Olympics-Japan hopes boost with second gold as swimmer Ohashi wins By Reuters

© Reuters. Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – Swimming – Women’s 400m Individual Medley – Final – Tokyo Aquatics Center – Tokyo, Japan – July 25, 2021. Yui Ohashi of Japan celebrates after winning the REUTERS / Kai Pfaffenbach gold medal

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan captured their second Olympic gold medal on Sunday after Yui Ohashi won the women’s 400m medley as the Games heat up in Tokyo.

The medal offers organizers hope to improve enthusiasm for the delayed Olympics among the Japanese public, who are working under a state of emergency in the capital amid high cases of COVID-19.

The victory was the last spectacular action for the pool on Sunday, which also saw Tunisian Ahmed Hafnaoui clinch a major shock victory in the men’s 400m freestyle.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga phoned judoka Naohisa Takato to offer his congratulations on Sunday after the three-time world champion won Japan’s first gold medal with a victory https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle / sports / judo-judoka-tonaki-one-bout- japans-first-tokyo-2020-gold-2021-07-24 against Yang Yung-wei of Taiwan on Saturday.

“This gold medal gives hope and dreams to many children and young people. It is also reported that many families are really thrilled,” Suga said in the appeal.

Attention turns Sunday to tennis player Naomi Osaka, who lit the Olympic cauldron on Friday during the opening ceremony, during her opener against China’s Saisai Zheng at Ariake Tennis Park.

With temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) in Tokyo, skateboarders https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/skateboarding-skaters-debut-inaugural-olympics-fans-hope-acceptance-2021- 07-24 were sweating in their historic Olympic debut, as part of organizers’ attempts to broaden the appeal of the world’s biggest sporting event.

Competitors at the unshaded Ariake Urban Sports Park on Tokyo’s waterfront said the heat was already unbearable at 9 a.m. and it was a distraction to complete their laps.

Yahoo Tenki, one of Japan’s most popular weather apps, warned of the risk of heatstroke, saying users should “avoid exercising in the sun” and “minimize the risk of heatstroke. vigorous exercise “.

Surfing also made its Olympic debut https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/surfing-surfers-ride-wave-emotion-make-olympic-history-2021-07-24 on Sunday, with competitors meeting with a strengthening swell after the flat a day earlier on Tsurigasaki surf beach in Chiba prefecture, which borders the capital.

A typhoon is currently forecast to hit Japan’s main island of Honshu in the middle of the week, potentially bringing heavy rain and high winds.

In other sports actions, American gymnast Simone Biles begins her attempt https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/gymnastics-how-gold-can-she-go-biles-shines-training-amid-virus -worries- 2021-07-22 to become the first woman to win two consecutive Olympic gold medals in over 50 years.

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I have a Bitcoin cake for my birthday ?: Bitcoin

A community dedicated to Bitcoin, the Internet currency. Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency, distributed around the world. Bitcoins are issued and managed without any central authority: there is no government, company or bank in charge of Bitcoin. You might be interested in Bitcoin if you are into cryptography, distributed peer-to-peer systems, or economics. A large percentage of Bitcoin enthusiasts are libertarians, although people of all political philosophies are welcome.

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South Africa counts the cost of its worst unrest since apartheid

The burnt-out ruins of a cold chain warehouse were still smoking last week, sending smoke trails across the sky over Hammarsdale on the western outskirts of Durban – a promised new logistics heart for South Africa.

After days of the worst looting in the history of post-apartheid democracy, any meat that was not stolen was rotting inside.

The outbreak of massive civil unrest, after former President Jacob Zuma was jailed for failing to attend a corruption investigation, has hit KwaZulu-Natal province hard. It has long been a base of support for Zuma. More than 330 people have died across the country in a week of violence, which ended when troops were taken to the streets.

Nowhere is the economic impact more evident than in Hammarsdale, where looters have targeted some of the many retail warehouses and manufacturers that stretch for miles along a key Johannesburg highway. at Africa’s largest container port in Durban.

Since Cyril Ramaphosa took office as president in 2018, promising to turn around a sluggish economy, hopes were high for a renaissance for the region. “There had been a real positive dynamic. Jobs are being created, ”said an executive, who declined to be named.

That future is now under threat, warned business groups such as the South African Property Owners Association and Business Leadership South Africa. The estimated cost to the province’s gross domestic product – in terms of lost inventory, property damage and lost exports – is around 20 billion rand ($ 1.4 billion). Last year, South Africa’s gross domestic product was around $ 300 billion.

Looters come out of a Nike store in the Springfield Value Center in Durban © STR / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

Some businesses can take years to rebuild, according to industry groups. KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Gauteng, South Africa’s economic hub also affected by violence, account for half of the national GDP and almost half of the country’s population. The Port of Durban handles 70 percent of the country’s imports and is a gateway to southern Africa.

“It is currently difficult to assess the full cost of the unrest as there are areas that are still volatile, especially in KZN. However, the damage is likely to cost north of R20bn in KZN and the cost to the country is likely. [to be] north of R50 billion, ”said Thabi Leoka, an independent economist. “The biggest loss, aside from the loss of life, is the loss of jobs that many will suffer because their workplaces no longer exist.”

KwaZulu-Natal has long symbolized two South Africas: one of investment and job creation in high-tech logistics, and the other of decay and rutted roads outside business parks.

Protests that started with truck fires and looting quickly turned into an assault on food supply chains, including supermarkets, warehouses and food packaging. The deliberate sabotage of such investments was at the heart of the unrest, Ramaphosa told business leaders this week, as part of a plan “to cripple the economy, cause social instability and severely weaken – if not dislodge – the Democratic state “.

Police officers check cars for stolen goods in Hammarsdale

Police officers check cars for stolen goods in Hammarsdale © Rogan Ward / Reuters

The unrest also reflected the desperation over years of unemployment and hunger made worse by the pandemic. “It wasn’t Zuma’s problem – it was a ticking time bomb,” said Thapelo Mohapi, spokesperson for the Abahlali Mjondolo base, a Durban-based movement that represents the inhabitants of the shacks.

In Durban’s Umgeni Park area, one of those settlements is just below leafy suburbs and warehouses, but “people were even cooking wild plants under lockdown,” Mohapi said. As the unrest spread, “people were taking food and saying ‘I don’t know who Zuma is’.”

While some people were taking food, “Zuma’s supporters went to burn,” he added. At a sprawling warehouse in Cato Ridge, near Hammarsdale, hundreds of people broke through fences and took open doors to loot Samsung TVs and other property. Police, who had run out of rubber bullets, remained behind, observers said. A cleanup was now underway and the warehouse would stay and “hoist the flag,” but with greater security, an official said.

As logistics reopened after the military and police secured supply routes, many people remain without income to buy enough food. The national unemployment rate barely exceeded 32% at the start of 2021. It is nearly 48% for black South Africans and 74% for young people.

The unrest has left many people with even less access to affordable food. Nearly 120 ShopRite supermarkets in South Africa, or about one in ten, have been damaged by fires or looting, the company said. The retailer, which is Africa’s largest grocer, added it was “committed to rebuilding and restoring operations as quickly as possible”.

A woman stacks boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables
A woman stacks boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables. The unrest has left many people with even less access to affordable food © Rajesh Jantilal / AFP / Getty

Even before the violence this month, a mix of political and criminal violence had disrupted Durban’s economy. Activists have said that some officials from the ruling African National Congress and criminal syndicates have melted into protection rackets, which demand concessions or part of corporate action, then fight – and kill frequently – For the booty. The organizers of Abahlali have been threatened for their protests against ANC corruption.

For now, there are concerns about whether investors will rethink their plans. “It’s very sad,” said Musa Mkhize, the ANC city councilor, of the recent unrest. “It’s a big area for the industry. “

Thousands of jobs were at stake, he said. “It’s a bad wake-up call, but we’re here 24/7 to protect these investments. . .[They are]help send the children to school and put food on the table. . . 70 percent of the staff in these companies are from this region.

Failed to stop the looting in the first place, police raided townships to retrieve the looted goods – scrolling fridges for cameras as if they were high-value drug seizures. But all the police would be able to seize in slums like Umgeni Park is “chicken, flour, rice and diapers,” Mohapi said. “There are no refrigerators.”

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Cyprus made the use case of crypto. The European sovereign debt crisis was… | by ATrigueiro | The capital | Jul 2021

In 2013, the sovereign debt crisis in Europe was in full swing, with Greece leading the way down. Bitcoin pulled over $ 1,000 and stayed there. It didn’t take long to understand why.

The sovereign debt crisis has hit another European country closely linked to Greece …

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Employee data can be used for good, but treat it with care

Office Life Updates

If you ever cross paths with 58-year-old PwC UK boss Kevin Ellis, take a look at his right wrist.

On this one, there will almost certainly be one of those fitness watch gadgets that people wear to see how fast their hearts are beating and if they’ve walked this much on Tuesday as well as Monday.

In this case, it is a Garmin Vivosmart 4 tracker and Ellis keeps him strapped to bed, in the shower and of course when he trots to reach his goal of 600 “intensity minutes” of exercise each week.

“The only time I take it off is for a refill,” he said the other day, adding that he thought most of his accounting group board members were also wearing electronics. “I didn’t ask the board to do it,” he said. “Everyone was just interested. “

Well, they could be, since Ellis’ Garmin isn’t exactly what it seems.

It is one of 1,000 fitness trackers offered by PwC to its UK staff last year, after the first Covid lockdowns began, to test an algorithmic system like few others.

Think of it as a “Fitbit on steroids,” said Rob mccargow, Director of Artificial Intelligence at PwC UK. Unlike other digital wearables that only spit out numbers for their users, Garmin data is stored on a PwC platform designed in conjunction with IHP Analysis, a company that has worked with Formula 1 motor racing and other elite sports organizations keen to advance performance.

The platform also collects data from the timesheets and work schedules of watch wearers, as well as the results of psychometric and cognitive tests. Once all of this is fed by an algorithm, the system is supposed to give each user a better idea of ​​their sleep patterns, stress levels, and overall well-being.

Individual data is only available for the person wearing the Garmin, McCargow said. But it is anonymized and put together to show managers how the whole organization is doing.

He found, for example, that sedentary behavior in the company increased by at least 25% after the onset of blockages. (A smaller pilot before the pandemic allowed for a comparison.) Worker stress levels also decreased after pubs reopened and increased during peak performance review times, which may bolster efforts. to distribute workloads more evenly throughout the year.

Surprised? Maybe not. But as more companies experiment with hybrid ways of working, PwC believes there will be a growing demand for tools like this that can check worker wellbeing in real time and see, for example. example, if the deployment of subscriptions to meditation apps really makes a difference.

“I can see customers taking this as a way to attract staff,” said Ellis, who is keen to stress that the watch is not mandatory. “We’re not talking about some kind of Big Brother surveillance.” PwC was critical last year for developing a facial recognition tool that could track financial services staff working from home. But his new system is set to expand. Up to 5,000 more fitness watches are expected to be rolled out soon, and high demand is expected: Staff recovered last year’s 1,000 Garmin in less than four hours.

However, it is difficult to be completely convinced by this kind of platform. Technology in the workplace isn’t necessarily bad if deployed well, and a large company like PwC is likely to use it for the good of their employees. But there is no guarantee that its customers will. A few days after talking to Kevin Ellis, the news broke that spyware produced by an Israeli company supposedly fighting terrorism had instead been attributed to the phones of dissidents and journalists.

In addition, the digital leash is already being pulled tighter and tighter on some workers in what we recent report called the Amazon era of work. “The techniques and tools of odd-job economics have spread far beyond odd-job work,” says the UK Institute for the Future of Work study.

“Algorithmic systems are used throughout the economy to control fundamental aspects of work,” he warns, undermining efforts to improve well-being. Supermarket workers and truck drivers have so far been the most affected by this change. But for lawyers and accountants too, it may turn out that the greatest risk they face is not being replaced by machines, but being treated like them.


Twitter: @pilitaclark

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Seed funding explained. It all starts with vision. The… | by Sanjeeb Basi | The capital | Jul 2021

photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

It all starts with vision. The project, the product, the service. No one has done this before.


It’s so painfully obvious. Can you remove it? Maybe you and your two friends are excited.

Design a logo; come up with a name; all is fun and games. Design the concept, things get serious.

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Keep staff and customers on board in the event of a pandemic

José Neves begins each day with Buddhist meditation. “I’ve been meditating since I was 13, when I wouldn’t code,” says the founder of Farfetch, an online luxury fashion marketplace. “Neither of them made me popular in school.

Neves, now 47, started Farfetch two weeks after Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008. It started with a handful of programmers and operations staff in a cramped office in London’s Clerkenwell district.

The company gained ground by first attracting small boutiques in need of an online presence and then, when it reached critical mass, by using its size to attract brands such as Chanel.

Farfetch is now a global company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, with more than 5,400 employees and more than 1,300 salespeople, but there have been obstacles in the way.

London remains Farfetch’s home base, but there are now large offices in Portugal, Neves’ homeland, as well as China, Italy, Brazil and the United States. In 2018, the company launched an initial public offering in New York, trading 42.3% above the offer price on day one and valuing Farfetch at more than $ 5.8 billion.

Then, in August 2019, Farfetch announced the $ 675 million acquisition of New Guards Group, owner of high-end streetwear brands such as Off White, to form the basis of a own-brand platform that would fuel new brands sold exclusively on the Farfetch market. The ad sparked a sell off, the share price 40 percent plunge in one day.

Neves admits that at the time, he didn’t explain the strategy well enough – which he compares to Netflix’s getting into the production of original content. “It’s our role to communicate,” he says.

When Covid-19 emerged, investors backed down to a retail outlet offering a non-essential product. The stock price, which hit $ 28.45 on the first trading day, fell to $ 7.05 in March 2020.

“I experienced all the emotions you can expect, from surprise at the reaction of the markets to disappointment on our part that we were not able to get the right message across,” says Neves.

“For me then it was about moving from that emotional state of ‘OK, it happened, it was disappointing, it wasn’t what we expected’, to ‘what are we doing at this topic?’ “

We speak inside Farfetch’s headquarters, a glass tower in Old Street overlooking Silicon roundabout.

Neves arrived in a cab from his home near Regents Park, carrying an iced coffee from Starbucks while office cooking is still off-limits.

“We only reopened this office last week,” he says, adding that all employees have been retained and have worked from home throughout the pandemic. This includes staff at Browns, the fashion boutique that opened in Mayfair in 1970 and which Farfetch acquired in 2015.

“We’ve always said that the biggest problem for us is attracting talent, so we don’t want to lose people,” he says. “But we didn’t put anyone on leave and we didn’t claim any benefit from the government to pay them. We didn’t even have to cut bonuses. I am very happy that thanks to the efforts of everyone in the company, we can afford to do this. “

In 2019, the building was packed to capacity as employees gathered to hear Neves update them on the controversial New Guards acquisition. All Farfetch staff were named shareholders during the IPO and Neves holds a town hall after any market announcement. This was particularly well attended, he says.

“Communication at such times is very important and the message was very clear: we don’t exist to please shareholders. But our responsibility is to be very humble and explain to our shareholders, listen to them, and then do the right thing.

He thinks the reaction, or rather the lack of action, from employees – almost all of them held onto their stock rather than selling it after the New Guards announced – was proof the message was the right one. “I think people were galvanized. They said, “Let’s prove the short sellers wrong.”

After speaking to the workforce, Neves went to explain the strategy to the portfolio managers of one of its major shareholders, T Rowe Price.

“At the end of the meeting, one of these PMs led us to the door, which is very unusual,” Neves recalls. “He said, ‘Look, I don’t remember any company that did that. When that happens, normally people put their heads in the sand, they disappear. And we were surprised that you wanted this meeting. We were curious. What is he saying here? It was really good. It makes us believe in the company even more.

There was also a strategic reason for the meeting. “It served us again to keep our cool,” says Neves. “Our reaction was, let’s take a deep breath. We have the trading data every hour. Most importantly, our decision was to support the creative community.

In March 2020, as the global pandemic was setting in, Neves assembled his team of executives to create a campaign for small businesses selling luxury goods, with the tagline #supportboutiques.

It was launched a month later, with Farfetch offering free shipments to its retail customers from the company’s six regional distribution centers, as well as an advertising campaign using the hashtag #supportboutiques.

The recovery in luxury sales in the following months more than offset the costs of the campaign, says Neves, as well as the goodwill of Farfetch’s global customer base.

Three questions to José Neves

Who is your leadership hero?

I should choose Gandhi simply because of his ability to bring people together and resolve conflicts with a commitment to zero violence.

What has been your most important leadership lesson?

Being open-minded is the most important leadership lesson because I don’t think there is one style of leadership that works for everyone. Every business needs a different type of leader. But even in a company with a specific leadership style, that leader has to adapt. There are times to be more assertive, there are times to be more collegial, there are times to be a leader on the human side of things, there is a time to be a leader on the performance side, so it shouldn’t be either of those things, but have the humility to keep changing.

What would you do if you weren’t the founder of Farfetch?

When I was little I wanted to be an astronaut, but Portugal doesn’t have a space program, so I quickly realized that was not going to happen. Now that it’s possible, I’ll wait until the prices drop and the technology is a little more reliable or at least tested and proven. I’m not afraid of a little turbulence in planes, but rockets are totally different.

Revenue in 2020 rose 60% to $ 1.67 billion, although the pre-tax loss fell from $ 372 million to $ 3.35 billion. Neves says this year’s growth, driven by the growth of the online luxury market, will see Farfetch record its first annual profit in 2021.

The company also strengthened its position at the end of last year with a $ 1.1 billion in investment Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba and Swiss luxury goods group Richemont.

Farfetch is also betting that brick-and-mortar stores will always remain essential for sales of luxury goods. In April of this year, Browns opened a new flagship store in London, mixing cutting edge technology, such as augmented reality in the store’s mirrors, so you can see yourself wearing clothes for sale, with a luxurious refit.

“There is still a place for physical retail, but we are digitizing it,” says Neves.

The opening of the new Browns store is an endorsement for London as the base for a luxury brand, although the growth opportunity for Farfetch resides in China, while its capital is sourced from US markets.

“We’re staying in London,” says Neves. “Obviously the fact that the UK is leaving the EU has made it much more difficult with visas and work permits for the people we hire from other parts of Europe. But London is an amazing city and it doesn’t take much to convince people to come from elsewhere to live and work here.

He expects to create more jobs this year as the pandemic has left Farfetch in a much stronger position. “What we said would happen in three, five, maybe seven years was compressed into a much shorter period of time,” says Neves.

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