News

20.10.2017

Swiss Re estimates $3.6 bln in US hurricanes

Swiss Re, the world's second-largest reinsurer, estimated its claims burden from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in the United States and from two earthquakes in Mexico at roughly $3.6 billion in the third quarter. "Swiss Re maintains a very strong capital position and high financial flexibility to support our clients' needs, respond to market developments and execute on our capital management priorities," Chief Financial Officer David Cole said in a statement on Friday. Of the claims burden, which is net of retrocession and before tax, around $175 million was from the earthquakes in Mexico.

 
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19.10.2017

From Stockton, California, the first US basic income experiment

Stockton, California is expected to become the first US city to launch an experiment in universal basic income, a system of wealth distribution in which people receive a set amount of money just for being alive. Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs said that by August 2018 he hopes to enroll an undisclosed number of Stockton's 315,000 residents in the program. Tubbs said the experiment — which is set to hand out $500 a month, or $6,000 a year — would ideally last for a period of three years.

 
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19.10.2017

Swiss cabinet backs 2026 Winter Olympic bid

Switzerland's federal government said Wednesday it is prepared to pay almost 1 billion Swiss francs ($1.02 billion) toward Sion hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics. The Swiss federal council voted to support the proposed candidature, which could still be stopped by public opposition. It was a rare signal of support for hosting the Games after voters in the Austrian city of Innsbruck gave a thumbs down to the idea on Sunday, joining around a dozen cities that have pulled out of the running.

 
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19.10.2017

Swiss model is the Third way for UK-EU relationship

British Euroskeptics now have a new watchword: Beware the “Swiss Trap.” Theresa May's government is reportedly heading towards a Swiss-style model for its relationship with the European Union after Brexit. To the frustration of hardline Brexiteers within the Conservative Party, the deal Switzerland has with the EU is now being seriously considered within Whitehall and has not been ruled out by the prime minister, according to Politico.

 
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19.10.2017

Chipotle downgraded by excessive labor costs

Shares in Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. were falling slightly Wednesday after an analyst downgraded the stock, claiming excessive labor costs. Bank of American Merrill Lynch downgraded Chipotle and cut its earnings targets for 2018 and 2019, saying the struggling restaurant chain will have trouble cutting back labor costs any further than it already has.

 
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19.10.2017

Toronto wins the contest: it will be the Google City

Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs will develop a futuristic, billion-dollar community along a sizable swathe of Toronto's waterfront. On Wednesday, the City of Toronto and Sidewalk Labs  — which is the urban innovation arm of Google's parent company Alphabet — announced a partnership to radically re-imagine 800 acres of the city's largely vacant, post-industrial Eastern Waterfront, and turn it into a tech-integrated neighborhood called Quayside. 

 
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19.10.2017

Nestlé: results are in line with expectations

Nestlé, the world's largest food maker, reported an increase in real internal growth for the first nine months of the year but expects its trading operating profit margin to drop 40-60 basis points due to higher restructuring costs. The Swiss company said net divestments had a negative impact of 2.6% due to the creation of the Froneri joint venture. The Swiss consumer giant said Thursday it struggled in its largest market, the U.S., where it is trying to sell its confectionery business. Elsewhere, its ability to raise prices was limited by weaker currencies in some emerging markets.

 
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18.10.2017

Smartphone, texting when you drive is more and more dangerous

Using smartphone behind the wheel can be dangerous. Even a 2-second distraction can increase the risk of accidents by 20%, claims a study by driving analytics company Zendrive. The US-based study examined sensor data from more than 3 million drivers and 5.6 billion miles of trips and found that drivers are using their phones on 88% of their journeys. According to WHO (World Health organisation), car crashes accounts for 1.2 million people deaths and over 50 million disabilities every year.

 
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18.10.2017

Gender Gap is a hot topic also in research teams

Women are consistently underrepresented in scientific research positions—a disparity that is particularly egregious in computational fields. Now newly published research from Harvard Medical School reveals this gender gap extends to paper authorship with most papers that appear in peer-reviewed publications written by men. The study analyzed paper authorship by gender across several fields—computational biology, quantitative biology, biology and computer science. The analysis reveals that gender disparities in the interdisciplinary fields of computational and quantitative biology were worse than they were in biology—a relatively gender-balanced field—but better than they were in computer science, a decidedly male-dominated field.

 
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18.10.2017

Volkswagen targets emerging markets

Volkswagen has become one of the world’s biggest carmakers with a full range of makes and models, including highly engineered vehicles that compete with the world’s best. Now it is returning to its roots with a simpler people’s car, only this time the people are the teeming billions in China, India and other emerging markets. Volkswagen India's automotive offerings are actually over delivering for the Indian market, according to Steffen Knapp, director of passenger cars, Volkswagen India. As told to the Economic Times (ET), the company will now be looking to develop more region-specific offerings from sub brand Skoda Auto.

 
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