Nike cut up with Neymar after sexual assault investigation, report says

Lionel Bonaventure | Getty Images

Nike said it ended its partnership with Neymar da Silva Santos Jr. – better known as Neymar – when the soccer superstar refused to cooperate with an investigation into sexual assault allegations against him.

“Nike ended its relationship with the athlete because he refused to cooperate in good faith with an investigation into credible allegations of employee misconduct,” Nike said in a statement late Thursday.

The Wall Street Journal reported the news first.

The company announced last summer that it had split from Neymar but had not given a reason for the sudden move. The Journal reported that Neymar’s deal with Nike remained eight years at the time.

The company said it was “deeply concerned” by an incident the employee allegedly committed in 2016.

A spokeswoman for Neymar told the WSJ that it denies the allegations.

Nike said the employee reported the allegations in 2018 and initially wanted to keep them confidential and avoid investigation. As a result, Nike announced that out of respect for the employee’s privacy, no details have been disclosed to law enforcement agencies or third parties.

Nike announced it had commissioned an independent investigation into the allegations in 2019 when the employee expressed an interest in pursuing the matter. However, the company said the investigation was inconclusive.

“There weren’t any facts that would allow us to talk about it. It would be inappropriate for Nike to make an accusatory statement without being able to provide supporting facts,” the company said.

In 2017, Neymar left Spanish club FC Barcelona to move from Paris Saint Germain for a record transfer fee $ 263 million.

– CNBC’s Jessica Golden contributed to this report.

Japanese-style pubs report losses however gross sales at fast-food chains soar

The Japanese restaurant sector has reported mixed results on its recent earnings as the number of people hard-eating at izakaya pub operators declined due to the coronavirus pandemic, while takeaway demand boosted fast food chains.

Pub operator Watami Co. reported a loss of 11.59 billion yen ($ 105 million) on Friday for fiscal year ended March when the government asked restaurants to reduce opening hours for alcohol and anti-virus measures to close early in the course of the year.

“If the current situation continues, we expect red ink to reach 5 to 6 billion yen in fiscal 2021,” Watami chairman Miki Watanabe said in an online briefing, adding that the company had a capital injection of 12 billion yen from the state applies for Development Bank of Japan.

Colowide Co., which has restaurant and pub units, including Japanese set menu chain operator Ootoya Holdings Co., posted a record loss of 9.73 billion yen in fiscal 2020. It has decided to close 48 of its restaurants as part of its business review.

Among the fast food chain operators who benefited from the boom in the delivery and take-away groceries, KFC Holdings Japan Ltd.’s net profit increased. in fiscal 2020 by 82.9% to a record value of 2.81 billion yen.

McDonald’s Holdings Company (Japan) achieved record sales of ¥ 155.78 billion from January to March, an increase of 9.8% over the previous year.

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International Browser Video games Market Report 2021: Main Gamers Embrace King Digital Leisure, NCSOFT, GungHo On-line, Zynga, Tencent, Microsoft, Activision Blizzard Inc., Sega, Sony and Peak Video games

The “Browser Games Global Market Report 2021: COVID-19 Impact and Recovery by 2030” Report was added ResearchAndMarkets.com Offer.

Major players in the browser games market are King Digital Entertainment, NCSOFT, GungHo Online, Zynga, Tencent, Microsoft, Activision Blizzard Inc., Sega, Sony Corporation and Peak Games.

The global browser games market is projected to grow from $ 23.81 billion in 2020 to $ 24.99 billion in 2021, with an average annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5%.

The market is projected to reach $ 34.47 billion in 2025 with an annual growth rate of 8%.

The rapid increase in the number of active players around the world is driving the browser game market. According to the League of Betting, the number of online gamblers is projected to reach 1 billion by 2024, up from 877 million in 2020. According to the online gaming report as of 2019, gamers play an average of seven hours and seven minutes a week, but younger gamers spend a lot more time playing games, while 26- to 35-year-olds play 8 hours 12 minutes a week.

Germany and the United States were linked with the highest number of players playing for more than 20 hours at 11.6% per week. Hence, the rapid increase in the number of active players around the world is expected to drive the browser game market.

Player frustration from slow downloads is the main limiting factor in the browser game market. The time it takes to download games has been reported as the world’s biggest problem. 33.8 percent said this is the main problem.

Seasoned gamers are most concerned about download speed. Over 41% of ambitious professionals and experts indicate that experienced gamers are more likely to play more complex games that require larger downloads. The download performance affects their games more from experience.

According to the 2019 Online Gaming Report, frustration with download speed is highest in the US, where 39.4% of gamers register sluggish downloads as a primary concern. Hence, the frustration of gamers from slow downloads is expected to hamper the growth of the browser game market.

The story goes on

The browser games market covered in this report is divided into cellphone games, pay-to-play games, free-to-play games, pay-in-play games by type, and by end-users in smartphone and tablet, PC, TV, etc. divided.

Companies in the browser gaming market are focusing on technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to improve the gaming experience and offer better products. Industry experts expect VR / AR games to get a big boost in 2019 and headset prices to become more affordable for an even more immersive gaming experience. Many popular games are likely to incorporate VR and IR.

Stormland, which was released in 2019, is an open world shooter. It has some great features like reloading and updating that use VR technology in very creative ways. It also includes a play area that has been procedurally created to ensure that each playthrough is different.

Pokemon GO is probably the most popular augmented reality game and is expected to release some new updates in 2019 to ensure it stays strong for a while. Niantic Labs, developer of the Pokemon Go game, has already raised $ 225 million in the company’s funding round and is now focused on developing more AR-based games.

In September 2020, Microsoft Corporation, a US-based technology company, acquired ZeniMax Media for $ 7.5 billion in cash. With this acquisition, Microsoft will grow from 15 to 23 creative studio teams and add Bethesda’s franchise to Xbox Game Pass. ZeniMax Media, an American video game holding company based in Rockville, Maryland.

Main topics covered:

1. Summary

2. Market characteristics of browser games

3. Market trends and strategies for browser games

4. Effects of COVID-19 on browser games

5. Browser Games Market Size and Growth

5.1. Historic Global Browser Games Market, 2015-2020, Billion US Dollars

5.1.1. Driver of the market

5.1.2. Restrictions in the market

5.2. Global Browser Games Market Forecast, 2020-2025F, 2030F, Billion US Dollars

5.2.1. Driver of the market

5.2.2. Restrictions in the market

6. Market segmentation for browser games

6.1. Global Browser Games Market, Segmentation By Type, Historical And Forecast, 2015-2020, 2020-2025F, 2030F, Billion US Dollars

  • Mobile games

  • Pay-to-play games

  • Free games

  • Pay-in-play games

6.2. Global Browser Games Market, Segmentation By End User, Historical And Forecast, 2015-2020, 2020-2025F, 2030F, Billion US Dollars

  • Smartphone and tablet

  • Pc

  • TV

  • Other

6.3. Global Browser Games Market, Segmentation By Operating System, Historical And Forecast, 2015-2020, 2020-2025F, 2030F, Billion US Dollars

7. Browser games Market regional and country analysis

7.1. Global Browser Games Market Split by Regions, Historical and Forecast, 2015-2020, 2020-2025F, 2030F, Billion US Dollars

7.2. Global Browser Games Market Split by Country, Historical and Forecast, 2015-2020, 2020-2025F, 2030F, Billion US Dollars

Mentioned companies

For more information on this report, see https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/269tvt

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210514005288/de/

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Weak jobs report may spur, sluggish Biden’s large cash package deal

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden’s promised economic comeback hit a pace on Friday with the April job report that saw modest job gains of 266,000, complicating his $ 4 trillion boost to infrastructure, education and children.

The employment report did not show that the US economy, much as it appeared to be stuttering, picked up as the unemployment rate rose to 6.1%. Economists had forecast around a million additional jobs last month, and the humble attitudes indicated that the $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package has so far provided an uneven boost.

The numbers pose a new challenge for Biden at a critical moment in his presidency. He insists that an open embrace of massive government spending will help resolve the country’s public health and financial turmoil – and improve the political outlook for Democrats en route to next year’s election. But the disappointing employment numbers could also encourage critics and heighten Republican resistance to the infrastructure package that Biden is trying to push through Congress.

Biden responded to the report and tried to allay the concerns.

Biden delivers an infrastructure message during the trip to Louisiana

“We knew this wasn’t going to be a sprint – it would be a marathon,” he said. The Pandemic Aid Package “was designed to help us over a period of one year, not 60 days. A year. We never thought that after the first 50 or 60 days everything would be fine. Today there is more evidence that our economy is moving in the right direction. But it is clear that we still have a long way to go. “

Biden’s opponents say the legislation has exacerbated the problems in at least one way, with increased unemployment benefits giving the unemployed a reason to stay home instead of looking for work.

The president said the job data doesn’t show that. And proponents of its plans can argue that the report shows that more spending is needed to keep the economy going.

There are also problems with supply shortages for computer chips and lumber, which are holding back growth. This is a reminder that the world’s largest economy seldom perfectly matches the wishes of the legislature.

The fate of the president’s agenda could depend on how the public processes and understands the April job report in the coming weeks, said Jon Lieber, executive director of Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy and advisory firm.

Biden wants 70% of adults to get at least one shot by July 4th

“Can Republicans use this to say, ‘This is what happens when the government interferes with the economy and messes things up?’ Or does the public see this as a need for more government support? “Said Lieber.” That is the argument for the next month.

A clear aspect across the partisan borders was the need for caution in interpretation. A single monthly report can be volatile. The three-month average employment growth is still a healthy 524,000.

Michael Strain, an economist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, noted that many companies have reported that they cannot find work despite increased hourly wages. Strain said he plans to monitor upcoming reports to see if this pattern is a worrying sign of Biden’s vision of how government spending can drive growth.

“If we continue to hear a growing chorus of companies complaining about labor shortages, and if wages keep rising, it will be tempting to conclude that many of the 8 million jobs we are currently missing are not returning,” said Strain.

The US Chamber of Commerce calls for the termination of the additional $ 300 per week unemployment benefit

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents companies, blamed the relatively generous unemployment benefits Biden provided as part of his relief package. The group said the controls prevent people from taking jobs.

“One step that policymakers should take now is to end the $ 300 additional weekly unemployment benefit,” said Neil Bradley, chief policy officer for the chamber. “Based on the Chamber’s analysis, the $ 300 benefit means that roughly one in four recipients takes home more unemployment than they earned.”

Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, said he heard that companies were having difficulty finding workers, but he did not see those concerns in the employment report. For example, restaurants and bars created 187,000 jobs in the last month, although in theory workers in this relatively low-wage sector would have an incentive to just collect unemployment.

The job report pointed to other factors that could bolster Biden’s agenda. It showed losses to women forced to care for children and relatives due to the pandemic. The family demands prevented them from working outside of jobs.

There was a drop of 165,000 among women over 20 who had or were looking for work in the past month. In contrast, men saw labor force participation increases by 355,000.

One way to bring women back could be Biden’s plans to fund childcare, set up a national family vacation program, and expand child tax credits through 2025. The idea is that government action is needed to open up the labor market.

“Apparently, when you start blinking at this data to find out what’s going on, you need more government to tackle a labor shortage,” said Michael Madowitz, an economist at the Liberal Center for American Progress.

House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi cited the “disappointing” job report as evidence that Biden’s $ 4 trillion agenda must be approved quickly.

“The evidence is clear that the economy requires urgent action and it is not preventing or delaying Congress from making transformation investments for the people,” said the Democratic leader of the Congress.

Jerry Jones’ Helicopter Will get the Billionaire Round City in Model – Robb Report

Jerry Jones He may have revolutionized the business of professional football with lucrative television deals and state-of-the-art stadiums, but even he didn’t anticipate its effects airbus Corporate helicopter would have to Dallas Cowboys brand.

“We originally got the ACH145 for transport,” says Jones, referring to it as “DC-1” even though its official air traffic control sign is Bluestar One. “We wanted to commute between the Star, our Frisco headquarters and the Arlington stadium, but it had to take us to our other stores as well.”

The logistical advantages were obvious: the way from the star’s training field to AT&T stadium fell from a one-hour drive to a 13-minute flight. The helicopter’s 400 mile range reaches remote areas of Texas (where Jones has other business interests) and since the DC-1 can land anywhere, the 145 mph cruising speed is more efficient than a small plane.

But it was the promotional perks that surprised the cowboy owner the most. According to Jones, flying the Airbus over the Dallas Metro is the best billboard imaginable for the $ 5.8 billion sports franchise. “It gives the cowboys an aura, regardless of whether we circle the stadium and land in the parking lot on game day or carry business partners and sponsors with us,” says Jones. What he underestimated, he says, “is how interesting the helicopter is for our fans. It catches their attention and makes them think of us. “

The owner of the Dallas Cowboys on board his Airbus corporate helicopter.

Jeremiah Jhass

Team colors – navy blue, metallic silver, royal blue, and white – make up the custom interior, but the palette is muted. “We’re not about checkered tablecloths and sawdust floors,” says Jones. Instead, the team wants to “project a modern, urban cowboy image. No question about it, the helicopter conveys this cutting-edge look. “

The helicopter can accommodate up to 10 people, although the layout can be reconfigured through Mission. A custom carbon fiber chest doubles as an integrated liquor cabinet with phone charging ports and Angry Headsets for every leather seat. The improved soundproofing enables conversations that would be challenging for most other helicopters. After spending so much time aboard the DC-1, Jones feels at home in the cabin. “It’s like getting into one of my cars,” he says.

The helicopter also serves as an air shuttle for Jones and his family, both for business and for trips to the family farm. It’s also a formidable way to travel with the team’s sponsors, other executives Jones does business with, and sporting greats like former cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and tight end Jason Witten. In March, retired Major General Patrick Brady, a former U.S. Army helicopter pilot and Medalist who evacuated 5,000 wounded from battlefields in Vietnam, took control. “This flight was particularly meaningful to me,” said Jones, whose family has long been associated with the National Medal of Honor Museum.

Friday nights were equally important to Jones and his wife, Eugenia “Gene” Jones, when, after arranging flights with local authorities, the couple landed outside the greater Dallas high school fields to watch their grandchildren play soccer. “Without that helicopter, it would have been impossible to make these games,” says Jones.

Safety has always been a priority. All-glass cockpit of the DC-1 with Helionix avionicsis intuitive and reduces the pilot’s workload. The helicopter terrain awareness and warning system is designed to avoid obstacles in flight. The helicopter with two Saffron Arriel 2E Turbo shaft motors, is also designed for single-engine flights. “It’s a very powerful system,” says Will Fulton, director of marketing at Airbus Helicopters of North America, who notes that the cowboys “spared no expense” in choosing all the safety options available.

The executive helicopter cut Jones’ commute from an hour’s drive to a 13-minute flight.

Jeremiah Jhass

DC-1 is also about branding. America’s Team can still claim the title of Most Valuable Sports Franchise in the World, even though it didn’t win one Super bowl since 1996. Jones understands the entertainment value of DC-1, however The Airbus just as often transports Jones and his players to local airports outside of Dallas to attend Salvation Army fundraisers and other events. “Often times these people aren’t football fans, but if we’re active in these areas, there’s a good chance they’ll see the game on Thanksgiving,” says Jones. “You will have more brand affinity.”

For a man known for his colorful conversation, the billionaire is downright awesome when he talks about his helicopter’s branding bonus.

“I’m joking, but I’m also semi-serious here,” he says. “I’d love to take it and land on every street in Texas. Or maybe five that end up in every ward in the United States. It’s a real attention grabber. “

SPECIAL REPORT Can the Saudis’ oil cash assist him save the planet?

Spanish biologist Carlos Duarte had been at a Saudi royal palace until three o’clock in the morning, waiting for the country’s most powerful man.

Finally in his hotel room, Duarte awoke hours later and noticed an alert on his smartphone screen. It was the palace: He and the other scientists and officials at the meeting on sustainable development should return immediately. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was ready for them.

It might seem improbable that a highly respected marine biologist committed to solving climate change is advising the leaders of the world’s foremost petro-state, renowned for its intransigence over the years at international climate talks. But contradictions abound in Saudi Arabia.

It’s the world’s largest exporter of crude oil, which has played a significant role in global warming. But it’s also a country that is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The crown prince has clamped down on dissent, and a U.S. intelligence report recently accused him of approving the 2018 operation to kill dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (The crown prince denies involvement.) But he has also been praised for efforts to open up the repressive Gulf state, including encouraging women to work and allowing in non-Muslim tourists.

And it is Saudi petro-dollars that fund Duarte’s dreams of creating “blue carbon” marine ecosystems – oceanic preserves that, along with revitalized forests and wildlife on land, can gently scrub the atmosphere of excess carbon dioxide. Over time, some experts estimate, such restorations could remove 300 gigatons of carbon dioxide, about a third of the amount that humans have added to the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution in the mid-1800s. And the restoration of seagrass meadows, in particular, has tremendous promise. In fact, Duarte estimates they can store up to 15 times more carbon than similar areas of rainforest.

Recently, as virtual hosts of a G-20 summit of the world’s largest economies, the Saudis highlighted Duarte’s coral research along with several planned projects that could shift the country’s economy away from oil. One of the world’s top climate scientists, Duarte ranks 12th on the Reuters Hot List, which measures the influence of the top 1,000 scientists in the field among both peers and the public. He joined King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in 2015 after a career that spanned Europe, North America and Australia.

WORKING WITH THE SAUDIS

Some scientists and diplomats say it’s far-fetched to suggest that Saudi Arabia can be a climate-change leader, given the country’s reliance on oil, which accounts for about 50% of the Saudi economy. It pumps 12% of the global oil supply, behind only the United States. In this view, as the influential climate scientist Michael Mann puts it, Saudi Arabia “is one of the villains.”

Duarte counters that the Saudi government has embraced many climate-change solutions he has long advocated.

“I would not claim I had influence, but certainly I have helped and supported the 180-degree change towards a collaborative solution” in Saudi Arabia, he said. “It is teamwork.”

Duarte says the Saudis have no choice but to adapt as the world moves toward more sustainable energy. And he argues that he is no more compromised by using Saudi money for research than a scientist who takes money from the U.S. government. After all, he notes, the United States is not only the largest producer of fossil fuels in the world, it’s also the largest user of them.

Duarte’s career path speaks to the moral calculus that scientists sometimes must make in seeking the funding that fuels all ambitious research. He says he came to Saudi Arabia because he saw a unique opportunity to pursue ideas that could help solve climate change, perhaps the greatest threat humanity has ever faced.

“I do not want to leave science just with a pile of published papers and accolades,” he said. “I want to be able to reflect back on my life in my last minutes and conclude that I was able to make the world slightly a better place.”

Even Saudi Arabia has an interest in addressing climate change, says David Reidmiller, who dealt with the Saudis as a regular U.S. government representative to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Reidmiller said he often faced Saudi resistance at the IPCC to ideas that threatened the use of fossil fuels. For the Saudis, climate change poses “an existential threat,” he said, but in a completely different way it does to small island nations, for instance.

Little island states in the Pacific, such as the Marshall Islands, are being inundated by rising sea levels caused by global warming. Continued use of fossil fuels is already a threat to their existence.

The Saudis have the opposite problem, Reidmiller said. “When the world moves away from fossil fuels, their economy will be decimated, and they’re going to have complete civil upheaval. And so, I sympathize with that to a degree. I hate that they have a fossil-dependent economy in the first place. But that is what it is. And so I think you’ve got to hear that.”

Advocates of a decisive fast break with oil and gas call for steps such as sudden sharp increases in fuel costs through taxes or fees, or state-mandated rapid shifts to other energy sources. Such moves, Duarte says, would destabilize many petro-states, not just Saudi Arabia. He champions a different answer: gradual emissions reductions combined with programs to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Saudi Arabia’s critics are skeptical. Despite public announcements in recent years that the country is making massive investments in solar and wind energy, virtually all of the kingdom’s electricity is still generated by oil and natural-gas plants. And even if the Saudis succeeded in using less oil themselves, they could continue pumping and exporting crude.

Among the skeptics is American climatologist Mann, who ranks 37th on the Reuters Hot List. He has been on the other side of the table from the Saudis at some of those climate conferences, and remains distrustful of the Saudi government because of the role it played over the years in encouraging skepticism about climate science. He respects Duarte’s decision to work for the Saudi university but questions the Spanish scientist’s calculus.

“You know, that’s a judgment that we all have to make,” he said of Duarte. “There’s always a tradeoff. It’s a cost-benefit analysis. Perhaps you have an opportunity to influence and change their view. At the same time, they’re purchasing some moral license from you that you are legitimizing them to some extent.”

“In my judgment, Saudi Arabia is one of the villains,” Mann said. “And I would be uncomfortable cozying up with them. But we each have to make that judgment ourselves. And I’m sure that it’s an honest assessment on his part that he thinks that he can play a constructive role here.”

Where Mann sees the Saudi position as clear-cut, Duarte sees shades of gray. The nations of the Arabian Peninsula had no choice but to rely on petroleum, in his view. It’s their only asset. “Oil was the resource that lifted them from challenging livelihoods, largely as bedouins, into modernity, and allowed population growth, as even drinking water is sourced from oil, through energy-expensive desalination.”

What’s more, he argues, the United States and other major nations produce and profit from oil and gas, too. But they escape the glare cast on the Saudis. It’s a “double standard,” he says.

Questions about the morality of working with the Saudis extend beyond the country’s oil addiction. The government has been assailed in the West for the involvement by Saudi officials in Khashoggi’s killing and for its role in the brutal Yemeni civil war.

When I asked about working with the Saudis, given those issues, his eyes flashed anger. Before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, he said, President George W. Bush claimed the Iraqis were developing nuclear and chemical weapons and were a threat to the entire region.

“Yet, the evidence for weapons of mass destruction was fabricated,” Duarte said. “And I think the tally accounts for about 1.5 million people dead.”

Notwithstanding that the actual number of civilian casualties is disputed, he questions how Western scientists can criticize anyone for working with the Saudis when they routinely take money from Western governments that participated in the Iraq war.

“No one asks them about that,” he said.

And with that, his anger passed, and he smiled.

FRANCISCO FRANCO, THE SAVIOR

Saudi Arabia isn’t the first unlikely sponsor for Duarte. When he was a teenager, a scholarship named after Spanish dictator Francisco Franco rescued him from reform school.

Duarte was born in Lisbon to a Portuguese father and a Spanish mother. When he was 3, he was sent to Calamonte, a small village in Spain, to live with his aunt and uncle. It was about 200 miles southwest of Madrid, where his parents had moved.

Eventually, he joined his father and mother in the Spanish capital and started school. It wasn’t easy for him. His Spanish was poor and he spoke with a guttural Portuguese accent. “There was a lot of bullying and teasing because of the way I spoke.”

At one point, the words turned to violence and a boy attacked him. Duarte picked up a brick and threw it. “It hit him in the head and opened up a wound,” he recalled.

He was 9 and the monks who ran the school sent him to their reformatory. “There, I was physically abused,” Duarte said. “They used geometric devices to hit us, rulers and large wooden compasses. Once, they hit me with the compass hinge and I had five stitches.”

At that point, he was on his way to becoming a thief and a delinquent. He wasn’t doing well in school, in part because he struggled with the rote memorization favored by the monks. At 13, however, he received a “Franco scholarship” for children from poor families at a high school in A Coruña, about 375 miles northwest of his home. It liberated him from the monks and paid for his education.

Franco ruled Spain from the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939 until his death in 1975.

“It’s funny, because it was all paid for by Franco, but the teachers in the high school were all communists and anarchists,” Duarte said. “That’s where I learned to think. That when I learned that I didn’t need to memorize but understand concepts.”

The Franco scholarships ended in the late 1970s, shortly after the dictator’s death. Duarte still had to pay for three more years at the University of Madrid. Fortunately, he was working as a professional volleyball player, which financed the remaining years of his undergraduate studies. In 1982, he graduated with a biology degree. In 1987, he earned a Ph.D. in limnology, the study of inland water ecosystems, from McGill University in Montreal.

A HEAVILY GUARDED CAMPUS

The 14-square-mile KAUST campus is in the dusty town of Thuwal, on the Red Sea coast. The Saudi capital, Riyadh, is 600 miles east across the Arabian Desert.

A towering concrete wall, a security road and a chain-link fence surround the glittering campus, separating it from the townspeople, many of them poor immigrant workers from Yemen. All visitors need permission to enter. There is one main road in and out of KAUST with two armed checkpoints. A machine-gun turret looms over the first.

Duarte and his wife, Susana Agusti, live inside the wall, in a six-bedroom, seven-bath house overlooking the turquoise Red Sea. The neighborhood looks as if it were lifted from a gated community in the American sunbelt. Duarte and Agusti, a biologist at KAUST, often bike or walk to work.

The scientist likes his view of the Red Sea, but the sameness of the campus housing bothers him. Years after moving in, many of the rooms in their home are unfurnished and most are undecorated. Everything on campus is new – offices, labs, lab equipment, boats, the buildings inspired by traditional Arabian architecture. Even the underground parking lots are spotless, free of any tire marks on the painted floors.

When Duarte arrived at KAUST, it was the only university in Saudi Arabia that allowed male and female students to work side by side and male teachers to be in the same room with female students, many of whom are from the world over.

In the rest of Saudi Arabia, it was only in 2019 that women were permitted to eat in open areas of restaurants in mixed company – a reform under the crown prince. KAUST operates under a different set of rules. About half the students and many of the staff are women, and it’s been that way for years.

“The first Saudi Ph.D. in marine biology at KAUST was a Saudi woman,” Duarte said, recalling his early days here.

At a regular meeting of the 14 students and postdoctoral scientists studying under him in late 2019, two were Saudi women, two were men from India and Malaysia and the rest were women from Yemen, Australia, Germany, Italy, Pakistan and the United States. It was their last gathering before they scattered for the winter break, and he wanted to congratulate them on their year. Their work ranged from studying Red Sea giant clams to the effect of anthropogenic ocean noise on marine ecosystems. The marine noise project – a collaboration between Duarte, one of his students and many other scientists – made headlines worldwide when it was published in February.

In the academic world, success is usually measured by how many papers are published in scholarly publications. “Inshallah, next year will bring a lot more papers, but this year we’ve done well,” Duarte told his team members at their 2019 end-of-year meeting. “We’ve published 79 papers, which is a very good crop.”

That crop included 62 papers he coauthored, in many cases with KAUST staff and students. In 2020, he coauthored 99 published papers. His spinning mind snags ideas – often far outside his area of expertise – like insects in a spider web and then turns them into publishable papers.

Recently, he teamed up with Mariusz and Lukasz Jaremko, scientist twins from KAUST’s biological, environmental and engineering department, to see if rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere pose a threat to human health. The paper concluded that rising carbon-dioxide levels may well exacerbate chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, attention-deficit disorder, osteoporosis and cancer.

Later, Duarte went down to a small building near the university’s docks. Standing next to a tank filled with small green and blue and purple corals, he reached in and grabbed a 2-inch-high purple coral that had been half that size a few months earlier.

“Imagine this tank, three meters wide, 200 meters long, meandering all around a resort,” he said. “This is a new technology that we are developing to be able to restore coral globally.”

He calls it coral gardening. The idea is to place hundreds of similar tanks in public places, such as airports and resorts, that will allow tiny corals to grow until they’re large enough to be transplanted into the wild.

If KAUST’s experiment succeeds, it may allow coral from Saudi Arabia to be transplanted to other parts of the world. The Red Sea is warmer than almost any other large body of water in the world, Duarte explained, and the coral here has adapted, over hundreds of thousands of years, to the higher temperatures.

That adaptation is crucial: As the world’s oceans warm because of climate change, contributing to the collapse of reefs worldwide, Red Sea coral could seed their restoration. Next up, KAUST scientists are developing techniques that will grow reefs in a few years rather than hundreds of years. Duarte hopes to test his coral garden concept at two planned tourism developments a few hundred miles north of KAUST.

Duarte and his colleagues are essentially trying to develop a gentle form of geoengineering – manipulation of the environment to undo the damage humankind has wrought.

His vision goes well beyond coral and began long before Duarte’s time in Saudi Arabia. In the early 1990s, working in waters around his adopted home of Mallorca, he had an epiphany while studying seagrass: When the grasses died, they settled in deeper waters around the island, taking with them the carbon locked in their cells – a natural way of sequestering carbon that’s emitted by burning fuels and absorbed by seawater.

Since then, he’s expanded from seagrass and published numerous papers on how the restoration of marine habitats – from coral reefs to coastal and inland marshes and mangrove swamps – could be an effective way of removing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Duarte says mangrove swamps and seagrass beds, for example, are 15 times more efficient at removing and sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than forests, which also take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen through photosynthesis.

“This is innovative science that opens up new opportunities for us to think about nature and the management of our marine environment,” said William Austin, a marine ecologist at Scotland’s University of St. Andrews.

Austin, who presented Duarte with an achievement medal from the European Geosciences Union in 2016, said Duarte is “opening up a new conversation about the wider marine environment and its potential to be managed effectively for carbon. As we do so, none of us would deny that we need to focus on emission reductions and other changes in consumption, but the nature-based solutions argument is compelling.”

The Saudis’ Red Sea Project was pitched as part of the solution and is part of a bold wager that the kingdom can shift its economy away from oil in the coming decade before the market for fossil fuels collapses. Hundreds of billions of dollars are on the line, not to mention the country’s economic stability and, by implication, the fate of the monarchy.

The two Red Sea resorts will cover 11,000 square miles of land and sea, and employ thousands while adding an estimated $6 billion to the Saudi economy. The Saudis call it a giga-project. Another is the planned fossil-fuel-free Neom City on the Red Sea near Egypt and Israel, and bordering Jordan. It is supposed to operate independently of the Saudi government and is owned by the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

The Saudis hope these embryonic projects will spur tourism and put the country at the fore of renewable-energy generation, carbon-sequestration technology and solar-powered production of hydrogen gas, a fuel that emits only water vapor and warm air when burned, rather than carbon dioxide.

But at this point, the projects remain largely promises, like so many of the commitments to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels made by countless other countries.

FINDING A NICHE

At the end of my trip to KAUST, Duarte invited me to join him in Riyadh at a meeting to discuss business, tourism and environmental projects. He had helped organize a gathering of the “stakeholders,” including a few royal family members and representatives of some newly minted agencies integral to the developments.

Abdulaziz Al Suwailem, a former marine ecologist researcher at KAUST and one of Duarte’s early Saudi confidants, was there. He marveled at how his friend avoids slights and conflicts by balancing the Saudi social hierarchy and protocols. Duarte has found a niche, Al Suwailem says, bridging the gap between science, the state bureaucracy and business interests.

“He has this skill of reaching a middle ground between the idealism of the academic people, which obviously doesn’t work outside of academia, and the more tick-the-box objectives of the outside world,” Al Suwailem said.

No ministry is more important to the projects than the Energy Ministry. Before September 2019, it was known as the Oil Ministry. That’s when the crown prince appointed Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, his older half-brother, as the head of the newly named ministry.

Duarte said the name change, from oil to energy, reflects a shift in priorities. After the Red Sea meeting, he rushed off to meet Prince Abdulaziz.

Later in the day, the minister agreed to a short interview in his Riyadh office. Prince Abdulaziz sat at the head of a conference table. Duarte sat to his left. Across from Duarte sat a veteran Saudi IPCC board member, Taha Zatari.

Prince Abdulaziz began by making it clear that he doesn’t dispute climate change is real and that the burning of fossil fuels is the root of the problem. He ticked off how the problem should be solved, generally mirroring the international 2016 Paris Agreement on Climate Change: by reducing the use of fossil fuels and restoring natural habitats, while developing man-made systems that remove carbon from the atmosphere. He said the Saudi government is committed to making substantial cuts in the domestic use of fossil fuels by 2030.

But, he said, Saudi Arabia won’t agree to cuts in oil production or fees on carbon emissions, which it perceives as unfair. Saudi Arabia will protect its interests and make sure the industrial nations that have contributed the vast majority of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere bear the brunt of cleaning up the climate-change mess, he said. They began using fossil fuels first, and have burned vastly more.

“The Western nations, the U.S. and Europe in particular, have tremendous responsibility for the current levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, and it is unfair to not account for that,” he said.

Saudi Arabia is diversifying its economy and will become significantly less dependent on oil exports in the coming years, the prince said. “Sustainability and environmental protection should work together,” he said.

He turned toward Duarte. “We can’t afford to not listen to people like Carlos. We can work boldly together and lead the whole world.”

He said Saudi Arabia will continue to sell oil – while it still has value – to finance the country’s transition to a new, green economy.

When asked if he would drive an electric car, the prince paused.

Not yet, he said. First, he would get a hybrid. “I would drive a Prius.”

Duarte, the realist, smiled at this nod to incrementalism.

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QuantumScape CEO mulls authorized response to scathing brief vendor report

QuantumScape could take legal action after being attacked in a scathing report by activist short seller Scorpion Capital.

“We are definitely going to take a look,” said Jagdeep Singh, managing director of QuantumScape, when CNBC’s Jim Cramer asked if the company would consider filing a lawsuit against the company.

“Some of the points there are simple, just absurd. Absurd to the point where there are … things that we want to take legal action on.”

Singh appeared on “Bad money“Friday, the day after Scorpion released the short report. In the 188-page report, Scorpion accused QuantumScape, released in November through a blank check association, of acting as a “pump and dump SPAC”. It even compared the company to Theranos, the disgraced healthcare technology startup.

QuantumScape shares fell more than 12% after the information was released. The stock fell again on Friday, contributing to a 28% decline in less than two weeks.

“We don’t want to be too distracted either, but you know we feel pretty good where we are,” said Singh.

The battery company said it stood by the data it presented to investors and will continue to build a battery for its customers such as: Volkswagenwho recently invested an additional $ 100 million in the company.

QuantumScape argued that Scorpion was motivated to release the report because it could benefit financially from the subsequent price decline. Investors who want to make a profit on a sharp drop in prices are known as short sellers.

“We have always been fairly transparent about what we have and what work still needs to be done,” said Singh. “That’s one of the things we are honestly proud of. We believe we have been the most transparent of all solid-state battery companies.”

Lengthy-haulers report signs easing after getting shot

An employee in Schwaz, Austria, creates a syringe and container with the BioNTech / Pfizer vaccine.

JOHANN GRODER | AFP | Getty Images

Sheri Paulson struggled to get out of bed months after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

The 53-year-old North Dakota resident and family contracted the disease after attending a wedding in August. Paulson, an endurance athlete who runs a farm outside of Fargo, later suffered from fatigue, brain fog, and an increased heart rate, which led doctors to advise her to stop exercising and take cardiac rehabilitation.

It was about five days before she got her first Pfizer shot in February that made her feel better.

“Suddenly I stopped napping after cardiac rehabilitation,” said Paulson, who also has multiple sclerosis. “And then I started walking my dog. Then I thought, ‘Hmm, I think I’ll run a little too.'”

Some people who have had persistent and often debilitating symptoms months after their first battle with the virus say they find relief after vaccination, according to enigmatic health experts. Survivor Corps, a patient advocacy group for people with so-called long covid, recently surveyed nearly 900 members and found that 41% reported slight relief for full recovery shortly after the shot.

The World Health Organization estimates that around 1 in 10 Covid patients have persistent illness 12 weeks after the virus emerged. University of Washington researchers released data in February that showed a third of patients reported persistent symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and difficulty sleeping that lasted for up to nine months.

Symptoms of long-term Covid, which researchers now refer to as post-acute consequences of Covid-19 or PASC, can develop well after the initial infection, and the severity can range from mild to incompetent, according to health officials and health experts.

One of largest global studies Released in early January, it found that many people who suffer from persistent illness after infection cannot return to work at full capacity six months later. The study interviewed more than 3,700 people aged 18 to 80 from 56 countries.

Diana Berrent, who founded the Survivor Corps a little over a year ago, suffered from long-term Covid for months before most of her symptoms went away on their own last year. She said some members of the organization were initially reluctant to get vaccinated. Members feared the reported side effects of the gunshots would make their symptoms worse, she said.

“We really expected the worst,” she told CNBC. “You could have knocked me over with a feather when I found out that some people were starting to get better because it was just so outside of what we expected.”

You are not alone. Facebook and Twitter are full of stories from people who testify, to their own surprise, that their symptoms are alleviated or even gone after receiving a Covid vaccine.

Not well understood

The cause of the persistent symptoms is not yet well understood by health professionals.

Most of the studies have focused in people with a serious or fatal illness, not people who have recovered but still report persistent side effects, the so-called long distance drivers. The virus is also relatively new – it was discovered a little over a year ago – so there are no long-term data on it.

The National Institutes of Health have started an initiative in February long to study Covid and identify the causes and possible treatments. NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins said at the time that the researchers hope to understand the underlying biological cause of the persistent symptoms.

Doctors also don’t know why some long-term Covid patients say they feel better after being immunized. Experts say this could provide new insight into what’s behind the persistent symptoms, as well as potential new treatments.

Sheri Paulson with her dog Jazzy in North Dakota.

Courtesy Sheri Paulson

The virus reservoir

One theory, according to Yale immunologist Akiko Iwasaki, is that the vaccines help clear what is known as the “reservoir of virus,” where the virus may still linger in the body and cause chronic symptoms. The robust immune response induced by the vaccines can help clear any leftover viruses and clear symptoms, she said.

“That’s probably the easiest way,” she said, “the vaccines could help people.” “If that is the case, long covid will cure people and this is wonderful news.”

Iwasaki also hypothesized that Covid could cause an autoimmune disease in which immune cells mistakenly damage the body. If so, the vaccines could provide “temporary relief” of symptoms and patients may have to come back for another dose, she said.

There are no long-term data on how people feel after the vaccine, she said. “But I suspect that if the second [hypothesis] is true then there will be no lasting relief. “

The symptoms returned

Darren Brown, a 37-year-old physical therapist from the UK, said his symptoms returned a few weeks after receiving his first dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

Brown suffered from fatigue, restless sleep, and incoordination for several months. He said his long Covid symptoms had completely improved about three weeks after his first shot. But just days before his second dose, he felt his symptoms return.

“I noticed that I was getting tired again,” he said. “The level I thought I could have pushed myself from, the threshold, it felt like it had been reduced and I was left with nothing afterwards in me.” Return to work. I just had to go to bed after a day at work. “

He’s been feeling better since his second dose, but fears his symptoms may come back.

“I’m very careful that this won’t last long,” he said. “But I’m also really overwhelmed with the excitement that it’s being lifted for now.”

Paulson, the North Dakota farmer, said she still had some symptoms but the fatigue and brain fog had gone since she got her second shot on March 18. She added that she was grateful that she was fine, especially since many others died from the disease.

“There are always things that put life into perspective for you and get you a little on your heels,” said Paulson, who also works for a Massachusetts-based biotech company.

Clinical trials

While the reports of long-term Covid symptom relief might be good news, they’re still just anecdotal, said Dr. Paul Offit, a voting member of the FDA’s Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Related Biological Products.

There has yet to be a formal study to see if the vaccines actually help, he said.

Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Toronto, said he was skeptical but “open-minded”.

“This is an answerable question and I hope we have decent data to confirm or disprove it,” said Bogoch. “Otherwise it’s just a few collective anecdotes”

Iwasaki told CNBC that she plans to work with Survivor Corps to conduct a study to analyze blood samples from long Covid patients before and after vaccination. She said he hoped they can explain the relief some patients experience after vaccination.

The study is still in the planning stages, she said, adding, “We’re working very hard to get this off the ground.”

“I’ve received numerous emails and DMs on Twitter about patient experiences … and I hear from people every day who are better off getting the vaccine,” she said. “From my point of view, it looks encouraging.”

–CNBC’s Noah Higgins-Dunn contributed to this report.

Gogo’s New In-Flight Leisure Service Presents Limitless Streaming – Robb Report

As WiFi is becoming more and more important on private jets, providers are reacting with innovative solutions to make it faster, more reliable and with additional functions. go Go An enhanced in-flight entertainment service was recently introduced, such as Vision 360. It offers unlimited streaming of television programs and news, more than 150 of the latest movies, and access to 30 popular digital magazines. The service that links plane Equipped with Gogo’s L5, L3 or SCS systems, it also has a moving 3D map that can be used to track flights in real time and provide destination information.

“The addition of a new 3-D map will bring passengers a new interactive experience that we look forward to,” said Sergio Aguirre, President of Gogo, in one Explanation. “Vision 360 is an important next step in our commitment to delivering the best in-flight connectivity and entertainment experience to business aviation.”

Vision 360 offers unlimited streaming of television programs and news, as well as access to the latest movies and magazine issues.

go Go

After Gogo sold its commercial aviation business to focus on private aviation, it lowered its minimum coverage altitude from 10,000 to 3,000 feet, an improvement that adds “15 to 25 minutes of connectivity for each flight,” according to Dave Mellin, Gogo’s communications director. “Business jets approaching airports like Teterboro may wait 45 minutes at lower altitudes and smaller planes don’t spend much time at higher altitudes.”

Gogo will soon set up its own 5G network connected to the Avance L5 platform. According to Mellin, upgrading from 4G to 5G will mean the difference between a “high-end sports car” and a “supercar”, allowing more phones, tablets and laptops to be connected at the same time with uninterrupted streaming. In addition, the cybersecurity built into the system architecture will not change with the new network. “It’s in our DNA,” he says.

U.S. joins 13 different nations in criticizing WHO’s China Covid report

This photo taken on Feb. 17, 2020 shows medical workers working at an exhibition center that has been converted into a hospital in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei Province.

STR | AFP via Getty Images

WASHINGTON – The United States signed a joint statement with 13 other nations on Tuesday criticizing the World Health Organization’s long-awaited report on the origins of Covid-19.

In one Joint announcementThe governments of Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, South Korea, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and the United States wrote that the report “was significantly delayed and not given access to full Original data and samples. “

“In the event of a major outbreak of an unknown pandemic pathogen, rapid, independent, expert-led and unhindered origin assessment is critical to better prepare our employees, our public health facilities, our industries and our governments for a successful response to it Outbreak and prevent future pandemics, “the joint statement said.

“In the future, WHO and all Member States must reassign themselves to access, transparency and timeliness,” the group added.

While The WHO’s 120-page report, published Tuesday and produced by a team of international scientists, helped improve the scientific community’s understanding of the deadly virus that struck the globe.

“We have not yet found the source of the virus and we must continue to follow science and leave no stone unturned,” said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference on Tuesday.

“Finding the source of a virus takes time and we owe it to the world to find the source so we can take action together to reduce the risk of its recurrence. No single research trip can provide all the answers,” he added .

At the White House, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the Biden administration is still examining the WHO report, adding that the results are “partial and incomplete”.

“The report lacks critical data, information and access. It presents a partial and incomplete picture,” said Psaki. “There is a second phase in this process that we believe should be led by international and independent experts. They should have full access to data,” she added.

Psaki criticized Beijing’s lack of transparency when asked about China’s participation in the WHO report, which was attended by at least 17 experts.

“Well, they weren’t transparent. They didn’t provide any underlying data. That is certainly not a cooperation,” she said.