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Sri Lanka has approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to be used against COVID-19 amid warnings from doctors that frontline health workers should be quickly vaccinated to stop the system from collapsing. A regulatory official said the British vaccine has been approved for emergency use, the first to be approved in Sri Lanka, and several other candidates are in the pipeline. It is unknown when Sri Lanka might be able to get supplies. An official from a trade union of doctors says medical professionals are testing positive, leading to quarantines.

Social media in Iran has been gripped by speculation that Bitcoin is to blame for a series of recent power blackouts across the country. The government launched a major crackdown on Bitcoin processing centers, which use immense amounts of electricity and are a huge burden on the power grid. Cryptocurrency has surged in popularity in Iran after former President Donald Trump withdrew America in 2018 from Tehran’s nuclear accord with world powers and re-imposed economic sanctions. Anonymous transactions made in cryptocurrencies allow individuals and companies to bypass banking sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy. Bitcoin miners say they're being targeted unfairly and that the blackouts are rooted in government mismanagement. 

A Colombian businessman was carrying a letter from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accrediting him to Iran’s supreme leader when he was arrested on a U.S. warrant last year in the African nation of Cape Verde. The revelation was contained in a new filing in a politically charged corruption case in Miami that took place just hours after authorities in Cape Verde said they approved transferring Alex Saab to house arrest. Saab has been held since June on a U.S. arrest warrant. U.S. officials believe he holds secrets about how Maduro allegedly siphoned off millions of dollars in government contracts amid widespread hunger in the oil-rich nation.

Authorities in the African nation of Cabo Verde have approved transferring a jailed Colombian businessman with close ties to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to house arrest. Prosecutors in Cabo Verde announced the decision about Alex Saab on Thursday. They say it is partly based on the fact that he has remained provisionally detained longer than the maximum allowed. Saab has been held since June on a U.S. arrest warrant. He is fighting extradition to Miami, where he is charged with corruption. U.S. officials believe he holds secrets about how Maduro allegedly siphoned off millions of dollars in government contracts amid widespread hunger in the oil-rich nation.

U.S. regulators have approved the first long-acting drug combo for HIV, monthly shots that can replace daily pills. The two-shot combo was approved Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration. It's expected to make it easier for people to stay on track with their HIV medicines and to do so with more privacy. Not long ago, patients had to take multiple pills several times a day to control infection with the AIDS virus. One of the components of the new drug also has shown promise for preventing HIV in uninfected people.

AP
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The Peak Group (PEAK), a fast-growing, vertically integrated real estate investment company focused on single family residential (SFR) properties, has hired Joe Ollis as principal, chairman of the board and chief investment officer responsible for its emergent Peak Housing REIT. Ollis comes to PEAK after selling his previous company, SMARTCAP, Inc. where he transacted more than $350 million in commercial real estate and raised more than $150 million with 400 investors. Also notable is the achievement of more than 20 percent internal rate of return (IRR) across 20 investments. (Photo: Business Wire)

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