Ethical Vaccine Distribution Planning for Pandemic Influenza: Prioritizing Homeless and Hard-to-Reach Populations

Ethical Vaccine Distribution Planning for Pandemic Influenza: Prioritizing Homeless and Hard-to-Reach Populations

The manner in which limited vaccines are distributed during a pandemic is an ethical issue. The utility principle has been used to argue priority be given to certain individuals based on factors such as the epidemiology of the spread of disease and maintaining the functioning of

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Peter Thiel’s Palantir Wins $876 Million U.S. Army Contract

Billionaire investor Peter Thiel got a fresh victory in Washington. His data-mining startup, Palantir Technologies Inc., won a much-contested contract to provide software to the U.S. Army.

Palantir will work with Raytheon Co. to replace the troubled Distributed Common Ground System now in effect. They beat out seven other proposals for a decade-long, $876 million contract, according to the U.S. Defense Department. Terms of the partnership between Palantir and Raytheon weren’t disclosed, and the companies didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Thiel, the co-founder and chairman of Palantir, approved the company’s move in 2016 to sue the Army over what it called an unfair bidding process. A judge found in Palantir’s favor and ordered the Army to revamp the way it solicits bids for the Distributed Common Ground System. The U.S. Government Accountability Office determined that the Army’s current system was over-budget and underperforming.

Since the election of President Donald Trump, Thiel has gained significant influence in Washington. He was the most prominent supporter of Trump from Silicon Valley and contributed money to the campaign. Thiel helped fill positions in the Trump administration with former staff, including Trae Stephens, a onetime Palantir employee. Although he recently told the New York Times that Trump’s presidency had “fallen short” in some ways, Thiel said he has no regrets about supporting him.

In addition to the Army deal, Palantir has been making inroads elsewhere in the U.S. government. After the company made a similar legal challenge to the U.S. Navy, officials agreed to revamp its technology procurement process last year.

Founded in 2004, Palantir is used by dozens of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to aggregate far-flung data, find patterns and present results in colorful, easy-to-interpret graphics. Its use by police in Los Angeles, Chicago, New Orleans and elsewhere has raised ethical concerns about the potential for unfairly targeting minorities.

Alex Karp, who started the company with Thiel and serves as chief executive officer, said the 2,000-person company would turn its first-ever profit in 2017, based on performance early in the year. The company has declined to say whether it met that goal. Karp has also raised the possibility of an initial public offering or some other kind of transaction to let existing shareholders cash out. A research report from October suggested Palantir would struggle to retain the $20 billion valuation private investors had given it.


The recent news that the World Health Organisation is to classify gaming disorder as an official mental health condition has received many angry responses on the internet.

The eleventh edition of the International Classification of Diseases is due to be published in 2018 and will include gaming disorder as a serious health condition.

The diagnostic manual was last updated in 1990, 27 years ago.

The New Scientist reported the criteria that will be used by professionals in order to assess whether a person is suffering from a gaming disorder.

Vladimir Poznyak, a member of the WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse explained that while many people who play video games don’t have a disorder, excessive playing can have an adverse effect on one’s mental health.

The announcement has received an enormous response, with many questioning whether gaming disorder should be considered as a serious health condition at all.