Djokovic has 80% stake in biotech firm developing Covid drug | Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic is the controlling shareholder in a Danish biotech firm aiming to develop a treatment for Covid-19 that does not involve vaccination, it has emerged.

The world No 1, who was deported from Australia this week after the government cancelled his visa in a dispute over a medical exemption relating to his unvaccinated status, bought an 80% stake in QuantBioRes in 2020.

Ivan Loncarevic, the company’s chief executive, confirmed the investment to Reuters. He subsequently told the Financial Times that he had not spoken to Djokovic, who has won more than $150m in prize money, since November and that the tennis star was “not anti-vax”.

Djokovic flew out of Australia on Sunday after losing a legal challenge to overturn the cancellation of his visa by Alex Hawke, the country’s immigration minister, who said Djokovic’s presence in Australia might risk “civil unrest” as he was a “talisman of anti-vaccination sentiment”.

QuantBioRes has about 11 researchers working in Denmark, Australia and Slovenia, according to Loncarevic, who stressed the company was working on a treatment, not a vaccine. The company’s website says it started developing a “deactivation mechanism” for Covid-19 in July 2020.

Djokovic, who may also be barred from defending his French Open title in Roland Garros in May after the French government ruled on Monday that all athletes will have to be vaccinated in order to attend and compete in sporting events, acquired his stake in the company in June 2020.

The company is developing a peptide, which inhibits the coronavirus from infecting the human cell, and it expects to launch clinical trials in Britain this summer, Loncarevic said.

A spokesperson for Djokovic did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Novak Djokovic deported from Australia: how the controversy unfolded – video
Novak Djokovic deported from Australia: how the controversy unfolded – video

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What is THTH’s Beaux Raymond’s Net Worth?

With a massive viewer base, Netflix’s ‘Too Hot to Handle‘ is an excellent launch platform for young talents as they get to show off their personalities and skills to a worldwide audience. Naturally, season 3 of the show brought with it a boatload of young faces relatively new to the reality TV industry. Beaux Raymond stood out amongst the rest with her down-to-earth yet confident personality and strikingly good looks. Besides, ever since she was crowned the winner alongside Harry Johnson, fans have been clamoring to know more about the young reality star. Thus, we decided to jump in and find out her present net worth!

How Did Beaux Raymond Earn Her Money?

Unfortunately, Beaux Raymond is quite private when it comes to her family and has refrained from talking about her loved ones in the public sphere. As a result, not much is known about the British star other than her being a native of Kent, England. According to sources, Beaux is primarily employed as a legal secretary and is quite an expert in her field. However, unwilling to stay confined in a single profession, Beaux also dabbled in occasional modeling and has since managed to carve out a niche for herself in the industry.

Her appearance on ‘Too Hot to Handle’ earned her a pretty handsome compensation but, more importantly, highlighted her in front of a worldwide audience. Beaux was received quite positively by most fans, and her heartwarming romance with Harry Johnson further boosted her popularity. Besides, Harry and she were crowned the winners of the season and presented with a massive cash prize of $90,000.

Following her stint on reality TV, Beaux seemed to have put her fame to good use as she signed a contract with Neon Management and made her fans aware of “big things” in the near future. Moreover, apart from falling back into her profession as a legal secretary, it is safe to assume that Beaux will soon get offers to run social media campaigns for major products and brands.

What is Beaux Raymond’s Net Worth?

Considering all of Beaux’s avenues for income, we can assume that her current net worth is at least a few hundred thousand dollars. However, with Beaux already signed on to a management company and eager to further her career in the entertainment industry, that value is sure to rise very soon.

Read More: What is THTH’s Harry Johnson Net Worth?

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‘In the name of God, go’: Tory fury spills over as Boris Johnson clings on | Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has faced a defection and a demand to quit from one of his most senior MPs during a dramatic day in Westminster, with even allies of the prime minister warning the current situation cannot go on.

David Davis caused shockwaves when he told Johnson in the Commons: “In the name of God, go.” Less than an hour earlier, Christian Wakeford, the MP for Bury South, quit the Conservatives and joined Labour in fury at the Downing Street parties scandal.

The prime minister vowed to battle on in No 10 and his supporters insisted he now had the breathing space for a fightback, with many MPs awaiting the outcome of the Sue Gray inquiry.

But Johnson faces a growing clamour from Tory backbenchers to buy their support in any confidence vote by ditching a £12bn-a-year tax rise this spring. National insurance contributions are due to increase from April to fund health and social care and any U-turn could risk a showdown with the chancellor, Rishi Sunak.

Johnson managed to get through the day without a confidence vote being triggered. Tory MPs estimated that as many as 30 letters may have been submitted of the 54 required, with more expected to come in after Gray, a senior civil servant, delivers her finding on alleged rule-breaking in Downing Street next week.

The Guardian understands that members of the 1922 Committee of backbenchers are looking at shortening the period where a leader is immune from another vote of no confidence from 12 months to six. The same move was considered when Theresa May faced a no confidence ballot in December 2018 but survived.

The rebellion has so far been led publicly by disillusioned 2019-intake MPs worried about the plunge in support in their seats. But sources said the next wave of letters was likely to come in from “One Nation” Conservatives from the centrist wing of the party if the Gray report is sufficiently damning of Johnson’s conduct.


Tory MPs said Johnson was not out of the woods, with two ministers describing the current situation as a “shitshow”. One minister said he was reserving judgment until after the Gray findings but the prime minister did not have “carte blanche” to continue in post.

The decision of many colleagues about whether to continue backing the prime minister may hinge on whether they think he will seriously harm the party’s chances in the local elections, he added.

Numerous Tory MPs described to the Guardian a deluge of angry letters from constituents, ranging from 250 to 2,000 in one case – surpassing the anger at the lockdown-busting trips of the former No 10 aide Dominic Cummings.

Johnson held meetings with MPs on Wednesday in an effort to persuade them to hold off from submitting no-confidence letters and tried to curry favour with his backbenchers by announcing an end to Covid regulations in England.

David Davis speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions.
David Davis speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday. Photograph: UK parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA

However, backbenchers said he would need to do more and many remain undecided about whether he should continue in the job. One senior MP who is strongly supporting the prime minister said if he were to survive, he would need new senior staff in No 10 to “put him in a straitjacket”.

The MP also advised a new “cabinet enforcer”, a reshuffle to remove disloyal cabinet members and a move to address the cost of living crisis by ditching the rise in national insurance contributions. “Is he mortally wounded? That is the question. He is wounded. But if anyone can turn this around, he can,” he said.

A cabinet minister tried to claim Wakeford’s move had a “unifying” effect among Tories and could “draw a line under the whole thing” – but another said the prime minister’s position remained “precarious”.

Senior Labour sources said they were in touch with other “very unhappy” Tory MPs about the prospect of potentially joining Labour, which would be a further serious blow to the prime minister’s authority.

The defection happened just before a chaotic prime minister’s questions, with Wakeford crossing the floor to sit with Labour and blaming Johnson’s own “disgraceful” conduct.

After a fierce set of exchanges between Johnson and Keir Starmer, the Labour leader said: “Doesn’t the country deserve so much better than this out-of-touch, out-of-control, out-of-ideas and soon to be out-of-office prime minister?”

There was then silence in the Commons as Davis rose to tell Johnson that he had spent weeks defending him from “angry constituents” but that repeated reports about lockdown-breaching parties were too much.

The former Brexit secretary and leadership contender said: “I expect my leaders to shoulder the responsibility for the actions they take. Yesterday he did the opposite of that.

“So I will remind him of a quotation which may be familiar to his ear, Leo Amery to Neville Chamberlain: ‘You have sat there too long for all the good you have done. In the name of God, go.’”

Asked by the Guardian afterwards what had motivated him to make an intervention, Davis said Johnson’s interview to Sky News on Tuesday was “not what I expect from a leader”.

“Up until now I had been supporting him … but it’s not leadership,” he said. “Yesterday’s interview was an attempt to escape responsibility, not to shoulder it. And that is a test of leadership.”

Junior colleagues are understood to have been pressing Davis to make a statement publicly calling for the prime minister to go, saying the situation needed a “big figure” to intervene.

Johnson insisted in the Commons that he had no intention of resigning, while his press secretary afterwards told reporters that he would fight to carry on if any confidence ballot is triggered.

The prime minister also revealed that Gray’s report is likely to be published early next week amid speculation it could come this week. With the party’s limbo continuing until then, many Tory backbenchers sounded despairing about the ongoing situation.

“Where are the leaders? Where are the strategists to navigate our way through this?” said the Tory MP and former minister Tobias Ellwood. “Instead we have this blue on blue.”

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Australia beat England to win Quad Series as Roses ‘ran out of steam’ | Netball

“We just ran out of steam” said England head coach, Jess Thirlby, as Australia beat the Roses 58-46 in the Quad Series final, throwing away their chance at a first title. “It’s OK if it hurts,” she added.

It was a match of 60 minutes but all it took for the Diamonds to break English hearts was the last 15. The fighting spirit that had pushed the Roses to a draw not 24 hours ago was worryingly absent in the final quarter as Australia shifted into fifth gear leaving England stuttering in second.

The two sides picked up exactly where they left off and when the Diamonds looked set to take early ownership of the contest, England intervened. Bodies collided as the sparring sides went toe-to-toe, and blow-for-blow with cautions handed out liberally. Scrapping relentlessly for turnover it was the Roses that looked stronger; Eleanor Cardwell and Layla Guscoth winning their respective matchups to hand England the advantage.

When Sarah Klau entered the fray for Australia in the second quarter England’s attack turned to treacle. Holding firm, however, the Roses negotiated the oncoming pressure, frustrating the visitors in their refusal to fold. The score at half time had England leading Australia 27-25.

There was a renewed sense of purpose about the Diamonds, in the second half, who executed the kind of netball that has shaped their formidable reputation: hard, accurate and remorseless.

After losing the lead quickly in the final quarter England’s belief mutated to panic. At eight minutes to go, and four goals down, Thirlby rolled the dice but her substitutions did little against the swelling Australian tide. Errant passes and wayward shots from the Roses were the joy of player of the match, and player of the series, Gretel Bueta who punished the Roses shooting at 98%. Australia beamed as they blew the quarter out 18-5 sealing England’s fate and their sixth Quad series crown.

“In terms of being at the top table with the best teams in the world, you’ve got to be able to take it the wins and losses on the chin,” said Thirlby whose attentions now turn to this summer’s Commonwealth Games defence which will feature an avenging Australian side. Optimistic there was much to learn Thirlby said: “Whilst it hurts now it won’t be doing us any harm at all.”

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WH Smith hit by shareholder rebellion over bonus | WH Smith

WH Smith has been hit by a massive shareholder rebellion, with more than half its investors failing to back payment of a £550,000 bonus to the retailer’s chief executive after it benefited from tens of millions of pounds in pandemic relief.

In the group’s second bloody nose from investors in two years, just over 53% registered their dissent on the remuneration report including those voting against and those withholding their votes. Just over 45% of votes cast were against the retailer’s plans at the annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday.

WH Smith has been a big beneficiary of taxpayer funds via furlough support and business rates relief through the pandemic.

The vote came after WH Smith said its chief executive, Carl Cowling, who has led the retailer since November 2019, was in line to receive a bonus of £550,000 on top of a salary of £550,000 for the year to September 2021, as well as benefits and pension payments worth £85,000, according to WH Smith’s latest remuneration report, a total of £1.18m.

From April, Cowling’s pay will rise to £600,000 with the potential to earn an annual bonus of £960,000 on top.

In January last year the FTSE 250 retailer delayed a £25,000 pay rise given to Cowling in July 2020 after investors expressed anger against the move.

WH Smith took £40m in business rates relief and £11m in payments from furlough schemes in the UK and elsewhere in the year to September 2021 according to its annual report. That was on top of £20m in business rates relief in 2020.

The company said that it thought Cowling deserved the pay rise, which was delayed until September last year, amid concerns over the top-up when workers had been furloughed and the value of its shares had fallen.

A spokesperson for the company, which has long been known for chunky executive payouts including handing former boss Kate Swann £9m after her final year, said there were no plans to alter its pay award for Cowling.

“Despite being among the businesses hardest hit by the pandemic, WH Smith has emerged in a strong position and anticipates a return to profit in 2022,” it said. “This is as a result of the hard work of all our people, led by our executive directors.

“The remuneration arrangements published in our annual report and accounts are consistent with the remuneration policy which over 98% of shareholders supported in 2019 and come alongside the award of bonuses to approximately 1,750 colleagues across our stores and head office to recognise their exceptional efforts through the pandemic.”

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Posted in 2021 | Leave a comment