JER spending reaches £1bn with two buys

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Explainer: Microsoft’s TikTok bid spotlights Windows maker’s history with China

first_imgMicrosoft Corp has emerged as the most likely buyer of the US operations of TikTok, the popular Chinese short-video app that US President Donald Trump is preparing to effectively ban on national security grounds.A deal would be in line with Microsoft’s stance toward China where the firm has a sizeable presence – unlike fellow US tech heavyweights such as Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google which appear to have given up on China’s consumer-facing market with its miscellany of government strictures.The country accounts for over $2 billion in annual revenue, Microsoft President Brad Smith said earlier this year. Topics : What does Microsoft do in China?Microsoft employs roughly 6,000 people in the country, with offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Suzhou.Its flagship Windows operating system is widely used, though revenue has long been crimped by piracy. In recent years the firm has pushed its Azure cloud computing product, launched in 2013 via a partnership with local data service company 21Vianet.China’s cyber-security law limits Microsoft to providing Azure’s software and services while 21Vianet runs associated data centers. It is a small player in a sector dominated by local providers Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Baidu Inc , Tencent Holdings Ltd and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.center_img Microsoft operates both its Bing search engine and LinkedIn social network in China, though again is a small player compared with local giants.Its most important China operation is arguably the Microsoft Research Asia, famous as a leader in artificial intelligence (AI).Founded in 1998 with help from renowned Taiwanese-American AI scientist Kaifu Lee – who went on to lead Google’s China office – the lab has produced alumni who went on to become executives at TikTok owner ByteDance, Baidu, Xiaomi Corp and Chinese facial recognition unicorns.Does Microsoft self-censor in China?Bing and LinkedIn in China appear similar to their global counterparts but Microsoft censors search results and content the Chinese government considers sensitive.Upon LinkedIn’s China launch in 2014, two years before the company was bought by Microsoft, then-Chief Executive Jeff Weiner said censoring content would be “necessary” for the firm to grow in the country.In 2019, free speech advocates criticized LinkedIn’s position on censorship after human rights activist Zhou Fengsuo said his profile was not viewable in China. LinkedIn blamed an “error” and restored its visibility.Software development website GitHub, which Microsoft purchased in 2019, is also accessible from China. The site, a coding repository, has been used by activists in China to preserve internet content before authorities censor the source.Has Microsoft had scrapes with China’s government?Microsoft has bemoaned rampant piracy of Windows in China for decades and has occasionally filed lawsuits and complaints even against state-backed companies to address its concerns.Its most notable tussle with the government was in 2014 when authorities raided four Microsoft offices demanding access to contracts and other information as part of an anti-trust investigation.The same year, the government called on all agencies to ban the purchase of Windows 8 citing security reasons.Microsoft eventually released a “China Government” edition of Windows 10 following a joint venture formed in 2015 with state-owned China Electronics Technology Corp.What about Bill Gates?Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has spoken in mostly positive terms about China in recent years. In November, he held a public meeting with Peng Liyuan, wife of President Xi Jinping.Also late last year, Gates criticized the US government’s restrictions on telecommunications equipment maker Huawei and spoke about sharing Windows source code with China’s government which aided official acceptance of the software in the country.He has praised China’s response to COVID-19, which earned him public thanks from Xi, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has donated $5 million to China for COVID-19 relief.The foundation is one of few overseas charities or non-governmental organizations to maintain operations in China, where it has worked with the government and academic institutions against diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis.last_img read more

CalPERS to create direct private equity arm

first_imgCalifornia Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), one of the largest pension funds in the world, is launching a separate entity to invest directly in private equity as it tries to expand its allocation to the asset class to 10%.After over a year of deliberations, the fund yesterday unveiled two “strategic business models” for its private equity programme, which it said would create the new entity, called CalPERS Direct. This was part of a wider review of its overall private equity programme, it said.The pension fund said it anticipated it would need to invest up to $13bn a year in private equity to achieve a 10% allocation of the portfolio. A spokeswoman confirmed that this was across CalPERS’ entire private equity investment programme.The pension fund currently has 7.6% of its overall $354.4bn (€300.8bn) portfolio invested in private equity. Ted Eliopoulos, outgoing CalPERS’ chief investment officer, said: “Our investment team has spent months exploring options in order to design an approach to private equity that takes advantage of our size and brand. “We believe it will drive stronger private equity returns and help achieve economies of scale over time,” he said.CalPERS Direct would comprise two funds, according to the pension fund.One would focus on late-stage investments in technology, life sciences, and healthcare, while the other would concentrate on long-term investments in established companies.The funds will operate alongside CalPERS’ existing private structure, which it said typically invested in co-mingled private equity funds.  CalPERS Direct, which is planned to launch in the first half of 2019, would be governed by a separate, independent board advising on allocation as well as longer-term capital market perspectives, the pension fund said.As things stand, CalPERS invests in private equity via direct and co-investments with the fund’s existing general partners, via direct secondary investments, and via funds of funds — for specific mandates.last_img read more

A word of warning against “Lepto” Disease

first_imgPhoto credit: lifemoto.blogspot.comDominicans are being warned again about leptospirosis or “lepto”, an infectious disease that can be transmitted by animals.The disease can spread to the human body or animals when mucous membranes or a break in the skin come into contact with contaminated environmental sources. Humans can also contract the disease when eyes or abraded skin come into contact with animal urine.People who deal with animals on a regular basis may be most at risk, environmental officials have said.“If you have pigs and you clean your pig pens, these are some of the areas where you are at risk. We usually say to people wear protective gear, wear your boots, wear gloves. Those things can protect you from the lepto germs,” said Ferdinia Carbon, environmental health officer.She made a special call to farmers this week to “use your protective gear. You don’t go to garden without shoe on your foot… we really want them to go out there and use their protective gear; when you’re looking about animals, use your protective gear.”14 cases of leptospirosis were reported in 2010 compared to less than 5 cases in previous years, and a survey conducted here found this was due to an increase in rats.The Environmental Health Department has embarked on a rodent control program in Roseau, after they disclosed last year more Dominicans were contracting the lepto disease.“From December last year we started the cleanup of the city. The cleanup has now spread to the out districts,” Carbon disclosed.Health officials are focusing on clearing white goods and abandoned lots in Roseau “to remove the nesting areas of the rodent so that they can really come out so that we can get access to them.”Leptospirosis can be accompanied by rash, fever, meningitis and abdominal pain.Dominica Vibes News 47 Views   no discussions LocalNews A word of warning against “Lepto” Disease by: – March 30, 2011 Share Sharecenter_img Tweet Sharing is caring! Sharelast_img read more

Don’t call my Inter team the ‘saviours’ of Italy, says Conte

first_img Promoted Content10 Phones That Can Easily Fit In The Smallest Pocket5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way6 Most Overpowered Live Action Disney CharactersWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksWhy Do So Many Digital Assistants Have Feminine Names & Voices?7 Mind-Boggling Facts About Black HolesFantastic-Looking (and Probably Delicious) Bread Art6 Ridiculous Health Myths That Are Actually TrueEver Thought Of Sleeping Next To Celebs? This Guy Will Show You Loading… The former Italy and Juventus boss said in a news conference: “We don’t consider ourselves the saviours of the country, we’ve made our journey without looking at the others. read also:Van Persie: ‘Conte gave Inter structure’ “Our goal is to improve ourselves. Personally, if we achieved a European success I would be happy for the club, not for myself. I’m not thinking about my personal record but about the club that decided to hire me.” Conte looks set to have to cope without the injured Alexis Sanchez, with the Chilean battling to recover from a hamstring injury. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 center_img Antonio Conte vowed Inter should not be portrayed as Italy’s footballing “saviours” as they battle for UEFA Europa League glory. A semi-final against Shakhtar Donetsk awaits coach Conte and his team on Tuesday in Dusseldorf, with the prospect of ending the season with silverware. Attentions have turned to Inter at home after Juventus fell to Lyon and Napoli lost to Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League last-16, while Atalanta bowed out to Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals of the same competition. The Nerazzurri represent Italy’s last hope for a European trophy this season, but Conte dismissed the notion they are playing for the nation.Advertisementlast_img read more

Pearson hopes to unravel red tape

first_img The Foxes confirmed the signing of Kramaric on a three-and-a-half-year contract last week, but since then have been waiting on the Home Office to grant the 23-year-old a work permit. City have been made to sweat as Kramaric does not qualify initially due to the fact he has not made enough international appearances over the past two years. Leicester boss Nigel Pearson is hopeful the red tape surrounding Andrej Kramaric will be unravelled in time for the Croatia striker to make his debut on Saturday. Press Associationcenter_img However, Kramaric has been capped at every level from Under-14 up to Under-21, whilst his four appearances at senior level have yielded two goals. Pearson, who last week claimed Kramaric “has a very bright future”, would like to think the permit will come through in time for him to face Stoke at the King Power Stadium. “We’re still waiting for the official confirmation on Kramaric and hopefully that will be confirmed before Saturday,” said Pearson. “As to whether he plays, that depends on whether we get the official clearance, but he is in contention. “I’m no legal beagle, I don’t know the ins and outs, but we have the backing of the federation (Football Association) and hopefully we will get the official work permit.” Pearson, though, refused to shed any light on his club’s attempts to lure Scotland international midfielder Shaun Maloney from Wigan. It is understood a fee of just over £1million has been agreed between the two clubs after City’s initial offer was rebuffed. Despite Leicester seemingly closing in on their latest acquisition, a guarded Pearson said: “I’m not in a position to comment further. “The reason for that is if things don’t happen then the player has to perform for his current club, so it’s unfair to talk openly about that.” last_img read more

Steve McClaren confident he retains Mike Ashley’s support at Newcastle

first_imgUnder-pressure Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren is confident he has the continuing support of owner Mike Ashley as he attempts to drag the club out of a dreadful tail-spin and implement his philosophy. Press Association The Magpies head into Sunday’s Barclays Premier League clash with promoted Norwich at St James’ Park rooted to the foot of the table and without a win in their opening eight games. McClaren, who was given the target of a top-eight finish when he accepted his job during the summer, had asked people to judge him after 10 games, and that point is rapidly approaching with the picture looking less than rosy. center_img However, he believes progress has been made amid a tough opening run of fixtures – his team lost 6-1 at Manchester City last time out – and that Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley remain firmly in his corner. He said: “If you’re together and they know you’re doing the job and you’re doing it right and you’re doing the right things and the players are responding, then wherever you are – be it Newcastle or whatever – they’ll say, ‘You know what, we’re on the right lines’. “We’ve got to make sure we do the right things and do the right job and go through the right process and if the club can see that… That’s what John Carver demonstrated and obviously what Alan Pardew demonstrated. That’s what you call a loyalty. “You don’t have loyalty if people are thinking. ‘This ain’t going to get any better’. That’s at any club. “They knew that John Carver, with what happened last season, was doing the best he possibly could, the same with Alan Pardew. In the end, that loyalty – especially with Alan – was rewarded. “I have the belief that that is exactly the same with me. As long as we continue making progress – which I believe we are and they believe we are – then we keep going.” The recent departures of Dick Advocaat and Brendan Rodgers from Sunderland and Liverpool respectively have brought McClaren’s situation into sharper focus, but that is not something which concerns him. He said: “There’s always scrutiny on you, isn’t there? This is Newcastle. Always, from day one. But I’m experienced enough to know that, to deal with it and handle it, and it’s really not a problem. “The problem is bloody winning football matches.” last_img read more

Child’s Way receives new gates and landscaping

first_imgRenovations along the stretch of Child’s Way from Watt Way to the Widney Alumni House were completed Tuesday, said Joe Back, Associate Senior Vice President for Campus Development and Facilities Management.Along Child’s Way, there have been improvements made to the adjacent walkways and the parking lot between them to improve pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle traffic.Face lift – The university completed the improvements on Child’s Way, which included two vehicle gates and cosmetic changes. Dan Doperalski | Daily Trojan Two gates were installed on both sides of the parking lot to control delivery truck traffic that had gotten out of control, Back said.“They would go in there and really block the parking and everything would just shut down,” Back said. “People would be stuck in there — they couldn’t get in, they couldn’t get out.”Cosmetic improvements, including landscaping and brick, were also an aspect of the construction project.“This area on Child’s Way is where most of the guests that come to campus park, so we wanted to enhance that area,” Back said. “It was not really landscaped all that well. It didn’t look that attractive coming in there … We did a little extra landscaping to make it look better.”Back said he could not disclose the cost of the construction but a USC News article reported that it totaled $2 million.Some students, such as Joel Kropinski, said that money could have been spent on other things.“I don’t even see why they did it,” said Kropinski, a senior majoring in cinema-television critical studies. “Is it such a big deal if a car comes in and out of here? I just don’t think a gate is a priority right now. [The money] could’ve been spent in other ways.”Nick Simons, a senior majoring in business administration, said that aesthetic improvements to the campus should not be a priority right now.“I think there has to be a better way for those funds to be allocated,” Simons said. “USC is one of the most beautiful campuses. We’ve done enough … They should be focusing on more tangible improvements for the students.”Erica Shieh, a junior majoring in music industry, said that she would like to see money going to the students instead of the physical appearance of the campus.“In this economy, it’s not practical,” Shieh said. “This money needs to go to students in form of scholarships and grants.”Back said the project was not a spontaneous decision; the improvements were officially approved in September 2009.“It’s a project that’s been discussed for a while,” Back said. “They really wanted to get that under control … It started as a real discussion about controlling the truck traffic in that area, but it evolved into more of an aesthetic enhancement as well.”USC’s office of Capital Construction is planning other future projects, Back said.“There are discussions about what we call ‘hardscapes,’” Back said. “Sidewalks and that sort of thing, hardscape and landscape improvements.”last_img read more

NBA Draft: Malachi Richardson can prove NCAA-Tournament performance was no fluke

first_img Published on June 22, 2016 at 1:01 pm Contact Connor: | @connorgrossman Facebook Twitter Google+ The stretch was Richardson’s best from last season, a folktale performance preceding his declaration for the NBA Draft. He’s worked out for a plethora of teams in advance of Thursday’s draft at 8 p.m., and has reportedly been promised a first-round selection from the Memphis Grizzlies at pick No. 17. It would be the ultimate reward for Richardson’s 2015-16 season, in which he averaged 13.4 points to finish second on the Orange in scoring.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHe pieced together his NBA resume gradually over the course of Syracuse’s 37-game season. Richardson averaged nearly 14 points in his first six games before dipping into a slump shortly thereafter. It was the first sign of his inconsistencies, but he stamped his season with undeniable upside. Before his run against Virginia, Richardson scored 21 against Dayton, becoming the first SU freshman to score 20-plus in an NCAA Tournament game since Carmelo Anthony.It was his final act before hitting the NBA workout circuit, trying to validate his March tirade without the crowd, the stakes and the hype.“That would just be incredible, for somebody who was probably going to do two years of college to do one and maybe be a top-10 pick,” said Fred Falchi, Richardon’s coach at Trenton Catholic (New Jersey) Academy. “It’d just be an amazing thing.”But if Richardson lands in the first round, it won’t solely tie into his playoff games on national television. Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony wrote on Yahoo’s The Vertical that teams like the Grizzlies are “enamored” by Richardson, an intrigue likely vested in the guard’s physical measurements. He stretches a 7-foot wingspan out of his 6-foot-6 frame, the shortest player at the NBA Draft Combine to do so.Richardson bulked up at Syracuse, helping him get to the rim more consistently. It’s lent him a rare blend of size and shooting ability.Richardson’s former coaches both pinpointed weaknesses in Richardson’s game, from ball handling to his pull-up jumper. But both Boff and Falchi offered the same NBA comparison for Richardson, seeing parallels between Richardson and the Golden State Warriors’ shooting guard with a smooth stroke behind the arc: Klay Thompson.Both Richardson and Thompson couple their size with unexpected offense, but certainly Thompson, with the third-most single-season 3s in NBA history, is a lofty goal for a 20-year-old to reach.“(Thompson’s) about 6-foot-7, can create his own shot and has tremendous range. Malachi has similar attributes,” Boff said. “It’s a long way for him to become the type of player Thompson is, but (Malachi) has similar size, has the ability to create his own shot and has range that extends beyond the 3-point line.”Thompson was a first-rounder for the Warriors in 2011, falling to Golden State with the 11th pick. Most draft experts don’t estimate Richardson to get reeled in as quickly.ESPN’s Chad Ford has him going to the Grizzlies at No. 17. CBS Sports paired Richardson with the Detroit Pistons at No. 18. Bleacher Report was less generous, slotting Richardson at No. 26 with the Philadelphia 76ers.This much seems to be agreed upon: Richardson is a first-round talent. Jim Boeheim dubbed his former player’s rising draft stock as “media nonsense,” but regardless, Syracuse has moved on from Richardson. He did the same by signing an agent on May 16, and will cement the transition when he’s invited to join a professional team on Thursday.A team that buys into Richardson’s skill set, one they hope wasn’t misleading from his March Madness.“Whenever it seemed like the big moment, that’s when he played his best,” Falchi said. “That’s just a sign of a great player.” Commentscenter_img With the nation’s eye on him as Syracuse’s season ticked away, Malachi Richardson reached into his toolbox. Facing a 16-point, second-half deficit against Virginia in the Elite Eight, he pulled out a nifty catch-and-shoot 3. He pulled out a step-back move behind the arc to hit another. He pulled out a shifty ball fake, knifing between three defenders to hoist a layup.He fixed SU into the Final Four with a 21-point, 20-minute rescue mission, flexing nearly every muscle of his offensive game along the way. Richardson did it against the country’s second-best defense, and largely against Malcolm Brogdon, the reigning National Association of Basketball Coaches Defensive Player of the Year who will likely join Richardson in the NBA.“That was really something special,” said Dave Boff, Richardson’s former coach at Roselle Catholic (New Jersey) High School. “… He showed everything he’s got right there.”MORE COVERAGE:NBA Draft: The case for picking Michael GbinijeNBA Draft: The case against picking Michael GbinijeNBA Draft: The case for picking Malachi RichardsonNBA Draft: The case against picking Malachi RichardsonNBA Draft: Michael Gbinije tries to answer the questions he faces coming out of Syracuselast_img read more

Liverpool skipper critical of Balotelli

first_imgTwo out of the four British teams remaining in the Europa League won the first leg of their round-of-32 fixtures on Thursday night.Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard accused Mario Balotelli of showing “disrespect”, after the Italian took a penalty instead of Jordan HendersonThe striker scored it to give them a 1-0 win over Besiktas. Gerrard was working as a TV pundit and said Henderson was down to take spot-kicks and that “rules are rules”.Everton, who travelled to Berin, Switzerland, beat Young Boys 4-1 thanks to a Romelu Lukaku hat-trick. Ireland international Seamus Coleman also got his name on the scoresheet for the blues.In Glasgow, Celtic welcomed Roberto Mancini’s Inter Milan Celtic Park. John Guidetti netted a dramatic injury-time equaliser in an exciting 3-3 draw.Meanwhile at White Heart Lane, Tottenham and Fiorentina finished 1-1. Spurs went ahead after six minutes of play when Roberto Soldado opened the scoring with a volley. There was no Harry Kane in the starting line-up as the talisman was brought on as a substitute.last_img read more