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  • Season 3,Ep. 27 – Improving software delivery with AI & Open Source,with Scott Sanchez, CMO, Harness

    May 2, 2023. This week, Faith talks to the CMO at Harness, Scott Sanchez, about how Open Source and AI have helped to deliver a better CI/CD delivery system. If you are building a product for developers, but aren’t asking them for feedback via an open source option, you’re missing out on some reliable data. It can help to not only improve what you’re building, but also garner some goodwill among a community of people who are invested in what you’re doing. This week, Faith talks to the CMO at Harness, Scott Sanchez, about how Open Source and AI have helped to deliver a better CI/CD delivery system. Source Link:

  • HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani’s Al Doha secures UAE President Cup (Gr1 P/A)

    August 20, 2023. DONCASTER, England. Carrying the colours of HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani and under the care of trainer Thomas Fourcy, the talented filly put in a career best effort to land the 2,000m contest for 4YO purebred Arabians under a masterful ride from Olivier Peslier. Photo credits: Debbie Burt Taking on six runners, of which four were colts, the four-year-old purebred Arabian filly Al Doha (FR) (Al Mourtajez x Topaze Du Croate) secured the biggest success of her career to date when landing the Gr.1 (PA) UAE President Cup – UK Arabian Derby – at Doncaster on Saturday, 19th August, evening. Carrying the colours of HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani and under the care of trainer Thomas Fourcy, the talented filly put in a career best effort to land the 2,000m contest for 4YO purebred Arabians under a masterful ride from Olivier Peslier. A debut winner at Mont de Marsan, France, Al Doha followed up with a runner-up finish in a Gr2 and a Gr2 victory at Toulouse, France, on her third and fourth career starts in April and May this year. She, then, headed to Chantilly, France, where she finished second in a Gr1 in June. Al Doha went on to capitalise on her second placed finish at Chantilly by landing one of Europe’s most prestigious races for the purebred Arabians, the Gr.1 UAE President Cup – UK Arabian Derby at Doncaster. Photo credits: Debbie Burt Al Doha crossed the line with a neck to spare over Al Shaqab Racing’s homebred Ghadah (FR) (Azadi), who completed the one-two for the winning trainer Thomas Fourcy and was ridden by Jean Bernard Eyquem. The Athbah Racing-owned and Phillip Collington-trained Thakeera Al Shahania (QA) (Al Mourtajez) completed the frame as she was a further length and a quarter behind in third under Joanna Mason. Al Doha left a powerful impression on her jockey, Olivier Peslier, who said after the race: “She finished second at Chantilly earlier this summer and ran a great race. She has followed up nicely here, which isn’t an easy thing to do against the colts. She’s tough, genuine, and still improving. I am very excited for what the future holds. I am delighted for Thomas Fourcy, who is such a talented trainer in every sphere and for his team at home”. Al Doha was bred at Haras du Berlais by Al Shaqab racing. Source Link:

  • Partindo Justicialista

    Union of the Fatherland. The match The Justicialista Party is part of the Peronist Movement, a political current founded by Juan Domingo Perón and María Eva Duarte that includes unions, social movements, grassroots organizations and other groups. With the formation of various party alliances, Peronism triumphed in eight presidential elections. The first ones he ran for, with Juan Perón as a candidate, in 1946 and his subsequent re-election in 1952. After having been banned and exiled, he obtained the presidency for the third time in 1973 and died in office in 1974. Subsequently, the following were elected presidents by Peronism: Carlos Menem (1989 and 1995), Néstor Kirchner (2003) and Cristina Fernández ( 2007 and 2011). Peronism was only defeated in democratic elections three times: 1983 (Raúl Alfonsín), 1999 (Fernando De la Rúa) and 2015 (Mauricio Macri). They also held the presidency of the Nation: María Estela Martínez (in 1974 due to the death of Juan Perón), Adolfo Rodríguez Saá (in 2001 due to the resignation of Fernando De la Rúa) and Eduardo Duhalde (in 2002 due to the resignation of Rodríguez Saá). Two Peronist presidents were overthrown by military-led coups: Juan Perón in 1955 and María Estela Martínez in 1976. In both cases, all Peronist expressions were prohibited, and their leaders and militants were repressed, assassinated, and even disappeared. In the first stage of the ban, which lasted 18 years, Peronism organized itself into the "Peronist Resistance" taking refuge in the action of unions and grassroots organizations. At this stage he was denied participation in two presidential elections: 1958 (Arturo Frondizi) and 1963 (Arturo Illia). In the second stage, which began in 1976, the repression worsened and was extended to other non-Peronist political forces. With the restoration of democracy in 1983, Peronism lost a national election for the first time. But he quickly regained his predominance and maintained a majority in both chambers of the National Congress for long periods, especially in the Senate. In addition, he obtained victories in most of the provincial elections. Currently, 14 provinces are governed by Peronists and half (36) of the national senators and more than a third (91) of the national deputies identify with this political force. The governing bodies of the PJ are the National Council and the National Congress. The first is made up of a board of directors of 24 members, the president, five vice-presidents and 22 secretaries. Governors, presidents of provincial PJ and parliamentary blocs of the National Congress also participate. For its part, the National Congress is the "supreme body and directly represents party sovereignty," and is made up of congressmen from all over the country. These bodies are joined by a National Electoral Board, disciplinary courts and an Oversight Commission. Likewise, the PJ recognizes the basic units distributed throughout the Argentine territory as its "primary organism." Sometimes the Party forms specific commissions such as the current Political Action Commission, made up of political and union leaders from different internal sectors of Peronism and created to promote unity in the 2019 presidential elections. The ideas promoted by Peronism are summarized in three "flags": political sovereignty, economic independence and social justice. Peronist ideals also reflect, among other values: the centrality of work and production; the organization of workers to defend their rights and interests and solidarity in the financing of social protections; the equal dignity of all people without any distinction based on social class, ethnicity, gender, age or nationality; the promotion of the national industry; freedom and responsibility of people; the balance between the rights of individuals and the rights of society; the social function of private property, capital and economic activity; regional integration; concertation and planning of government action; the participation of the people in the political, social and economic organizations of the community; federalism and equity among the provinces; equity in access to public services, health, education, housing and tourism; the promotion of science, technology and national culture; protection of the rights of workers, families, children and the elderly; and more recently: environmental sustainability, human rights, and gender parity and diversity. housing and tourism; the promotion of science, technology and national culture; protection of the rights of workers, families, children and the elderly; and more recently: environmental sustainability, human rights, and gender parity and diversity. housing and tourism; the promotion of science, technology and national culture; protection of the rights of workers, families, children and the elderly; and more recently: environmental sustainability, human rights, and gender parity and diversity. Source Link:

  • Singtel begins construction of Singapore’s highest power density, hyper-connected green data centre

    August 8 , 2023. SINGAPORE. The 120,000 sqft, eight-storey facility is Singapore’s only data centre to be integrated with a cable landing station, providing its customers unparalleled international and domestic connectivity and enhanced network performance including lower latency and improved reliability. Singtel has commenced the construction of DC Tuas, Singapore’s highest power density, hyper-connected green data centre, following a groundbreaking ceremony today with Guest-of-Honour Infocomm Media Development Authority’s (IMDA) Chief Executive Mr Lew Chuen Hong. Mr Lew said “Congratulations to Singtel on the groundbreaking of DC Tuas. It is encouraging to see companies such as Singtel invest in our digital infrastructure. IMDA will continue to work with the industry to architect a sustainable digital ecosystem that is internationally connected, to serve the long-term demands of Singapore’s digital future.” When operational in 2025, DC Tuas will offer 58MW of IT load capacity to support the strong demand for high-quality, sustainable digital infrastructure while optimising land, power and water use. The 120,000sqft, eight-storey facility is Singapore’s only data centre to be integrated with a cable landing station, providing its customers unparalleled international and domestic connectivity and enhanced network performance including lower latency and improved reliability. DC Tuas is Singtel’s largest data centre in Singapore to date and will support the Group’s decarbonisation goals with its low power utilisation effectiveness (PUE). DC Tuas will incorporate next-generation cooling capabilities that are able to support customers’ rack density of up to 80kW per rack with more efficient liquid cooling, thus lowering its PUE to below 1.3. "DC Tuas is based on Singtel’s fourthgeneration design with the highest power density, and hyper-connected with a number of international submarine cables connected directly to it. " Bill Chang, CEO, Digital InfraCo, Singtel Mr Bill Chang, CEO of Singtel’s Digital InfraCo said, “DC Tuas is based on Singtel’s fourth generation design with the highest power density, and hyper-connected with a number of international submarine cables connected directly to it. This will be an important addition that will strengthen Singapore’s digital infrastructure and position the country as a key business and connectivity hub. It is also a key milestone for our new standalone digital infrastructure business to capture the significant demand for cloud services and the rapid rise of AI adoption in the region. With DC Tuas, we have leveraged our expertise and experience in designing, building and operating data centres to offer a differentiated value proposition to customers – a carrier-neutral advanced facility with access to exceptional connectivity and security. Singapore is integral to our regional data centre strategy and we look forward to continue supporting the country’s ambition to be a sustainable, global digital hub.” Singtel currently provides 60MW of DC capacity in Singapore. The total capacity will grow to 118MW when DC Tuas is operational in 2025. Ahead of its construction, DC Tuas has already received interest from customers including hyperscalers, multinational and regional corporates, and Singapore enterprises. In addition to its data centres in Singapore, Singtel has partnered Telkom and Medco Power in Indonesia, and GULF and AIS in Thailand, to build data centres in Batam and Bangkok respectively. Source Link:

  • Why 40+ Countries Want to Join BRICS

    Thursday, August 24, 2023. Notably, the group accounts for almost 31.5% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and functions as a check on Western geopolitical influence. BRICS—a coalition of large emerging economies comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—reportedly aims to expand nearly 22 years after its inception. Around 40 nations, including Argentina, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have expressed interest in joining the group in order to diversify their economies and strengthen ties with BRICS members. Notably, the group accounts for almost 31.5% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and functions as a check on Western geopolitical influence. Countries who want to join BRICS South Africa's BRICS ambassador, Anil Sooklal, confirmed that Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran, Argentina, Cuba, Nigeria, Venezuela, Thailand, and Vietnam were among the countries seeking to join the BRICS collective, Bloomberg reported. Separately, he said 22 countries have formally approached BRICS countries to become full members."There's an equal number of countries that have been informally asking about becoming BRICS members," Sooklal said. Member nations divided on expansion plans China and Russia are enthusiastic about expanding BRICS membership to boost their global influence.However, India and Brazil remain skeptical. India fears that their influence will be diluted and that the bloc will become China-dominated.Whereas Brazil argued that new members should be admitted transparently and based on a consensus among existing members. Reasons for countries wanting to join BRICS According to geopolitical analysts, BRICS is a globally influential bloc, with its member nations outperforming the Group of Seven (G7).The five existing BRICS countries account for almost 31.5% of global GDP, compared to 30.7% for the G7.Furthermore, with 3.14 billion people, BRICS nations account for 41% of the world's population.This obviously demonstrates the BRICS countries' power and importance, according to The Economist, adding that they are also considered a powerful counterweight to Western influence. New Development Bank's growing popularity, influence The New Development Bank (NDB), founded by BRICS in 2014, is another reason why countries are expressing a strong wish to join BRICS.Since its founding, the bank has financed nearly 100 projects worth $34 billion in core infrastructure sectors.This financing has attracted countries seeking alternative credit sources and serves as a counterweight to Western-dominated financial institutions like the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF). Expansion hurdles and BRICS' future prospects Despite the interest of many countries in joining BRICS, expansion remains uncertain due to differing opinions among current members.India and Brazil's concerns about transparency and maintaining a balanced approach may hinder the bloc's growth.The future of BRICS expansion will depend on finding common ground among its members and ensuring that the organization remains cohesive and effective. NewsBytes Source: Source Link:

  • Combating Visual Impairments: BCA Hosts Cataract Surgery Social Service in Puruk Cahu

    August 02, 2023. JAKARTA, Indonesia. Andi Kurniawan's determination led him to the RSUD Puruk Cahu, Murung Raya, Central Kalimantan, where a free cataract surgery was being conducted. Facing almost three months of difficulty in working, Andi Kurniawan's determination led him to the RSUD Puruk Cahu, Murung Raya, Central Kalimantan, where a free cataract surgery was being conducted. Riding his old motorcycle, Andi traveled alone from his residence in Mantiat Pari Village, about 1.5 hours away from the hospital, and successfully registered as a recipient of the free surgery. Being a husband and a father of three who depended on him became Andi's primary motivation to restore his vision to its former state. The free cataract surgery, organized by PT Bank Central Asia Tbk (BCA) and the Cataract Prevention Section of the Indonesian Association of Ophthalmologists (SPBK PERDAMI) at RSUD Puruk Cahu, was a rare opportunity for Andi and hundreds of other patients who attended on July 24-25, 2023. Andi was among the 157 recipients of free cataract surgery during this event. The majority of these patients, ranging in age from 30 to 70, are engaged in farming and gold mining. The patients enthusiastically welcomed this initiative because, besides being cost-free, they would otherwise need to undertake a journey of approximately 7-9 hours to receive proficient medical care in Palangkaraya City. "With this cataract surgery, I hope my vision can recover so that I can work again to provide for my wife and children at home," Andi shared after the operation. Cataracts are one of the most pressing eye health issues in Indonesia. According to PERDAMI's data, in 2017, there were 8 million people with visual impairments, including 1.6 million who were blind and 6.4 million with moderate to severe visual impairments. Of this total, 81.2% of visual impairments were caused by cataracts.[1]1 Recognizing this, BCA has been conducting cataract surgery activities regularly since 2001. As evidence of the consistent implementation of the Bakti BCA program in various locations across Indonesia, a total of 803 cataract surgeries were successfully performed last year. In the same year, through its affiliated clinics, BCA provided medical services to more than 15 thousand patients. Dicky Junaidi, the Head of BCA KCU Palangkaraya, stated, "As we know, there are many cataract patients in Indonesia, and this eye health issue has a significant impact on their lives. BCA is committed to helping the community achieve a better life through various activities, including conducting cataract surgery as part of social service. We hope this effort can improve the lives of cataract patients in Murung Raya Regency." Hera F. Haryn, EVP Corporate Communication & Social Responsibility at BCA, added, "Cataracts still remain a pressing eye disorder in Indonesia. Although it can be treated through surgery, not everyone has access to good healthcare facilities. Therefore, since 2001, BCA has collaborated with various parties, including SPBK PERDAMI, to reduce the number of blind patients due to cataracts by conducting cataract surgery as part of social service. Despite a pause in 2020 due to the pandemic, we have reached hundreds of patients beyond Java Island so far. We hope that the Bakti BCA program can expand to reach more regions, thus reducing the number of cataract patients in Indonesia." Picture Information: SPBK PERDAMI and Bakti BCA Successfully Perform Cataract Surgeries on 157 Patients - The implementation of the Cataract Surgery Social Service program at RSUD Puruk Cahu, Murung Raya, Central Kalimantan, was successful, with 157 cataract patients undergoing successful surgeries. Dicky Junaidi, Head of BCA KCU Palangkaraya (left), presents a memento to Deputy Regent of Murung Raya, Rejikinoor, symbolizing the commencement of the mass cataract surgery activities there. (i) Consistently Bringing New Light to Cataract Patients - PT Bank Central Asia Tbk (BCA), in collaboration with various parties including SPBK PERDAMI, has been working tirelessly to bring new light through cataract surgeries since 2001. Cataracts remain a significant health issue in Indonesia, with 8 million people suffering from visual impairments in 2017 alone. Of this number, 81.2% were caused by cataracts. Bakti BCA's contribution in Puruk Cahu, Murung Raya, Central Kalimantan, stands as evidence of the consistent effort to combat visual impairments. (ii) Preparing to Embrace New Light - Andi Kurniawan (30), one of the beneficiaries of the social service cataract surgery at RSUD Puruk Cahu, is getting ready before entering the operating room. Andi is one of the 157 patients who came from various villages in Murung Raya, Central Kalimantan. The limitations of specialized eye doctors and medical facilities in the area have resulted in enthusiastic local participation in one of Bakti BCA's initiatives. (iii) [1] indonesia.html About PT Bank Central Asia Tbk (as of 30 June 2023) BCA is one of the leading commercial banks in Indonesia with the core business of transaction banking. BCA also offers a full range of financial services in consumer, SME, commercial and corporate segments. As of March 2023, BCA has the privilege of serving more than 36 million customer accounts, processing around 77 million of daily transactions through a network of 1,247 branches; 18,348 ATMs as well as the 24-hour internet & mobile banking systems; supported by 24/7 Halo BCA contact center. BCA’s presence is complemented by a number of subsidiaries focusing on vehicle financing, sharia banking, securities, general and life insurance, digital bank, remittance as well as venture capital business. BCA is committed to building lasting relationship with customers, putting people first, and making positive impact on society at large. With around 25,000 employees, BCA's vision is to be the bank of choice and a major pillar of the Indonesia economy. PT BANK CENTRAL ASIA TBK Group Corporate Communication and Social Responsibility - CSR Corporate Communication Address:Jl. MH Thamrin No. 1 Menara BCA Lt. 22 Jakarta Pusat 10310 Telephone:(021) 2358-8000 Fax:(021) 2358-8339 Source Link:

  • Astroscale and New Zealand to Cooperate on Space Safety and Sustainability

    November 11th, 2021. TOKYO, Japan. The project will assess the mitigation strategy for up to three large debris objects with a single servicer in low Earth orbit and will aim to further demonstrate the viability of commercial debris removal while advancing the state of orbital sustainability. Astroscale Holdings Inc. (“Astroscale”), the market leader in satellite servicing and long-term orbital sustainability across all orbits, today announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with New Zealand’s Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment (“MBIE”) to cooperate on areas of space safety and sustainability, including debris mitigation and remediation, and on-orbit servicing in general. The collaboration is focused on partnership in projects and activities that support long-term space sustainability, including joint technology development and research. To initiate these efforts, Astroscale and MBIE have identified an initial project in collaboration with Rocket Lab and Te Pūnaha Ātea–Auckland Space Institute, which will define the engineering requirements, policy challenges and associated costs for multi-active debris removal missions with clients that require direct re-entry due to survivability of components. The project will assess the mitigation strategy for up to three large debris objects with a single servicer in low Earth orbit and will aim to further demonstrate the viability of commercial debris removal while advancing the state of orbital sustainability. [ Astroscale & MBIE Virtual Signing Ceremony on November 11, 2021 ] “Space sustainability is a global concern that requires international collaboration between industry and government. This partnership with the Government of New Zealand underscores the potential to advance the technical, regulatory and business case solutions needed to solve this challenging problem,” said Chris Blackerby, Group COO of Astroscale. “Astroscale and the Government of New Zealand share a vision for improved space situational awareness and developing on-orbit servicing. We prioritize safety and collaboration in support of the rapidly growing orbital economy and are thrilled to join forces to explore new opportunities for sustainable growth.” “Astroscale’s cutting-edge technology, combined with their approach to space sustainability matches perfectly with our values as a nation. For New Zealand this creates new commercial opportunities, and builds the skills and capability of our people,” said Paul Stocks, Deputy Secretary Labour, Science and Enterprise of MBIE. “This partnership underlines our approach to the use of space – partnering with the best firms and researchers, to solve big global challenges and enable ground-breaking research and development. We look forward to working with Astroscale to develop and expand the New Zealand space industry, and continue to explore new opportunities for collaboration.” [ L-R: Joe McKay, Manager, Strategic Partnership, Paul Stocks, Deputy Secretary Labour, Science and Enterprise, and Kjesten Wiig, Director Innovative Partnerships ] Source Link:

  • WastedStudios

    Founded 2016. MUNCHEN, Germany. Indie game-dev studio located in Munich, GER. Focus on innovative tech. We are creating stunning story-driven games and experiences using innovative technologies like photogrammetry and virtual reality devices. We are experienced developing with major engines (Unity3D, CRYENGINE and Unreal Engine) for major platforms (PC, Consoles, Mobile, Virtual- and Mixed Reality) Source Link:


    PARIS, France. LES SECRETS DE L’UTILISATION EFFICACE DE L’IA POUR LES DÉVELOPPEURS Introduction : Artificial intelligence (AI) raises many questions about its impact on the developer profession. However, rather than completely replacing developers, AI today positions itself as a valuable personal assistant, capable of enhancing their production in various ways. In this article, we'll explore four ways you can use AI as a developer, including to fix and optimize code, write code faster, provide development insights, and build programming knowledge. We'll also discuss the current limitations of AI in development and trends and insights for developers. Will the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) make the developer profession obsolete? The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) raises many questions about the future of the developer profession. Some wonder if AI will eventually completely replace human developers. Although AI is capable of automating some development tasks, it is unlikely to fully replace developers. In reality, AI is seen more as a support and collaboration tool for developers, allowing them to work more efficiently and explore new possibilities. Human-machine collaboration has become essential in the field of software development, where human skills and AI intelligence complement each other. So rather than supplanting developers, AI offers new insights and drives innovation in this ever-evolving field. How can artificial intelligence (AI) be used as a personal assistant to improve production? AI is designed to assist developers in their projects by allowing them to save time and fill in certain gaps. It can provide suggestions to improve the code and design of an app or website, optimize performance, and even automatically generate code from templates and specs. Additionally, AI is used to improve user searches, generate quality documentation, and provide custom chatbots for developers. #Fixing and optimizing code: AI technologies help detect potential errors in code and recommend changes to avoid security, performance or compliance issues. Tools like DeepCode use AI to analyze code and offer suggestions for improvements, allowing developers to fix and optimize their code in real time. This reduces the chance of bugs and improves overall code quality. #Faster code writing: One of the most common uses of AI in programming is to automate source code production. AI code generators help developers write code faster and more efficiently by suggesting code blocks or code completions in real time. Tools like GitHub Copilot and the TabNine auto-completion plugin offer accurate, personalized code suggestions based on developers' coding style. #Have development leads: AI technologies, including GPT chatbots, can help developers see things from a different perspective by providing them with different insights and perspectives on a given topic. They can provide development leads, advice, and innovative ideas to solve specific problems, which can boost developer creativity and efficiency. #Learning and consolidation of knowledge in programming: Chatbots such as ChatGPT offer developers the opportunity to learn and consolidate their programming knowledge. With their advanced understanding of programming languages ​​such as C++, Java, and Python, these chatbots can answer developer questions and provide code examples, step-by-step explanations, and learning resources. They can also help developers keep up to date with the latest programming trends and practices. What are the limits of artificial intelligence (AI) when applied to software development? Despite its advantages, AI still has some limitations in the field of development. For example, she may struggle to understand the overall context of a project or to take into account the specific preferences of a developer. Additionally, AI can struggle when faced with complex problems that require deep domain understanding or human creativity. Therefore, AI should be used as a complementary tool rather than a complete replacement for the role of the developer. AI trends and insights for developers: As AI continues to advance, new opportunities arise for developers. For example, machine learning and deep learning are burgeoning fields that enable developers to build smarter and more adaptive applications. Additionally, the integration of AI into the realms of virtual and augmented reality offers exciting new possibilities for developers. It is therefore essential for developers to stay up to date with the latest trends and learn new skills to take advantage of these emerging opportunities. Conclusion : AI is a powerful tool that can improve developer output in many aspects. From fixing code and writing faster, to providing development leads and strengthening programming knowledge, AI is a valuable assistant for developers. However, it is important to recognize its current limitations and use it as a complement to human skills and creativity. With emerging trends and promising prospects, developers can leverage artificial intelligence to improve their work and embrace the technological future. Source Link:


    2nd-3rd December 2023. MANCHESTER, UK. Our next sci-fi convention promises to be just as amazing with a plethora of guests for you to get photographs with throughout the whole weekend of science fiction fun! Our 2019 convention was our fifth birthday special and featured special guests Karl Urban, Jon Bernthal, Dolph Lundgren, Danny Glover, Peter Weller, Stranger Things star Charlie Heaton, Warwick Davis, Ray Park, Sam Jones and Brian Blessed, Spencer Wilding and more all of whom were delighted to spend time chatting to fans and signing autographs! Our next sci-fi convention promises to be just as amazing with a plethora of guests for you to get photographs with throughout the whole weekend of science fiction fun! We also had a fantastic series of amazing film prop replicas as well including our full sized Colonial Viper from the mighty Battlestar Galactica science fiction TV show, the screen-used Lawmaster from the 2012 film DREDD, a lounge set with alphabet wall from the hit Netflix sci-fi horror TV show Stranger Things, The Powerloader from Aliens, the mighty Hammerstein from ABC Warriors, and the amazing ED-209 from the original Robocop movie! In December 2022 we returned after 2 years away for the 6th For the Love of Sci-Fi! Guests included action legends Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren, Dr. Strange star Mads Mikkelsen, the one and only Anthony Daniels, The Orville star Adrianne Palicki, Stranger Things stars Dacre Montgomery, Cara Buono, Mason Dye, and Randy Havens, Maze Runner and Guardians of the Galaxy 3 star Will Poulter, The Mandalorian star Omid Abtahi, Rogue One star Guy Henry, The Phantom Menace star Hugh Quarshie, The Empire Strikes Back stars Julian Glover and Richard Oldfield, Back to the Future stars James Tolkan, Don Fullilove, Harry Waters Jnr. and Claudia Wells, Metal Gear Solid voice actor David Hayter, and Dmitrious Bistrevsky from Obi-Wan Kenobi! We smashed it out of the park with one of our best ever events yet! The next For the Love of Sci-Fi runs from 2nd-3rd December 2023, stay tuned to find out more. Source Link:

  • Bank of America Refinances Gabon Sovereign Debt for Nature and Ocean Conservation

    August 15, 2023. LONDON, England. Bank of America announces the completion of the first ‘Debt-for-Nature’ transaction in Continental Africa and Africa’s first ever involving private creditors to refinance $500 million of Gabon’s sovereign debt. The new funding will enable Gabon to contribute $125 million to support ocean conservation. The transaction is Africa’s largest debt refinancing for ocean conservation to date and represents the highest amount of new debt raised for a project supported by The Nature Conservancy (“TNC”) Bank of America announces the completion of the first ever debt-for-nature transaction in Continental Africa to refinance $500 million of sovereign debt of the Gabonese Republic (“Gabon”). The transaction will enable the country to contribute $125 million in new funding for ocean conservation, supporting their commitment to protect 30 percent of its lands, freshwater systems, and ocean by 2030. Ocean health is critical to the world economy and the global communities who rely on it to survive. According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development, the sustainable ocean economy is nearly $3 trillion, roughly 3 to 5 percent of the global GDP. The challenges faced by our marine ecosystem are recognized by the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as Goal 14, which aims to conserve and sustainably use the ocean, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. Blue bonds are debt instruments, issued by governments and development banks to raise capital from investors to finance marine and ocean-based projects that have positive environmental, economic and climate benefits. Similarly, a Blue Loan is a loan where the proceeds are dedicated to finance or refinance activities that contribute to ocean protection. Bank of America acted as Sole Initial Purchaser, Structuring Agent and Bookrunner on the $500 million issuance, marking the start of what will be a 15-year-long conservation and refinancing project for Gabon. As part of the transaction, Bank of America also acted as Sole Dealer Manager for a tender offer using the proceeds raised from the new Blue Bond issuance used to repurchase a portion of Gabon’s existing sovereign U.S. dollar-denominated Eurobonds. The payments by Gabon will be partially used to fund contributions to an independent Conservation Fund (with TNC as the project manager and technical advisor) and pay into an endowment that will continue to fund conservation after the bonds are repaid. The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is providing political risk insurance for the Blue Loan to Gabon, which enhances the credit rating of the bond issuance and provides debt relief for Gabon over the next 15 years. This deal also represents the highest amount of new debt raised for a TNC-sponsored project. “As the first debt-for-nature transaction in Continental Africa, this transaction demonstrates Bank of America’s commitment to sustainable finance and our ability to innovate for our clients. We are encouraged by the enthusiastic response from the global investor community and hope this transaction will serve as a blueprint that can be scaled for other countries interested in improving the sustainability of their debt, while putting global capital to work in enhancing natural capital,” said Paul M. Donofrio, vice chair of Bank of America. H.E President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon said: “The launch of Gabon’s Blue Bond is an important moment, giving us hope that green or blue financial mechanisms will grow significantly in coming years and help countries like Gabon, who effectively protect critical ecosystems whilst also growing our economies. All too often talk of these new mechanisms to reward countries like my own remain just that. In this case, thanks to the work of our partner, Bank of America, The Nature Conservancy, and the US International Development Finance Corporation, we have made it a reality. I call on Developed Nations and our Multilateral Banks to multiply these sorts of initiatives, which could make a significant contribution to addressing the critical challenges of Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss." “As a global financial services organization, we are committed to helping lead our clients towards a more sustainable future by developing innovative investments that put global capital to work,” said Bernard Mensah, President of International at Bank of America. “We are proud to be partnering with TNC, DFC and the Gabonese Republic, to contribute to the growing blue bond market and ultimately increase the speed and scalability of future blended conservation deals.” “The Nature Conservancy’s Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation program is an ambitious plan that aligns with national and international commitments to scale up ocean conservation around the world and address urgent biodiversity loss through improved ocean management”, said Jennifer Morris, CEO of The Nature Conservancy. “Gabon is the fourth Blue Bonds project for us and combines finance with science and marine planning expertise to help governments reach their conservation and climate goals while also supporting the well-being of their people and economies. Working with Bank of America, we are helping Gabon to ensure protection and management for 30 percent of its ocean – which brings us one step closer to TNC’s bold goal to conserve nearly 10 billion acres of ocean by 2030.” “DFC’s political risk insurance provided critical support for this historic transaction, helping to mobilize capital from institutional investors and catalyze additional investment in Gabon’s marine conservation efforts,” said DFC CEO Scott Nathan. “We are proud to contribute to this kind of innovative financing in Continental Africa, having supported similar efforts in Central and South America. The Gabon Blue Bond will generate nearly $125 million in financing for new marine conservation efforts over the next 15 years, advancing critical conservation goals, protecting endangered species, and supporting the country’s sustainable ‘blue economy.’ Like previous transactions DFC has supported in Belize and Ecuador, the Gabon Blue Bond illustrates how DFC can effectively lift the credit-profile of a bond issuance to deepen capital markets. We are proud to have partnered on this transformative transaction.” In 2020 Bank of America set a goal to mobilize and deploy $1.5 trillion by 2030 to advance the sustainable development goals (SDGs) 193 countries agreed to in 2015, with $1 trillion of that focused on helping clients transition to a low-carbon future. From 2021 through 2022, we mobilized and deployed a cumulative total of $410 billion in sustainable finance, with more than $235 billion of that focused on helping drive affordable clean energy and related priorities. This transaction showcases a model of how to raise conservation funding that promotes sustainable development while simultaneously helping to achieve national development priorities, including the sustainable development and growth of Gabon’s marine economy. Bank of America Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 68 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 3,900 retail financial centers, approximately 15,000 ATMs and award-winning digital banking with approximately 57 million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Reporters may contact: Gaël Gunubu, Bank of America Phone: 00442079965625 Sheryl Lee, Bank of America Phone: 1.657.234.9950 Source Link:


    4 August 2023. KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia. The limited review must be performed by the company’s external auditors for four quarterly reports commencing no later from the quarterly report for the financial period ended (FPE) 30 September 2023. Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad [Registration No.: 200301033577 (635998-W)] (Bursa Malaysia Securities) has publicly reprimanded Eksons Corporation Berhad (EKSONS) for breach of paragraph 9.35A(1)(a) of the Main Market Listing Requirements (Main LR) for failing to ensure that the company’s fourth quarterly report for the financial year ended (FYE) 31 March 2022 (QR March 2022) announced on 30 May 2022 took into account the adjustments stated in the company’s announcement dated 29 July 2022 (Adjustments). EKSONS was also required to carry out a limited review of the company’s quarterly report submissions. The limited review must be performed by the company’s external auditors for four quarterly reports commencing no later from the quarterly report for the financial period ended (FPE) 30 September 2023. In addition, EKSONS must review and assess the adequacy and effectiveness of its financial reporting. While Bursa Malaysia Securities had not found any of EKSONS’ directors to have caused or permitted the breach by the company, Bursa Malaysia Securities wishes to highlight and remind that it is the duty of the directors to maintain appropriate standards of responsibility and accountability in ensuring compliance of the Main LR. The Board of Directors of EKSONS at the material time of the announcement of the QR March 2022 was as follows:- (a) Tan Sri Datuk Amar (Dr) Haji Abdul Aziz bin Dato Haji Hussain (b) Tay Hua Sin (c) Dato’ Philip Chan Hon Keong (d) Nik A. Majid bin Mohd. Kamil (e) Hew Mei Ying The finding of breach and imposition of the above penalty on EKSONS was made pursuant to paragraph 16.19(1) of the Main LR upon completion of due process after taking into consideration all facts and circumstances of the matter including the materiality of the breach and impact of the breach to EKSONS and its shareholders/investors and the fact that EKSONS had previously committed a similar breach in respect of the company’s announcement of its fourth quarterly report for the FPE 31 December 2014 which was subsequently amended on 28 May 2015. Bursa Malaysia Securities views the breach seriously as the requirement for listed companies to submit financial statements that are factual, clear, unambiguous, accurate, succinct and contains sufficient information to enable investors to make informed decisions are fundamental obligations of listed companies and of paramount importance in ensuring an orderly and fair market for the securities traded on Bursa Malaysia Securities and necessary to aid informed investment decisions. BACKGROUND EKSONS had reported an unaudited loss attributable to owners of the company of RM10,206,000 in the QR March 2022 announced on 30 May 2022. However, EKSONS had subsequently reported an audited loss attributable to owners of the company of RM15,448,000 in the audited financial statements for the FYE 31 March 2022 (AFS 2022) announced on 29 July 2022 which represented a difference of RM5,242,000 between the QR March 2022 and AFS 2022. The deviation was mainly due to the following – • the QR March 2022 omitted an additional investment sum made in securities amounting to RM10.7 million, which was not accounted for as an unrealised loss in investment arising from an accounting error by the company; and • the reduction in impairment for the inventories held by the company by RM7.1 million from the RM9.5 million provided in the QR March 2022, based on the valuation performed by a professional valuer subsequent to the issuance of the QR March 2022. - End - About Bursa Malaysia Bursa Malaysia is an exchange holding company incorporated in 1976 and listed in 2005, and has grown to be one of the largest bourses in ASEAN today. Bursa Malaysia operates and regulates a fully-integrated exchange offering a comprehensive range of exchange-related facilities, and is committed to Creating Opportunities, Growing Value. Learn more at For media enquiries, please connect with the Group Strategic Communications team: Ashraff Taharem DID: +603 2034 7348 +6019 269 0049 E-mail: Lailatul Fitriyah DID: +603 2034 7280 +6011 2324 0230 E-mail:

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