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REE Automotive to Open US Headquarters in Austin, Texas

Zero-emission technology company REE Automotive has named Austin, Texas, the new headquarters for its US headquarters. The Israel-based electric mobility company is now looking to capitalize on a growing market in North America by opening a headquarters in Lone Star State, alongside an integration center for assembly and testing of its proprietary technologies.

REE Automotive is an electric mobility solutions company based in Tel Aviv, Israel, with additional subsidiaries in the US, UK and Germany.

The company specializes in the development and manufacture of modular EV platforms for B2B transactions in addition to its proprietary REEcorners. This year alone, REE announced collaborations with Magna International and Toyota’s Hino Motors.

Last February, REE announced an ongoing SPAC merger with 10X Capital Venture Acquisition Corp. ($ VCVC), raking in $ 500 million in gross revenue to accelerate mass production in 2023.

Yesterday, the business combination has been approved by shareholders and officially closed. This morning, REE debuted on the Nasdaq under the ticker $ REE.

REE Automotive is now launching into the running following its approved merger by announcing a new head office on American soil.

A REE corner module / Source: REE Automotive

REE Automotive’s new headquarters will be in Austin, Texas

In A press release this morning, REE Automotive shared plans for a U.S. headquarters in the booming city of Austin, Texas, promising more than 150 jobs over the next few years.

Additionally, Austin will house REE’s first asset light integration center, where it will assemble and test its REEcorner technology and modular electric vehicle platforms.

The new integration center brings REE’s technology to current and future North American automotive partners. REE co-founder and CEO Daniel Barel shares his thoughts on the city:

Establishing our US headquarters in Austin, Texas best positions us for rapid growth and expansion. Austin is fast becoming a global hotbed for elite tech professionals. REE must continue to grow and prosper, and Austin’s drive and entrepreneurial spirit fits perfectly with REE’s culture and values. Our presence in the United States will allow us to capitalize on the incredible opportunities in the United States market and to connect with our customers and partners based in North America, including Magna International and JB Poindexter, as we work together to develop and deliver modular electric vehicles (MEV).

A representative from REE Automotive said Electrek the company will inaugurate the new headquarters and the new integration center this year.

Construction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2022 and has an annual capacity of 40,000 modular EV platforms.

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Soldo raises $ 180 million for its professional expense management platform – TechCrunch

Managing expenses has long been a headache for employees and accounting departments. For many, tracking and analyzing how money is spent on behalf of businesses is stuck in legacy software that is not well equipped to handle the latest demands. Today, British startups building solutions to bring the process into the 21st century are announcing a major funding round to double their growth.

BalanceProvide employee prepaid corporate card issuance platform linked to automated expense management system, achieved $ 180 million funding. Soldo currently has around 26,000 customers, from small and medium businesses to large multinationals in 30 countries, with Mercedes-Benz, GetYourGuide, Gymshark, Bauli and Brooks being popular. It’s a. Those.In addition to that, through the API, it also integrates With popular accounting packages used in organizations today – Ability to connect NetSuite, QuickBooks, Zucchetti, Xero and Soldo to over 50 expense management platforms, including Concur and Expensify.

The Series C cycle is led by Temasek of Singapore, with participation from Sunley House Capital, Advent International’s Crossover Fund, City Ventures, and former backers Axel, Battery Ventures and Dawn Capital. Silicon Valley Bank also provided a private amount of debt financing.

London-based company Sold was also unclear in its latest investment statement, but for reference, when it started raising funds in December, the company had around 278,800 people. It was valued at $ 10,000. PitchBook Data.. At the event, Sold said the tour was oversubscribed in the context of the company’s strong growth. Platform spending has quadrupled compared to the B-Series. $ 61 million for the 2019 round.. (Note: Soldo’s main business is in London, but it has a small head office in Dublin. Electronic Money License Part of the Brexit coverage in Ireland in 2019.)

More generally – and maybe because a lot of us spend more time away from headquarters, or maybe because some of us end up going out to meet people – the expense Management currently receives a lot of money. Warning. Earlier this month, Danish Pleo, one of Soldo’s biggest competitors, Raise $ 150 million at a valuation of $ 1.7 billion..

It’s a big market. The company claims the European expense management market is $ 170 billion.

At the heart of the challenge Soldo is trying to solve, spending is typically a very fragmented, undigitalized business, and the employees who rack up the spending aren’t usually accountants. In short, properly managing expenses is not one of our key skills. .. On the other hand, the costs themselves have evolved to cover all the by-products that have become easier to buy online, the way we work today, and much more. This can include memberships, travel and entertainment, home office supplies, etc. Purchase on behalf of the company for marketing campaigns, online advertising, etc.

If expenses are incurred digitally, tracking is easy, but often for services or goods purchased from IRL. This causes other problems. People often forget to get a receipt or lose it before filling out a report. Or pay for things out of pocket.

In addition, expenses are incurred by company card or bank transfer. The former is expensive and can be difficult to manage, while the latter has its own challenges. The process is slow and often requires several people to settle the payments.

Soldo’s approach to remedy this is first of all to facilitate the issuance of prepaid cards to employees in order to better manage their expenses. Then link the card to the application. The app will create an automatic prompt that will appear every time you make a purchase with your card, notifying you to get a receipt and download it.

“Soldo’s vision is to manage total business expenses, including advertising, software subscriptions, travel and entertainment, vendor management and payroll for all payment methods. Cards are just one of the many ways businesses can send money to their vendors, ”Email TechCrunch told TechCrunch. Carlo Guualandri, CEO and founder of Soldo. Unlike competitors like Pleo, he said: It’s important. This is because as the largest share of business expenses is transferred there, it becomes more valuable to customers using the expense management platform. “

Without a doubt, the growth of the company since its inception five years ago has seen a big slowdown in the form of Covid-19. The resulting recovery is proof that even the current market has found its place.

“The pandemic has almost completely wiped out travel and spending as a use case for corporate spending, given that a limited number of workers have traveled and had lunch on blockades,” Gualandri said. said sir. “It was very shocking to see Europe as a whole in the first weeks of March last year as people stayed at home due to the blockade. As a result, the trip is the number one company card. a. Due to its popularity and widespread use, a significant portion of financial services revenue was also lost. “But then two things happened. He continued.

“The number of spend use cases for other businesses has grown dramatically. There has been a global transition to e-commerce and the digitization of the financial sector. From supporting homeworkers to other business activities. There is a definite shift towards online shopping and you need a card to pay, ”he said. “In addition, many companies have started to distribute their products and services online, shifting most of their spending to online marketing. This is an example of a large expense that is usually paid for using a card. There have certainly been instances where some categories of spending have decreased and others have increased rapidly. I realized that many issues related to the pandemic have arisen and can be resolved. “

“Our experience with software and payment technologies gives us in-depth insight and Sold is at the forefront of financial digitization,” said Simon Lambert, director of Sunley House, Advent International’s cross-fund, in a statement. I’m sure I’ll stay on my feet. “The company operates in a large and rapidly growing market and is excited to join forces with a strong management team looking to create the leading payroll and expense automation platform in Europe. “

Soldo raises $ 180 million for its professional expense management platform – TechCrunch Source link Soldo raises $ 180 million for its professional expense management platform – TechCrunch


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Raleigh County Large-Scale Solar Project Has New Owner | Energy and environment

One of West Virginia’s first large-scale solar projects is moving forward under new ownership.

Enel Green Power, a global renewable energy developer headquartered in Rome, has taken over the project to build and operate a 90-megawatt solar farm in County Raleigh approved by county officials and officials. state utility regulators last year.

Enel Green Power purchased a 100% stake in the project as part of a portfolio of 3.2 gigawatt solar projects from Dakota Renewable Energy.

Operations are scheduled to begin in 2023 on a solar farm consisting of 250,000 solar panels on 530 acres in the Grandview area.

“What made it very appealing about this particular site was the major overhead power grid lines,” Raleigh County Administrator Jay Quesenberry said. “It’s very easy for them to put this electricity directly into a substation and put it directly on the grid.

Enel Green Power said the project will be the first of several developing solar projects in the state. Projects under development in West Virginia, including the Raleigh County project, will include paired battery storage to add resilience to the electricity grid as the country develops more renewable energy.

“In West Virginia, I think we have a huge opportunity,” said Nick Coil, senior director of regional development at Enel Green Power, whose North American branch operates 58 power plants of over 6.6 gigawatts powered by gas. renewable wind, geothermal and solar energy.

Coil said the lack of large-scale solar power generation facilities in West Virginia makes the state ripe for development that could generate tax revenue for counties and school districts, even though the mountainous terrain of the state may ultimately limit the state’s appeal to an industry that values ​​flatter land for laying down blocks of solar panels.

“Hopefully Raleigh will be one of the first of many projects in the state,” Coil said. “We are delighted with this opportunity to enter a new market. “

Coil declined to say how much Enel Green Power paid to purchase the solar project.

Raleigh Solar I, LLC, a subsidiary of Dakota Renewable Energy, estimated the project would cost $ 90 million before the West Virginia Civil Service Commission approved a site certificate for the project in October.

The Civil Service Commission order granting this certificate applies to all subsequent owners of the project, approving a decommissioning agreement with a minimum initial guarantee of $ 50,000 and requiring that construction begin within five years and be completed. complete within 10 years.

The Raleigh County Commission in September approved a payment in lieu of taxes deal with Raleigh Solar to inflate the county coffers by more than $ 2 million, with the bulk going to the Raleigh County Board of Education .

The project will create three to five permanent jobs which Coil says are “mostly local” and 150-200 jobs throughout the construction process which could take anywhere from eight months to a year.

Coil estimated that the 90-megawatt solar farm’s capacity is generally sufficient to power around 16,000 homes. The County of Raleigh’s projected power generation is about average among Enel Green Power’s lineup of solar projects, Coil said.

West Virginia lawmakers opened up the state’s solar market during the 2020 legislative session by passing bills creating a solar services program and favorably adjusting the business and trade tax for solar power.

In statements released by Enel Green Power, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice and U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., praised the state’s solar business and development while clearly indicating their continued support for the fossil fuels in addition to renewable energies. .

“I am incredibly excited for all the good that Enel Green Power’s acquisition of the Raleigh Solar Project will do for our great state and our people,” Justice said. “As I have said many times, West Virginia is an ‘all-in’ energy state. We abound in a diverse range of natural resources unlike anywhere else on Earth. Not only will this project continue to diversify our state’s energy production and enable us to power people’s homes in a sustainable manner, the ripple effects on our economy and our workforce will be phenomenal.

“The announcement of a major solar project in West Virginia is great news for our state as it highlights, once again, the abundant natural resources there,” said Manchin, Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee. and natural resources. “From coal and natural gas to wind, solar and hydropower, the Mountain State has been – and will continue to be – the backbone of the U.S. economy, and investments like this These allow us to continue to use all of the above for power generation and job creation while deploying innovative energy technologies and maintaining our country’s position as a global energy leader.

The Solar Energy Industries Association ranks West Virginia 49th in the country for installed solar power capacity.

Another large-scale solar project is planned in Berkeley County, which County Council announced in January that a renewable energy development company plans to install a $ 100 million solar power generation facility. dollars in a former explosives plant at DuPont Potomac River Works.

Bedington Energy Facility, LLC, a Delaware subsidiary of Colorado-based Torch Clean Energy, plans to invest $ 100 million to build a 100-megawatt solar installation on 750 acres of land on a site that has been designated as a wasteland. industrial “unsuitable for most commercial enterprises.” and industrial uses, ”according to a payment in lieu of tax agreement between Berkeley County Council and Bedington Energy Facility.

Coil predicts tremendous growth in the solar industry over the next five years, in line with current market forces, and claims that Enel Green Power will share the wealth by sponsoring STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and d other initiatives that rural communities identify as priorities.

“We’re not just going to come in and be a silent observer in the community,” Coil said. “We want to be an active participant and help the community. “


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OPEC and allied nations agree to end dispute that has skyrocketed energy prices: NPR

In this file photo from January 8, 2020, UAE Minister of Energy Suhail al-Mazrouei attends the UAE Energy Forum 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Al-Mazrouei said on Sunday that OPEC and allied countries had reached a “full deal” after a previous dispute that rocked oil prices.

Kamran Jebreili / AP


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Kamran Jebreili / AP


In this file photo from January 8, 2020, UAE Minister of Energy Suhail al-Mazrouei attends the UAE Energy Forum 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Al-Mazrouei said on Sunday that OPEC and allied countries had reached a “full deal” after a previous dispute that rocked oil prices.

Kamran Jebreili / AP

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – OPEC and allies agreed on Sunday to possibly increase production limits on five countries, ending an earlier dispute sparked by the United Arab Emirates that has rocked world prices for energy.

The disagreement, sparked by a demand from the UAE to increase its own production, temporarily disrupted a previous cartel meeting. In a statement on Sunday, the cartel said Iraq, Kuwait, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would see their limits increased.

“What binds us is far beyond what you imagine,” Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said. “We differ here and there but we relate.”

Prince Abdulaziz declined to say how they came to this consensus, saying it would see the cartel “lose our advantage of being mysterious and intelligent”. But he clearly bristled at previous reports on the dispute between Saudi Arabia, long the heavyweight of the Vienna-based cartel, and the United Arab Emirates.

Prince Abdulaziz then referred to the start of a press conference in al-Mazrouei as a sign of respect.

“The UAE is attached to this group and will always work with it and within this group to do their best to achieve market balance and help everyone,” al-Mazrouei said. He hailed the deal as a “full deal” between all parties.

Outside of OPEC, however, tensions persist among neighboring nations. The UAE has largely withdrawn from the Saudi-led war in Yemen, while diplomatically recognizing Israel. Saudi Arabia has also reopened in Qatar after a multi-year boycott, although relations between Abu Dhabi and Doha remain frigid. Saudi Arabia has also aggressively sought an international trade headquarters, which could affect the UAE’s business hub, Dubai.

Abu Dhabi’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, the country’s de facto ruler, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have, however, been close over the years. The two leaders will likely meet in Saudi Arabia on Monday.

Under the new production limits, the UAE could produce up to 3.5 million barrels of crude oil per day as of May 2022. This is lower than the 3.8 million barrels per day they would have sought. Saudi Arabia’s limit of 11 million barrels per day would increase to 11.5 million, as would Russia’s. Iraq and Kuwait saw smaller increases.

In its statement, OPEC acknowledged that oil prices continued to improve.

“Economic recovery has continued in most parts of the world thanks to the acceleration of vaccination programs,” the cartel said.

Oil prices collapsed amid the coronavirus pandemic as demand for jet fuel and gasoline fell amid lockdowns across the world, briefly seeing oil futures trading in the negatives. Demand has since rebounded as vaccines, while still unevenly distributed across the world, reach guns in major global economies.

Benchmark Brent crude was trading around $ 73 a barrel on Friday.

Once tough enough to stop the United States with its 1970s oil embargo, OPEC needed non-members like Russia to force a production cut in 2016 after prices collapsed below $ 30. $ per barrel in a context of increasing American production. This agreement in 2016 gave birth to OPEC +, which joined the cartel by cutting production to help boost prices.

OPEC + agreed in 2020 to withdraw a record 10 million barrels of crude per day from the market to raise prices. It has slowly added some 4.2 million barrels over time.

Starting in August, the cartel said it would separately increase production by 400,000 barrels per day each month. This will allow it to phase out its current production of 5.8 million barrels of oil by the end of 2022, as provided for in the original agreement.

OPEC member countries include Algeria, Angola, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iraq, Kuwait, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. OPEC + members include Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, Sudan and South Sudan.

Prince Abdulaziz, praising Sunday’s deal, offered a cheerful assessment of the future despite the recent turmoil.

“OPEC + is here to stay,” proclaimed the prince.


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Patricia moves her head office to Europe.

Patricia Technologies Limited is proud to announce the relocation of its operations to the Republic of Estonia, with its headquarters now domiciled in this northern European country.

This global move is intended to strengthen their relationships with traders and agencies in the global crypto markets, while also positioning them as the leading cryptocurrency trading company in Nigeria, Africa and Europe.

With this recent development comes the launch of a new upgraded Patricia version 2 app, which features many new updates and upgrades including crypto exchange; a betting feature that allows users to use crypto to place bets; the app also introduces new cryptocurrencies (coins) to be added to the already existing Bitcoin. There is also an automated buy limit for crypto traders, and the top-up service has also been upgraded to include international transactions.

Looking at how Patricia managed to dominate the Bitcoin market in 3 years of existence, CEO and Founder Hanu Fejiro Agbodje joked that “What started as disastrous news turned out to be the cornerstone of which we needed for this global expansion “referring to the crypto trading Ban by the Nigerian government.

He also noted that “the decision to expand and relocate our headquarters to Europe is part of our plans to improve our business strategy”. “We want to play in the big league, there is no passion to play in the small, we want to be in the most sophisticated markets in the world, it is an opportunity for us to lead the Fifth Revolution”.

As one of the industry’s fastest growing financial solutions providers, Patricia’s goal is to empower brands and individuals to take control of their digital finances through an advanced cross-border payment solution provided. by Patricia Business.

They currently have an established presence in Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and China.


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The Last Commander – POLITICO

Two years later, Miller was serving in Iraq, fighting an insurgency the Defense Ministry had yet to recognize, when his vehicle was ambushed near Baghdad, and he was shot and wounded. He then returned to Iraq as the Deputy Commander and Commander of the Delta Force on several occasions, participating in the successful hunt for arch-terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and leading special operations forces in brutal fighting in the province. west of Anbar, where terrorists were infiltrating from Syria. This operation was part of the largely successful “wave” of US troops in Iraq and the “Anbar miracle” that seemed to herald yet another victory – until the 2011 US troop withdrawal allowed al-Qaeda in Iraq to reconstitute itself as the formidable Islamic State of Iraq. and Syria (ISIS).

Miller returned to Afghanistan during the 2010-2011 “surge”, when US forces numbered over 100,000, and returned again in 2013-2014 to serve as the commanding general of Joint Task Force in Afghanistan. He would command in both theaters of war in 2016-2018 as the Army Joint Special Operations Command Chief, operational headquarters for elite US commandos such as Delta Force and Navy SEAL Team Six.

His career has been built in part on his understanding of the dynamics of conflict on the ground. But on the eve of his departure from Afghanistan earlier this week, Miller and NATO’s Resolute Support Command had withdrawn their field liaison officers, thus losing all visibility of what is happening with the Afghan security forces. who are trying to push back the Taliban. Recent reports suggest that the Taliban now control more than 160 of the country’s 407 districts – up from around 61 in 2018 – with entire garrisons of Afghan troops surrendering, in some cases without a fight. The Afghan Defense Minister has ordered a “strategic consolidation” of his troops, concentrating them in major cities while ceding much of the countryside to the Taliban. In what some experts interpret as a sign of desperation, the Afghan government is even again forming alliances with independent armed militias with a history of Taliban animosity, in an attempt to survive in the event of an all-out civil war.

In a recent discussion with Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, the veteran diplomat who has led the US peace talks with the Taliban, Miller referred to recent negative trend lines inside Afghanistan. The two Americans most personally identified with recent efforts to end the war have agreed that Afghanistan is a special country, where events can take a brutal turn very quickly. Miller acknowledged a certain pessimism in our talks: there are all possibilities, he said, that the Afghan security forces cannot meet.

“The almost one-unit Afghan security forces are less confident, and its leaders are obviously worried, as much of this affair is about trust – and in the face of the aggressive Taliban offensive and the surrender of some garrisons FAA shortage right now, ”he told me.

Strategic consolidations of Defense Ministry forces in major cities are tactically good, he said. “But the question is, will that be enough?”

Miller assumed command of Operation Resolute Support believing that commanders can learn more from aspects of operations that go badly than from those that go well. In 2018, that meant that the 14,000 US troops and 6,500 NATO troops and their leaders in Afghanistan, as the bulwark of Resolute Support, were learning a lot, and in a hurry.


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Secrets Alone Won’t Save Us: Providing a ‘Decision Advantage’ on Climate Security

When I was a CIA officer, one thing I could share with my family was a museum tour at Langley headquarters. Visitors would marvel at the cover-up devices and exclaim at stories of derring-do in the name of gathering hidden information. When we got to the Analysis Branch, however, they pretended to be interested. The printed copies of the reports weren’t as interesting as the robotic spy fish exhibit.

The theft of secrets has always captured the public imagination of the intelligence profession, for good reason. Secrets were the claim to fame of the CIA’s predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services. Prior to D-Day, it was “Wild Bill” Donovan’s placement of spies in European ports and behind enemy lines that gathered the information needed to support a successful invasion. As President Dwight Eisenhower said of the Office of Strategic Services: “If (he) had done nothing else, intelligence gathered alone before D-Day would justify its existence.

Of course, the security and intelligence landscape has changed dramatically since Eisenhower’s time. More often than not, “going behind enemy lines” means connecting to a computer, not jumping out of a plane. The risks facing the United States are more complex, involving not only a mix of state and non-state actors, but also systemic factors such as climate change, which the Chief Intelligence Officer ‘s 2021 Global Trends report identified as one of the few trends “setting the parameters” of our future world. This world is a world in which temperatures and sea levels are rising dramatically, and weather conditions are becoming more and more unpredictable and extreme. It is likely that millions of people will be displaced and forced to migrate, tensions will increase within and between states as water and food insecurity increases, and governments will find it increasingly difficult to manage aggravating risks as climatic risks intersect with other stressors. There is not a single current US national security concern that will not be affected in some way by the climate crisis.

What does a security landscape shaped by climate change mean to the way the US intelligence community does business? For some, this suggests a return to first principles. Doubling down on what my family has always found most intriguing about the CIA museum – the collection of secrets – as a way to distinguish the intelligence community from the private sector and the open source world. As Joshua Rovner argued, “the comparative advantage of secret agencies is secret information.” Of course, collecting secrets about governments’ climate policy plans and intentions can be important. Special Climate Envoy John Kerry lamented the lack of climate fundraising at a conference earlier this year. He argued that if climate change is truly an existential threat, then the US intelligence community should do as much effort to collect information on the positions of US adversaries on climate negotiations as it does to pinpoint their positions on nuclear agreements.

Secrets, however, are not enough. To achieve the goal of consistently providing a strategic advantage to the United States, the intelligence community must have the ability to put these secrets into context – analyze and communicate how they intersect with other risk information. for the national security of the United States. The trick is not to give up secrets or try to duplicate what the private sector or academia is doing, but rather to marry clandestine collection with other information from all sources. This is of course not a new concept in intelligence studies. Academics and practitioners have spilled gallons of ink debating the best ways to integrate open source information. The founder of the analyst profession in the United States, Sherman Kent, argued that integrating data and consulting with outside experts was essential to a strong profession. Most of the analysts I have known in my career prided themselves on their in-depth contextual knowledge of the regions they covered – history, academic experts, local news sources, arts and culture.

However, bringing a climate lens to intelligence isn’t as simple as bringing in just one more unclassified source. It’s different because of the type of information to integrate, the skills needed to do it, and the systemic nature of the risk. First of all, it’s hard science in addition to social science. This requires a “climate-savvy” workforce with scientific knowledge. This does not mean creating large teams within the intelligence community that do climate science. This means that intelligence officers are able to regularly understand and integrate climate models and analyzes into their work.

What does it look like in practice? It can be as simple as using references like Climate Central’s “Surging Seas” tool or regularly consulting primary sources and scientific literature. It also means leveraging more complex tools and practices. Advances in machine learning and computing power are leading to new modeling tools that can provide a wealth of relevant information to intelligence analysts. One example is the use of “ensemble assessments”, which are repeated runs of the same climate model, adjusting the starting point conditions each time. Such sets allow scientists to more clearly show a range of potential regional climate trends – important information that analysts need to incorporate into their work when assessing possible future economic, political and conflict scenarios in different parts of the world. Another example is that of “high resolution” climate models, which, thanks to advances in the power of supercomputers, can better represent atmospheric processes on a small scale. These models allow greater precision in risk assessments.

Moving forward, building on existing climate modeling approaches and tools is probably not enough for the intelligence community to truly address climate security risks. As Alice Hill, a former climate adviser to the National Security Council, recently detailed, planners across the United States are desperate for more localized climate data so they can craft better adaptation responses. Intelligence analysts need this kind of information as well, but in regions around the world. For example, although scientists believe Africa will face some of the greatest risks from climate change, accurate climate data on the continent is lacking, inhibiting useful predictive modeling of climate impacts. Without more localized and robust predictive climate models for Africa, intelligence analysts will not have the information they need to answer the kinds of questions they are sure to receive from policymakers in the years to come: the continent’s conflict zones? In which geographic areas will climate impacts and extremist groups overlap to increase security risks? Will US competitors’ infrastructure support offers to African countries withstand extreme events caused by rising temperatures?

While there are opportunities for the intelligence community to partner with the private sector to develop such capabilities, the first stop should be with US government scientists. Congress has given the intelligence community some tools to achieve this by creating the Climate Security Advisory Council, designed to link US government science and intelligence agencies, and the National Academies Climate Security Roundtable, a mechanism that enables actors in the climate science to provide information. to the intelligence community. Both meetings provide a platform for the community to use to encourage and shape the development of new modeling approaches that meet their specific needs. Moreover, intelligence agencies should use these groupings to pursue truly interdisciplinary analytical reports that marry climate science with social sciences. An example of this type of analysis can be seen in a series of reports and story maps published in recent months by the Woodwell Climate Center and the Council on Strategic Risks, detailing how climate change will shape security risks in strategic regions. of the globe.

Fully realizing this type of approach within the intelligence community – a large government bureaucracy – is not easy. I have already described the ways in which new resources, new leadership and new institutional structures can help. To his credit, the Biden administration has taken many steps to make it happen, as evidenced by the Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. Equally important, however, are the less immediately tangible changes in organizational culture and mindset. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines acknowledged these challenges in a recent interview,

Climate is an urgent crisis, but it is very difficult for various institutional reasons to integrate it into your daily work in a fully successful way i.e. it is much easier to focus on climate negotiations or on what states do in their policies.

She went on to say however that she was starting to see changes, noting that she had been amazed by,

to what extent, in addition to focusing on China and all of our top threats that we talk about in our annual threat hearings, we [in the intelligence community] came to the conclusion that … investing in science and technology and the tools that allow us to be better at what we do, our institutions, our partnerships, our resilience, our ability to integrate that expertise, is what is really important at this critical moment in our history.

Time will tell if this recognition from the leaders of the intelligence community results in long-term change. If so, maybe one day a future president will sing the praises of the director the same way Ike did of “Wild Bill” Donovan and the Office of Strategic Services. As article after article on this month’s record temperatures around the world points out, the climate will only get worse. And the United States can only navigate this hotter world with an intelligence community that collects foreign secrets, but also has the full range of information, tools, and talent it needs to analyze. these challenges.

Erin Sikorsky is Deputy Director of the Center for Climate and Security and Director of the International Military Council on Climate and Security. Previously, she was Deputy Director of the National Intelligence Council’s Strategic Futures Group in the United States, where she co-authored the quadrennial Global Trends report and led the US intelligence community’s environmental and climate security analysis.

Image: US Air Force (Photo by Master Sgt Elijaih Tiggs)


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Bach meets Suga as Tokyo virus cases near 6-month high

TOKYO – Tokyo on Wednesday reported its highest number of new COVID-19 cases in nearly six months, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said with the Tokyo Olympics opening in just over a week.

The growing numbers came out on the same day that the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, paid a courtesy visit to Tokyo to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

Suga and Bach both pledged that the Tokyo Olympics would be “safe and secure” despite the games opening with Tokyo and neighboring prefectures under a state of emergency imposed by the national government.

Tokyo reported 1,149 new cases on Wednesday. It was the highest since 1,184 were reported almost six months ago on January 22. It was also the 25th day in a row that cases were higher than they were a week earlier.

Suga asked Bach to make sure the Olympics are safe, especially for the Japanese public, less than 20% of whom are fully vaccinated.

A d

“To gain the understanding of our people, and also for the success of the Tokyo 2020 Games, it is absolutely necessary that all participants take appropriate measures and measures, including countermeasures against the pandemic,” Suga said. to Bach. “As the host of the games, I hope that the IOC will make efforts to ensure that all athletes and stakeholders fully comply with these measures.”

Bach replied, “We would like to reaffirm our full commitment from the Olympic community to do everything, that we are not putting the Japanese people at risk.”

Bach told Suga that 85% of athletes and officials living in the Tokyo Bay Olympic Village will be fully vaccinated. He said nearly 100% of IOC members and IOC staff were “vaccinated or immunized”. The IOC also indicates that between 70 and 80% of international medical representatives have been vaccinated.

The IOC and Tokyo organizers last week banned fans from all venues in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures. A few peripheral venues will allow a few spectators, and overseas fans were banned a month ago.

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About 11,000 athletes and tens of thousands more will enter Japan for the Olympics. The Paralympic Games will add approximately 4,400 additional athletes.

Japan has attributed around 15,000 deaths to COVID-19, a low number by many criteria but not as good as most of its Asian neighbors.

The Olympic torch relay has also been taken off the streets of Tokyo, with the Tokyo government fearing the relay will draw crowds and spread the virus. The opening ceremony will take place on July 23 at the new $ 1.4 billion national stadium in Tokyo.

Bach is expected to travel to Hiroshima on Friday and his vice president John Coates to Nagasaki to use the two bombed cities as a backdrop to promote the Tokyo Olympics and the first day of the so-called Olympic truce.

The Olympic truce, a tradition of ancient Greece, was restored by a United Nations resolution in 1993.

Bach arrived in Tokyo last week and spent the first three days secluding himself in the five-star hotel the IOC uses for its headquarters in Tokyo.

A d

The IOC is pushing the Olympics forward, despite opposition from much of the Japanese medical community, in part because it relies nearly 75% of its income on the sale of broadcast rights.

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Journalist AP Kantaro Komiya and video journalist AP Kwiyeon Ha contributed to this report.

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More AP: https://apnews.com/hub/olympic-games and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.



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International investors are key to delivering housing today and into the future

The Irish home buying and letting market needs more supply. This offer must meet the multiple demands that Irish society needs in the decades to come. Homeownership should be accessible to those who aspire to it, so it is right that the first-time home market is supported as part of government policy. The provision of adequate social housing is essential to underpin any claim of an equality-minded society. In addition, a deep and diverse private rental market is needed to meet the needs of a mobile workforce.

Regardless of your perspective on the problem, delivering a larger supply faster is the way to alleviate the current pressures. Supply requires investment and the good news is that there is enough capital available in Ireland and abroad to finance the 35,000 to 40,000 housing units we need each year to meet the shortage. current. To denigrate the investors behind this capital is to divert attention from the fight against more fundamental blockers that inhibit supply.

The international investment community is very keen to support the building of a vibrant and affordable housing sector in Ireland. Before the 2008 real estate crash, the market was financed almost exclusively by national banks, and then almost exclusively by debt. It is a welcome development in the market that we now have access to a more diverse pool of capital from investors such as foreign pension funds who are well positioned to finance this phase of the construction of Ireland.

Long term goal

With long investment horizons often extending beyond 20 years, pension funds focus more on return on capital than on return on capital. They may already be buying Irish sovereign bonds with an annual interest return or ‘coupon’ close to 0%, which means they are happy to get into less liquid real estate investments at just 3-4%. annual return. Attractive low-rate capital costs are available to the industry and with the right safeguards in place we can ensure that the capital serves the broadest purposes for the country’s needs.

Likewise, these investors understand that investing in real estate is a societal issue, not just a financial one, and they respond positively to sound policy on taxation, tenant rights and transparent governance. This investor profile is very different from the caricature of the “cuckoo” fund often accused of evicting first-time buyers or trapping tenants.

To date, these investors have been mainly active in the “multi-family” sector, which means that they buy blocks of apartments built exclusively to be rented out indefinitely and not for sale.

There is a significant and growing need for pure rental stock in Ireland, where we are lagging behind our European peers. Ireland has been very successful in attracting European headquarters of global companies and with them thousands of jobs with local talent and employees from abroad. For foreign employees who can reside in Dublin for periods of six months to three years without wanting to buy a house for the long term, high quality, professionally maintained rental apartments are essential. The supply of rental apartments to this cohort does not necessarily have to come at the cost of crowding out first-time buyers, but again, the answer to this problem is more supply, not less efficient capital.

Financing the future

Another development of relevance to the debate when considering the role of international investors in the Irish market is the worrying contraction of the Irish banking market. With the exit of Ulster Bank and KBC from the Irish banking sector, this will further exhaust the nationally available financing options for the wider economy, including property developers. International capital can step in to fill the void left behind to manage the pipeline of real estate developments until completion.

Bottlenecks to accelerating supply include the slowness with which planning is assigned to developers and low thresholds for forensic review, even when that planning is successful. Delays in confirming connection certificates for site services such as water and electricity are blocking the start of construction on the house. There are other bottlenecks to the development of the Irish residential pipeline, such as the shortage of construction workers and supply chain shortages linked to Brexit and Covid-19, but they will not be resolved until ‘There will not be a clear horizon for faster housing development which is currently paralyzed by an interrupted planning process.

These issues need to be addressed through the government’s fledgling policy initiative on Housing for All due to be released later this month and the terms of reference of the soon-to-be-launched Housing Commission. With sensible policy safeguards in place to protect tenants and first-time buyers, international investors can provide an attractive source of capital to help tackle Ireland’s chronic housing shortage for decades to come.

Myles Clarke is Managing Director of CBRE Ireland


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QBIC organizes a virtual “demonstration day” for the 14th batch of startups

The Qatar Business Incubator Center (QBIC), founded by the Qatar Development Bank (QDB), yesterday organized its second virtual “Demo Day” with 12 startups graduated from the Lean Entrepreneurship Program and Lean Accelerator Program, presenting their innovative ideas during the event.
The following startups, Caffeine, Cybergy, iFor Build, Smart Shuttle, Souqti, StopOver, StoryDeck, The Real State CRM, Vastry, VOP, Faserly and Sparets, presented their projects to a panel of experts, angel investors, d ‘aspiring entrepreneurs and stakeholders.
They also had three minutes for a question-and-answer session with the panel of experts at the event, which focused on the theme “Qatar’s Fastest Growing Startups, Your Next Smart Investment”.
This cohort, the 14th batch of graduates from the aforementioned programs, had received weeks of training, orientation and counseling from the various incubator teams.
The Demo Day, which was hosted by entrepreneurship advisor Mahmoud al-Mahmoud, was held at the Bedaya Center and was sponsored by incubator partner, Ooredoo Network, and entrepreneurship ecosystem partners, Qatar Financial Center, Doha Tech Angels, Mansour Bin Khalifa Holding Group, and Snoonu.
Commenting on the event, Hamad bin Dashin al-Qahtani, Managing Director of QBIC, said: “QBIC, and QDB of course as the founding organization, was and still is the first and biggest supporter of entrepreneurship in the world. Qatar. Year after year, we strive to develop our programs and incubators to welcome as many startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as possible in the service of our vision and that of our beloved country, Qatar.
“We strive to achieve excellence in this area in line with our goal of diversifying the local economy and helping Qatari businesses access local, regional and international markets. “
This year, QBIC has prepared a dedicated Demo Day website where investors, budding entrepreneurs and experts can view the list of participating startups and organize virtual meetings with startup owners. The site is accessible via demoday.qbic.qa.
It should be noted that despite the graduation of these startups, QBIC will remain in contact with them to continue to provide them with advice and guidance in order to ensure the existence of a robust business ecosystem and to provide an environment of sustainable business to entrepreneurs in the State of Qatar.
QBIC is the largest and largest mixed-use business incubator in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, founded by the Qatar Development Bank. To learn more about the event, visit demoday.qbic.qa.


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