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Robinhood Snacks was previously MarketSnacks, a media company that makes financial news digestible. Jack Kramer and Nick Martell founded MarketSnacks in 2012 and haven’t missed a day covering markets since.

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Our Editorial Principles
Robinhood Financial LLC and Robinhood Crypto, LLC are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Robinhood Markets, Inc. Equities and options are offered to self-directed customers by Robinhood Financial. Robinhood Financial is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which protects securities customers of its members up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims for cash). Explanatory brochure available upon request or at Cryptocurrency trading is offered through an account with Robinhood Crypto. Robinhood Crypto is not a member of FINRA or SIPC. Cryptocurrencies are not stocks and your cryptocurrency investments are not protected by either FDIC or SIPC insurance.
Getting “early access” to options or Web is defined as signing up with a valid email address for a spot in Robinhood Financial’s respective waitlist queues for Web or for options. Getting “early access” to Robinhood Crypto is defined as signing up with a valid email address for a spot in Robinhood Crypto’s waitlist queue. Early access to the waitlist for Web, options, or Robinhood Crypto should in no way be construed as confirmation that a brokerage account with Robinhood Financial has been opened or will even be approved for opening. Priority may be given to Robinhood Gold subscribers and existing customers of Robinhood Financial.
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Margin trading involves interest charges and risks, including the potential to lose more than deposited or the need to deposit additional collateral in a falling market. Before using margin, customers must determine whether this type of trading strategy is right for them given their specific investment objectives, experience, risk tolerance, and financial situation. For more information please see Robinhood Financial’s Margin Disclosure Statement, Margin Agreement and FINRA Investor Information. These disclosures contain information on Robinhood Financial’s lending policies, interest charges, and the risks associated with margin accounts.
Investors should consider the investment objectives and unique risk profile of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) carefully before investing. ETFs are subject to risks similar to those of other diversified portfolios. Leveraged and Inverse ETFs may not be suitable for all investors and may increase exposure to volatility through the use of leverage, short sales of securities, derivatives and other complex investment strategies.
Although ETFs are designed to provide investment results that generally correspond to the performance of their respective underlying indices, they may not be able to exactly replicate the performance of the indices because of expenses and other factors. A prospectus contains this and other information about the ETF and should be read carefully before investing. Customers should obtain prospectuses from issuers and/or their third party agents who distribute and make prospectuses available for review. ETFs are required to distribute portfolio gains to shareholders at year end. These gains may be generated by portfolio rebalancing or the need to meet diversification requirements. ETF trading will also generate tax consequences. Additional regulatory guidance on Exchange Traded Products can be found by clicking here.
Options transactions may involve a high degree of risk. Please review the options disclosure document entitled the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options available through or to learn more about the risks associated with options trading.
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Robinhood Snacks newsletters and podcasts reflect the opinions of only the authors who are associated persons of Robinhood Financial LLC and do not reflect the views of Robinhood Markets, Inc. or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates. They are meant for informational purposes only, are not intended to serve as a recommendation to buy or sell any security in a self-directed Robinhood account or any other account, and are not an offer or sale of a security. They are also not research reports and are not intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision. Any third-party information provided therein does not reflect the views of Robinhood Markets, Inc., Robinhood Financial LLC, or any of their subsidiaries or affiliates. All investments involve risk and the past performance of a security or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns. Keep in mind that while diversification may help spread risk, it does not assure a profit or protect against loss. There is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities or other financial products. Investors should consider their investment objectives and risks carefully before investing. The price of a given security may increase or decrease based on market conditions and customers may lose money, including their original investment. Robinhood Financial LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.
Testimonials may not be representative of the experience of other customers and are not guarantees of future performance or success. Robinhood Financial LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.
Third party information provided for product features, communications, and communications emanating from social media communities, market prices, data and other information available through Robinhood Markets, Inc., Robinhood Financial LLC or Robinhood Crypto, LLC are meant for informational purposes only and are not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument or cryptocurrency or as an official confirmation of any transaction. The information provided is not warranted as to completeness or accuracy and is subject to change without notice. Any information about Robinhood Crypto on any Robinhood website (including and, the Robinhood platform, e-mails, or any other communications, are meant for informational purposes only and are not intended as an offer, solicitation, or advertisement for Robinhood Crypto or any goods or services offered by Robinhood Crypto. The Robinhood website provides its users links to social media sites and email. The linked social media and email messages are pre-populated. However, these messages can be deleted or edited by users, who are under no obligation to send any pre-populated messages. Any comments or statements made herein do not reflect the views of Robinhood Markets Inc., Robinhood Financial LLC, Robinhood Crypto, LLC, or any of their subsidiaries or affiliates.
Investors should be aware that system response, execution price, speed, liquidity, market data, and account access times are affected by many factors, including market volatility, size and type of order, market conditions, system performance, and other factors.
All investments involve risk and the past performance of a security, or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns. Keep in mind that while diversification may help spread risk it does not assure a profit, or protect against loss, in a down market. There is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities, or other financial products. Investors should consider their investment objectives and risks carefully before investing.
Cryptocurrency is a digital representation of value that functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, or a store of value, but it does not have legal tender status. Cryptocurrencies are sometimes exchanged for U.S. dollars or other currencies around the world, but they are not currently backed nor supported by any government or central bank. Their value is completely derived by market forces of supply and demand, and they are more volatile than traditional currencies. Trading in cryptocurrencies comes with significant risks, including volatile market price swings or flash crashes, market manipulation, and cybersecurity risks. In addition, cryptocurrency markets and exchanges are not regulated with the same controls or customer protections available in equity, option, futures, or foreign exchange investing. Cryptocurrency trading requires knowledge of cryptocurrency markets. In attempting to profit through cryptocurrency trading, you must compete with traders worldwide. You should have appropriate knowledge and experience before engaging in substantial cryptocurrency trading. Cryptocurrency trading may not generally be appropriate, particularly with funds drawn from retirement savings, student loans, mortgages, emergency funds, or funds set aside for other purposes. Cryptocurrency trading can lead to large and immediate financial losses. Under certain market conditions, you may find it difficult or impossible to liquidate a position quickly at a reasonable price. This can occur, for example, when the market for a particular cryptocurrency suddenly drops, or if trading is halted due to recent news events, unusual trading activity, or changes in the underlying cryptocurrency system. Several federal agencies have also published advisory documents surrounding the risks of virtual currency. For more information see, the CFPB’s Consumer Advisory, the CFTC’s Customer Advisory, the SEC’s Investor Alert, and FINRA’s Investor Alert.
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Grow your brand with new Google Marketing Platform tools

  1. E02575268-Google-GMP-DV360-Increase-Awareness-Blog-Graphic-Aug20-v03_Google-Keyword-Blog-Header.png

In the past months, we’ve seen a breakthrough in searches for terms such as “online graduation,” “staycation” and “virtual classroom.” As people form new consumption habits, a strong brand is more valuable than ever. It allows you to stand out in the marketplace at a time when customers are on the lookout for the products and services that will be part of their new routines.
Today, we’re introducing a series of tools in Display & Video 360 and Campaign Manager to help you grow your brand and navigate the connected TV and digital video boom—including improved reach forecasting and measurement capabilities, more TV and video ad placements, and a solution to reach new engaged audiences on connected TV.
Real time reach forecasting that takes your deals into account
With most TV production shut down for parts of the spring and summer months, and the upfronts heavily disrupted, you may be approaching show premieres seasons with less visibility into your media plans than in years’ past. While forecasting ad spend has been more difficult than ever, planning tools that are tightly connected to your media buying platform can help you assess your media plans on the go and quickly optimize your ad strategy.
We’re further improving Display & Video 360’s forecasting tool by adding support for programmatic deals. In a few weeks, you’ll be able to include deals in your deduplicated reach estimate, which already includes open auction and YouTube. This is particularly helpful for media planners working with brands that want to connect with TV viewers because most connected TV ads are secured via deals. With this added functionality, planners will be able to more easily answer questions such as, “How much incremental reach could I get by combining a network CTV deal with YouTube reservation and open auction video ads?”

Forecasting the combined reach of a connected TV deal, a YouTube lineup and in-stream video ads in Display & Video 360.
New streaming opportunities to reach your7 audiences where they are
Brands that can connect with their audiences as their interests and needs evolve have a head start on driving brand awareness for the long term. Buying media with a platform that gives you access to a large and varied portfolio of streaming content helps you reach these audiences in a more flexible way.
Today, Display & Video 360 provides access to the top 50 most watched ad supported connected TV apps in the US, according to Comscore. And to give you even more options to find your audience, we’re making more popular YouTube inventory available in Display & Video 360. For example, we integrated YouTube TV into the list of YouTube content you can reserve and manage – accessible via the streaming TV lineup. We’ve also just opened up access to Masthead ads, the prominent space in YouTube’s Home feed. This beta feature includes the YouTube Masthead on TV screens.
Lastly, we’re exploring other innovative canvases for brands to increase awareness. For instance, media and entertainment marketers in the US are currently testing a new cinematic teaser format that fits the look and feel of Android TV’s home screen.
Find new engaged connected TV audiences
Life in the new normal includes more connected TV watch time than before. To help marketers make the most of this extra reach opportunity, we’ve recently extended our similar audience functionality to connected TV devices in Display & Video 360. This feature allows you to find new connected TV viewers who share similarities with the audiences you already know.
For example, if you’re an auto brand who has seen success in reaching “Truck & SUV Enthusiasts” with Google affinity audiences, you will now be able to easily reach additional connected TV viewers who have similar attributes to this group. Or if you know that people who use your mobile app are more likely to schedule a test drive, you can show your ads to connected TV viewers who have similarities with your app users.
Similar audiences can be used to extend your reach across connected TV inventory sources in Display & Video 360.
Durable reach measurement in Display & Video 360 and Campaign Manager
Marketers are on the hook to connect marketing spend with tangible results. This includes being able to provide a clear picture of any ad campaign’s reach and frequency performance. To give marketers an accurate and durable view of how they reach people across Display & Video 360 and Campaign Manager, we’re increasing our investment in Unique Reach solutions.
First, we’ve launched Unique Reach Audience reporting. This report further extends unique reach measurement to include demographic insights. So while you could already answer the question ‘How many unique users did my ad reach?’, you can now also answer the question ‘How many unique users within a particular demographic did my ad reach?’
Second, using the IAB’s Identifier for Advertising (IFA) standard, we’ve added Unique Reach support for connected TV devices. This capability gives brands a more precise understanding of the impact of ads on connected TVs and better articulates their contribution to the overall reach and frequency performance of digital advertising.
Building for the future, we’re continuing to replace cookie-based reach with Unique Reach across our products. Next up, frequency distribution and viewable reach measurement will soon be based off of Unique Reach. This will help you report on these metrics even when cookies aren’t available.
To learn more ways to build your brand in this new world, check out this new collection of resources on our Advertising Solutions Center

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New Data Shows Just How Much Americans Moved Temporarily During Covid

So far, permanent moves are relatively flat. But short-term moves did spike in March and April, with people mostly leaving big cities.

Real Estate Is Experiencing a Rebalancing, Says Redfin CEO
The anecdotal evidence of temporary moves during the coronavirus pandemic has been building: tourist towns overrun with newcomers, elite Manhattan neighborhoods emptied by those who left for vacation houses, young people across the U.S. living with their parents.
Now new data from the U.S. Postal Service puts a figure behind the people who may have made short-term moves: Temporary moves were up 27% between February and July 2020 in the U.S. compared to the same period last year. The data, obtained and analyzed by moving tools and resources company MYMOVE, also shows that permanent changes of address increased by just 1.9% year over year.
Together, these figures likely represent the most comprehensive snapshot yet of migration patterns during coronavirus — capturing more than 15 million moves. And they provide some insight into the departures and destinations for some of these Americans.
Every year, millions of Americans file a change of home address with USPS to get their mail forwarded when they won’t be living in their home. This change can be either temporary — six months or less — or permanent. As the month-by-month chart below shows, temporary moves were higher than 2019 in every month between March and July, but spiked most dramatically in March as the pandemic hit in the U.S. and stay-at-home orders began.
More Temporary Moves
The number of temporary change of address requests peaked during Covid
Source: MYMOVE analysis of USPS data
MYMOVE also provided some but not all data on where people moved from and to. Among temporary and permanent movers combined, the places that saw the greatest net loss in movers were big cities, and the places that saw the greatest net gains were smaller and midsized towns and cities, several of which are in Texas.
A major caveat on this data is that it is not broken out between temporary and permanent moves, and several of the cities on these lists likely reflect the migrations of temporary movers. East Hampton, for example, became a popular destination for wealthy city-dwellers with access to vacation homes.
As Pew analyst D’Vera Cohn told MYMOVE for their analysis, “Among those who moved due to the virus, 13% [of respondents] told us they moved to a second home or vacation home, many of which probably are outside of cities,” according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.
Net Gains
Cities that gained the most movers between February and July 2020
Source: MYMOVE analysis of USPS data
Note: Net losses obtained by subtracting the number of moves in from the number of moves out, both temporary and permanent
Other cities on the list could represent more permanent moves to primary residences. Frisco, Texas, for example, a midsized city on the edge of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, is among the communities that have seen jumps in home sales. Amy Herzog, a listing agent with Century 21 in Frisco, says she’s mostly selling to families who are interested in moving to the “country.”
“I’ve never had so many clients in my life.” said Herzog. “Internet’s the big factor, that’s the question I get: Make sure they have good internet.”
Among those cities that saw more people move out than move in, Manhattan and Brooklyn together saw the greatest number of movers by far. Most of the places on this list were indeed America’s largest cities, but some midsized Florida locations such as Naples and Fort Myers also saw net losses.
Net Losses
Cities that lost the most movers between February and July 2020
Source: MYMOVE analysis of USPS data
Note: Net losses obtained by subtracting the number of moves in from the number of moves out, both temporary and permanent
Because the data represent temporary and permanent moves together, it’s difficult to draw too many conclusions, as the two phenomena represent distinct trends that could have very different implications for cities. It’s not yet clear how much temporary moves could affect the long-term fates of cities, or how many total moves will turn out to be permanent.
One big question has been whether people are “fleeing” cities on a more permanent basis. As CityLab has previously reported, there has not been clear evidence — yet — to support a pattern of people permanently moving nationwide. But among the people who are making permanent moves, the patterns so far seem to be diverse, and vary by location.
Data from national moving company United Van Lines found that among people who used its moving service, some of the top destinations for those leaving New York City and San Francisco were other big cities, including Seattle, Austin and Atlanta. While these figures are not comprehensive enough to show any widespread migration patterns, they do suggest that people leaving these cities may be going to a variety of destinations — including other big metropolitan areas.
The numbers of people moving out of large cities in the USPS data may raise some new cause for concern among cities, even though many of those moves may turn out to be temporary. But one caveat in MYMOVE’s analysis was that these moving patterns largely follow — and in some cases accelerate — pre-pandemic trends.
“When you take a look at 2020’s 10 most moved-out-of cities and compare them to the previous year, you see that the list remains relatively consistent. Eight of the 10 cities make both lists,” wrote MYMOVE editor Jessa O’Connor, who spearheaded the study. The difference, she said, is that the numbers of people leaving these cities increased — dramatically in the case of Manhattan, which lost almost six times the number of movers in 2020 as in 2019. This could mean, for example, that some people who were already planning to move to the suburbs expedited their plans.
The USPS figures on nationwide permanent moves also add more detail to the story. Data previously reported by CityLab from several national moving companies suggested that permanent moves actually decreased year over year during the height of shelter-in-place orders. Moving company Hire a Helper reported that people requesting their moving services dropped in all U.S. states between March 11 and June 30. The change of address filings, while still likely excluding or miscategorizing some moves, is a far more comprehensive dataset, and it also looks at a longer period of time. As the the chart below shows, overall moves did decrease during the similar period, especially in May and June, but started to increase again in July.
Permanent Moves Slowed Down Slightly
The number of permanent changes of address spiked in March, then decreased slightly in May and June
Source: MYMOVE analysis of USPS data
O’Connor and her team plan on revisiting the data in the coming months to see how many of those temporary moves might become permanent, or vise versa.

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Village House Condominium at 60 W 13th St – Manhattan, NY – Home For Sale

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Corporate Responsibility, Privacy & Legal Notices: Compass is a licensed real estate broker, licensed to do business as Compass RE in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Tennessee, and Compass Real Estate in Washington, DC. California License # 01991628, 1527235, 1527365, 1356742, 1443761, 1997075, 1935359, 1961027, 1842987, 1869607, 1866771, 1527205, 1079009, 1272467. No guarantee, warranty or representation of any kind is made regarding the completeness or accuracy of descriptions or measurements (including square footage measurements and property condition), such should be independently verified, and Compass expressly disclaims any liability in connection therewith. No financial or legal advice provided. Equal Housing Opportunity. © Compass 2020. 212-913-9058.
Home For Sale
Compass Coming Soon
557. 4th Street, Unit3R
Park Slope
Expansive and flexible! With 3 bedrooms and an office this park block coop offers a tremendous opportunity to have it all!
The large, open living/dining space is ample and bright with south facing windows bringing in lovely light and tree top views. The red oak floors are beautiful and have been lightened. An open kitchen with a full compliment of stainless steel appliances including a vented, full size washer/dryer, expansive island and tons of cabinetry will be the focal point of your home. Perfect for entertaining!
Along with an office that could double as a nursery, the apartment has three good-sized bedrooms. So much flexibility for today’s lifestyle!. The full bath is beautifully appointed and the half bath is an essential plus.
Just half a block from the park and 1 block from the services and offerings of 7th Ave. This wonderful home is in the P.S. 321 school district and an easy commute to everywhere with the 2/3 trains at Grand Army Plaza, the Q/B around the corner on Flatbush and just down the avenue from the F/G trains at 9th St. A rare opportunity to have it all in a prime Park Slope location.
Floor plan coming soon!
Showings begin the first week of October by appointment.

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Contemporary Houses That Everyone Will Like

When we talk about contemporary design, we immediately think about design with simple clean lines, strong colours, sometimes with minimalist decorations. Contemporary design is very popular nowadays, because of its simplicity and beauty. Elegance and simplicity must come to the fore. In addition to well-chosen material for building and making furniture, it is very important and the layout of the rooms, then good lighting and the large windows.

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Robinhood users say they watched helplessly as their accounts got looted but had no one to call to stop it

POne user said the Robinhood said it would investigate and respond within ‘a few weeks.’ Now her money is gone

Robinhood says the issue of lost money for some users doesn’t stem from a breach of its systems. PHOTO BY ANDREW HARRER/BLOOMBERG FILES
Article content
It took Soraya Bagheri a day to learn that 450 shares of Moderna Inc. had been liquidated in her Robinhood account and that $10,000 in withdrawals were pending. But after alerting the online brokerage to what she believed was a theft in progress, she received a frustrating email.
The firm wrote it would investigate and respond within “a few weeks.” Now her money is gone.
Expecting a pay raise next year? Don’t count on it.
Bagheri is among five Robinhood customers who recounted similar experiences to Bloomberg News, saying they’ve been left in limbo in recent weeks after someone sold their investments and withdrew funds. Because the wildly popular app has no emergency phone number, some said they tried in vain to intervene, only to watch helplessly as their money vanished.
“A limited number of customers appear to have had their Robinhood account targeted by cyber criminals because of their personal email account (that which is associated with their Robinhood account) being compromised outside of Robinhood,” a spokesman for the company said in an email. “We’re actively working with those impacted to secure their accounts.”
Article content continued
The issue didn’t stem from a breach of Robinhood’s systems, the spokesman said.
‘This is addicting’: How the new retail investor mania is changing the stock market game
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SEC, Finra
Bagheri, a Washington attorney, and three other Robinhood users said they also contacted authorities including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Two of those customers said they have heard back from an official at the SEC seeking more information.
Finra and the SEC declined to comment.
Robinhood, founded seven years ago and based in Menlo Park, California, has exploded in popularity this year as millions of Americans stuck at home — including throngs of millennials — look to make some money during a pandemic that has sent stock prices swinging. But the no-fee brokerage app has also attracted consumer complaints, with novice investors confused by the vagaries of stock options and margin loans.
Now, even though the firm said this year that it has more than doubled its customer-service team, clients complain they’re struggling to get quick help when their funds are disappearing.
“They don’t have a customer service line, which I’m quite shocked about,” Bagheri said.
Article content continued
‘Mental Stress’
Pruthvi Rao, a Chicago software engineer, said his account was hit on Oct. 6. His bet on Netflix Inc. was liquidated and US$2,850 was soon withdrawn. He said he’s sent more than a dozen emails to Robinhood’s customer support address, and that he even tried messaging some of the brokerage’s executives on LinkedIn.
“I’m in tremendous mental stress right now because this is all of my savings,” said Rao, 32, whose account was frozen by Robinhood in response to the fraudulent activity.
I’m in tremendous mental stress right now because this is all of my savings
Pruthvi Rao
He showed Bloomberg the same emailed response from Robinhood that Bagheri received. “We understand the sensitivity of your situation and will be escalating the matter to our fraud investigations team,” Robinhood customer service agents wrote them. “Please be aware that this process may take a few weeks, and the team working on your case won’t be able to provide constant updates.”
Rao said he had previously set up two-factor authentication to access his account, and Bagheri said she’s certain her Robinhood password is unique from all others, including her email. Neither believed they had been duped by phishing scams or malware. Both said they use the same email for Robinhood and other accounts, and that only Robinhood has been affected.
Stock, Bitcoin
They also said Robinhood’s online portal showed their money went to a recipient at Revolut, another popular financial-technology startup. London-based Revolut, which offers a money transfer and exchange app, expanded to the U.S. this year.
Article content continued
“Revolut has been made aware of the issue and is investigating urgently,” spokesman Kiran Wylie said Friday in an email.
Bill Hurley, who owns a metal-fabrication shop in Windsor, Connecticut, said he received notifications that stock and Bitcoin had been sold from his account on Sept. 21, and that US$5,000 was transferred to Revolut accounts in two transactions. He said he emailed Robinhood for assistance while the transactions were pending but received none.
“They’ve had more than enough time to deal with this,” he said.
Hurley, 56, said he reached out to the SEC and heard back from a lawyer for the regulator, who asked for additional information on what had happened.
After more than two weeks of emails seeking help from Robinhood, a customer support representative called him on Thursday, he said.
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A Swiss Activist Stirs Up Trouble in Singapore

How the merger bid for a small, Shariah-compliant REIT became the subject of confrontational shareholder capitalism.

Singapore loves REITs. Photographer: Maverick Asio/SOPA/LightRocket/Getty
There’s a glitzy side of Singapore property: the cavernous shopping malls; the tall office buildings; the pricey condominiums; the luxury hotels; and the hospitals where rich Indonesians and Bangladeshis seek treatment and five-star customer service.
But there’s also a vibrant market at the non-sexy end of the spectrum: the warehouses, the factory sheds and, increasingly, the data centers. Their owners are industrial real estate investment trusts, which collect rent and pass it on to unitholders. It’s something that appeals to an aging population that values the certainty of dividends more than the headiness of growth.
Some landlords, like Mapletree Industrial Trust, command market prices twice their net asset values. Others, like Sabana Shari’ah Compliant Industrial REIT, or Sabana REIT, trade at a chronic discount. This column is about Sabana, and how it became a vehicle in a Swiss value investor’s campaign to make confrontational shareholder capitalism work in polite and obedient Singapore.
Sabana is among the smallest of Singapore REITs: Its 18 properties across the island-state add up to a little more than 4 million square feet. But it has historically had big problems of governance and performance. In 2017, Sabana scrapped a property purchase from its then sponsor under pressure from unitholders; the REIT manager’s chief executive officer quit.

Still, performance remained lackluster. In September 2018, Sabana agreed to sell a factory site for less than half its book value, but the buyer couldn’t secure regulatory approvals and abandoned the deal. The factory spent all last year earning nothing. A warehouse also became tenantless in the fourth quarter of 2019, shaving a few percentage points off the property owner’s low occupancy rate.
Some REITs Get All The Love
Singapore’s Sabana, a factory landlord, could never make a mark, either with tenants or with investors.
Source: Bloomberg
It was relief to unitholders when in June last year control passed to to ESR Cayman Ltd., a Hong Kong-based logistics firm that owned another industrial landlord in Singapore. ESR-REIT is nearly four times as big as Sabana. The change in ownership perked up the interest of Jan Moermann, a Swiss who’s acquired a reputation as an activist investor in Singapore. Assisted by its Malaysian-born, Singapore-citizen research head Havard Chi, Moermann’s Quarz Capital Management Ltd. was already building a stake because it believed Sabana had good properties that could be managed better.
Toward the end of last year, Moermann called on ESR Cayman to merge its two Singapore real-estate trusts. Both Sabana and ESR-REIT were competing in the same market for industrial property. Conflict was a possibility, even though the managers of the two trusts say they don’t share information on strategy or operations.
Moermann put a value of 54.5 Singapore cents ($0.4) apiece on Sabana shares in a cash-plus-stock deal. But when the all-stock merger with ESR-REIT was finally announced in July, each Sabana unit was implicitly judged to be worth less than 38 Singapore cents, way below the book value of 51 cents. “We’re not here to fight over who gets one more piece of salami on the pizza,” said Adrian Chui, chief executive officer of ESR-REIT. “We want the pizza to become bigger.”
The Sabana management has publicly said that swapping 100 units for 94 units of ESR is a fair deal. That’s nearly 12% more than what the trust’s investors would have got from the market on average in the two years prior to the announcement.
Fair Exchange?
Swapping 100 shares of Sabana for 94 of ESR is more than what unitholders would have got on average in the stock market — not of late, though
Source: Bloomberg
The question for unitholders isn’t so much whether ESR is a good home, but whether they can move in on better terms or aspire for a different sanctuary. Donald Han, the Sabana manager’s CEO, is right: Small in his business is unsexy. Even with low debt, the landlord can’t grow because most assets are already pledged. However, if ESR can secure cheaper refinancing for those properties, so can another strong owner. Now that Sabana is adding a 35,000-square-feet retail and F&B component to its flagship property, dropping the Shariah compliance tag to allow tenants that deal in alcohol or pork could also be of modest help.
Scouting for suitors from around the world after the Covid-19 travel restrictions end might throw up alternatives. Conversely, it’s also possible that the pandemic dislocation, combined with Singapore’s tightening restrictions on foreign workers, will erode the value of industrial properties, hurting Sabana unitholders if they hold out. Their portfolio is too small to afford the downtime involved in costly redevelopment.
Quarz and Hong Kong-based Black Crane Capital, which own 11% of the Sabana stock between them, are prepared to vote against the current offer when a shareholders’ meeting is called. They’re also asking the current Sabana management to leave if the merger fails.
In Singapore’s West-meets-East culture, people in positions of authority are rarely challenged so openly. Yet someone needs to do it. The chief of city’s Securities Investors Association invited the managers of the two merging entities and an analyst to discuss the deal. The moderation was courteous, and the participants agreed on everything.
How can there be a market without disagreement? Thanks to Moermann’s activism, the Monetary Authority of Singapore got involved to give its views on resolving conflict in situations where competing REITs are under single control. Mak Yuen Teen, a Singapore business professor, questioned the independence of a director on the Sabana manager’s board, drawing a reply.

“We try to make our criticism as constructive as possible,” says Moermann. “From the point of view of unitholders, this merger is not a necessity at all.”

The pandemic will leave a long shadow on rents and interest rates. This matters for Singapore, where every third dollar changing hands on the local exchange is because of buying or selling in a REIT. With all the uncertainties of the post-Covid economy, the least investors expect is that someone shine a light on their behalf, not just in gleaming storefronts and condominiums, but in gloomy warehouses and factory yards. For now, that job has gone to a foreigner.
(For more on the Quarz-Black Crane campaign, and the Sabana manager’s response, click here and here.)
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

A living room with a view. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg
Something big is missing from Singapore’s picturesque and impeccably maintained highway linking downtown with Changi A¬irport: traffic.
The collapse in international travel has hit the city-state especially hard. Borders are shut to tourists and much of Singapore Airlines Ltd.’s proud fleet is mothballed. The idea of “flights to nowhere” had even been floated — effectively three-hour sight-seeing trips that would be bundled with staycations, shopping vouchers and limousine services. Now that has been scrapped for a plan to serve lunch aboard a grounded jumbo jet, a tour of the carrier’s training facilities and home delivery of first- and business class meals.

The ability to get in and out of a nation that takes about 30 minutes to traverse has been a big draw for the more than one million expatriates who live here. Non-Singaporeans make up more than half of senior management roles in financial services. The idea of being stuck flying in circles has many rethinking the informal bargain they’ve struck with the city they call home. A big part of that was the opportunity to work in a dynamic region and experience diverse cultures and nations for a few years. In return, Singapore got talent, industrialization and unique ties to global networks, vital for a country without a hinterland or natural resources.
Singapore’s modus operandi has been to make itself a base camp for global capitalism and the people who make it tick. Lee Kuan Yew, the country’s first leader, laid out the welcome mat for multinational corporations: first for textiles, ship maintenance and petrochemicals, then for electronics, tourism and finance. Changi Airport, top-notch public transport, a commitment to education, and political stability made the city an appealing place to live. Relatively low tax rates only sweetened the deal (except for Americans, who need to pay income tax no matter where they live).

Now Lee’s vision is running into the wall of Covid-19. Singapore’s economy shrank a record 42.9% on an annualized basis in the second quarter from the previous three months, the deepest economic contraction since independence in 1965. While data point to a bounce before year-end, the government projects gross domestic product to decline as much as 7% in 2020. This has sharply refocused public discourse. Opportunities for locals are the priority.
When companies do pare headcount, they are prevailed upon to keep Singaporeans at the core of their staffing. Local press reports of legislative proceedings highlight references to a closely held list of firms on a watch list for their hiring practices. Banking and finance has fallen under heightened scrutiny. The government, which lost seats to the opposition in July’s general election, has tightened rules around employment visas for foreigners by raising minimum salaries twice this year. Figures released last week showed Singapore’s population fell slightly to 5.69 million in the year through June, the first drop since 2003. Work permit holders saw the largest decrease.
“We cannot sustain our openness if we do not provide enough opportunities for our own people,” Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam told the Singapore Summit on Sept. 14. “It is not socially or politically sustainable. No society can be blindly open.”
Singapore is slowly cranking back to life after a strict lockdown. Throngs pulse through malls and hawker centers in suburbs of central Singapore. Subway trains are often full. A pilot scheme for international executives to travel in the region — under a strictly controlled itinerary and subject to Covid testing — is in the works. Children under six are no longer required to wear a mask.
But while the government will allow more people into their offices, work-from-home remains the default. As long as that’s the case, and the airport remains effectively a no-go zone, the more folks realize they don’t actually need to be in Singapore to do their jobs. If teams across Asia can be managed by Zoom from the living room, then that living room could be anywhere.
This realization is crystallizing as the headlines splashed across Singapore’s major English-language newspaper, the Straits Times, openly debate the role foreigners play in the economy. Far from feeling welcome, expats now spend a lot of time looking over their shoulders. Employers are quietly urging them to avoid anything that might attract attention.
That’s left many wondering whether uprooting their families has been worth it. You don’t have to come to Singapore for the privilege of getting laid off. Schools fret about families packing up. And those regional offices executives are sent here to run? They need to be able to get into them.

The caricature of the European sipping a gin and tonic under a shady tree with rent and school fees taken care of, pampered by maids, is woefully out of date. Relatively few employers these days pick up the tab for housing and tuition. Relocation company staff say the glory days of the expat packages ended with the global financial crisis. With economic warfare raging between China and the U.S., and fashionable talk about the world dividing into rival blocs, is an Asian experience still the resume booster it once was? A gig here feels no more secure than one at home.

As a 10-year-old boy, the flight returning to Australia from a family vacation in Europe stopped at the old Paya Lebar airport; I remember taking in the exotic night smells and marveling at the lights of hundreds of ships anchored just offshore. As a newly minted college graduate, Singapore was my first stop on a cross-Asia trip. Living in Malaysia in the late 1990s, visits to the city-state were a balm for the haphazardness of Kuala Lumpur. I returned with a young family last year. We pay taxes, live in a middle-class neighborhood and, through our spending, try to support the economy. I hope the shatter zone of the pandemic isn’t the end of our journey together.

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Microsoft announces plans for first datacenter region in Greece as part of “GR for GRowth” digital transformation initiative – Microsoft News Centre Europe

Microsoft will accelerate digitization of the public sector and businesses with access to local cloud services and skill a minimum of 100,000 people in Greece in digital technologies

ATHENS, Greece – October 5, 2020 – Microsoft Corp. announced today its “GR for GRowth” initiative, a significant technology commitment to support the people, government and businesses of all sizes in Greece with technology and resources to create new opportunities for growth. As part of the plan, Microsoft announced its intent to build new datacenters that will establish a Microsoft Cloud region in the country, adding Greece to the world’s largest cloud infrastructure footprint and delivering access to low-latency, enterprise-grade cloud services. To support citizens in both professional and personal ambitions, Microsoft also announced its plan to skill approximately 100,000 people in Greece in digital technologies by 2025.
Microsoft President Brad Smith made the announcement at the New Acropolis Museum alongside Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Greece Prime Minister, and Theodosis Michalopoulos, General Manager of Microsoft Greece, Cyprus and Malta.
“Today’s commitment to the people and businesses of Greece will position the country among the digital leaders of Europe. A Microsoft datacenter region provides a competitive advantage to our digital economy. At the same time, it is a long-term investment and a vote of confidence in our country’s potential. The cloud is transforming every industry and sector. The investment in skilling 100,000 citizens will empower today and tomorrow’s Greek workforce,” said Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
“By a substantial margin, this is the largest investment Microsoft has made in Greece in the 28 years we have been operating here. In part, this reflects confidence that our world-leading datacenter technology can help enable innovation and growth across Greece’s economy. In addition, this large investment reflects our optimism about Greece’s future, its forward-leaning government, and the country’s ongoing economic recovery,” said Brad Smith, President, Microsoft.
“Microsoft has a rich 28-year history in Greece with a growing ecosystem of 3,000 partners and customers, including startups, enterprises and NGOs. Today, with plans for Microsoft’s first datacenter region in the country and the holistic ‘GR for GRowth’ plan, we are building on this work, leveling up our contribution to the country’s economy. Our commitment is to be a technology ally in driving growth, now and for the generations to come for our country,” said Theodosis Michalopoulos, General Manager of Microsoft Greece Cyprus and Malta.

Delivering the Microsoft Cloud in Greece
Today’s announcement will pave the way for local companies, startups and institutions to fully utilize the potential of cloud computing, while maintaining the highest cybersecurity, data residency and compliance standards.
The Greece datacenter region will join Microsoft’s global footprint of cloud regions, now totaling 63 regions announced, with Microsoft Azure available in over 140 countries, and will provide companies local access to Microsoft’s full set of cloud services, all built on a foundation of trust:
• Microsoft Azure: An ever-expanding set of cloud services that offers computing, networking, databases, analytics, AI and IoT services.
• Microsoft 365: The world’s productivity cloud that delivers best-of-breed productivity apps integrated through cloud services and delivered as part of an open platform for business processes.
• Dynamics 365 and Power Platform: The next generation of intelligent business applications that enable organizations to grow, evolve and transform to meet the needs of customers and capture new opportunities.
• Compliance, security and privacy: Microsoft offers more than 90 certifications and spends $1 billion every year on cybersecurity to address security at every layer of the cloud. Microsoft’s Greece datacenter region will help companies comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and will also help customers store data at rest in Greece.
• Sustainably operated: As part of Microsoft’s global commitment to be carbon negative by 2030, the company will shift to 100 percent supply of renewable energy for its datacenters by 2025.
Accelerating digital transformation and innovation
Leading companies of Greece are already using Microsoft’s cloud to ensure their seamless operation, optimize their processes and increase customer satisfaction through advanced collaboration and cloud development services. Today, we are proud to announce that Alpha Bank, Eurobank, National Bank of Greece, OTE Group, Piraeus Bank, Public Power Corporation (DEI) have all expressed their intent to use the Microsoft Cloud services when available from the new region in Greece.
In addition, Microsoft’s cloud services will play a key role in creating new ways to digitally preserve, celebrate and experience the culture of Greece. As part of Microsoft’s AI for Cultural Heritage program, the company is collaborating with the Ministry of Culture and Sports to bring the Ancient City of Olympia to life using artificial intelligence and other technologies. The immersive, 3D presentation of the monuments and artifacts will give people around the world the opportunity to experience them as they were nearly 3,000 years ago. The project has been approved by the Archaeological Council (KAS) and will be available in 2021.
Skilling Greece’s workforce of tomorrow
The final pillar of today’s announcement is Microsoft’s plan to expand employment opportunities for local professionals and youth over the next five years. Microsoft aims to boost the digital competencies of an estimated 100,000 public sector, business and IT professionals, educators, and students to support the digital transformation of public and private organizations. This ambitious goal will be achieved over the next five years, through a three-pronged skilling program that includes online and physical courses and workshops:
• The broad and dedicated upskilling of Microsoft’s customer and partner ecosystems.
• The launch of a new skilling initiative in collaboration with the government especially designed for the civil servants covering the public-sector needs of modernization and digitization.
• Expansion and further investment in the existing programs with ReGeneration focusing on youth, unemployed and underserved communities, leveraging LinkedIn Learning, MS Learn and GitHub training programs.
Microsoft’s “GR for GRowth” initiative is a significant step for Greece, with technology as a catalyst for growth, providing people and businesses the tools and expertise to thrive and innovate in the digital era

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By Bill Gates – A hero in the fight against the world’s longest-running pandemic

While all of us are focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to forget about the world’s longest-running pandemic—cholera. Over the last 200 years the deadly diarrheal disease, which thrives in areas without safe water and sanitation, has killed millions of people. The current cholera pandemic—the world’s seventh—started in 1961, spreading from South Asia to Africa and the Americas. Every year, cholera outbreaks around the globe affect about 4 million people and lead to as many as 130,000 deaths.
An affordable, effective, and safe oral cholera vaccine, however, is proving to be a game changer in the fight against this often-forgotten disease. Thanks in large part to recent cholera vaccination campaigns, the number of cholera cases decreased globally by 60 percent in 2018, according to the World Health Organization. Though 2019 saw an increase in cases, the total number of cholera deaths fell by 36 percent.
This breakthrough has been the life’s work of Dr. Firdausi Qadri, an immunologist and infectious disease researcher in Bangladesh. For the last 25 years, Dr. Qadri has been one of the few people advocating for an affordable vaccine to protect entire communities from cholera epidemics.
While there have been several cholera vaccines since the late 19th century, they were expensive and in short supply. In the early 2000s, the main cholera vaccine available was largely used by travelers from rich countries and was not practical for use in vaccination campaigns of poor communities at risk of the disease.
In 2011, Dr. Qadri and her team at the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease and Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) led a feasibility study on a newer, more affordable oral cholera vaccine, Shanchol. The study, which was done in partnership with our foundation, showed that the inexpensive vaccine could be an effective tool in stopping the spread of cholera in poor, urban environments, giving people more than 50 percent protection against the disease.
Dr. Qadri’s study—the largest trial of its kind—helped lead to a complete change in thinking about how the world could tackle the challenge of cholera. “You can have very good water, sanitation, education, good homes and people won’t have cholera. But until that happens, you need to stop the misery. You need to control the disease,” Dr. Qadri said. “And the vaccine is a one-stop solution.”
To be sure, access to clean water and sanitation are still critically important for controlling cholera in the long-term. During the 19th century, as cholera spread around the world from its original reservoir in India, outbreaks were eventually brought under control in America and Europe through huge investments in water and sewer systems. And work continues to improve access to clean water and sanitation in low-income countries. But infrastructure improvements can be expensive and take time to build and maintain. Cholera vaccination campaigns provide an important tool to save lives immediately and buy time for communities to pursue longer-term water and sanitation solutions.
In 2013, the WHO helped create an oral cholera vaccine stockpile, to contain and prevent outbreaks. Since then, more than 60 million doses have been shipped worldwide. In addition to Shanchol, a second affordable cholera vaccine, Euvichol, is now available, helping to increase vaccine supplies. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is supporting countries to use the cholera vaccine to target cholera “hotspots”—areas at highest risk—to prevent outbreaks before they happen.
This preventive approach will be even more critical in the years ahead because climate change, urbanization, and population growth create ideal conditions for the spread of cholera. Humanitarian crises are also a breeding ground for the disease. The civil war in Yemen, for example, has led to the largest and fastest-spreading cholera outbreak in modern history, infecting millions and killing more than 3,000 people since 2016.
Still, progress is being made. In Bangladesh, the arrival in 2017 of nearly one million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar into overcrowded camps raised concerns about a cholera epidemic. Working with the government, Dr. Qadri led a vaccination program that has helped prevent an outbreak.
“If this vaccination was not carried out, there would be chaotic conditions,” Dr. Qadri said. “We were able to prevent a major, major epidemic and deaths.”
Successes like this have helped fuel new optimism in the fight against cholera. The Global Task Force on Cholera Control, hosted by the World Health Organization, is a partnership of more than 50 institutions all working together to end cholera. The task force’s strategy aims to reduce cholera deaths by 90 percent by 2030, and eliminate cholera in 20 countries, targeting areas where the disease is endemic and shifting from outbreak response to outbreak prevention.
Thanks to the pioneering work of Dr. Qadri, the world is making progress toward this goal. And maybe someday cholera will be a disease that can truly be forgotten.

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About – Inhibiting Ebola virus and SARS-CoV-2 entry

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The mechanisms by which cells defend against many viruses remain largely unknown. Defining these mechanisms is important not only for understanding viral pathogenesis but also for informing the development of antiviral therapeutics. The concerted efforts of antiviral factors within cells are central to host cell defense. Without these factors, the cell remains defenseless against potentially harmful pathogens. Understanding how the cell defends itself is particularly important for viruses that have the potential to affect global health, such as Ebola virus (EBOV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). On page 241 of this issue, Bruchez et al. (1) developed a transposon screening approach in a human osteosarcoma cell line to identify a mechanism by which CD74, previously only associated with antigen presentation, directly inhibits EBOV and SARS-CoV-2 entry into host cells.

Ebola virus cell entry Normal cellular entry (left) of Ebola virus (EBOV) involves binding to cells expressing DC-SIGN (dendritic cell–specific ICAM-3–grabbing non-integrin 1) and TIM1 (T cell immunoglobulin mucin receptor 1), macropinocytosis, and cathepsin-mediated cleavage of the viral glycoproteins. Together with NPC1 (Niemann-Pick C1), glycoprotein cleavage allows fusion with endosomal membranes and genome release into the cytoplasm. However, CIITA (class II major histocompatibility complex transactivator) up-regulates the CD74 p41 isoform, which inhibits cathepsins and prevents genome release into the cytoplasm (right). GRAPHIC: KELLIE HOLOSKI/SCIENCEViruses must gain entry into the host cell to replicate. In the case of EBOV, an enveloped virus, virions are internalized by macropinocytosis . Once virions reach endosomes, host cathepsin proteases cleave viral glycoproteins. The glycoproteins then fuse with the lysosomal membrane, which is followed by release of the viral genome into the host cell cytoplasm, where viral replication can occur (2). Thus, cathepsin-mediated cleavage is a critical step in the entry of many enveloped viruses, including EBOV, into the host cell.

Similar to EBOV, coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, are enveloped viruses that undergo a series of entry steps culminating in genome release. Coronavirus entry also requires delivery of incoming viral particles to host lysosomes, where the coronavirus spike protein is cleaved by cathepsins to facilitate fusion between virus and host membranes (3, 4). However, in contrast to EBOV, SARS-CoV-2 also requires the activity of transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) to prime the viral spike protein (5). Thus, despite their differences in size and shape, EBOV and SARS-CoV-2 rely on similar proteolytic processes to gain entry into a target cell.
Bruchez et al. used a transposon screen in which transposable elements were inserted in front of or within genes. This approach allowed for tandem gene activation and inactivation in a single screen. To identify host factors involved in EBOV infection, the authors infected these cells with EBOV and identified two main “hits,” including Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1), an intracellular EBOV receptor that is required for entry, thus validating the approach (6). NPC1 is a cholesterol transporter in the lysosome and is essential for EBOV fusion of the glycoproteins with the lysosomal membrane and subsequent genome release.
Additionally, the authors found that activation of the transcription factor major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II transactivator (CIITA) inhibited EBOV infection. CIITA is a nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain–like receptor (NLR). Typically, NLRs detect pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) within the cell and trigger an intracellular antimicrobial signaling cascade leading to nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) nuclear translocation and expression of various proinflammatory cytokines. Unlike most NLRs, CIITA acts mainly as a transcription factor to promote the expression of other genes, including serving as the master regulator of MHC gene expression. MHC presents peptides from either intracellular (MHC class I) or extracellular (MHC class II) proteins to adaptive immune cells. CIITA induces the expression of MHC class II genes to initiate antigen presentation. The authors determined that expression of CIITA was specifically associated with inhibition of cell entry by EBOV, thus defining the step of the viral life cycle that CIITA inhibits (see the figure).
Bruchez et al. identified CD74 as the CIITA-controlled host factor responsible for inhibiting EBOV entry. CD74, often called the invariant chain or Ii, is enriched in immune cell populations and associates with MHC class II. It localizes to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes and facilitates MHC class II export from the ER to vesicles that fuse with the late endosome, resulting in trafficking to the cell surface (7). CD74 also blocks the peptide-binding groove so that MHC molecules do not bind peptides prior to trafficking. Thus, without CD74, MHC class II molecules are not properly processed, and antigen presentation becomes impaired.
Bruchez et al. show that the thyroglobulin domain of CD74 is required for its antiviral activity. This domain inhibits cathepsins (8). CD74 has four isoforms but only two of them, p41 and p43, have the thyroglobulin domain. The authors show that the p41 isoform is responsible for the antiviral activity of CD74 against EBOV entry and inhibits SARS-CoV-2 fusion, suggesting a broad antiviral activity of CD74 against many cathepsin-dependent viruses. These findings highlight the often shared strategies of distinct viruses that are co-opted from host cells to promote cell entry.
These findings suggest that molecules involved in antigen presentation could also possess direct antiviral activity and that other factors with defined functions may possess additional roles in antiviral immunity. CIITA activates antiviral factors that inhibit a broad range of viruses, such as human T cell leukemia virus type 2 (HTLV-2) (9), although the steps of the viral life cycle that it targets differ from those for EBOV and SARS-CoV-2. During HTLV-2 infection, CIITA acts more directly and inhibits the viral transactivator protein (TAX2), which promotes transcription of the viral genome and thus directly inhibits HTLV-2 replication (9). Some viruses have evolved mechanisms to inhibit this restriction. For example, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), an oncogenic DNA virus, encodes Zta, a protein that directly inhibits CIITA and results in down-regulation of MHC class II molecules. This potentially allows EBV to escape recognition from the immune system (10).
The identification of host factors that could be targeted therapeutically to limit the replication of broad families of viruses may be an effective approach to combat viral-mediated disease. However, the therapeutic benefits of viral entry inhibitors are likely most effective prior to the onset of symptoms and the development of disease, given that by these stages, viral particles have already gained entry into the cell and begun to efficiently replicate.

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