TRUMP WINS NEVADA CAUCUS
Donald Trump has won the Nevada caucus with a comfortable margin (45.9% of the votes) over his nearest Republican rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, according to results reported this morning by The Washington Post. This third consecutive win by the American billionaire, after victories in New Hampshire and South Carolina, cements his lead in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. Marco Rubio finished second with 23.8% of votes, followed by Ted Cruz with 21.5% of votes. â€œWe're winning, winning, winning the country, and soon the country is going to start winning, winning, winning,â€ Trump said in his victory speech, in which he also expressed his love for the â€œpoorly educated,â€ as CNN reports.
GUANTANAMO CLOSING PLAN ANNOUNCED
President Barack Obama revealed a blueprint yesterday to close the controversial Guantanamo prison in Cuba and urged lawmakers to support it, The Washington Post reports. â€œThis is about closing a chapter in our history,â€ he said from the White House. The plan will move as many as 60 prisoners to prisons on U.S. soil. This was immediately condemned by lawmakers. Arizona Senator John McCain described the plan as â€œa vague menu of options, not a credible plan for closing Guantanamo, let alone a coherent policy to deal with future terrorist detainees.â€
NEPAL PLANE CRASH KILLS 23
A plane crash in western Nepal early this morning has killed all 23 people on board, The Himalayan Times reports. The twin-engined plane, operated by Tara Air, was travelling from the town of Pokhara to Jomsom. The control tower lost contact with the aircraft shortly after taking off. Most of the victims were Nepali, but a Chinese woman and a Kuwaiti man were also among the 20 passengers on the flight along with the three crew members.
NEW RISKS THAT ZIKA IS SPREADING BY SEX
U.S. health authorities announced yesterday they were investigating 14 new cases of the Zika virus that were possibly sexually transmitted, The New York Times reports. The reports concern women, some pregnant, who have not travelled to Latin America, where the virus has largely spreaded, but whose male partners have. Scientists say sexual transmission of the Zika virus is extremely rare, but if these cases are confirmed, this mass outbreak could be even more serious than previously thought.
"That day, I thought: "Even the Good Lord has abandoned me"," the soon-to-be former president of FIFA Sepp Blatter told the French sports daily Sepp-blatter-ce-jour-la-je-me-suis-dit-meme-le-bon-dieu-m-a-abandonne">Lâ€™Equipe in an interview published today, referring to May 27, 2015. That day, Swiss police, cooperating with the FBI, raided a hotel in Zurich and arrested seven top FIFA executives, eventually leading to Blatterâ€™s suspension. In the interview, which was published ahead of Fridayâ€™s election of the new president of FIFA, Blatter also tackles the former head of UEFA and would-be successor Michel Platini, who, along with the 79-year-old Swiss, was banned from any FIFA activity for eight years. â€œHeâ€™s always been a spoiled child,â€ Blatter said. â€œPeople have carried him, heâ€™s never had to fight.â€
REFERENDUM BLOCKS MORALES AMBITIONS
With 51% voting against a referendum to change the constitution, Bolivian President Evo Morales has been blocked from seeking a fourth term in office in 2019. Read more in our Extra! feature.
ON THIS DAY
From Iran to Cuba, time for todayâ€™s 57-second shot of history.
LIBYA: MIGRANTS AND WAR
- The Italian navy said it rescued at least 731 migrants on six boats and found four bodies yesterday off the Libyan coast, the daily La Repubblica reports. More than 6,700 people have arrived in Italy via Libya since the beginning of the year.
- Meanwhile, a senior French official has confirmed to Le Monde that France is running covert operations on Libyan soil. Read more about it here, Exclusive: Franceâ€™s Clandestine "Precursor" Operations In Libya.
Photo: Federico Gambarini/DPA/ZUMA
Millions of people around the world will have to do without â€œfun-sizeâ€ Mars bars, Snickers, Milky Ways and Celebrations for a short while, after a German consumer found a small piece of red plastic in one of the products. In a statement , the company said it was recalling such products in 55 countries. The measure luckily doesnâ€™t concern regular-sized chocolate bars.
The consequences can be catastrophic when cyber criminals blackmail hospitals. Experts are warning hospitals that they're not doing enough to protect their patientsâ€™ data, Die Welt reports: â€œThese incidents give rise to fear of a particular kind, cyber threats worthy of a science fiction drama: the evil pharmaceutical company that steals patientsâ€™ data for their own benefit; the faceless criminals that steal data of famous patients to blackmail them for millions; the hackers able to turn respiratory or anaesthetic machines off via remotely controlled programs. â€˜Data protection is not present in many of our hospitals,â€™ says Karl Lauterbach, spokesperson for health policies of Germany's Social Democratic party. â€˜It is actually surprising that nothing major has happened yet.â€™â€
Read the full article, Cyber Attacks On Hospitals, A New Kind Of Deadly Virus.
MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD
A London rail line is set to be renamed the â€œElizabeth Line.â€ For Elizabeth Line, who works for a publisher in New York, it was a nice surprise to see herself trending on Twitter. Perhaps the Queen should to turn to Snapchat.
Long perceived as a country chasing Western tech, China's business and technological innovations are now influencing the rest of the world. Still lagging on some fronts, the future is now up for grabs.
BEIJING — China's tech tycoons have fallen out of favor: Jack Ma (Alibaba), Colin Huang (Pinduoduo), Richard Liu (Tencent) and Zhang Yiming (ByteDance) have all been pressured by Beijing to leave their jobs or step back from a public role. Their time may be coming to an end, but the legacy remains exceptional. Under their reign, China has become a veritable window to the global future of technology.
TikTok is the perfect example. Launched in 2016, the video messaging app has been downloaded over two billion times worldwide. It has passed the 100-million active user mark in the United States. Thanks to TikTok's success, ByteDance, its parent company, has reached an exceptional level of influence on the internet.
For a long time, the West viewed China's digital ecosystem as a cheap imitation of Silicon Valley. The European and American media described the giants of the Asian superpower as the "Chinese Google" or "Chinese Amazon." But the tables have turned.
No Western equivalent to WeChat
The Asian superpower has forged cutting-edge business models that do not exist elsewhere. It is impossible to find a Western equivalent to the WeChat super-app (1.2 billion users), which is used for shopping as much as for making a medical appointment or obtaining credit.
The flow of innovation is now changing direction.
The roles have actually reversed: In a recent article, Les Echos describes the California-based social network IRL, as a "WeChat of the Western world."
Grégory Boutté, digital and customer relations director at the multinational luxury group Kering, explains, "The Chinese digital ecosystem is incredibly different, and its speed of evolution is impressive. Above all, the flow of innovation is now changing direction."
This is illustrated by the recent creation of "live shopping" events in France, which are hosted by celebrities and taken from a concept already popular in China.
10,000 new startups per day
There is an explosion of this phenomenon in the digital sphere. Rachel Daydou, Partner & China General Manager of the consulting firm Fabernovel in Shanghai, says, "With Libra, Facebook is trying to create a financial entity based on social media, just as WeChat did with WeChat Pay. Facebook Shop looks suspiciously like WeChat's mini-programs. Amazon Live is inspired by Taobao Live and YouTube Shopping by Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of TikTok."
In China, it is possible to go to fully robotized restaurants or to give a panhandler some change via mobile payment. Your wallet is destined to be obsolete because your phone can read restaurant menus and pay for your meal via a QR Code.
The country uses shared mobile chargers the way Europeans use bicycles, and is already testing electric car battery swap stations to avoid 30 minutes of recharging time.
Michael David, chief omnichannel director at LVMH, says, "The Chinese ecosystem is permanently bubbling with innovation. About 10,000 start-ups are created every day in the country."
China is also the most advanced country in the electric car market. With 370 models at the end of 2020, it had an offering that was almost twice as large as Europe's, according to the International Energy Agency.
China's super-app WeChat
The whole market runs on tech
Luca de Meo, CEO of French automaker Renault, said in June that China is "ahead of Europe in many areas, whether it's electric cars, connectivity or autonomous driving. You have to be there to know what's going on."
As a market, China is also a source of technological inspiration for Western companies, a world leader in e-commerce, solar, mobile payments, digital currency and facial recognition. It has the largest 5G network, with more than one million antennas up and running, compared to 400,000 in Europe.
Self-driving cars offer an interesting point of divergence between China and the West.
Just take the number of connected devices (1.1 billion), the time spent on mobile (six hours per day) and, above all, the magnitude of data collected to deploy and improve artificial intelligence algorithms faster than in Europe or the United States.
The groundbreaking field of self-driving cars offers an interesting point of divergence between China and the West. Artificial intelligence guru Kai-Fu Lee explains that China believes that we should teach the highway to speak to the car, imagining new services and rethinking cities to avoid cars crossing pedestrians, while the West does not intend to go that far.
Still lagging in some key sectors
There are areas where China is still struggling, such as semiconductors. Despite a production increase of nearly 50% per year, the country produces less than 40% of the chips it consumes, according to official data. This dependence threatens its ambitions in artificial intelligence, telecoms and autonomous vehicles. Chinese manufacturers work with an engraving fineness of 28 nm or more, far from those of Intel, Samsung or TSMC. They are unable to produce processors for high-performance PCs.
China's aerospace industry is also lagging behind the West. There are also no Chinese players among the top 20 life science companies on the stock market and there are doubts surrounding the efficacy of Sinovac and Sinopharm's COVID-19 vaccines. As of 2019, the country files more patents per year than the U.S., but far fewer are converted into marketable products.
Beijing knows its weaknesses and is working to eliminate them. Adopted in March, the nation's 14th five-year plan calls for a 7% annual increase in R&D spending between now and 2025, compared with 12% under the previous plan. Big data aside, that is basic math anyone can understand.
- Good And Evil Uses Of Facial Recognition Around The Globe ... ›
- Can Artificial Intelligence Solve China's Demographic Crisis ... ›
- Billionaire Surveillance: China Tracks Its Tech Moguls - Worldcrunch ›