News

19.04.2017

Millennials like Netflix, but free is better

In a recent survey of US college students, commissioned by LendEDU, a consumer finance comparison site, only 8% of respondents said they didn't have a Netflix account. That means that a whopping 92% have Netflix. Additionally, 5% said they used their current or ex-girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s account. Meanwhile, only 34% said they have their own account. “Netflix continues to be the clear leader in online streaming, but is hurting in one key performance metric,” the report said. Netflix is also the most popular video platform among teens, beating out both YouTube and cable TV in a recent Piper Jaffray survey.

 
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19.04.2017

Focus on French elections

As of today, all the polls are suggesting that Macron and Le Pen are likely to oppose each other in the second and final round of the presidential vote. The key to victory may come down to a single factor – voter turnout in the second round. Assuming that turnout is along the lines of historical standards (about 80%), Marine Le Pen needs to win 18m voices. Polls currently suggest she will win 12m. And yet, the scenario of a very low turnout must be kept on the table, especially if François Fillon makes it through to the second round. Aversion against Fillon is such among leftist voters that they could be tempted to turn in a blank ballot or not vote at all.

 
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18.04.2017

Zug Crypto Valley could be a model for Crimea

Boris Titov, the Russian business-ombudsman, has proposed the creation of a region in the Crimea similar to the “kriptodoliny” (Cryptovalley) in Zug, Switzerland for funding cryptocurrency and blockchain organizations, according to Rambler News Service. “Maybe we can make a Crypto Valley Crimea,” Titov said. This initiative was talked down during the Russian science-practical forum called “Blockchain: dialog between business and government” on the 13th of April in Moscow.

 
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18.04.2017

CERN: An asset for research and for Switzerland

CERN is known for the latest discoveries in nuclear research, but the European organization is also important in many other fields, including the economy. Tiago Araujo, Knowledge Transfer Officer at CERN, explains why to Marketplus. Usually, the technology CERN develops becomes important for the general public, too, maybe years later. Could you give us an example? It’s true, due to the specificity of our scientific challenges, our technologies are often state-of-the-art. A very good example of an early stage development ongoing at CERN are the high magnetic field magnets. We are producing unprecedented magnetic field intensity magnets that are potentially very interesting for example for the ultra-high MRI (Magnetic Resonance Image).  

 
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18.04.2017

The Americans are to blame (by W. Snyder)

The dotcom bubble of 2000 was primarily an American affair that cost a lot of people a lot of money while the crisis of 2008 had far-reaching international implications

 
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18.04.2017

Bank on Nature: first loan signed in Brussels

The European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have announced the first loan agreement backed by the Natural Capital Financing Facility. The € 6 million loan agreement with Rewilding Europe Capital is expected to provide support for over 30 nature-focused businesses across Europe. Rewilding Europe Capital is Europe's first conservation and rewilding enterprise financing facility. With this first project an ambitious new initiative to protect biodiversity and support climate adaptation in Europe has become reality. The Bank on Nature Initiative builds on the Natural Capital Financing Facility (NCFF), an established financing partnership between the European Commission and the European Investment Bank supporting nature and climate adaptation projects through tailored loans and investments, backed by an EU guarantee. It recognises and fosters the business case for investing in natural capital for biodiversity and climate change adaptation purposes.

 
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18.04.2017

Switzerland isn't afraid to be considered currency manipulator by US Treasury

The Swiss government on Tuesday acknowledged the country's reappearance on a U.S. Treasury watch list of currency manipulators, but said the status would have no immediate consequences, as Reuters reported. Switzerland met two of the three criteria to be named a manipulator, both in the most recent report and the previous one in October: it runs a material current account surplus and it engages in persistent, one-sided intervention in foreign exchange markets.

 
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18.04.2017

Geopolitical Tensions Give Gold a Boost

The price of gold is getting close to the 1300 dollars mark per one ounce, after a rally that brought it almost 12% higher since the beginning of 2017. Most of the climb of the precious metal is attributed to its role of safe haven, especially after the rise of political tensions in Syria and more recently over North Korea, but also a gradual deterioration of the U.S. dollar value, which trends are usually inverse to those of gold, contributed to this rally. In figure 1, where the Dollar Index is compared to gold, it looks clear that since the greenback has begun to depreciate from the 14 years high that had reached at the end of 2016, the price of gold has inverted the down-trend that had subdued it for most of the second half of last year.

 
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14.04.2017

Australia to replace passports with facial recognition

Australia has started implementing biometric facial, iris and fingerprint recognition in airports, allowing passengers to go through without showing a passport or even talking to anyone. The "Seamless Traveler" project is aimed at creating a "fast, seamless self-processing experience for up to 90 percent of travelers," so that border control can focus on high-risk passengers.  The Seamless Traveler system was budgeted to spend $94 million over five years to make the airport process more efficient. For about 10 years, automatic passport scanning stations have been used the 40 million travelers to the land down under. 

 
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14.04.2017

Novartis under investigation in Greece for bribery

Greece's parliament on Wednesday voted to open an investigation into alleged health scandals going back two decades, involving bribes and inflated prices for medical equipment and medicine. A broad majority of 187 lawmakers in the 300-seat parliament approved a government proposal to look into suspected mismanagement between 1997 and 2014. "Everything must be investigated... to clear up whether the public interest was upheld," Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told the chamber. For years, public (funds) were pillaged, hurting social security funds and benefiting powerful interests," the PM said.

 
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