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Hydroponics giant Hydrofarm plans new headquarters in Northern California after IPO, 3 acquisitions

Becoming a publicly traded company, temporarily moving its headquarters from Petaluma to the east coast, spending $ 343 million to acquire three more companies, preparing to move back to a larger North Bay hub. It’s been a busy seven months for indoor grow equipment manufacturer and distributor Hydrofarm.

On December 14, nearly 10 million shares of Hydrofarm Holding Group began trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “HYFM”, raising proceeds of $ 182.3 million, according to the annual report of the March, 31st. The company made a follow-up offer of 5.5 million shares that ended on May 3, bringing in an additional $ 309.8 million.

After peaking at $ 92 in mid-February, the stock price was $ 56.96 at the market close on Friday.

Earlier this year, Hydrofarm moved its corporate headquarters to its distribution center in the Philadelphia area. It is one of nine totaling 900,000 square feet that the 4-year-old company operates in the United States, Canada and Spain. Hydrofarm also has offices in China.

This happened because Hydrofarm was preparing a larger location elsewhere in North Bay, which it had been pursuing for a few years.

Hydrofarm had planned to move its headquarters from Petaluma to the 250,000-square-foot warehouse at Victory Station in South Sonoma, but that deal did not materialize amid the rapid cooling of demand for real estate in the New Zealand. legal cannabis industry, according to real estate sources.

Hydrofarm could not be reached for comment on its plans for North Bay.

As cannabis has emerged as a key driver of demand for environmentally controlled agricultural products, Hydrofarm made its debut in Marin County during the catastrophic drought of 1977-1978, the Business Journal reported in 2010. gardeners.

The product line has expanded to include energy efficient grow lights and germination kits. Then Hydrofarm began manufacturing and distributing indoor gardening equipment for professional growers and hobbyists.

Today, the key markets are producers of cannabis, flowers, fruits, plants, vegetables, grains and herbs. The portfolio now includes 26 exclusive brands developed in-house with around 900 product variants under 24 patents and 60 registered trademarks. The company also owns more than 40 exclusive and preferred brands totaling 900 other storage units.

The company’s brands represent around 60% of sales. The total catalog, which contains products from more than 400 suppliers, includes more than 6,000 references.

“Our revenue mix continues to shift towards exclusive brands as we continue to innovate, improving overall margins,” says the annual report. “In addition, our revenue stream is very consistent as, according to our estimate, we believe that approximately two-thirds of our net sales are generated from the sale of recurring consumables, including growing media, nutrients and supplies. . “

Last year’s net sales were $ 342.2 million, up 45.6% from 2019. The company speculated in its annual report that public health home shelter orders in the event of a coronavirus pandemic have contributed to this increase in sales. The net turnover for the previous year only increased by 11.0% compared to 2018.

First quarter net sales were $ 111.4 million, up 66.5% from the previous year. The company attributed this to a 59.6% increase in the volume of products sold and a 6.9% increase in the price and mix of these products.

As a sign of its commitment to stay in North Bay, Hydrofarm was awarded a lease earlier this year for a new 175,000 square foot distribution warehouse at 2225 Huntington Drive in Fairfield. Meanwhile, Hydrofarm founder Stuart Dvorin was preparing to sell the 110,000 square foot Petaluma main facility at 2249 S. McDowell Blvd. Extension, a $ 17.5 million deal struck on June 7.

“We also intend to move our existing distribution operations in Northern California from the existing Petaluma building to a larger distribution center nearby,” the company wrote in its annual report.

Started in Marin County in 1977 as Applied Hydroponics, Hydrofarm moved its headquarters to Petaluma in 1994, employing 65 people at the time. It gradually expanded to 150,000 square feet there with a workforce of over 150 employees in 2010, and then to 195,000 square feet in the city in 2017. The company employed 327 full-time across all sites in at the end of February, he reported.

In 2017, Hydrofarm made a big expansion in Canada with the acquisition of the wholesale of Eddi and Greenstar Plant Products. The deal helped Hydrofarm become one of the leading suppliers of hydroponics equipment in Canada, the company said.

This year, Hydrofarm acquired three other companies. Los Angeles-area high-end nutrient maker Heavy 16 was bought for $ 78.1 million, and Humboldt County’s House & Garden brand portfolio for $ 125 million. A $ 161 million deal was announced this month for Aurora International Inc. and Gotham Properties LLC, manufacturers and suppliers of organic hydroponic products based in Oregon.

“We see mergers and acquisitions as an important driver of potential growth, as the hydroponics industry is fragmented and ready to be consolidated,” Hydrofarm wrote in its annual report.

Hydrofarm has also fertilized its C suite with insight over the past two years. In early 2019, Bill Toler arrived as CEO, bringing with him over 3 decades of senior executive experience at large consumer packaged goods companies, most recently including seven years as CEO and Chairman of Hostess. Brands. B. John Lindeman arrived as CFO in March 2020 with 25 years of experience in agriculture and finance.

Jeff Quackenbush covers wine, construction and real estate. Prior to Business Journal, he wrote for Bay City News Service in San Francisco. He graduated from Walla Walla University. Contact him at [email protected] or 707-521-4256.


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Vertex announces new portfolio reimbursement agreement in Italy comprising KAFTRIO®, SYMKEVI® and additional indications of ORKAMBI® and KALYDECO® for eligible patients with cystic fibrosis

– The reimbursement agreement also includes certain extensions of future indications for all Vertex CF medicines –

– Approximately 1,400 patients will now have access for the first time to a CFTR modulator –

LONDON – (BUSINESS WIRE) – Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Nasdaq: VRTX) today announced that it has entered into a new portfolio agreement with the Italian Medicines Agency, AIFA, for the reimbursement of all medicines approved by Vertex for treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF), including KAFTRIO® (ivacaftor / tezacaftor / elexacaftor) in combination with ivacaftor.

Italian patients aged 12 years and over with a F508del mutation and minimal functional mutation (F / MF) or two F508del mutations (F / F) in the regulator of transmembrane conductance of cystic fibrosis (CFTR) gene will now have access to KAFTRIO® (ivacaftor / tezacaftor / elexacaftor) in combination with ivacaftor. In addition, under the terms of the agreement, eligible patients two years of age and older with CF who have two copies of the F508del mutation in the CFTR gene (F / F) will now have access to ORKAMBI® (lumacaftor / ivacaftor). Eligible patients aged 12 and over who have either two copies of the F508del mutation (F / F), or a copy of the F508del mutation and another sensitive residual function mutation in the CFTR (F / RF), will have wide access to SYMKEVI® (tezacaftor / ivacaftor) in combination with ivacaftor. The agreement also expands access to KALYDECO® (ivacaftor) for eligible patients aged one year and over. In addition, the agreement covers any new approved indication extensions for Vertex’s cystic fibrosis drugs submitted and approved for reimbursement during the term of the contract.

Ludovic Fenaux, Senior Vice President, Vertex International, said: “This agreement is an important step for CF patients in Italy. Our drugs have fundamentally changed the way cystic fibrosis is treated, and we are delighted with this broad portfolio agreement which includes access for younger patients to ORKAMBI and KALYDECO and access to SYMKEVI and KAFTRIO for 12 patients. years and older. I would like to thank the IAAF and all parties involved for their collaboration, commitment and commitment in the speedy conclusion of this agreement.

KALYDECO® was reimbursed for the first time in Italy in 2015, followed by ORKAMBI® in 2017 for patients 12 years of age and over. Vertex’s cystic fibrosis drugs are reimbursed in more than 25 countries around the world, including Australia, France, Germany, Republic of Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, UK and US

About KAFTRIO® (ivacaftor / tezacaftor / elexacaftor) in combination with ivacaftor

KAFTRIO® (ivacaftor / tezacaftor / elexacaftor) in combination with ivacaftor 150 mg has been developed for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) in patients 12 years of age and older who have at least one copy of the F508del mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) uncomfortable. Ivacaftor / tezacaftor / elexacaftor is designed to increase the amount and function of the F508del-CFTR protein on the cell surface. The latest indication approved under European license for ivacaftor / tezacaftor / elexacaftor was supported by positive results from three global phase 3 studies in people 12 years and older with cystic fibrosis: a 24 week phase 3 study ( study 445-102) in 403 people with cystic fibrosis. a F508del and minimal functional mutation (F / MF), a four-week phase 3 study (study 445-103) in 107 people with two F508del mutations (F / F), and a phase 3 study (study 445-104) in 258 people heterozygous for F508del-CFTR mutation and a CFTR gating mutation (F / G) or residual function mutation (F / RF).

For full product information, please see the Summary of Product Characteristics available at www.ema.europa.eu.

About SYMKEVI® (tezacaftor / ivacaftor) in combination with ivacaftor

Some mutations result in a CFTR protein which is not processed or folded normally in the cell, and which generally does not reach the cell surface. Tezacaftor is designed to treat the defect in trafficking and processing the CFTR protein to allow it to reach the cell surface and ivacaftor is designed to improve the function of the CFTR protein once it reaches the cell surface.

For full product information, including dosage advice, please see the Summary of Product Characteristics available at www.ema.europa.eu.

About ORKAMBI® (lumacaftor / ivacaftor) and the F508del Mutation

In people with two copies of the F508del mutation, the CFTR protein is not processed and trafficked normally in the cell, resulting in little or no CFTR protein on the cell surface. Patients with two copies of the F508del mutation are easily identified by a simple genetic test.

Lumacaftor / ivacaftor is a combination of lumacaftor, which is designed to increase the amount of mature protein on the cell surface by targeting the defect in processing and trafficking of the F508del-CFTR protein, and ivacaftor, which is designed to enhance the function of the protein CFTR once it reaches the cell surface.

For full product information, please see the Summary of Product Characteristics available at www.ema.europa.eu.

About KALYDECO® (ivacaftor)

Ivacaftor is the first medicine to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis in people with specific mutations in the CFTR uncomfortable. Known as a CFTR potentiator, ivacaftor is an oral drug designed to keep CFTR proteins on the cell surface open longer to improve salt and water transport across the cell membrane, which helps hydrate and remove mucus from the airways.

For full product information, please see the Summary of Product Characteristics available at www.ema.europa.eu.

About Vertex

Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation to create transformative medicines for people with serious illnesses. The company has several approved drugs that treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF) – a rare and life-threatening genetic disease – and has several ongoing clinical and research programs in cystic fibrosis. Beyond cystic fibrosis, Vertex has a strong portfolio of investigational small molecule drugs in other serious diseases where it has extensive knowledge of causative human biology, including pain, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. and APOL1-mediated kidney disease. In addition, Vertex has a rapidly expanding portfolio of cell and genetic therapies for diseases such as sickle cell anemia, beta thalassemia, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Vertex’s global headquarters are now located in Boston’s Innovation District and its international headquarters are in London. In addition, the company has research and development sites and sales offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Latin America. Vertex is consistently recognized as one of the best places to work in the industry, including 11 consecutive years on Science magazine’s Top Employers list and a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality by the Human Rights Campaign.

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, without limitation, statements made by Ludovic Fenaux, Senior Vice President, Vertex International, in this press release and statements regarding our beliefs regarding the patient population that will have access to our medicines, including patients who will now have access to a CFTR modulator for the first time, reimbursement coverage for future approved indication extensions of our medicines , and our beliefs about the benefits of our medicines. Although Vertex believes that the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are correct, these forward-looking statements represent the Company’s beliefs only as of the date of this press release and there are a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or results. differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among others, the fact that data from the Company’s development programs may not support an extended indication for our drugs, and other risks listed under “Risk Factors” in the Annual Report. of Vertex and in subsequent filings filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available on the Company’s website at www.vrtx.com and www.sec.gov. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Vertex disclaims any obligation to update the information contained in this press release as new information becomes available.

(VRTX-GEN)


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USA Luge presents new starting facility on Olympic Day | News, Sports, Jobs

USA Luge’s head office is located on Church Street in Lake Placid. (Corporate photos – Andy Flynn)

LAKE PLACID – Officials from America’s Luge and the International Luge Federation (FIL) made two important announcements Thursday as part of the state’s Olympic Regional Development Authority’s one-day tour of the facilities locations where athletes train for the Olympics.

In order to celebrate Olympic Day, which was Wednesday, stops were also made at the American Olympic and Paralympic Center and the Mount Van Hoevenberg Olympic Sports Complex, where VIPs and media met with athletes, coaches and managers in the sports of luge, bobsleigh, skeleton, biathlon and Nordic skiing.

Showcasing the newly renovated USA Luge headquarters on Church Street, Claire DelNegro, FIL vice president of artificial sports track, announced that Lake Placid will host a World Cup on December 4-5. It will be the first time in two years that the combined track of Mount Van Hoevenberg has hosted a World Cup; Luge and bobsleigh / skeleton competitions were canceled last winter due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are happy to see all the improvements happening here” said DelNegro, who competed in luge for Great Britain at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. “I would like to invite you all to come and see the toboggan in person on the track. It’s a very exciting sport, and I think you will all become big, big fans.

It was also announced that luge athletes will use Plattsburgh International Airport this winter for the first time. After competing in the World Cup in Whistler, Canada, the entire circuit will travel to Plattsburgh ahead of the Lake Placid World Cup and depart from the same airport as they will head to Europe for the next leg of the tour.

USA Luge Director of Marketing and Sponsorship Gordy Sheer speaks with a host of personalities and media during their Olympic Day visit to USA Luge’s headquarters in Lake Placid on Thursday. (Corporate photos – Andy Flynn)

Thursday’s visit to USA Luge headquarters comes more than a year after an open house was canceled to unveil improvements due to the pandemic. Although it was not an open house, personalities and the media were invited to visit officials such as Jim Leahy, CEO of USA Luge, Gordy Sheer, Director of Marketing and Sponsorship and Mark Grimmette, director of sports programs.

The state’s $ 5 million upgrade reshaped the corporate headquarters. The original 8,400 square foot building was constructed in 1991 and the renovated 15,000 square foot building was completed in 2020. It now includes more office space, a fabrication shop to build sleds inside (instead of under a tent outside the old building), equipment rooms and a state-of-the-art refrigerated start-up facility.

“There is nothing like this installation in the world, and we are extremely proud” said Léahy. “It’s not just for our current athletes, but it’s for athletes for generations to come. Here we have a world class facility with world class work rooms, world class training at the Olympic Training Center. We have added a weight room. So we have all the resources here to ensure the success of our athletes.

The new starting track features two 230-foot ice ramps with four different angles, two down and two up. It is longer than the previous single start ramp, which only allowed athletes to remove the handles and paddle on the ice; that left no room for them to settle into the sled, which is an important part of training. The new ramps are long enough for athletes to get into their sleds. When they finish at the first ramp, they simply head to the second for another descent onto the ice.

Two-time Olympian Summer Britcher said she didn’t realize what she was missing until the new facility opened.

The new departure facility at USA Luge headquarters in Lake Placid has two ramps. (Corporate photos – Andy Flynn)

“This new facility is phenomenal. We are very grateful ”, Britcher said. “The longer ramps we have allow us to get the most out of our paddle training, and the ability to get into the sled is huge. For me personally, I have a very powerful pulling part at the start, but I was a bit weaker on the paddle aspect.

When state funding for USA Luge upgrades was announced in 2016, Empire State Development officials also said they would include $ 1 million for marketing, especially for television. World Cup events in Lake Placid.

“One of the things we need to do is provide a TV signal to host the World Cup races here in the United States”, Sheer said. “And New York State was kind enough to help us fund this … by putting out this signal for the rest of the world to see.”

USA Luge athletes began training for their next Olympic season on their new starting ramps in early May. The team are expected to train in Whistler and Europe in September, return to Lake Placid to train in October, and spend three weeks training on the Olympic track at the Yanqing Sliding Center outside of Beijing in November before the start of the World Cup season in November. 20-21.

The World Cup tour then heads to North America for two stops, Whistler and Lake Placid, before heading to Altenberg, Germany, and Igls, Austria, in December. After the Christmas holidays, the tour continues at four European stops: Königssee, Germany; Sigulda, Latvia; Oberhof, Germany; and St. Moritz, Switzerland.

USA Luge CEO Jim Leahy, right, chats with former Olympic sports complex manager Tony Carlino on Thursday during a tour of the newly renovated USA Luge headquarters in Lake Placid. (Corporate photos – Andy Flynn)

The 2022 Winter Olympics will be held February 4-20 in Beijing, China.

USA Luge CEO Jim Leahy, far right, greets a crowd of VIPs and media on Thursday at the newly renovated USA Luge headquarters in Lake Placid. (Corporate photos – Andy Flynn)

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UNESCO has always been mired in politics and feuds, but that shouldn’t hurt its work

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef made international headlines this week. This was not good news for the reef, described by David Attenborough as “one of the greatest and most magnificent natural treasures the world possesses”.

A report filed by the UNESCO World Heritage Center recommended adding the reef to the list of 53 other World Heritage sites considered “endangered” – a move the Morrison government suggested was prompted by pressure policies.

The “endangered” classification is important for Australia as the reef is estimated to provide 64,000 jobs and contributes A $ 6.4 billion annually to the economy.

If the World Heritage Committee downgrades the reef as a World Heritage site, it will almost certainly hurt its attractiveness as a tourist destination and therefore Australia’s economic benefits.

But why is such a report from this United Nations agency so important? The reason is that the World Heritage Committee carries considerable weight on the world stage – and politics has indeed been an unfortunate part of its operations since its inception.

The Australian government said it was “blinded” by the UN recommendation to list the Great Barrier Reef as “endangered”.
KYDPL KYODO / AP

“Clearly, there was politics behind that”

UNESCO’s mandate to build peace through international cooperation in the fields of education, science, culture and media freedom derives from its founding principles in 1945 after the Second World War. The preamble to its constitution declares,

… Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be built.

Nations are elected to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee at a biennial conference of the 193 Member States of UNESCO. This committee has significant power – it is authorized to make decisions on behalf of the world. And while UN member states can complain about its decisions, none can challenge the committee’s independence or authority.

The current chair of the World Heritage Committee is China, which adds to the reason why Australia protested so loudly against his recommendation.

Australian Environment Minister Sussan Ley and Foreign Minister Marise Payne immediately phoned UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay in Paris to express their deep concerns. Ley said,

This decision was flawed and there was clearly politics behind it, and it thwarted the proper process.

The head of the UNESCO World Heritage Marine Program, Dr Fanny Douvere, however, pointed out that the report was a rigorous scientific document with contributions from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and official government reports on water quality – assessed and analyzed by a team of experts from the World Heritage Center.

Moreover, she said, work on the report began years ago and the Chinese government was “unaware” of the recommendations made.

We have yet to see how this altercation plays out, possibly at the next World Heritage Committee meeting in China in July.

How UNESCO is structured

Behind the scenes of UNESCO there is a complex interplay of international politics and UN bureaucratic processes and actions which sometimes influence the work of the agency.

I was appointed to a senior level within UNESCO from 1995 to 2005, working both in a field office and at its headquarters in Paris, and I played a central role in the attempts of the organization to reform and decentralize its operations in the early 2000s. So I have a good knowledge of the beast from within.

The first thing to realize is that there is a gap between the headquarters and the field. Almost all the attention is focused on the UNESCO Headquarters. This is where the ambassadors of the Member States have their offices and where all the important committees are based. Consequently, decisions on international conventions and actions are the responsibility of the Parisian administration.

But this is not where the most effective program action takes place – it is the work of more than 50 field offices around the world. And UNESCO’s field offices are making a real difference.

In my own work in Indonesia, as an example, we reformed the entire basic education system in the country from centralized rote learning to decentralized open classroom exploration. We have also helped the country emerge from total media censorship by helping pass legislation to ensure a free press and have built a radio network of 32 independent stations across the country trained in investigative journalism.

Headquarters provided excellent technical assistance, but the field office put on the show and found the funding.

Much of the criticism leveled at UNESCO focuses on its overly bureaucratic structure and low productivity. This criticism is largely fueled by the attention to what is happening at headquarters in Paris, and not in the field offices in places like New Delhi, Jakarta and Maputo.



Read more: The Australian government has been “blinded” by the UN recommendation to place the Great Barrier Reef in danger. But it’s not a big surprise


Member States withdrawing funding

The second thing to understand about UNESCO is that it is a “technical” agency, not a “funding” organization like, for example, the United Nations Development Program.

Because the funding depends on the Member States, this has real consequences. Sensitive political issues can anger member states, causing them to withdraw from the organization – along with their funding.

For example, after Palestine was added as a full member in 2011, the United States and Israel stopped paying their dues. The United States, which accounted for over 20% of UNESCO’s budget, accumulated some $ 600 million in unpaid dues.

The Trump administration then withdrew the United States completely from the organization after the World Heritage Committee designated the Old City of Hebron in the West Bank as a Palestinian World Heritage Site in 2017. The United States Ambassador to the United States to the West Bank UN representative Nikki Haley called the politicization of UNESCO “chronic embarrassment.”

Israel and the United States opposed the decision to designate Hebron as a Palestinian World Heritage site which was also “in danger”.
Bernat Armangue / AP

It was not the first time that the United States had withdrawn. In 1984, the Reagan administration withdrew from UNESCO amid complaints about the way it was run and what one US official, Gregory Newell, called “foreign politicization.” He decried what he perceived as

… An endemic hostility towards the institutions of a free society – especially those that protect a free press, free markets and, most importantly, individual human rights.

Bearing in mind UNESCO’s mandate

UNESCO’s listing of the Great Barrier Reef as “endangered” is at its heart a moral decision concerned with minimizing the effects of climate change and urging Member States to act.

But because it is played out at the headquarters level, there is a whiff of political commitment. It is, after all, that states play the politics of power with their members, their funding and their influence.



Read more: Is UNESCO World Heritage Status for Cultural Sites Killing What He Loves?


But the organization is so much more when you move away from the sparkle of the world’s capitals to the field. Here, the agency’s business is to build trust and connect with communities to make things happen.

This is in line with UNESCO’s mandate, which is important to remember when attention is diverted to self-serving quarrels among its members.


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Saint-Gobain Abrasives has opened a new head office and distribution center in Redhill Business Park, Staffordshire – The Manomet Current

Fencing market The report studied global data assessment, competitive analysis, industry players and their scope. Also analyze tools such as Porter’s five forces analysis, SWOT analysis, feasibility study, and ROI analysis. The study includes technological readiness, competitive intensity, regulatory compliance, potential for disruption, trends and forecast regions.

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The global fencing market has assessed the report on the basis of various attributes such as manufacturing base, product or service, and raw material to understand business requirements. This report would help stakeholders understand the competitive landscape and gain insight to better position their businesses. The report would help new market entrants on the closest approximations to revenue figures for the overall strategy.

On the basis of region, the global fencing market is segmented into:

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East
  • Africa

Global consumption is expected to be high over the next few years. For the demand for fences, the price and is expected to increase, but on a small scale. Market segment by manufacturers, this report covers: ITOCHU, International, Inc., Builders, Fence, Company, Inc., Fiberon, LLC, Jerith, Manufacturing, Company, Inc., Richard’s, Fence, Company, Saint-Gobain, SA, Trex, Company, Inc., Merchants, Metals, LLC, Gregory, Industries, Inc. and Ply, Gem, Holdings, Inc.

Fencing Market Opportunities:

United States Census Bureau, United States construction activity was valued at US $ 1,253,294 million, including residential and non-residential buildings in 2017.

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Years considered to estimate the market size for Fencing:

Year of history: 2015-2019
Baseline year: 2021
Estimated year: 2021
Forecast year: 2021-2028

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  • Detailed overview of the application and market benefits.
  • Understand the support technologies, Solution, Services. Understand the assessment of dynamic growth.
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  • Who are the key players that make up the competitive landscape?
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Protecting detainees during COVID-19: Isolation centers inaugurated in Bangladesh prisons – Bangladesh

A COVID-19 outbreak in a prison can be devastating both for the prison population and prison staff. This is especially true for overcrowded facilities where the health care system is overloaded. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) continues to support the Bangladesh Prisons Directorate to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in prison facilities.

Three COVID-19 isolation centers (a 70-bed center in Keraniganj Central Prison, a 41-bed center in Feni District 2 Prison, and a 28-bed center in Kishoreganj District 2 Prison) have recently inaugurated by His Excellency Asaduzzaman Khan, the Minister of the Interior.

These centers are the result of close cooperation between the Ministry of the Interior (MoHA), the Directorate of Prisons, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the ICRC.

Elaborating on the ICRC’s support to help set up COVID-19 isolation centers in three prisons, Katja Lorenz, head of the ICRC delegation in Bangladesh, said: “Prisoners are among the most vulnerable populations facing to the coronavirus pandemic. is essential so that prisons can separate those who have caught the virus from the rest of the prison population. “

“Our support included the design and establishment of the centers and the provision of technical support to establish guidelines and implement infection prevention and control measures. We also provided basic medical and sanitary equipment as well as furniture.

Brigadier General Md Mominur Rahman Mamun, Inspector General of Prisons, said: “The Prisons Directorate has been working constantly since the start of the pandemic to develop an effective and comprehensive system to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in prisons. These constant efforts involve all staff in the Prisons Directorate, from headquarters to prison guards. “

“This work was supported by different partners (including MoHA, MoHFW and ICRC) present from the start and actively involved in various projects such as training sessions on precautionary measures against COVID-19 for prison staff , the regular distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the 68 prisons and the renovation and establishment of three isolation centers for inmates with COVID-19. “

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh in 2020, the ICRC has worked with the Prisons Directorate to identify the most important needs in the response to the pandemic in prisons.

We have provided continued support to the Directorate of Prisons to assist both detainees and prison staff, including, in 2021, providing PPE to some prisons and at the Headquarters of the Directorate of Prisons. We are currently setting up additional assistance for the 68 prisons in Bangladesh (as requested by the Prisons Directorate) in response to the latest wave of the pandemic.


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NATO leaders say China is a global security challenge – The North State Journal

President Joe Biden, center, walks with European Council President Charles Michel, right, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, during the US-EU summit at the Brussels European Council on Tuesday June 15, 2021 (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)

BRUSSELS – NATO leaders said last Monday that China is a constant security challenge and said the Chinese are working to undermine world order.

In a summit statement, the leaders said that China’s objectives and “assertive behavior presented systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and areas relevant to the security of the alliance.”

While the 30 heads of state and government have avoided branding China as a rival, they have expressed concern over what they have termed “coercive policies,” the opaque ways in which it is modernizing its armed forces and its nation. use of disinformation.

They called on Beijing to respect its international commitments and act responsibly in the international system.

President Joe Biden, who arrived at the summit after three days of consultations with the Group of Seven allies in England, pushed for the G-7 statement denouncing what he says are forced labor practices and d other human rights violations affecting Uyghur Muslims and ethnic minorities in Western Xinjiang Province. The president said he was satisfied with the statement, although differences remain between the allies on the force to criticize Beijing.

The new press release from Brussels indicates that NATO countries “will engage with China in order to defend the security interests of the alliance”.

But some allies bristled at NATO’s efforts to speak out on China.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said NATO’s decision to designate China as a threat “should not be overstated” because Beijing, like Russia, is also a partner in some areas. China is Germany’s largest trading partner and relies heavily on Russia to meet the country’s energy needs.

Merkel noted that “when you look at the cyber threats, the hybrid threats, when you look at the cooperation between Russia and China, you can’t just ignore China.”

But she added that it was important to “strike the right balance” because China is also a partner on many issues.

“I think it is very important, just as we do in Russia, to always offer political discussions, a political speech, in order to find solutions,” said Merkel. “But where there are threats, and I said they are also in the hybrid realm, then as NATO you have to be prepared.”

French President Emmanuel Macron urged the alliance not to let China distract it from what he saw as more pressing issues facing NATO, including the fight against terrorism and security concerns related to the Russia.

“I think it is very important not to disperse our efforts and not to be prejudiced in our relationship with China,” Macron said.

The Chinese Embassy in the UK issued a statement saying that the G-7 statement “deliberately defamed China and arbitrarily interfered with China’s internal affairs,” and exposed the “sinister intentions of a few countries, such as the United States “.

Biden arrived at his first NATO summit as president as key members said it was a pivotal moment for an alliance. Under the presidency of Donald Trump, who questioned the relevance of the multilateral organization and took steps to ensure that nations bear their share of the costs.

Shortly after arriving at alliance headquarters, Biden spoke with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and underscored the United States’ commitment to Article 5 of the charter of the alliance, which states that an attack on one member is an attack on all and must be fought. a collective response.

“Section 5 which we regard as a sacred obligation,” Biden said. “I want NATO to know America is here.”

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo said Biden’s presence “underlines the renewal of the transatlantic partnership”. De Croo said NATO allies were looking to get past four difficult years under the Trump administration and the infighting among member countries.

“I think we are now ready to move on,” said de Croo.

Trump has regularly berated other NATO nations for not spending enough on defense and even threatened to pull the United States out of the world’s largest security organization.

The alliance has also updated Article 5 to provide more clarity on how the alliance should respond to major cyber attacks – a growing concern amid hacks targeting the US government and businesses around the world by hackers based in Russia.

Beyond extending the potential use of Article 5’s mutual defense clause to space, leaders also broadened the definition of what could constitute such an attack in cyberspace, in a warning to any opponent who might use constant low level attacks as a tactic.

The organization said in 2014 that a cyber attack could be countered by a collective response from the 30 member countries, but on Monday they said that “the impact of significant cumulative malicious cyber activity could, under certain circumstances, be considered equivalent to an armed attack. attack. “

The President started his day by meeting with leaders of the Baltic states on NATO’s eastern flank as well as with separate meetings with Polish and Romanian leaders to discuss the threat posed by Russia and the recent air piracy in Belarus, according to the White House.

Biden’s route to Europe was designed to meet first with G-7 leaders and then with NATO allies in Brussels ahead of his much-anticipated meeting with Putin in Geneva on Wednesday. .

Biden met Turkish President Erdogan on the sidelines of the summit on Monday evening.

Biden, during his campaign, angered Turkish officials after he described Erdogan as an “autocrat.” In April, Biden infuriated Ankara by declaring that the Ottoman-era massacres and deportations of Armenians were “genocide” – a term US presidents have avoided using.

In a brief exchange with reporters, Biden described it as a “very good meeting.” He and Erdogan met in private before being joined by other officials.


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International headquarters

Libyan Business Council discusses the results of the Djerba International Business Forum with the Tunisian delegation |

By Sami Zaptia.

LBC meets with a delegation of Tunisian companies to discuss the results of the DIBF (Photo: LBC).

London, June 21, 2021:

The president of the Libyan Business Council, Abdalla Al-Fellah, on Sunday met a delegation of Tunisian companies led by the president of the Tunisian Association for International Development and Investment, Lazhar Ben Younes, at the LBC headquarters in Tripoli .

The delegation included a number of Tunisian businessmen, the president of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Medenine and the Director of the Spaces of Economic Activities in Zarzis.

The Tunisian Association for International Development and Investment organized the Djerba International Business Forum (DIBF) in which the LBC and a large Libyan delegation participated in Djerba from May 27 to 28.

LBC reported that the meeting, which included some of the Libyan participants in the DIBF, discussed:

  • The results of the DIBF.
  • The foundations on which bilateral cooperation should take place.
  • How to deal with the obstacles and problems faced by businessmen in both countries.
  • Seeking to activate the economic agreements concluded between the two countries.
  • Monitoring of the issue of Libyan money seized in Tunisian banks.
  • Reject and condemn illegal organizations claiming to represent Libyan and Tunisian entrepreneurs.

The two sides also agreed to put in place a cooperation agreement which includes:

  • Exchange information on investment and employment opportunities and investors from both sides.
  • Work on opening a special corridor for business leaders at border crossings.
  • Study the establishment of a free zone at the Ras Ajdir border post.

Several results of the Djerba International Business Forum unveiled | (libyaherald.com)

Zliten Chamber of Commerce President Summarizes Solutions to Improve Libyan-Tunisian Trade at Djerba Forum | (libyaherald.com)

Djerba International Business Forum May 27-28 – kick-off with large Libyan participation | (libyaherald.com)

Zliten Chamber of Commerce meets South African Ambassador to discuss increased economic cooperation | (libyaherald.com)


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