☕️ Dogs are reliable detectors of Covid-19, early studies showed

Yet another last-minute u-turn by MKN creating confusion amongst businesses. iProperty Malaysia acquired by PropertyGuru. By Nestle's own admission, most of their products aren't that healthy.

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1. MARKET SUMMARY

*US markets were closed on May 31 2021 in conjunction with Memorial Day.


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

World No. 2 Naomi Osaka was fined USD15,000 for skipping press conference following her Round 1 win against Patricia Maria Țig at Roland-Garros and was subsequently threatened with tournament default. Osaka took to her Twitter just this morning announcing her withdrawal from French Open.

Only 16 out of 342 CEOs in the Associated Press’s and Equilar’s compensation survey of S&P 500 companies in 2020 were women. Median pay for them — USD 13.6 million but this is 1.9% lower than the previous year.

Three — the number of children China allows couples to have in the country, in a bid to counter the steep drop in birth rates revealed by a census recently.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

*Amended the accurate figure for MY

  • 2,913,009 doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in Malaysia as of May 30 2021.**

  • 82,300 Malaysian children have tested positive for Covid-19 since the pandemic begun.

  • 30 mobile vaccination trucks will be activated in People’s Housing Project (PPR) areas and construction sites to speed up vaccination process in KL.

**Corrected the interpretation of the Covid-19 vaccination progress as highlighted by our reader.


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

  1. CIMB Group Holdings Bhd recorded its highest net profit for 1QFY21 ended March 31, 2021 — RM2.45 billion. The main contributor is a one-off evaluation gain of RM1.16 billion from the deconsolidation of TNG Digital (TNGD) as a result of successful third party in TNGD. Excluding the gain, profit before tax looks healthy at RM1.74. billion from RM714 million in 1QFY20. No dividends declared for this quarter.

  1. The pandemic has evidently nudged Malaysians to embrace online services as My EG Services Bhd (MyEG) recorded net profit for 1QFY21 ended March 31, 2021 of RM76.29 million, increased by 29.7% y-o-y. New concession services from MyEG such as online renewal of motorcycle insurance and road tax (MIRT), as well as online renewal of Competent Driving License (CDL) contributed to the group’s higher bottom line. Summary of 1QFY21 report could be found here.

  2. REA Group which operates popular property marketplace such as iProperty.com.my and Brickz.my has sold its operating entities in Malaysia and Thailand to Singapore-headquartered PropertyGuru Group.

    Both PropertyGuru.com.my and iProperty.com.my will retain their independent brand names but the transaction will allow them to combine resources, accelerate innovation and provide enhanced digital solutions to home seekers, property agents and developers.

  3. After US Customs and Borders Protection (CBP) has relentlessly caught Malaysian companies using force labour in the past 12 months, American tyre manufacturer Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co is facing similar accusations at its Malaysian factory. Foreign workers from Nepal, India and Myanmar are claiming USD1.21 million in unpaid wages from Goodyear according to Reuters.

  4. The son of former PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Datuk Mohamad Nizar (pictured below) has agreed to settle the tax arrears totalling RM13.16 million for assessment years from 2011 to 2017 to Inland Revenue Board (IRB). When will the sibling and the father do the same? More importantly, what on earth did he do to have such an expensive tax bill?

News in brief

  1. Petronas’s recorded profit after tax of RM9.3 billion for 1QFY21 ended March 31, 2021 thanks to an impairment write back.

  2. British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd recorded net profit of RM63.11 million for 1QFY21 ended March 31 2021 and will be declaring dividends of 21 per share, to be paid on June 30 2021.

  3. Kudos to the National Security Council for another u-turn yesterday — International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) will be issuing the approval letters to operate during Phase 1 of FMCO via its one-stop centre.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. Man’s best friend - the potential new tool in helping combat the Covid-19 pandemic. There is growing evidence that dogs are capable of detecting coronavirus, just like how it sniff out bombs and drugs. This would be particularly useful at port of entries (ie. airports) to reduce waiting time at testing lines. 

    What the studies have found from the trials and research in using dogs:

    1. In a study in London, dogs were able to detect asymptomatic patients as well as people with 2 different variants. When followed by a PCR test, it would detect 91% of cases.

    2. A French study showed dogs’ detection reached 97% sensitivity, meaning that’s how well the canines could identify positive cases, beating out many of the 15-minute antigen tests.Their sniffing is also 91% specific, meaning the dogs were also capable of identifying negative cases. 

    3. German researchers found that trained canines were able to distinguish between saliva samples from people infected with the virus and those who were not more than 90% of the time. 

    Other nations like Finland, Dubai and Switzerland have also started training dogs for this purpose. 

  2. A report revealed that the US spied on European officials with the help of Denmark’s foreign intelligence, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. An internal investigation by the Danish Defence Intelligence Service found that the US National Security Agency (NSA) used Danish information cables to spy on senior officials in  Sweden, Norway, France and Germany between 2012 to 2015. The NSA was able to access calls, texts, and chat messages to and from the officials’ telephones. 

    The Germans were not aware of NSA’s spying allegations until journalists asked about the report. Edward Snowden, the man that exposed NSA’s spying activities years ago, said that President Biden was ‘deeply involved’ in this spying scandal as he was the Vice-President during the Obama era when the spying took place. 

  1. Is Skynet (the villain in Terminator) here? The UN reported the first incident of a weaponised drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being instructed. In the March 2020 incident, the Turkish built KARGU-2 quadcopter autonomously attacked a human during a conflict between Libyan government forces and a breakaway military faction. The drone, designed for asymmetric warfare and anti-terrorist operations, targeted the enemy whilst he was retreating. The NGO, Human Rights Watch, has called for an end to so-called "killer robots" and is campaigning for a "preemptive ban on the development, production, and use of fully autonomous weapons," according to a report by the charity.

  1. After the Financial Times reported an internal document at Nestle that described a large portion of its food and drinks as unhealthy, Nestle, the maker of KitKats, Maggi noodles and Nescafe, has announced that it will be working on updating its nutrition and health strategy. The FT said it had seen an internal presentation circulated among top execs early this year that 60% of Nestle’s mainstream food and drinks products do not meet a ‘recognised definition of health’ and that ‘some of our categories and products will never be ‘healthy’ no matter how much we renovate’. The analysis only applied to half of Nestle’s overall portfolio as categories like medical nutrition, pet food, coffee and infant formula were excluded, which accounts for about half of its annual revenue of USD103 bil

    The system used to assess the health standards of these products follows Australia’s health star rating system that is used by international research groups that scores foods out of 5 stars where 3.5 stars is considered the ‘recognised definition of health’. About 70% of Nestle’s food products, 96% of beverages (excluding pure coffee) and 99% of its confectionary and ice cream portfolio failed to meet his 3.5 stars threshold.

    News in Brief:

  2. Myanmar military announced that it will extend a nationwide ceasefire from June 1 to June 30 to start peace negotiations.

  3. NASA will be paying most of the USD9 bil cost to bring back to Earth less than 1 kg of dirt from Mars.


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁 (Beta Mode)

  1. Mesmerising aerial view of someone juggling

  2. 2021 iMac 2021 vs 2007 iPhone 2G in size