New York nurses charged with forging Covid vaccine playing cards to earn greater than $1.5 million

Prosecutors said that officers obtained a ledger documenting profits in excess of $1.5 million from the alleged illegal activity.

Office of the District Attorney County of Suffolk

Two nurses on New York’s Long Island are being charged with forging Covid-19 vaccination cards and entering the fake jabs in the state’s database, a scam that allegedly raked in more than $1.5 million.

The Suffolk County District Attorney on Friday arrested Julie DeVuono, 49, the owner and operator of Wild Child Pediatric Healthcare in Amityville and her employee, Marissa Urraro, 44, according to a complaint.

From November 2021 to January 2022, the pair of allegedly forged vaccination cards, charging adults $220 apiece and $85 per child for a fake record that would land in the New York State Immunization Information System database. Prosecutors said that on one or more occasions, DeVuono and Urrano allegedly created records to indicate a vaccine was given to an undercover detective despite never administering the vaccine.

Julie DeVuono (L) and Marissa Urraro’s booking photos from the Suffolk County Police Dept. on Jan. 29th, 2022

Courtesy: Suffolk County Police Department.

“Forging COVID-19 vaccination cards and entering false information into the New York
State database used to track vaccination records puts the health and well-being of others at risk, and undermines efforts to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” special agent Scott Lampert said in a statement announcing the charges.

During a search of DeVuono’s home, officials said officers seized roughly $900,000. They also allegedly found a ledger documenting profits from the scheme in excess of $1.5 million.

During a search of Julie DeVuono’s home, officials said officers seized roughly $900,000.

Office of the District Attorney County of Suffolk

DeVuono’s husband Derin DeVuono, who is a New York Police Department officer, is being investigated by the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau in terms of his possible involvement in his wife’s alleged scheme, sources told the New York Daily News.

DeVuono and Urraro are each being charged with one count of forgery in the second degree. DeVuono is also being charged with an additional count of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree. The pair’s legal defense was not immediately clear.

Just a month ago, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law criminalizing fake Covid-19 vaccination cards.

Mega Hundreds of thousands’ jackpot is $421 million. What to do in case you win

MARK RALSTON | AFP | Getty Images

Sure, the chance of your ticket hitting the Mega Millions jackpot is tiny — roughly one in 302 million.

Nevertheless, it’s worth considering what you’d do if you manage to beat the odds. For Friday night’s drawing, matching all six numbers pulled would mean landing $421 million.

The amount has been rolling higher since late October, when $108 million was won. That marked the last of six jackpots awarded in 2021, which ranged from $55 million to $1.05 billion.

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If you end up joining the short list of top prize winners, there are some things to consider before doing much of anything.

For starters, lottery tickets are considered “bearer instruments,” which means whoever holds it is considered the owner. This means you need to earnestly protect it.

Take a picture of yourself with the winning ticket, said certified financial planner Joe Buhrmann, senior financial planning consultant at eMoney Advisor. Also put the ticket somewhere secure — such as in a safety deposit box — until it’s time to claim your windfall.

Additionally, you may want to sign the back of the ticket. Just be aware that in some states, doing so could interfere with your ability to claim the prize via a trust or other legal entity that would shield your identity from the public.

It’s also worth sharing the exciting news with as few people as possible. If you won’t be able to remain anonymous — it depends on state laws — you need to consider how to avoid becoming a target for scammers as well as long-lost family and friends.

“You may have been friendless and unknown to passers-by on the streets,” Buhrmann said. “That will all change when you’re announced as the winner.”

You also should turn to experienced professionals to help guide you through the claiming process and the many facets of protecting your windfall. Your team should include an attorney, financial advisor, tax advisor and insurance professional.

This group can help you determine whether to take your winnings as a lump sum or as 30 payments spread over 29 years. Most lottery winners choose the immediate, reduced cash amount. For Mega Millions’ $421 million jackpot, the cash option is $290.9 million.

Either way, the money would face a 24% federal tax withholding before it reaches you. For this jackpot, taking the cash would mean about $69.8 million getting shaved off the top, leaving you with a cool $221.1 million. Depending on where you won the jackpot, there may also be state taxes withheld.

Consider how this newfound wealth will change your marriage, family and dynamics with friends and neighbors.

Joe Buhrman

Senior financial planning consultant at eMoney Advisor

Additional federal income taxes would likely also be due at tax time, given the top rate of 37%. There also may be more due in state taxes, depending on the jurisdiction’s rate of withholding.

It’s also worth giving some thought to how your life is going to change — not just from a financial aspect.

“Consider how this newfound wealth will change your marriage, family and dynamics with friends and neighbors,” Buhrmann said.

You may even want to seek guidance from a financial therapist or mental health professional to help you deal with the stress that comes with winning, he said.

Meanwhile, Powerball’s jackpot is $104 million for Saturday night’s drawing. The cash option is $72.5 million. As with Mega Millions, the chance of a single ticket winning the top prize is tiny: one in 292 million.

Newark Doctor and West New York Man Charged with $3.four Million Well being Care and Wire Fraud Conspiracy, Cash Laundering, and Making False Statements | USAO-NJ

CAMDEN, NJ – A Newark physician and West New York man are scheduled to make their initial appearances today on charges of defrauding New Jersey state and local health benefits programs and other insurers out of more than $3.4 million by submitting fraudulent claims for medically unnecessary prescriptions, US Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Kaival Patel, 53, of West New York, New Jersey, and Saurabh Patel, MD, 51, a Woodbridge, New Jersey resident, are charged in a 12-count indictment with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, and wire fraud and four counts of health care fraud. Kaival Patel is also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, substantive counts of money laundering, and making false statements to federal agents. The defendants appeared today by videoconference before US Magistrate Judge Sharon A. King and were released on $250,000 each unsecured bond.

According to the indication:

Kaival Patel and his wife – referred to in the indictment as “Individual 1” – operated a company called ABC Healthy Living LLC (ABC) to market medical products and services, including compound prescription medications. Saurabh Patel is a medical doctor who owns and operates a clinic – referred to in the indictment as “Medical Practice 1” – in Newark. Saurabh Patel is related to Kaival Patel and Individual 1. Paul Camarda, a pharmaceutical sales representative who is listed as a conspirator, pleaded guilty before Judge Kugler in Camden federal court on July 6, 2021, to health care conspiracy and conspiring to commit money laundering and obstruct justice and is awaiting sentencing.

Compounded medications are specialty medications mixed by a pharmacist to meet the specific medical needs of an individual patient. Although compounded drugs are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they are properly prescribed when a physician determines that an FDA-approved medication does not meet the health needs of a particular patient, such as if a patient is allergic to a dye or other ingredient.

Kaival Patel, Saurabh Patel, Camarda, and others learned that certain state and local government employees had insurance that would reimburse up to thousands of dollars for a one-month supply of certain compounded medications. The defendants submitted fraudulent insurance claims for prescription compounded medications to a pharmacy benefits administrator, which provided management services for certain insurance plans that covered state and local government employees. The defendants steered individuals recruited to receive medications from the compounding pharmacies to Saurabh Patel’s medical practice, which enabled him to fraudulently receive insurance payments for those patient visits and procedures. The conduct caused the benefits administrator to pay out $3.4 million in fraudulent claims.

The health care fraud and wire fraud conspiracy count carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison; the health care fraud charges carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison; the false statement count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison – all of these counts are also punishable by a fine of $250,000, or twice the gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest. The money laundering charges carry a maximum term of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense or not more than twice the amount of the criminally derived property involved in the transactions.

US Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez in Newark; special agents of the FBI’s Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark; and the US Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, New York Region, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Mellone, with the investigation leading to the indictment.

The government is represented by Assistant US Attorneys Christina O. Hud and R. David Walk Jr. of the Criminal Division in Camden.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Peloton insiders bought almost $500 million in inventory earlier than its massive drop

peloton Executives and insiders sold nearly $500 million worth of their stock ahead of the big drop, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Peloton stock is down more than 80% from its highs over the last year, hitting a 52-week low of $29.11 on Tuesday. But the company’s CEO and other executives sold millions of shares at prices in excess of $100 a share in the months leading up to the big falls.

Company executives and insiders sold their stock valued at $496 million in 2021, according to SmartInsider, citing SEC filings. Virtually all sales were part of 10b5-1 plans or pre-planned sales programs. It’s unclear how many of the sales also involved option exercises or tax sales related to options.

The big sell-off started when the stock started to climb above $80 per share in the fall of 2020 and gained momentum in 2021 when the stock held above $100, filings show.

The company did not respond to requests for comment.

Peloton shares soared as sales and subscribers increased throughout the year first year of the corona pandemic. Consumers flocked to the product when they were looking for ways to work up a sweat without a gym membership. To meet the strong demand, Peloton invested in his business, to scurry ramp up productiong and Accelerate order fulfillment. But when the Covid vaccines rolled out, the company saw weaker demand and its shares started falling.

John Foley, the company’s CEO and co-founder, sold $119 million worth of shares as of November 2020, according to SmartInsider. Most of his sales were $110 a share or more. The sales were part of a pre-agreed 10b5-1 plan to “sell a limited number of the company’s stock for personal finance management purposes,” according to an SEC filing.

Although the plan called for the sale of up to 2.4 million shares by October 2022, Foley informed the board that he had ended the sale plan on August 30, 2021 after selling a total of 1 million shares. No reason was given for the termination, but on November 4, 2021, The company lowered its sales forecast and stocks plummeted.

The stock sales accounted for about 16% of Foley’s total stake in the company, excluding options. Including options, the sale represented about 5% of its holdings, according to SmartInsider.

Many top executives have also cashed out some of their holdings through timely sales. William Lynch, the company’s president, sold more than $105 million in stock last year, with $72 million sold in February at an average price of $144.95.

John Foley, co-founder and chief executive officer of Peloton Interactive Inc., center, speaks as Hisao Kushi, co-founder and chief legal officer of Peloton Interactive Inc., from left, Tom Cortese, co-founder and chief operating officer of Peloton Interactive Inc., Yony Feng, co-founder and chief technology officer of Peloton Interactive Inc., and Graham Stanton, co-founder of Peloton Interactive Inc., listen during the company’s initial public offering (IPO) at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York, U.S., Thursday, May 26. Sept 2019

Michael Nagel | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Hisao Kushi, co-founder and chief legal and culture officer, sold more than $90 million of its shares — most at prices in excess of $110 per share. Other top sellers included the company’s chief product officer, Tom Cortese, who sold more than $60 million of its stock, and chief operating officer Mariana Garavaglia, who posted more than $25 million in sales.

Members of the board of directors have also cashed out their holdings, including Karen Boone, who sold more than $20 million worth of shares at prices in excess of $140 per share last February, according to documents.

Of course, Peloton insiders weren’t the only ones selling the stock during last year’s runup. With large stock sales by prominent executives such as jeff bezos and Elon Musk, total insider sale achieved a record $170 billion last year, up from $94 billion in 2020, according to SmartInsider. Historically, executives and insiders sell during or near the highs of their stock prices.

“One of the best accepted facts from decades of insider trading research is that corporate insiders buy near bottoms and sell near tops,” said Daniel Taylor, associate professor at the Wharton School.

At the moment, Peloton is flirting with new lows. The stock came very close to falling below it $29 per share IPO price, after CNBC reported that the company had hired McKinsey to review its cost structure, an effort that could result in job cuts and store closures. Peloton is also effectively increasing product prices later this month when that happens begins charging for shipping and installation.

Fanatics acquires Topps buying and selling playing cards for $500 million

Topps’ 2016 season baseball cards will be displayed during an event in New York City.

Kris Connor | Getty Images

Michael Rubin’s e-commerce company Fanatics has acquired Topps trading cards, sources close to the deal confirmed to CNBC Monday evening.

The terms of the deal weren’t available, but industry circles put the deal at around $ 500 million. It will only include Topps’ name and sports and entertainment division, not the company’s candy and gift card line, a source said.

Fanatics and Topps declined to comment, but an announcement is expected on Tuesday.

The deal comes after Fanatics acquired Major League Baseball trading card rights last august. The MLB extended its contract with Topps in 2018 and the existing contract ends in 2025. But with this agreement Fanatics immediately receives the trading card rights from MLB.

Fanatics will also receive rights to Major League Soccer, UEFA, Bundesliga and Formula 1. These leagues also have active agreements with Topps.

And last year Fanatics secured trading card licenses for the National Football League Players Association and the National Basketball Association. In order to maintain these agreements, Fanatics provided equity capital to the leagues and player unions that is guaranteed to generate at least $ 1 billion in revenue over the duration of the partnerships.

Straight to the consumer model

Fanatics who reached one Valuation of $ 18 billion in 2021, wants to further expand the trading card business via direct-to-consumer commerce. For example, when collectors buy a trading card, they can insure, value, store, and even list the asset on a marketplace for sale or trade through Fanatics.

The company plans to capitalize on a sports trading card business that is expected to reach $ 98.7 billion by 2027, according to Verified Market Research.

The Topps acquisition is also in line with Fanatics’ plans to expand its NFT collectibles sector through its Candy Digital company, which owns the exclusive rights to produce MLB digital artwork.

Last year, Topps was valued at $ 1.3 billion as part of a SPAC merger Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corp. II, which fell apart after Topps lost his MLB rights.

Topps was a publicly traded company before it was privatized in 2007 after a $ 385 million deal. Founded in 1938, the company was best known for selling trading cards, including the 1952 Mickey Mantle card, one of which sold for $ 5.2 million in January 2021.

No Means Dwelling’ Friday field workplace hits $121.5 million

Tom Holland and Benedict Cumberbatch play the roles of Peter Parker and Doctor Strange in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Sony

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” breaks pandemic cinema records.

Between Thursday preview and Friday Showtimes, the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe flick has $ 121.5 million in domestic ticket sales.

“As the industry prepped for the first $ 100 million opening weekend of the pandemic era, ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ hit theaters and erased expectations by hitting that mark by the end of Friday.” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.

Sony, on the side a co-producer of the film Disney, raised its estimate for the entire weekend, saying the film will now exceed $ 240 million during its debut. His initial guess suggested the film would raise around $ 130 million. Box-office analysts told CNBC that they expect the film to hit around $ 250 million or even $ 265 million.

“The projections have only increased as this film captures the zeitgeist and brings many moviegoers back for the first time during the pandemic,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com.

“No Way Home” is already the top-grossing opener of the pandemic era, surpassing “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” which grossed $ 90.1 million in theaters in the first three days. It is also likely to land in the top 10 highest opening films in film history as one of only eight films to top $ 200 million on the first weekend, according to Comscore.

Audiences rushed to theaters early this weekend to see “No Way Home” before potential spoilers leaked online. The box office saw a similar fervor in 2019 when Avengers: Endgame was released led to the highest national and global opening ever.

Box office analysts anticipate audiences will return to theaters to see the film multiple times, as they did with “Endgame,” and expect the film to see solid ticket sales over the next several weeks.

“With the incredibly strong word of mouth and the Christmas season in full swing, there is a very real chance this will end up as the second largest opening in history,” said Robbins. “Or at least in the top 4, even with very conservative forecasts, with staying power until well into the new year.”

While “Spider-Man: No Way Home” may not hit the $ 357.1 million opening that “Endgame” generated domestically two years ago, it could top the second highest opener – “Avengers: Infinity War” from 2018 , which was $ 257.6 million or the third highest-ranking “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” from 2015 which grossed $ 247.9 million in the first three days.

“This is an event-level performance that will be remembered for a long time because of its incredible importance to both moviegoers and the industry itself,” said Robbins. “It is not only proof of the universal appeal of Marvel and Spider-Man, but also of Sony’s strategy of theatrical exclusivity and the incredible power of the cinema experience together.”

The UK braces for 1 million omicron instances as Covid variant spreads

A fan wearing a face mask looks on during the Sky Bet Championship game between Nottingham Forest and Fulham at the City Ground on October 24, 2021 in Nottingham, England.

Naomi Baker | Getty Images Sports | Getty Images

LONDON – The surge in Omicron-Covid cases in the UK is so steep that the country has been warned to prepare for a million cases by the end of the month.

The UK health authority said Wednesday that omicron has a significant growth advantage over the Delta variant, “which means it is likely to outperform Delta in the UK and become the dominant variant”.

This assessment is based on an analysis of British data shows increased household transmission risk, increased secondary attack rates (like the likelihood of each case infecting a different person) and increased growth rates compared to Delta, the UKHSA said.

“If the growth rate and doubling time continue as we have seen in the past 2 weeks, we assume that in the next 2 to 4 weeks at least 50% of the coronavirus cases will be caused by the Omicron variant. ” it said in a statement.

Currently, the UK has registered 568 confirmed cases of the variant, however British Health Secretary Sajid Javid told British lawmakers on Wednesday evening that “we know that the real number of infections will be significantly higher.”

“The UK Health Authority estimates that the [current] The number of infections will be about 20 times higher than the number of confirmed cases, and that brings the number of infections closer to 10,000, ”he said.

“At the currently observed doubling rate of two and a half to three days by the end of this month, infections could exceed a million,” warned Javid, saying the UK is facing the “twin threats from both Omicron and Delta variant” that are still occurring makes up the majority of cases worldwide.

The Omicron variant was first spotted in South Africa in early November and reported to the World Health Organization on November 24th. Two days later, the WHO described it as a “questionable variant” and found that it had mutations that were associated with increased transferability.

Since then, the variant has been identified in 57 countries around the world, according to the latest WHO record, and there are increasing cases of community transmission unrelated to travel.

Experts and vaccine manufacturers have made an effort to assess the risk profile of the variant. In particular, they are focusing on how quickly it spreads, whether it causes more serious illness and could lead to an increase in hospital admissions and deaths, and whether it undermines Covid vaccines.

Preliminary data, anecdotal evidence, and a small number of early studies suggest that the Omicron variant is more transmissible than the Delta variant, but it causes milder illness and could undermine the effectiveness of the Covid vaccines currently in use.

However, the WHO technical director on Covid-19 stressed on Wednesday that it is “too early to conclude” that the omicron symptoms are weaker. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus added that omicron could change the course of the pandemic.

A number of countries responded to news about the variant with flight bans or quarantines for visitors from countries in southern Africa where the Omicron variant was first detected, as many are already struggling with an increase in delta cases in winter.

The UK went further on Wednesday, advising people who could work from home and introducing stricter measures on wearing masks and using Covid passports.

“Tremendously worrying” distribution

There has been several positive and negative news about the Omicron variant this week, however The global financial markets have recovered in the last few days as traders are betting that the economic impact of the omicron Covid variant will not be as severe as initially feared.

Pfizers CEO Albert Bourla said on Wednesday that People could need a fourth Covid-19 vaccination earlier than expected, while many countries are still introducing third booster vaccinations. Others are still trying to get their population vaccinated with an initial shot, which will help reduce serious infections, hospital stays, and deaths.

Bourla’s comments came after preliminary research showed that the Omicron variant can undermine protective antibodies created by the vaccine made by the company that developed it BioNTech.

The vaccine manufacturers published results of a first laboratory study on Wednesday showed that a third dose of vaccine was effective in combating the Omicron variant, while the effectiveness of the first two-dose series of vaccinations was significantly reduced.

“When we see real data, [we] will determine if and for how long the omicron is well covered by the third dose, “Bourla told CNBC.” And the second point, I think we’re going to need a fourth dose, “he added.

Experts urged caution and said that there are still unknowns about the variant.

Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College London, told CNBC on Thursday that “the Omicron data is hugely worrying,” pointing to the 2.5-day doubling of cases in the UK.

Altmann emphasized, however, that the immunology landscape with Omicron is not much worse than with the Delta variant.

“As in if you are an unvaccinated person or a two-dose vaccinated person who has lost weight [whose vaccine immunity has waned] They essentially have basic protection, little protection from infection, ”he told CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe.

“If you’ve had a booster dose or two doses plus a previous infection, you are probably in the safe zone and that is what it looks like now in three different Omicron studies and in Delta studies.”

– CNBC’s Annika Kim Constantino and Spencer Kimball contributed to this story.

House firm Loft Orbital raises $140 million from BlackRock

The company’s YAM-2 spacecraft during integration for launch.

Loft orbital

Loft Orbital, a space infrastructure startup, raised $ 140 million in a new round of funding led by investment giant BlackRock.

The San Francisco-based company launched its first space missions earlier this year, with Loft planning to use the new capital to scale its business and double its team.

“The best way to think of us is to offer space infrastructure as a service,” Alex Greenberg, co-founder and COO of Loft Orbital, told CNBC.

“If you’re a customer with a single payload or a constellation that you want to launch into space, but don’t want to be the one to build or design your own satellite – with the manufacturer, with the launcher, and actually with it to operate once it’s in space – then work with someone like us, “added Greenberg.

The company has raised $ 130 million including contributions from investors such as CEAS Investment, Foundation Capital, Uncork Capital, Ubiquity VC, and more. Loft also raised an additional $ 10 million from the same investors through convertible bonds, short-term debt that was converted during the round, bringing total equity to $ 140 million.

Loft declined to disclose its rating after the raise.

A team of engineers from the company stands around the YAM-3 spacecraft.

Loft orbital

In addition to San Francisco, Loft also has manufacturing facilities and facilities in Denver, Colorado and Toulouse, France. The company currently employs 70 people, with Loft co-founder and CEO Pierre-Damien Vaujour expecting CNBC to grow the number to around 160 by the end of 2022.

So far, Loft has launched two spaceships – which the company calls YAMs or “Yet Another Mission” – which are currently in orbit, each carrying multiple payloads for customers. Loft has more than 20 customers to date, including NASA, DARPA, the US Space Force, and Honeywell.

Greenberg emphasized that after an order is placed in the aerospace industry, it traditionally “takes between 18 and 36 months for a satellite to be delivered”. But to speed things up, Loft ordered his spacecraft “without knowing what was going to fly on it,” he said.

“It’s almost like an inventory model or a fulfillment center model – where we have the satellites in-house, a customer shows up, we stick them up and send them off to launch,” said Greenberg, adding that the business model means : Loft’s customers “can go into space in a few months instead of a few years if they did it themselves”.

Marvel’s ‘Eternals’ tallies a $71 million opening at home field workplace

(LR) Lauren Ridloff, Don Lee, Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan, Lia McHugh and Brian Tyree Henry star in Marvel’s “Eternals”.

Disney

“Eternal” can be the lowest-rated film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that didn’t stop moviegoers and ardent fans of the franchise from going to theaters.

The film garnered $ 71 million in ticket sales on its domestic debut, the fourth-highest opening in the pandemic. Disney’s Marvel now holds three of the top four domestic pandemic opening weekends.

Still, “Eternals” is one of the lowest in the franchise. The last film to be toasted on a lower number was “Ant-Man” in 2015, which grossed $ 57.2 million during its domestic debut.

The film was lauded for its diverse talent, but its inclusiveness wasn’t enough to counter a crowded plot and limited character development, critics said.

Globally, the new addition to the MCU reached $ 161.7 million, the second-highest global weekend a Motion Picture Association film released in 2021, just behind Universal’s “F9”.

“Review proof, calendar proof and always a fan favorite, the MCU’s films are undoubtedly some of the most appealing movie fans around the world to have shown their loyalty to this incredibly popular franchise over the past 13 years,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.

“Eternals” opened in key markets such as the UK, France, Germany, South Korea and Australia, but has not yet released a release date in China – one of the top-selling international box offices.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal produced and distributed “F9”.

World Covid deaths hit 5 million as pandemic takes staggering toll

Two women walk next to graves of people who died due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Parque Taruma cemetery in Manaus, Brazil, on May 20, 2021.

Bruno Kelly | Reuters

More than 5 million people have died of Covid-19 in less than two years as the world continues to battle the highly contagious Delta strain of the virus and keep an eye out for new mutations.

According to data collected Monday by John Hopkins University, 5,000,425 Covid-19-related deaths have been recorded worldwide. 745,836 people have died of Covid-19 in the United States, making it the country with the most recorded deaths.

The coronavirus pandemic, which first appeared in China in late 2019, continues to cause deadly consequences worldwide.

It is as a result that many countries are lifting pandemic restrictions and ending lockdowns, which were imposed to varying degrees throughout 2020 in an attempt to stop the virus from spreading.

The rapid development of Covid vaccines, clinically proven to significantly reduce serious infections, hospital stays, and deaths from the coronavirus, has helped dramatically reduce the number of people dying from Covid, especially in western countries where the vaccination programs are at an advanced stage.

Nonetheless, there have been growing concerns in recent months about an increase in infections, hospital admissions, and deaths as winter approaches, not only among the unvaccinated, who are far more at risk of serious complications from Covid, but also among the elderly (who are too vaccinated first), as immunity wears off over time.

This is breaking news, please check back for more updates.