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Saturday, April 15th, 2017
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3 Ways a Business Plan is Like a New Car

by

ExecutivePlan

Yes you read the title right. I am going to challenge my self with this, but I actually believe there are some striking similarities between your new car and your business plan.

1. Takes you Where you are Going – Why might you buy a new car? Maybe it is because you need it to take you somewhere. What is one function a business plan can serve? It can take your business where you intend to go. You may be able to get to work by walking or even biking, but it is going to take a lot longer to get there then if you just drove there. Similarly if you don’t use a business plan to take your business where you want to go, you may still get there, but it will take you longer to get there.

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2. Depreciates in Value Quickly – As soon as you drive your brand new car off the lot you have already lost a significant amount of its value. New cars depreciate in value very quickly; likewise, before the ink dries on your newly created business plan it has already decreased in its value to you. There are couple reasons you write a business plan:

– To learn from the business planning process

– To satisfy a loan officer, potential investor, or a grant making organization

Unfortunately, what you learn from the process, and the potential funding that you receive, is all that you are left with when you finish your business plan. In our rapidly changing economy your plan will have less and less value 3, 6, and 9 months from its publication.

3. Bells and Whistles – Power locks, heated seats, remote ignition and other bells and whistles that you can now include on your new car will not make your car run any better. These options don’t make your car faster, more fuel efficient, or more reliable. In the same way, a business plan with beautiful tables and graphs, and eloquent language does not make your business run any better. Tables and graphs of your financial projections don’t make sales for your business, and ultimately has no impact on the long term success of your business.

So I think I pulled it off. I found 3 ways that your business plan is like your new car. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?

Hey! My name is Adam Hoeksema. I am the Client Services Manager at a technology based small business incubator. If you are working on an executive summary for your business plan, make sure to go to my website at www.theexecutiveplan.com and download my special report on how to write a powerful executive summary.

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Friday, April 14th, 2017
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Monday, December 24, 2012

Two cars have been involved in a road traffic accident in the Scottish Lothian and Borders region, causing three fatalities and sending three to hospital. The incident occurred on the A68 road approximately 1.5 miles south of the Midlothian village of Pathhead when a Škoda Octavia and a Nissan Note travelling in opposite directions collided at approximately 0730 UTC today.

The Nissan, which was carrying five occupants, overturned and came to rest on its roof. Three male Buddhist monks who sat in the back of the car died at the site of the crash. The female driver of the vehicle managed to get out of the vehicle herself but another male passenger in the front of the car had to be cut free by fire service members. The two front-seat passengers as well as the male driver of the Škoda were hospitalised at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, although none of their injuries are considered likely to be fatal.

“This is a tragic incident,” Inspector Simon Bradshaw of Lothian and Borders Police said, “and we are currently in the process of carrying out inquiries in order to establish the full circumstances of the collision.” The A68 road close to the location of the accident was temporarily closed to allow police to investigate the incident, with traffic redirected to the B6370 road via the town of Gorebridge. The road has since reopened.

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Thursday, March 30th, 2017
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Volvo Reports Fatigued Drivers Similar to Drunk Drivers

by

Glady Reign

With the auto industry producing more and more automobiles every year, it can be expected that the number of accidents involving vehicles will also increase. Numbers gathered by government agencies all over the world suggest that the number of traffic accidents has yet to decline.

Reducing the number of vehicle related accidents has become one of the major issues faced by car manufacturers today. Various safety features have already been developed and are credited for saving lives around the world. While these safety features are good steps towards ensuring the safety of consumers, the research and development of car companies with regards to safety features is far from over. That is why Volvo has undertaken a research to find out the effect of fatigue on drivers for this is also one major cause of vehicle mishaps.

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Volvo Trucks, the worlds second largest truck and bus manufacturer, has undertaken the study and has found similarities between fatigued drivers and drunk drivers. This finding shows that drowsy drivers are as prone to accidents as drunk drivers. The research also incorporates studies done by medical experts. These researches found out that the number of fatalities caused by traffic accidents will be reduced significantly if the drowsy drivers are not permitted to drive. This research is one of Volvos programs that is aimed at developing safety features for their trucks and buses. It is widely known fact that Volvo is the leader in producing safe vehicles. In fact, the strongest selling point of trucks, buses, and cars from the Volvo brand is their relative safety.

Volvo conducted a real life test to fully understand the effect of drowsiness on drivers. The company used real cars and real drivers in the research. The Swedish government has given Volvo the permission to conduct such tests. In conducting the study, Volvo used a wide array of sensors and cameras to monitor the driver. The results of the tests can be used to develop safety features which will identify drowsy drivers. This is the first step in controlling drowsy drivers from operating a vehicle. It is indeed necessary that a driver should be always be on the alert when behind the wheel. Even a Volvo vehicle with a high performance engine and the best Volvo fuel injectors and loaded with safety features is not enough to eliminate the risk of traffic accidents.

The research conducted by Volvo can be seen as the first step in developing another safety feature. Currently, Volvo is already using a wide array of safety features for their vehicles. One of these safety features is the tire pressure monitoring system. This feature warns the driver if the cars or trucks tires are over inflated or under inflated. In the United States, this feature is mandatory for new vehicles. Warning the driver as to the status of tire pressure is important in the sense that it reduces the risk of tire blowout. Blowing a tire out at high speed is very risky and the tire pressure monitoring system reduces that risk.

Another safety feature being used by Volvo is the adaptive cruise control system. This feature uses radar or a laser and sensors to determine the distance of a car from a vehicle in front of it. This system maintains a safe distance between the two vehicles. When the distance between two vehicles has reached the preset distance, the system will prime the brake of the vehicle and will tighten the seat belts. This feature automatically engages when the vehicle reaches a preset speed. Volvo uses this feature as either a standard or an optional feature for their vehicles. Aside from these two safety features, Volvo will also offer different safety features aimed at reducing the possibility of an accident. Volvo also offers safety features which reduces the risk of death or severe injury as a result of traffic accidents.

Glady Reign is a 32 year old is a consultant for an automotive firm based in Detroit, Mi. she is a native of the motor city and grew up around cars hence her expertise in the automotive field.You can also visit

Volvo fuel injectors

for more information.

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Thursday, March 30th, 2017
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The rescue of the Chilean miners trapped in the San José Mine in Copiapó, codenamed Operación San Lorenzo (San Lorenzo Operation), began on Tuesday night, at around 20:00 local time (23:00 UTC).

Florencio Ávalos was the first miner to be rescued, at 00:12 local time (03:12 UTC) on Wednesday. He was wearing a shirt signed by all his fellow miners. “The first miner is already with us. We saw it all, him hugging his wife Monica and his son Byron,” said President Piñera shortly after the first rescue. “We still have a long journey.”

“This will be recorded on every single Chilean heart forever,” Piñera added. “I hope the miners’ hope stay with us, just like the [February] earthquake victims’ [hope] and what the earthquake took off. We know that the disasters unite us all.”

All the 33 miners were rescued. The last miner, Luis Urzúa, was rescued at 21:55 Chile time (00:55 UTC). “It is a pleasure to be Chilean, [I’m] proud,” said Luis Urzúa to President Piñera. “In honour of the miners, their families, the rescuers […] let’s sing our national anthem. Viva Chile Mierda!,” said Piñera. Urzúa thanked Mining Minister Golborne and the First Lady Cecilia Morel for “fighting for their lives.” “I’m proud of my fellow miners,” Urzúa added.

Six rescuers, including a miner and a paramedic, descended to the miners’ shelter using the Fénix 3 capsule which was specially constructed for the rescue. They performed check-ups and talk with the miners before taking them back to the surface. The rescuers still don’t leave the mine.

The Fénix 3 capsules are 3.95 metres in height and weigh about 460 kilograms. They have an armour, an oxygen tube and a microphone. The occupants helmets contain an intercom to keep them in contact with the rescue team on the surface.

President of Chile Piñera assisted to the rescue. Bolivian President Evo Morales could not attend Carlos Mamani’s rescue. Mamani is the only Bolivian miner in the group.

A mass for the miners was conducted at 18:00 local time (21:00 UTC). The rescue takes between 15 and 20 minutes for each miner.

On Tuesday, Mayor of Copiapó Maglio Cicardini announced that the municipal schools in the city will have no classes this Wednesday “to transform the rescue of the Atacama’s 33 in a familiar meeting,” Radio Cooperativa reported.

“The miners will be taken to the Copiapó Regional Hospital for medical checkup, where they will have to stay for 48 hours,” Health Minister Mañalich said to Televisión Nacional de Chile.

Celebrations are taking place in several Chilean cities. In Santiago de Chile, people gathered in one of the most important points of the city, Plaza Italia. In Pichilemu, tens of cars are passing over its most important streets. In Copiapó, people gathered in its main square to assist a massive concert.

On August 5, 33 miners were trapped more than 700 meters (2,300 ft) underground, in the San José copper–gold mine, located about 40 kilometers north of Copiapó, Chile.

The youngest trapped miner is 19 years old, and the oldest is 63. There were several rescue attempts before reaching the miners’ shelter on August 22. The National Emergencies Office of Chile (ONEMI) released a list of the trapped miners on August 6, which included Franklin Lobos Ramírez, a retired footballer.

Chile is the worlds top producer of copper, according to The Economist. The San José Mine is owned by the San Esteban Mining Company (Empresa Minera San Esteban). The mine was closed down in 2007, after relatives of a miner who had died sued the company executives, but the mine was re–opened in 2008.

It was originally estimated that “it would take three to four months to complete the rescue of the trapped miners”. There were three plans to reach the miners: “Plan A” using a Strata 950 drill, “Plan B” using a Schramm T130XD drill, and “Plan C” using a RIG-422 drill. The first to reach the miners was “Plan B”, early on Saturday 9.

The last step of their rescue, announced by Health Minister Jaime Mañalich, was originally due to begin on Tuesday. Laurence Golborne, Minery Minister said “If it is possible, and the cement sets before and we don’t have any impediments to doing it, it would be wonderful,” in a press conference on Monday. The men will be extracted in a steel rescue capsule 54 cm (21 inches) in diameter.

On September 4, Chilean filmmaker Rodrigo Ortúzar announced plans to film a movie about the accident, called “Los 33” (“The 33”). The film will be released in 2011.

One miner is Bolivian, and the other 32 are Chilean.

Raúl Bustos, 40 years old, is an hydraulics engineer. He left his job in Talcahuano after the February 27 earthquake to work in the mine.

Daniel Herrera, 27 years old, is a lorry driver. He has acted as paramedic assistant in the mine. He said to La Tercera “the miners were unhappy with the psychologist in the rescue team.”

Claudio Acuña, miner, is fan of the Colo-Colo football club. The BBC reports he is aged 56, but El Comercio says he is 44.

Pedro Cortez is aged 24. He joined the mine with his friend Carlos Bugueño. Cortez is an electrician, and lost a finger in the mine a year ago.

File:Juan Aguilar with President Piñera.jpg

A native of Los Lagos, Juan Aguilar is 49 years old. Aguilar is married to Cristy Coronado, according to El Comercio. Aguilar works as a supervisor.

Mario Sepúlveda is a 39 years old electrician native of Parral; he is married. He has been the spokesman of the most of the miners’ videos. Mario Sepúlveda was the second miner to be rescued, on Wednesday at 01:10 local time (04:10 UTC).

Víctor Zamora is a 33 years old auto mechanic. Zamora is married to Jéssica Cortez, who confirmed she was pregnant while he was in the mine.

Osman Araya is 30 years old, and married. He began working as miner four months before the accident.

Florencio Ávalos is 31 years old. He is the brother of Renán Ávalos, who is also trapped in the mine. He worked as driver in San José. Ávalos filmed videos, sent later to his relatives.

Ávalos was the first miner to be rescued, on Wednesday at 00:10 local time (03:10 UTC).

Jorge Galleguillos, 56 years old, has worked all his life in the mine. He said in one video he was feeling unwell; he takes medication for hypertension.

Carlos Barrios is a 27 years old miner. His father, Antenor Barrios, told Agence France-Presse: “I find he’s very strong and has enthusiasm. He spoke loud and clear. I was excited.”

Franklin Lobos Ramírez is a 53 years old retired footballer. He played for Cobresal, Deportes Antofagasta, Club de Deportes Santiago Wanderers and Unión La Calera, and briefly for the Chile national football team. Lobos had worked as a truck driver in the mine.

Yonni Barrios, called “The Doctor”, is a 50 years old electrician. He has knowledge of first aid, and was given responsibility for monitoring the health of his colleagues. “I felt I was in hell,” Barrios said in a letter to his wife.

Carlos Bugueño, 27 years old, joined the mine with Pedro Cortez. Previously, he worked as a watchman.

Alex Vega Salazar is a 31 years old heavy machinery mechanic. He is married to Jessica Salgado, and celebrated his birthday in the mine on September 22.

Ariel Ticona is a 29 years old miner. His wife, Margarita gave birth to his daughter on September 14. She was named Esperanza (Hope), at Ticona’s request.

Richard Villarroel is a 27 years old mechanic from Coyhaique.

Edison Peña is a 34 years old miner. “I want to go out soon,” he said on his first contact with his relatives. “I want to be free, I want to see the sun,” he added. He is a fan of Elvis Presley.

Claudio Yáñez is 34 years old, and works as drill operator.

José Ojeda, 46 years old, is the master driller. Ojeda is widowed and diabetic.

Luis Urzúa is a 54 year old topographer. He is the shift-leader, and was the first miner to talk with authorities. He is known as Don Lucho among the miners. He draw plans of the area of the mine where they are trapped.

Urzúa will be the last miner to leave the mine.

José Henríquez is a 54 years old drill master. He is also an evangelical preacher, and has worked in mines for 33 years.

Víctor Segovia is a 48 years old electrician. He is in charge of writing down everything that happens in the mine.

Pablo Rojas is a 45 years old explosives loader. Married, he had been working less than six months in the mine.

Juan Illanes is a 51 year old miner. He was a sergeant in the Beagle border conflict between Chile and Argentina in 1978, the incident which almost provoked a war between the countries.

Illanes was rescued on Wednesday, at 02:07 local time (05:07 UTC).

Jimmy Sánchez, 19, is the youngest miner. He had been working in the mine for five months before the accident. His role is to check the temperature and humidity in the mine.

Samuel Ávalos is a 43 years miner. His wife Ruth said “he was addicted to the cocaine.” His role in the rescue is to check air quality in the area the miners are living. According to the BBC, “Ávalos has worked in the mine for five months.”

Mario Gómez, aged 63, is the oldest of the miners. He has worked 51 years as miner. His father was also a miner, and is nicknamed “El Navegao” (“The Sailed One”). He was thinking of retiring in November.

Gómez also wrote the message “Estamos bien en el refugio los 33” (“We are fine in the shelter the 33 [of us]”).

Segovia is 48 years old. He is married to Jessica Chille, who said “To hear his voice was a confort to my heart,” after talking with him for the first time in 24 days. His sister María, was nicknamed “La Alcaldesa” (“The Mayoress”) for her leading role at Campamento Esperanza. His father, Darío Senior, was trapped in a mine for a week, and suffered serious injuries after two other mining accidents, according to the BBC.

Carlos Mamani is a 23 years old heavy equipment operator. He is also the only non-Chilean miner; Mamani is Bolivian. He began working in the mine just five days before the accident.

He was rescued at 03:11 local time (06:11 UTC) on Wednesday.

Renán Ávalos is a 29 years old miner, single, who had been working for five months in the mine before the accident. Florencio Ávalos is his brother.

Omar Reygadas is a 56 year old electrician. He began working in the mine shortly before the accident.

Esteban Rojas is a 44 years old miner. Rojas is married to Jessica Yáñez.

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Thursday, March 30th, 2017
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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Dramatic developments today have revealed new information about last Thursday’s bomb attacks on London. One person has been arrested after a series of raids in Leeds.

The four men alleged to be responsible for the bombings travelled by train from Leeds to King’s Cross on Thursday morning, where they were seen on CCTV at 8.30am. Three of them, likely British citizens of Pakistani origin, came from Leeds while another joined them en route. One of the three from Yorkshire was reported missing by his family at 10pm that evening.

Three of them then boarded underground trains. The fourth alleged bomber – the man reported missing from Leeds – died onboard the bus, but there are no clear reasons for why he did not follow the same pattern as the others. It has been confirmed that at least three of the four bombers died in the blasts. Forensic evidence and items belonging to all of the men were found in the debris of the target vehicles.

Police also found a car at Luton train station, which is on the route from Leeds to King’s Cross. A series of controlled explosions was carried out on the car. It is understood that one of the bombers drove equipment in the car to Luton, while the others travelled by train.

Materials used to make explosives were also found at one of the houses in Leeds.

A second car was found on the property of a recovery company in Leighton Buzzard; it had been ‘routinely recovered’ from Luton train station on the evening of Tuesday, July 12. Bedfordshire Police, working in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police and the British Transport Police, sealed off the area within a 50 metre radius of the vehicle. The area was re-opened at 9.30pm BST, although a police presence remained until the next day. It has not yet been revealed why the car was towed away or what was contained inside it.

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Thursday, March 30th, 2017
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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Gay Talese wants to go to Iraq. “It so happens there is someone that’s working on such a thing right now for me,” the 75-year-old legendary journalist and author told David Shankbone. “Even if I was on Al-Jazeera with a gun to my head, I wouldn’t be pleading with those bastards! I’d say, ‘Go ahead. Make my day.'”

Few reporters will ever reach the stature of Talese. His 1966 profile of Frank Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Has a Cold, was not only cited by The Economist as the greatest profile of Sinatra ever written, but is considered the greatest of any celebrity profile ever written. In the 70th anniversary issue of Esquire in October 2003, the editors declared the piece the “Best Story Esquire Ever Published.”

Talese helped create and define a new style of literary reporting called New Journalism. Talese himself told National Public Radio he rejects this label (“The term new journalism became very fashionable on college campuses in the 1970s and some of its practitioners tended to be a little loose with the facts. And that’s where I wanted to part company.”)

He is not bothered by the Bancrofts selling The Wall Street Journal—”It’s not like we should lament the passing of some noble dynasty!”—to Rupert Murdoch, but he is bothered by how the press supported and sold the Iraq War to the American people. “The press in Washington got us into this war as much as the people that are controlling it,” said Talese. “They took information that was second-hand information, and they went along with it.” He wants to see the Washington press corp disbanded and sent around the country to get back in touch with the people it covers; that the press should not be so focused on–and in bed with–the federal government.

Augusten Burroughs once said that writers are experience junkies, and Talese fits the bill. Talese–who has been married to Nan Talese (she edited James Frey‘s Million Little Piece) for fifty years–can be found at baseball games in Cuba or the gay bars of Beijing, wanting to see humanity in all its experience.

Below is Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s interview with Gay Talese.

Contents

  • 1 On Gay Talese
  • 2 On a higher power and how he’d like to die
  • 3 On the media and Iraq
  • 4 On the Iraq War
  • 5 State of Journalism
  • 6 On travel to Cuba
  • 7 On Chinese gay bars
  • 8 On the literary canon
  • 9 Sources
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Thursday, March 16th, 2017
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Submitted by: Ramya Anbu

Magadi is a small town in Karnataka. It was the hometown of Kempe Gowda who found the quaint city Bangalore. Once a jungle region, featured in novels Magadi is now becoming a fast developing locality after all the wildlife around the area got encroached and destroyed. Magadi is getting to become a part of Bangalore that is just 25kms away. Historic background of Magadi runs back to when Kempegowda made this place the capital of all his territories. The once calm suburb is evolving into an industrial area. With all the IT companies in close proximity and the connectivity in terms of roadways, railways and public transportation being great this place is becoming the idea of investment in recent times.

The Outer Ring Road (ORR) and NICE road connects Magadi road to all the other major localities. Mysore road connects this suburb all the way to MG road and Bypanahalli. Namma Metro is another project that is looking to turn up the face value of this locality. Such great connectivity will naturally invite people over. Developers also find this locality very attractive because the land available at affordable cost is making their deals very conducive. Currently with the number of IT companies on a steady rise the popular localities within the city are starting to become unaffordable and maxed out, new home seekers in the market are moving towards the city limits and other peripheral areas to find homes of their choice.

The industrial employees who work in the nearby locality find this area very attractive because of its proximity to all the industrial areas and the commute to other suburbs around Bangalore city. This locality offers a future scope for retail outlets, malls and top hospitals to come here in the future. Currently the selling price of apartment for sale in Magadi road is approximately around Rs.5270 per sqft. Analyst say that in the next two to three years the property prices are set to increase and a remarkable appreciation is expected. Not just apartments for sale in Magadi road are famous, but people who come around the area are also interested in looking for rental property in Magadi road.

Currently a rental property in Magadi road rents for approximately Rs.8970, but with further infrastructural development and a real estate boom in the next couple of years we can expect the rental market to rent for anywhere around Rs.10,000 to Rs.12,000. This market opens up a lot of opportunity for new home-buyers. If they were to consider the potential of this place and look forward to development in another 5 years their investment would yield good returns. Once Namma Metro gets completed and starts functioning in full swing, we can expect the connectivity for public transportation and other commuters to ease. With each increasing development in this area the property prices look to go through a steady rise. Within the next 5 years we can expect Magadi to become a market like Electronic city or Marathahalli.

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Thursday, March 16th, 2017
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Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Toronto—Danforth (Ward 29). One candidate responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Diane Alexopoulos, Andrew James, Case Ootes (incumbent), John Richardson, Darryl Smith, and Hamish Wilson.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

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Thursday, March 16th, 2017
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 Correction — March 19, 2008 The next protest is scheduled for April 12, 2008. The article below states April 18 which is incorrect. 

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Internet group Anonymous today held further protests critical of the Church of Scientology.

The global protests started in Australia where several hundred protesters gathered at different locations for peaceful protests.

In a global speech, the Internet protest movement said Scientology “betrayed the trust of its members, [had] taken their money, their rights, and at times their very lives.” The protesters welcomed the public interest their protests have led to, and claimed they witnessed “an unprecedented flood of Scientologists [joining] us across the world to testify about these abuses.” The group said it would continue with monthly actions.

In a press statement from its European headquarters, Scientology accused the anonymous protesters of “hate speech and hate crimes”, alleging that security measures were necessary because of death threats and bomb threats. This also makes the Church want to “identify members” of the group it brands as “cyber-terrorists”.

Wikinews had correspondents in a number of protest locations to report on the events.

Anonymous states that the next protest is scheduled to take place on April 18, which happens to be the birthday of Suri, the daughter of Tom and Katie Cruise.

Contents

  • 1 Location reports
    • 1.1 Adelaide, Australia
    • 1.2 Atlanta, Georgia
    • 1.3 Austin, Texas
    • 1.4 Boston, Massachusetts
    • 1.5 Brussels, Belgium
    • 1.6 London, England
    • 1.7 Manchester, England
    • 1.8 New York, New York
    • 1.9 Buffalo, New York
    • 1.10 Seattle, Washington
    • 1.11 Sydney, Australia
    • 1.12 Portland, Oregon
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources
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Thursday, March 16th, 2017
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel gave yesterday’s opening address to the 42nd meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), which is facing a distinctly different geo-political landscape from twelve months ago. Outside the WEF security cordon, in the sub-zero temperatures of Davos’ train station car park, the local incarnation of the Occupy movement are setting up ‘Camp Igloo’; but, with little hope of the archetypes of the 1%, ‘Davos Man’, arriving by public transport and seeing their sub-zero protest.

David Roth, heading the Swiss centre-left’s youth wing — and an organiser of ‘Camp Igloo’, echoes much of the sentiment from ‘Occupy’ protests around the world; “[a]t meetings the rest of society is excluded from, this powerful ‘1 percent’ negotiates and decides about the fate of the other 99 percent of this world, […] economic and financial concentration of power in a small, privileged minority leads to a dictatorship over the rest of us. The motto ‘one person, one vote’ is no longer valid, but ‘one dollar, one vote’.”

Roth’s characterisation of ‘Davos Man’, a term coined by the Professor Samuel Huntington of Harvard University, is more emotive than that of the late professor who saw ‘Davos man’ as “[having…] little need for national loyalty, view[ing] national boundaries as obstacles that thankfully are vanishing, and see[ing] national governments as residues from the past whose only useful function is to facilitate the elite’s global operations”.

As Reuters highlights, many attendees will opt to make their way from Zurich to Davos by private jet, or helicopter, and the WEF itself provides handouts indicating the cost of such is 5,100 Swiss francs (approx. 5,500 USD, 3,500 GBP, 4,200 EUR). In contrast: travelling by rail, even when opting for first class — without an advance booking, is 145 Swiss francs (approx. 155 USD, 100 GBP).

Shifting fortunes see several past attendees missing this year’s exclusive get-together in the alpine resort; for a second year running — and now caught up in the UK phone hacking scandal being scrutinised by Lord Leveson’s inquiry — media mogul Rupert Murdoch will not be attending. Nor will the former head of financial services company UBS Oswald Gruebel, who resigned in the wake of US$2.3 billion losses incurred through unauthorised trading; likewise, Philipp Hildebrand, the ex-head of the Swiss National Bank, is absent following scandal associated with his wife’s currency trading activities; and, although the sexual assault charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn were dropped, having stepped down as managing director of the International Monetary Fund Strauss-Kahn will also be absent.

As the #OccupyWEF protesters were building igloos last weekend, an anti-WEF protest in the Swiss capital Berne was broken up by police, who stated their intent to prosecute participants in the illegal protest. Allegations of calls for violent protest action led to a high number of officers being involved. In the aftermath, charges of breach of the peace are to be brought against 153 people, with some targeted for more serious offences. At least one group involved in the protest described the police response as “disproportionate”.

At ‘Camp Igloo’ Roth says he is seeking discussions with the WEF’s expected 2,000 attendees; but his voice, and that of others in the worldwide ‘Occupy’ movement, is unlikely to be given a platform in the opening debate, “Is 20th-century capitalism failing 21st-century society?” He, and others taking part in this Swiss incarnation of the ‘Occupy’ movement, are still considering an invite to a side-session issued by the World Economic Forum’s founder, Klaus Schwab; commenting on the invite Roth told the Associated Press they would prefer a debate at a more neutral venue.

As has been the case for several years now, the annual Forum meeting in Davos was preceded with the release of a special report by the World Economic Forum into risks seen as likely to have an impact the in the coming decade. The 2012 Global Risks Report is a hefty document; the 64-page report is backed with a variety of visualisation tools designed to allow the interrelations between risks to be viewed, how risks interact modelled, and their potential impacts considered — as assessed by the WEF’s panel of nearly 500 experts.

As one would expect, economic risks top both the 2012 impact and likelihood charts. Climate change is pushed somewhat further down the list of concerns likely to drive discussions in Davos. “Major systemic financial failure” — the collapse of a globally important financial institution, or world currency, is selected as the risk which carries the most potential impact.

However, “Chronic fiscal imbalances” — failing to address excessive government debt, and “Severe income disparity” — a widening of the the gulf between rich and poor, top the list of most likely risks.

At the other end of the tables, disagreeing respectively with the weight last year’s Wikinews report gave to orbital debris, and the Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) fight with the Internet over copyright legislation, the 2012 Global Risks Report places “Proliferation of Orbital Debris” and “Failure of intellectual property regime” bottom of the league in terms of potential impact.

In 2011, with the current global economic crisis well under-way, “Fiscal crises” topped the WEF risks with the largest potential impact in the next ten years. However, perceived as most likely a year ago, “Storms and cyclones”, “Flooding”, and “Biodiversity loss” — all climate-change related points — were placed ahead of “Economic disparity” and “Fiscal crises”.

More mundane risks overtake the spectre of terrorism when contrasting this year’s report with the 2011 one; volatility in the prices of commodities, consumer goods, and energy, and the security of water supplies are all now ranked as more likely risks than terrorism — though the 2011 report did rank some of these concerns as having a higher potential impact. A significant shift in perception sees the 2012 report highlight food shortages almost as likely a risk the world will face over the next decade; and, one with a far more significant impact.

Attending the World Economic Forum at Davos is more than just an opportunity to discuss the current state of the global economy, and review the risks which face countries around the world. With such a high number of political and business leaders in attendance, it is an ideal opportunity to pursue new trade deals.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is, in addition to being a keynote speaker, expected to pursue improved relations with European and Asian trade partners at private meetings on the Forum sidelines. The Toronto Star reports Harper is likely to push forward an under-negotiation Canadian-European free-trade agreement, and hold closed-door discussions prior to next month’s planned trip to China.

Similarly, Canadian trade minister Ed Fast is expected to meet South Korean counterparts to discuss an equivalent deal to the preferential ones between the Asian nation and the US and Europe. Fast’s deal does, however, face opposition at home; the Canadian Auto Workers union asserts that such a deal would put 33,0000 jobs at-risk.

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British Prime Minister David Cameron and chancellor George Osborne are expected to discuss a possible increase of UK funding to the International Monetary Fund (IMF); however, with the UK responsible for 4.5% of the US$400 billion in the IMF’s lending fund, backbench MPs have warned that committing any additional funds could provoke a Conservative revolt in parliament. Tuesday’s IMF cut of predicted global growth from 4% to 3.3%, warnings of a likely Eurozone recession in 2012, and ongoing problems with Greek financial restructuring, are likely discussion topics at Davos — as well as amongst UK backbench MPs who see adding to the IMF war-chest as bailing out failed European economies.

South Africa, less centre-stage during the 2011 Forum, will be looking to improve relationships and take advantage of their higher profile. President Jacob Zuma and several cabinet members are attending sessions and discussions; whilst former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is to moderate a session, “Africa — From Transition to Transformation“, with Nigeria, Guinea, and South Sudan’s presidents on the panel. Wal-mart’s CEO Doug McMillon is to lead a dinner session, “Shared Opportunities for Africa’s Future” — highlighting larger multinationals looking towards the continent for new opportunities.

Davos may also serve as a place to progress disputes out of the public eye; a high-profile dispute between Chile’s state-owned copper mining business, Codelco, and Anglo American plc over the 5.39 billion USD sale of a near-quarter stake in their Chilean operations to Japan’s Mitsubishi, prompted the Financial Times to speculate that, as the respective company chiefs — Diego Hernández and Cynthia Carroll — are expected to attend, they could privately discuss the spat during the Forum.