a trip organised by a travel professional or company that combines at least two different types of travel services. Look for an agent or tour operator and build a rapport with them, either via messaging on their website, by phone or by visiting their shops, and they can provide expert, specialised advice. If you want to by-pass all that, many companies have ready-made travel packages that are quick and easy to book.  Just make sure you book with an ABTA Member so that you can travel with confidence, knowing they meet ABTA’s Code of Conduct. This means that you can expect high standards from them as you’ll have booked with a reputable travel company. Find out more about looking for the ABTA logo when booking a holiday here. Problem: low budgets A group of us want to go somewhere but we have a low budget. How can we spend less and still go to amazing places?Solution: If you’re penny-pinching, beat the crowds by going off-peak or in the shoulder season (between peak and off-peak season). Avoid going around school breaks, bank holidays or special celebratory dates. Surprisingly, though, Boxing Day can be a good day to fly, as most people want to stay put that day. For a cheap and cheerful getaway, to enjoy some sunshine on the beach, search around for the best off-peak deals for destinations such as Spain and the Canaries, Turkey, Greece, Malta and Bulgaria to name a few.  But here comes the top tip: when you book with a travel professional, they will often arrange a payment plan with a deposit so you can pay off the cost of the holiday as you go. Some will also provide extra luggage allowance which is perfect if you find it hard to pack light.   Problem: indecisive We all want to go to different places. How do we decide where to go?Solution: Be democratic! Pulling destination names out of a hat could work. But do your research before you go such as checking the Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice before confirming.  To help you with the top destinations to visit next year, you can start by considering the ‘12 destinations to watch in 2020’ revealed in our Travel Trends report. The list is compiled independently by a group of ABTA experts and includes countries and regions celebrating significant anniversaries, providing the backdrop to blockbuster films as well as stunning destinations that can be accessed by public transport and ripe for discovery. Problem: out of pocket I’ve fallen out with my best friend because she took so long to pay me back for all the bookings I’ve made. Is there a way around this if we decide to go again next year?Solution: This one is easy: book your trip with an ABTA Member who can chase the payment from all the group members for you! Problem solved.  Problem: worried parents My parents are worried because they think it’s unsafe for me to travel with my mates. How do I convince them otherwise?Solution: Follow ABTA’s advice for young holidaymakers to plan for a fun and safe holiday.  It includes tips on how to stick together, looking after your belongings and getting appropriate travel insurance. Don’t forget to give your parents or a trusted friend a copy of your policy and paperwork before you travel should you need to claim on it. Also if you book your trip with a reputable agent or tour operator, such as an ABTA approved one, ABTA provides its members with 24/7, global safety information, so that they can act if anything goes wrong.  If your problem is not answered here, then do not worry, we have plenty more travel planning tips on our travel with confidence page at: abta.com/travelwithconfidence

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