Category Archives: Global

Elon Musk Takes His Companies To New Heights

By: Arjun Kharpal

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has raised another $100 million as part of its latest funding round, according to new regulatory documents.

In August, the space exploration company sold $349.9 million worth of shares, a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing showed. That amount has now risen to $449.9 million, a new filing showed on Monday, adding an extra $100 million onto the current fundraising effort.

The latest injection of cash values SpaceX at $21.5 billion, according to Equidate, a platform that facilitates the trading of shares in private technology firms. SpaceX was not immediately available for comment on the valuation when contacted by CNBC.

SpaceX’s SEC filing did not disclose the investors.

Musk’s space company has been ramping up its rocket launches. SpaceX has developed rockets that are able to take off, deliver a payload into space, then land back on a droneship stationed in the Atlantic. The company says this helps reduce the cost of space missions as well as increasing the number that are able to take place.

Earlier this year, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell told Reuters in an interview that the company was aiming to launch missions every two-to-three weeks.

As well as regular launches for large customers, Musk has bigger ambitions. In May, SpaceX laid out plans to put 4,425 satellites into space to provide high-speed internet. Musk plans to start this in 2019.

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How Nestlé Makes its Billions

By: Caroline Winter of Bloomberg 

Inside, workers wear hairnets, hard hats, goggles, gloves, and earplugs. Ten production lines snake through the space, funneling local spring water into 8-ounce to 2.5-gallon containers; most of the lines run 24/7, each pumping out 500 to 1,200 bottles per minute. About 60 percent of the supply comes from Mecosta’s springs and arrives at the factory via a 12-mile pipeline. The rest is trucked in from neighboring Osceola County, about 40 miles north. “Daily, we’re looking at 3.5 million bottles potentially,” says Dave Sommer, the plant’s 41-year-old manager, shouting above the din.

Silos holding 125 tons of plastic resin pellets provide the raw material for the bottles. They’re molded into shape at temperatures reaching 400F before being filled, capped, inspected, labeled, and laser-printed with the location, day, and minute they were produced—a process that takes less than 25 seconds. Next, the bottles are bundled, shrink-wrapped onto pallets, and picked up by a fleet of 25 forklifts that ferry them to the plant’s warehouse or loading docks. As many as 175 trucks arrive every day to transport the water to retail locations in the Midwest. “We want more people to drink water, keep hydrated,” Sommer says. “It would be nice if it were my water, but we just want them to drink water.”

Nestlé SA started bottling in 1843 when company founder Henri Nestlé purchased a business on Switzerland’s Monneresse Canal. “Ever the curious scientist, [he] analyzed and experimented with the enrichment of water with a variety of minerals, always with a singular goal: to provide healthy, accessible, and delicious refreshment,” reads Nestlé’s website. Today there are thousands of bottled water companies worldwide—there’s even Trump Ice—but Nestlé is the biggest globally in terms of sales, followed by Coca-Cola, Danone, and PepsiCo, according to Euromonitor International. Nestlé Waters, the Paris-based subsidiary, owns almost 50 brands, including Perrier, S.Pellegrino, and Poland Spring.

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In this Turkish Town No One Goes Hungry

By: Zeyneb Varol of The Middle East Eye 

Under the glaring sun of a Saturday afternoon in August, a restaurant in a small eastern Turkish town welcomes its “most valuable customers”.

It is only one of the many establishments across the town where those in need are invited to eat free of charge. This well-preserved tradition has been carried down from generation to generation for decades.

Karakocan, a 70-minute drive north of the centre of Elazıg province, has attracted attention in recent years for its tradition of offering free food to those in need. For locals, the custom is a way of fulfilling their responsibility to assist the less fortunate.

Mehmet Ozturk, 55, the owner and manager of one of Karakocan’s busiest restaurants, Merkez, for nearly 35 years, says he always keeps at least three tables reserved for those in need, even during rush hour when his eatery is cramped. According to Ozturk, “the poor never fail to come”. 

On any given day, Ozturk says at least 15 people come to his restaurant to receive a free meal. According to residents, around 100 people eat for free each day across the whole town, which is home to around 28,000 people, according to official statistics.

Galip is one of the familiar faces at the restaurant who has eaten there every day for the last 10 years. “He was here for breakfast and he will probably come for dinner as well,” a young waiter says.

Suffering from mental illness, Galip doesn’t share much.

“The Merkez is my favourite place in town, because the food is great,” he says.

The restaurants offer Galip and others their pick from a variety of choices listed on their menus including kebabs, chicken, soup, rice and salads.

Ozturk says: “The tradition has always been here, even 70 years ago. For us it was a natural thing to do, something we learned from our elders.”

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Philippine President’s Son Linked to $125 Million Drug Ring 

By: Karen Lema of Reuters

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s son on Thursday told a Senate inquiry he had no links to a seized shipment of $125 million worth of narcotics from China, dismissing as “baseless” the allegations of his involvement in the drugs trade.

Opponents of the president, who has instigated a fierce crackdown on a trade he says is destroying the country, say they believe his son Paolo may have helped ease the entry of the drug shipment at the port in Manila, the capital.

On Tuesday, Duterte said he had told Paolo to attend the senate investigation if he had nothing to hide, besides advising him not to answer questions and invoke his right to keep silent.

“I cannot answer allegations based on hearsay,” Paolo Duterte, the vice mayor of the southern city of Davao, told the Senate.
“My presence here is for the Filipino people and for my fellow Davaoeños whom I serve,” he added, referring to the people of Davao, where his father served as mayor for more than two decades before being elected president in 2016.
The Philippine leader has repeatedly said he would resign if critics could prove any members of his family were involved in corruption.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes, a staunch critic of the president, displayed to the Senate panel photographs of Paolo Duterte beside a businessman who was behind the shipment in which the drugs were found.
The president’s son-in-law, Manases Carpio, who has also been accused of links to the May drug shipment from China, told the hearing he had no involvement.

Duterte unleashed his bloody campaign the day he took office on June 30 last year, after promising Filipinos he would use deadly force to wipe out crime and drugs.

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Category 5 Hurricane Irma Heading Towards The Carribean

From: Nicole Chavez 

Category 5 Hurricane Irma has become one of the strongest storms recorded in the Atlantic, and is threatening to slam into Caribbean islands including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands with “potentially catastrophic” force on Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said.

It’s too early to tell whether the storm will affect the US mainland, but current forecast tracks show it could turn toward Florida over the weekend.

Irma was churning west Tuesday evening in the Atlantic with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph — well above the 157 mph threshold for a Category 5 — about 130 miles east of Antigua and Barbuda, the hurricane center said.

The last storm with sustained winds that strong in the Atlantic was 2005’s Hurricane Wilma, which weakened before it brushed Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, turned right and crossed Florida. Irma’s Atlantic wind speeds are behind only 1980’s Hurricane Allen, which peaked at 190 mph at sea.

Irma’s forecast track currently has it near or over Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Anguilla by early Wednesday, and the British and US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday afternoon.

Preparations to protect life and property in those areas “should be rushed to completion,” the hurricane center said in a 5 p.m. ET advisory.

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Swedish Government May Potentially Resign 

By: Oliver Pechter of Business Insider 

The Swedish government could potentially resign today. 

The Swedish opposition movement Alliansen is putting forward a motion of no confidence against interior minister Anders Ygeman, defence minister Peter Hultqvist and infrastructure minister Anna Johansson following an IT-scandal at the Swedish Transport Agency earlier this month, which involved the leaking of private citizen data to foreign contractors.

“We at Alliansen want to raise a motion of no confidence against the three responsible ministers for their failures to take responsibility during the crisis,” said the Moderates party leader Anna Kinberg Batra.

“It is obvious that the three ministers have neglected their duties… it may have threatened the security of Sweden,” says Annie Lööf.

“But we are not demanding that the government should resign,” says Jan Björklund.

The Alliance elaborated their decision further in a debate article in Svenska Dagbladet.

“The security crisis puts individual citizens as well as the entire nation’s security at risk. It’s very serious. We have found major shortcomings in the government’s work and responsibility during the handling of the crisis.”

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Pope Francis Calls for Christians, Jews, and Muslims to Pray for Peace

Compliments of Vatican Radio

Pope Francis has appealed for prayers and international participation in the “One Minute for Peace” initiative to be held:

Thursday, 8 June, at 1:00 PM Rome time.

He said the initiative represents “a short moment of prayer on the recurrence of the meeting in the Vatican between me, the late Israeli President Peres, and the Palestinian President Abbas”.

Their encounter took place in the Vatican Gardens on 8 June 2014, during which the three men prayed together for peace.

The Holy Father said, “In our days, there is a great need to pray – Christians, Jews, and Muslims – for peace.”

VaticanCallForPeace060817

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New CO2 Plant Can Recylce Green House Gases In The Atmosphere 

By: Karla Lant of Futurism 

Yesterday, the world’s first commercial carbon capture plant began sucking carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the air around it. Perched atop a Zurich waste incineration facility, the Climeworks carbon capture plant comprises three stacked shipping containers that hold six CO2 collectors each. Spongey filters absorb CO2 as fans pull air through the collectors until they are fully saturated, a process that takes about two or three hours.

The container then closes, and the process reverses. The collector is heated to 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit), and the pure CO2 is released in a form that can be buried underground, made into other products, or sold.

According to Climeworks, the startup that created this carbon capture facility, hundreds of thousands more like it will be needed by midcentury if we want to remain below the limits set by the Paris Agreement. However, to keep the planet’s temperature from increasing by more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), we’ll need to do something more than simply lowering global emissions.

“We really only have less than 20 years left at current emission rates to have a good chance of limiting emissions to less than 2°C,” Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment director Chris Field told Fast Company. “So it’s a big challenge to do it simply by decreasing emissions from energy, transportation, and agriculture.”

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Scientist Successfully Remove HIV From Lab Mice 

By:Mia De Graaf of Dailymail

Scientists have cured living animals of HIV using CRISPR gene-editing, a new study claims. 

The virus remains elusive due to the its ability to hide away in latent reservoirs. 

But now, in new research published this week, US scientists showed they could completely remove HIV DNA from human cells implanted into mice – preventing further infection.

It is the first time scientists have ever achieved complete elimination in animal models – paving the way to a human clinical trial.

Most exciting, the study by at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University and the University of Pittsburgh involved a ‘humanized’ model in which mice were transplanted with human immune cells and infected with the virus.  

The new work, led by Dr Wenhui Hu at LKSOM, builds on the same team’s previous research, in which they managed to delete HIV-1 from the genome of most tissues.

A year later, they have been able to eliminate the virus from every tissue.  

‘Our new study is more comprehensive,’ Dr. Hu said. 

‘We confirmed the data from our previous work and have improved the efficiency of our gene editing strategy. We also show that the strategy is effective in two additional mouse models, one representing acute infection in mouse cells and the other representing chronic, or latent, infection in human cells.’

The team tested three groups of mice.

In the first, they infected mice with HIV-1.

In the second, they infected mice with a severe case of EcoHIV (the mouse equivalent of human HIV-1).

The third used a ‘humanized’ mouse model, engrafted with human immune cells, that was infected with HIV-1.  

Treating the first group, they managed to genetically inactivate HIV-1, reducing the RNA expression of viral genes by up to 95 percent, confirming their earlier findings.

The second group has an added challenge: the virus is more prone to vociferously spread and multiply. 

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Nim Kidd Replaces Craig Fugate As The New Director Of FEMA

With complimentary contributions by Evan Moon, WUFT News

After several months without an Administrator, Mr. Nim Kidd has been appointed as the new Administrator of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  His appointment replaces Mr. Craig Fugate, the Administrator during the Obama Administration.   Craig Fugate led FEMA through many catastrophic disasters including; Joplin and Moore tornadoes, Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Matthew, Hurricane Katrina and the 2016 Louisiana floods.  In a WUFT News First at Five interview, anchor Evyn Moon sat down with Craig Fugate discussing his career, his concern about the handling of migrant children crossing our borders, and his recommendation for Nim Kidd to replace him as the FEMA Administrator.

The Obama Administration’s outreach to grass root organizations and providing resources for local emergency preparedness was unprecedented in approach and success.   Now we wait to see if the Trump Administration will give Nim Kidd the support he needs to get things done and continue helping people to recover from disasters without limitation from bureaucracy and political barriers.

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