EXCEL and Petróleos Internacionales del Caribe Announce Signing of Strategic EPC Partnership for PIC Americas

HOUSTON, July 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — EXCEL ("EXCEL") Petrleos Internacionales del Caribe ("PIC") and its operating division in Mexico, Petrleos Internacionales del Caribe Inc., Sucursal Mxico ("PICMEX") jointly announced today the signing of a Strategic Engineering, Procurement and Construction Partnership, "Exclusive Agreement" with PIC for the engineering, procurement and construction of PIC's key Export Facilities in Houston, TX together with GLM compressed storage systems for various fuels and key gas pipelines forward positions for the required fueling elements for its Maritime and Terrestrial Operations. The operations will be vital to the US, the Americas and the United Mexican States with PIC one of kind solutions with its other key partnerships.

The Strategic EPC Partnership between PIC and EXCEL represents a significant investment milestone in the commercialization of the export facilities and receiving terminals, as it signals the commencement of project specific pre–FEED (Front End Engineering Design) studies by PIC for the delivery of its maritime and terrestrial operations that will ensure uninterrupted shipments by PIC and its other global partnerships for decades to come.

These studies will cover the design of the production and export terminals, receiving terminals and plants, along with the Fleet that will be built to transport and deliver fuel to PIC's markets in Mexico and throughout the Americas. Following completion of the pre–FEED studies and Final Investment Decision (FID) by PIC and EXCEL, PIC and its consortium partners will undertake the FEED for final design and construction for the projects in Mexico that PIC has positioned thus far with its consortium partners.

"EXCEL is very proud to be partners with such a great organization like PIC and being the chosen EPC for PIC's state of the art facilities and pipelines," said Jason Hardwick, President of EXCEL Midstream Solutions.

"EXCEL is pleased to enter this partnership and will provide the very best Engineering, Procurement and Construction services," said Dave Roberts, Chairman and CEO of EXCEL USA.

"These projects will provide Mexico, and other countries in Central and South America, and the Americas with affordable fuels and power, as well as significant carbon emissions reductions, a key component in achieving sustainability and balanced for PIC and its Partner. We are excited to take this significant step with EXCEL," said Michael Hood, CEO of PIC. "Through this exclusive operational partnership, PIC and EXCEL will accelerate commercialization of the Export Facilities to help meet the fuel supply and electricity needs of PIC's customers in Mexico and throughout the Americas and abroad, while substituting higher–emission fuels to continue driving down emissions towards a greener brighter future. In addition to the thousands of new employment opportunities, this export operation will bring forth to the Great State of Texas over the next decade.”

About Petrleos Internacionales del Caribe and Petrleos Internacionales del Caribe Inc., Sucursal Mxico
Petrleos Internacionales del Caribe ("PIC") is a global company based in the USA. The company develops and operates a variety strategic related operations with its key partnerships. Petrleos Internacionales del Caribe Inc., Sucursal Mxico ("PICMEX") is an affiliate of PIC and is headquartered in Mexico. For more information, please visit www.pic–sas.com.

EXCEL is a premier provider of full service civil, structural, mechanical, fabrication, electrical and instrumentation engineering, construction, and maintenance services, as well as disaster recovery services. EXCEL has a long successful history of managing and meeting the challenging schedules and budgets of projects of all sizes, and we are consistently recognized for our exemplary safety record and work quality. Our experience, breadth of projects, dedication to safety, and excellent corporate culture help us attract and retain the most highly skilled team of craft and supervisors available to serve our clients' needs. For more information, please visit www.excelusa.com and www.excelmidstream.com.

Hannah Stocking Boards Cast of Ryan Kavanaugh’s Production ‘SKILL HOUSE’ Alongside Bryce Hall, 50 Cent, Neal McDonough, Paige VanZant, and More

LOS ANGELES, July 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ryan Kavanaugh's Proxima Media announced that internet personality and actor, Hannah Stocking has joined the cast of upcoming horror flick, SKILL HOUSE. The film stars social media phenomenon and TikTok star, Bryce Hall and features UFC veteran, BKFC and AEW star Paige VanZant, and global hip–hop icon, 50 Cent, who is also serving as a producer through his G–Unit Film & Television as well as Neal McDonough who most recently had major roles in Yellowstone, The Arrow, The Flash, Residential Evil, Van Helsing, and many others.

The first installment in the R–rated next–level horror film franchise, SKILL HOUSE is a saw–like take that breaks into the phenomenon of social media fame and culture, SKILL HOUSE offers an unflinching depiction of "clout" and explores the new phenomenon of "influencers", their fame and what they are willing to do to attain it. The Los Angeles–based film, which is being primarily shot in the original “Sway House,” looks at the world of social media and pushes the limits when “clicks” and “clout” become life or death literally, with Emmy–winning special effects artist Steve Johnson (GHOSTBUSTERS, BICENTENNIAL MAN, SPIDER–MAN 2) delivering some of the most realistic guts and gore fans have seen.

Hannah Stocking is a multi–talented creator, internet personality, actor, and host whose meteoric rise in digital entertainment, and eventual crossover into traditional media, has been spearheaded by her unique brand of comedy, one that is often elevated by a blend of humor and science content and now boasts over 50 million followers combined across all of her platforms. Stocking's credits include Tyler Perry's no. 1 movie BOO 2! A MADEA HALLOWEEN and SATANIC PANIC. She has also starred in an episode of Stories From Our Future, a series of shorts produced in collaboration with Netflix's Black Mirror and has even appeared in music videos including Hard 2 Face Reality by Poo Bear ft. Justin Bieber, and Electronica as well as Find Me by Marshmello.

"Just as this film is the first of a new genre of horror, social media personalities like Bryce and Hannah are a new genre of celebrity. We are breaking creative boundaries and career boundaries here," explains director Josh Stolberg. "Hannah has dynamic talent and encompasses everything this project is about – internet fame and the evolution in the entertainment industry. We are thrilled to have her joining our cast."

The project is financed and controlled by Proxima Media, owned and operated by Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony nominated mega–producer Ryan Kavanaugh. It is written and directed by horror film legend Josh Stolberg, co–writer of horror films such as SPIRAL: FROM THE BOOK OF SAW (starring Chris Rock and Samuel L Jackson), JIGSAW, PIRANHA 3D, SORORITY ROW, as well as the next SAW film (tentatively titled SAW X). Through his G–Unit Film & Television, Jackson will also produce alongside Kavanaugh, Alex Baskin, and Lifeboat Productions' Amy Kim and Jaime Burke. Daniel Herther, who oversees production and creative development at Proxima, will serve as executive producer alongside Jason Barhydt and Bobby Sarnevesht.

Additional cast includes Leah Pipes (SORORITY ROW, The Originals), McCarrie McCausland (Army Wives, The Originals), Ivan Leung (THE TENDER BAR, All American, Grey's Anatomy), John DeLuca (Spree, American Horror Story), and Caitlin Carmichael (MIDNIGHT IN THE SWITCHGRASS, EPIPHANY).

For more information and all the latest on SKILL HOUSE, follow along on Instagram (@skillhousemovie), Twitter (@skillhousemovie), and TikTok (@skillhousemovie).

About Hannah Stocking
Hannah Stocking is a multi–talented creator, actress, and host whose meteoric rise in digital entertainment, and eventual crossover into traditional media, has been spearheaded by her unique brand of comedy, one that is often elevated by a blend of humor and science content. A social media powerhouse, she boasts over 50 million followers combined across all of her platforms, including 7.8 million subscribers on YouTube. Her YouTube channel, which amassed one million subscribers in less than five months, has accumulated 2.1 billion lifetime views with an array of content. She has also amassed over 26 million followers on TikTok and 22 million followers on Instagram.

Stocking regularly pulls from her background as a double major in chemistry and biology to insert an extra element into her content. Stocking has employed this signature style when developing several original science–based series. She, most notably, teamed up with ATTN: to create a series of informative videos that presented everyday concepts, such as crash dieting and the teenage brain, in an easily accessible and entertaining manner.

Her talent and charisma shine in traditional mediums, as much as they do online. She joined E! News as a guest correspondent for their coverage of the 2017 Grammy awards. She made her big–screen debut in Tyler Perry's no. 1 movie BOO 2! A MADEA HALLOWEEN and followed it up by landing a role in the 2019 Chelsea Stardust–directed SATANIC PANIC. She also starred in an episode of Stories From Our Future, a series of shorts produced in collaboration with Netflix's Black Mirror.

Her career has earned her outstanding features from PAPER Magazine, GQ Thailand, Modeliste Magazine, and other publications for her ability to express herself through beauty and fashion as a digital creator and entertainer. She was honored with the Women's Entrepreneurship Day's Pioneer Award, the first digital creator to earn the distinction.

Stocking is managed by John Shahidi and Sam Shahidi of Shots Studios.

About Josh Stolberg
Josh Stolberg is a writer, director, and producer responsible for some of the most popular horror films today, including JIGSAW, PIRANHA 3D, SORORITY ROW, and most recently, SPIRAL. He has written films for Netflix, Disney, Lionsgate, and more. He is currently writing a Dwayne Johnson actioner at Netflix as well as the next installment of the popular Saw franchise.

About Lifeboat Productions
Amy Kim and Jaime Burke are award–winning producers with over 20 years of diverse experience. They have produced original content for all the leading streamers and studios with their most recent credits, including the upcoming series Surfside Girls for Apple+ and Amazon's Undone. Kim got her producing start with the Academy Award Winning Short Film, WEST BANK STORY and served as Head of Production for Michael Eisner's digital studio Vuguru before forming Lifeboat Productions with Jaime Burke in 2012. Burke started her film–producing career with such titles as THE POSSESSION OF MICHAEL KING and the indie horror classic, THE PACT. This is their second collaboration with writer/director Josh Stolberg.

About Proxima and Ryan Kavanaugh
Founder of Proxima Media, the controlling shareholder of Triller, Ryan Kavanaugh is one of the most accomplished, prolific, and honored executives in entertainment industry history. Using an intelligent model of film finance, he was dubbed the creator of “Moneyball for movies.” He produced, distributed, and/or structured financing for more than 200 films, generating more than $20 billion in worldwide box office revenue and earning 60 Oscar nominations. He is the 25th highest–grossing film producer of all time. His productions include Fast and Furious 2–6, 300, Social Network, Limitless, Fighter, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, and Mama Mia! Kavanaugh and Proxima pioneered an innovative finance deal for post–bankruptcy Marvel, making the studio and finance structure that led to Marvel Cinematic Universe. He built the SVOD (streaming) category with Netflix, which boosted that company's market capitalization from $2 to $10 billion. Kavanaugh is the co–founder of Triller, one of the three fastest–growing social media apps. He recently led the acquisition, merger, and re–launch of the social media and music app.

He also created the powerhouse television company, now known as Critical Content, producing hit shows like Catfish on MTV and Limitless on CBS, which he sold for $200M. The company had 40 television series across 19 networks before its sale. Kavanaugh has earned several achievements and awards, from Variety's Producer of the Year Award to The Hollywood Reporter's Leadership Award, from Fortune's 40 Under 40 Most Influential People in Business to Forbes' Fortune 400, Billion–Dollar Producer by the Daily Variety and the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Vanity Fair. Proxima and Kavanaugh are repped by Neil Sacker.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/24aae164–2a42–42ff–84d5–912661b2aedd

MultiChoice training investment a massive boost for African TV

Johannesburg, July 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A new training initiative is set to revolutionise the African TV sector, taking industry skills to a new level and boosting the quality of content for audiences across the continent.

The initiative will be a collaborative project between MultiChoice, local television channels in various African territories, and the MultiChoice Talent Factory, the MultiChoice industry–development and training programme.

"Our vision is to upskill production professionals, and to raise the standard of productions right across Africa," said Fhulufhelo Badugela, MultiChoice Africa CEO, launching the programme expansion. "This will boost Africa's film and television industry exponentially, because as you capacitate more people, more people are motivated to start projects, and everybody benefits, including the viewers."

"This is an investment in the future of our industry, and investment goes beyond financial investment it also requires skills, time and a core understanding of the consumer needs" said Badugela. "But the most immediate impact will be to raise the standard of productions across Africa."

The programme will consist of online learning courses, masterclasses, and practical training. MultiChoice will partner with local broadcasters to help develop skills in the various territories. It will include certified short courses in critical production skills such as post–production, sound, screenwriting, 3D animation and cinematography.

The programme's online–learning component enables MultiChoice to reach as many content creators as possible, across the continent, while also allowing working professionals to do courses at their own pace.

The programme will initially reach 300 broadcast workers who are already producing content in their local markets through e–learning. They will then be able to instantly apply their learnings on domestic productions.

"Local broadcasters are the grassroots of the TV industry in every country," said Badugela. "By building the industry we are enabling local job creation, enabling an industry to contribute to the economy and responding to the ongoing consumer demand for quality local entertainment."

Masterclasses will be held in person and also broadcast online with local and international industry leaders. The focus is on creating and curating masterclasses that are fit for purpose and meet the needs of each country.

"The people on the programme will gain skills relevant to their own field of expertise "" so their knowledge will be immediately applicable," said Badugela. "We are also able to reach more people by doing the training in–country."

"We have seen the impact investments can have," said Badugela "In Zimbabwe, we ran a training programme to support the launch of new local entertainment channels. The standard of the new channels is excellent, and the market has really opened up in terms of the productions being launched and the calibre of Zimbabwe's filmmakers."

Badugela said she anticipated the African training initiative leading to more productions, with higher production values, which would boost viewership and the financial viability of the industry "" especially in emerging African TV markets.

"Improving the skills of our TV professionals will give audiences more choice and more chance to see themselves reflected in the content they consume," she said. "It's about quality African content for African viewers."


Saint Lucia repositions Citizenship Programme under new slogan “Beyond the Passport”: CS Global Partners

London, July 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The citizenship by investment programme of Saint Lucia is one of the youngest economic citizenship programmes in the Caribbean. The government has set up a dedicated Citizenship by Investment Board that oversees all the operations and assists investors while facilitating unmatched benefits for the country and its people.

The Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Programme Unit, a statutory body of the government is marketing and repositioning the programme under a new slogan called “Beyond the Passport.”

The Head of the Citizenship by Investment Programme Unit, Mc Claude Emmanuel said the unit is making the programme more effective for locals as well as for investors. He noted that the funds generated by the CIP of Saint Lucia are used for the development of the country, and the impact must benefit every Saint Lucian.

“Funds generated by the CIP are important for Saint Lucia. The government generates revenue from the donation offered through the programme, which is then spent on different development projects island wide. The revenue benefits social sectors, such as schools, healthcare, roads and housing,” said Mc Claude Emmanuel.

He further explained the importance of different investment options, including the National Economic Development Fund, which is also known as the Fund Option, “For the country, the Citizenship by Investment Programme holds immense importance.”

Saint Lucia's Citizenship by Investment programme is the latest in the Caribbean region and is on par with some of the best programmes in the region. Launched in 2016, Saint Lucia has performed exceptionally well in the 2021 CBI Index, published by the PWM Magazine of Financial Times. It came out top in three pillars of excellence, namely minimum investment outlay, mandatory travel or residence and ease of processing.

Saint Lucia has been moving ahead with plans to position itself as a notable alternative to global investors in the investment mobility industry. As the world is dealing with uncertainty, entrepreneurs have been looking for stable, safe as well as peaceful destinations in which to move or start their businesses. Economic citizenship is the right choice for them. Investors can protect and grow their wealth by investing in alternative citizenship, which helps in portfolio diversification as well as wealth planning.

An investor can apply for alternative citizenship of Saint Lucia through the National Economic Fund Investment, most commonly known as the Fund Option under which the investors contribute to the country's socio–economic development. The minimum investment under this investment option is USD 100,000.

The CIP of Saint Lucia is backed by a strong, robust and vigorous due diligence check process. The Saint Lucia government has been working closely with regional and international third–party firms to conduct background checks. The Programme is one of the most transparent in the industry, giving investors and partners access to information on how funds are used.

Citizenship by Investment Programme of Saint Lucia provides the following benefits, including:

  • Makes the investor a global citizen.
  • Assists the applicant in portfolio diversification and wealth planning.
  • Helps in expanding business overseas.
  • Provides citizenship for life, which can be passed on to future generations.
  • Gives an opportunity to spend the rest of their life in a peaceful and safe environment.

The investor can apply for the alternative citizenship of Saint Lucia via the following steps:

Step 1: Completion of the application by applicants.

Step 2: Submit the application at the CIP Portal

Step 3: The Documents are then verified by the CIP Unit and undergo a strong due–diligence process.

Step 4: The board takes a decision on the selection and rejection of the application.

Step 5: The certification is the last process of the application.

About Saint Lucia:

Saint Lucia is a small, mountainous Eastern Caribbean Island. It is 21 miles south of Martinique and 26 miles north of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, all part of the Caribbean Sea's Lesser Antilles islands. Saint Lucia's lush landscape has a tropical rainforest with two lava spires called Pitons, which are the standout natural features.

The small island country is one of the world's most beautiful and well–known destinations for travel enthusiasts. The attention of the travellers is largely drawn by the island's majestic Piton Mountains, refreshing waterfalls, spectacular hiking trails, drive–in volcano, beautiful beaches, as well as exclusive restaurants.

The island is fondly called the Helen of the West as its beauty is comparable to Helen of Troy.

With regional specialities including pepperpots, langouste, and bouyon, Saint Lucia is a well–known Caribbean destination for those who enjoy trying new foods from different cultures. Seafood–based cuisine and locally cultivated products from farms to tables define the island's culinary heritage.

Many people love travelling to the Caribbean country for its rich cuisines and organic agro products. The local food is influenced by French, East Indian and British dishes. The National Dish of Saint Lucia is Green Fig and Saltfish. The dish is typically prepared on weekends as well as especially during the Creole Day Festival, which is hosted in October.

Not only that, but Saint Lucia also endeavours to have its own coffee speciality in the region, which according to Deputy Prime Minister Ernest Hilaire will boom the tourism sector. He recently led discussions with an investor named Olmedo Vill, who aims to recommence coffee production in the country. He said over 13,000 plants will be cultivated by 2024. Not many people know that in the late 1700s, Saint Lucia and Martinique produced more than half of all coffee consumed in Europe. The country had more than 9 million coffee plants by the 1800s because of the country's cool, shaded, volcanic ground and which is infused with citrus and spices.

Saint Lucia's beautiful mountains, jungles, coasts, and historic locations showcase history and beauty and a great sense of living poetry add more touch to its tranquil environment.

Hundreds of Millions of Human Workers Treated Worse than Robots

Teenage girls harvest tomatoes on a farm in the state of Sinaloa, in northern Mexico. Credit: Courtesy of Instituto Sinaloense para la Educación de los Adultos (Sinaloa Institute for Adult Education)

By Baher Kamal
MADRID, Jul 14 2022 – While the world’s big private business pours billions of dollars in producing automatic machines and assuring their optimal functioning, bareley no money has been invested in the hundreds of millions of human workers, who are left shockingly unprotected, treated like cheap robots, or even worse.

For example, of all domestic workers worldwide -overwhelmingly women- up to 94% lack access to the full range of protections, covering medical care, sickness, unemployment, old age, employment injury, family, maternity, invalidity and survivors’ benefits.

More than 60% of the world’s adult labour force –or about 2 billion workers– work in the informal economy. They are not recognised, registered, regulated or protected under labour legislation and social protection. The consequences can be severe, for individuals, families as well as economies

This means that only 6% of their total number –estimated at over 75 million worldwide– have access to comprehensive social protection.

In its mid-June 2022 report: Making the right to social security a reality for domestic workers, the International Labour Organization (ILO) also informs that about half of all domestic workers have no coverage at all, with the remaining half legally covered by at least one benefit.

The extension of effective coverage has lagged significantly behind that of legal coverage ILO explains. Only one-in-five domestic workers are actually covered in practice because the vast majority are employed informally.

Despite their vital contribution to society, supporting households with their most personal and care needs, most of the world’s 75,6 million domestic workers face multiple barriers to enjoying legal coverage and effective access to social security, the report explains.

“They are often excluded from national social security legislation.”


Women, three-quarters of all

As 76.2% of domestic workers (57.7 million people) are women, such social protection gaps leave them particularly vulnerable.

Most of them do not have access to social insurance schemes benefits related to unemployment or employment injury, also according to the world’s main labour body.


No protection in the Americas, Arab region, Asia, Africa

The report also highlights major differences between regions.

  • In Europe and Central Asia, 57.3% of domestic workers are legally covered for all benefits.

  • A little more than 10% of domestic workers are legally covered for all benefits in the Americas;

  • Almost none are fully covered in the Arab States, Asia and the Pacific and Africa ‒ regions that include countries where significant numbers of domestic workers are employed.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has made “glaringly apparent” the social protection coverage gaps experienced by domestic workers. They were among the worst hit during the pandemic, with many losing their jobs and livelihoods.

  • Many of those who kept their jobs were often exposed to the disease without sufficient protective equipment. However, domestic workers could rarely rely on adequate health protection, sickness or unemployment benefits, further exposing their vulnerabilities.


Asia is the largest garment manufacturer in the world. Despite increase in real wages for most workers, their working conditions have remained poor and characterised by widespread informality and vulnerability. Credit: Obaidul Arif/IPS


No decent work in the ‘garment factory’

Tragically, the unprotected tens of millions of domestic workers are not the only case of human rights abuse.

For example, Asia remains the ‘garment factory of the world,’ yet the sector faces an array of challenges many of which have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a 24 June new ILO report: Employment, wages and productivity in the Asian garment sector: Taking stock of recent trends.

The study highlights how the industry still accounts for 55% of global textiles and clothing exports and employs some 60 million workers.

The situation has been exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19.


Exposed to dangerous biological risks

A biological hazard as any micro-organism, cell or other organic material that may be of plant, animal, or human origin, including any which have been genetically modified, and which can cause harm to human health, explains the International Labour Organzation.

This may include, but is not limited to, bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, prions, DNA materials, bodily fluids, and other microorganisms and their associated allergens and toxins.

Both infectious and non-infectious biological hazards can be a significant health threat in numerous sectors and workplaces worldwide.



“For example, communicable diseases alone are estimated to have caused 310,000 work-related deaths worldwide in 2021, 120,000 of which were due to COVID-19.”

To deal with this alarming issue, experts from governments and employers’ and workers’ organisations meeting at the International Labour Organisation (Geneva, 20 to 24 June) adopted guidelines for handling biological hazards in the working environment.

They provide specific advice, aligned with international labour standards, on preventing and controlling work-related injuries, diseases, and deaths related to exposure to biological hazards in the working environment.

“This includes questions related to the responsibilities and rights of competent authorities, employers, occupational health services and workers, workplace risk management, workers’ health surveillance, and preparedness and response to emergencies.”


Social protection for rural workers “remains a dream”

Social protection for rural workers “remains a dream”, according to a report launched in Geneva on 7 July 2022 by the Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV), part of the UN’s International Labour Organization.

This is of particular concern for those in precarious work conditions, including informal, casual, temporary and subcontracted workers and day labourers who form the large majority of workers on agricultural plantations, laid out in the study: Decent work deficits among rural workers.

Based on 16 case studies covering 15 countries in Africa, Asia, Central Asia, Europe and Latin America, the report shows that deficits in working conditions are found in every sector and in relation to every substantive element covered by the framework of the ILO’s Decent Work Indicators.

It reveals that “child and forced labour as well as debt bondage remain a reality for many worldwide.”

Up to 95% of children engaged in hazardous work are employed in agriculture, notably in the cocoa, palm oil and tobacco sectors. And forced labour is linked to the many ways workers are dependent on employers.


80% of all working poor, in rural areas

Meanwhile, about 80% of the world’s poor live in rural areas, many of whom face severe decent-work deficits, including inadequate safety, low pay, lack of stability and security, and excessive working hours – with women and young workers hit the hardest.

And women are disproportionately represented in the most precarious positions; having to accept low-paying, low-skilled jobs, suffering huge gender pay gaps, and are more prone to workplace harassment and abuse compared to male workers, the report reveals.


Exposed to chemicals

The report also describes chemical exposure as posing serious health and other risks to agricultural workers, particularly to children and pregnant and lactating women.

“Most rural workers operate in the informal economy, which includes a large proportion of women working as unpaid care workers who have no access to maternity leave and other essential protections.”

Add to all the above that over 60% of world workers are not recognised, not registered, not protected.

In fact, the UN reports that more than 60% of the world’s adult labour force –or about 2 billion workers– work in the informal economy. “They are not recognised, registered, regulated or protected under labour legislation and social protection. The consequences can be severe, for individuals, families as well as economies.”

Maybe because they are humans?


Delphix to Launch Continuous Ransomware Protection, DevOps Data Appliances

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., July 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Delphix, the industry leader in DevOps test data management (TDM), today announced the launch of two new data appliances powered by Dell Technologies. Both appliances are fully engineered software solutions optimized for performance and reliability.

The Delphix CDP Appliance provides businesses with continuous data protection, multiple levels of ransomware detection, and the ability to automate instant recovery of multiple applications to a clean and data–consistent state. The Delphix DevOps Appliance provides the most advanced and secure TDM solution in the market, enabling customers to release software faster, safer, and at higher quality.

The Delphix CDP Appliance syncs data from enterprise applications in near–real time and creates a continuous, immutable data record, so applications can be recovered to any time, down to the second or a transaction boundary, for a near–zero recovery point objective (RPO). In contrast, traditional backups only protect data once a day, leaving the potential for a full day's loss of critical business transactions.

In addition, the appliance enables the instant recovery of multiple applications using APIs for a near–zero recovery time objective (RTO). Business processes, like quote to cash, often create data dependencies and consistency challenges across applications. With this new appliance, businesses can quickly recover multiple applications to a data consistent state, even across multiple points in time, in order to determine a clean data state prior to a ransomware attack.

The Delphix CDP Appliance is built on a zero trust architecture. All data is immutable, and retained data snapshots and policies can be locked from tampering or deletion. In addition, the appliance is a fully contained, isolated recovery environment that can optionally include application and database servers.

Today, businesses need to balance both security and innovation. Many companies leave test data security and provisioning up to individual application teams and administrators, often in violation of privacy compliance and industry regulations. The Delphix DevOps Appliances automate sensitive data discovery, masking, and delivery to fully protect consumer data privacy throughout the application lifecycle.

In addition, businesses are in a race to release software faster. As they invest in DevOps tools and processes, test data often becomes a major bottleneck. The Delphix DevOps Appliance provides a range of innovative and unique APIs to enable superior testing, including APIs for data refresh, rewind, bookmark, teardown, and integration across apps. Using these APIs, Delphix customers have achieved high rates of innovation""well over a million CI/CD releases a month for individual customers.

"With Dell's reach and the powerful combination of our technologies, we can help companies around the world innovate faster, while protecting consumer data privacy from ransomware and other attacks," said Jedidiah Yueh, Delphix CEO. "We help companies achieve zero trust and zero friction data operations."

To learn more about the Delphix CDP Appliance or the Delphix DevOps Appliance and how they can accelerate innovation, contact dell@delphix.com.

About Delphix

Delphix is the industry leader for DevOps test data management.

Businesses need to transform application delivery but struggle to balance speed with data security and compliance. Our DevOps Data Platform automates data security, while rapidly deploying test data to accelerate application releases. With Delphix, customers modernize applications, adopt multicloud, achieve CI/CD, and recover from downtime events such as ransomware up to 2x faster.

Leading companies, including Choice Hotels, Banco Carrefour, and Fannie Mae, use Delphix to accelerate digital transformation and enable zero trust data management. Visit us at www.delphix.com. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

For Media and Analyst Inquiries contact:
Deborah Mullan

Drones To Help Fishers Avoid Border Conflicts on Lake Victoria

Thanks to the Technical University of Kenya (TUK), fishers on Lake Victoria may soon have a drone keeping an eye on them and making sure they do not fall victim to border conflicts. Credit: TUK

Thanks to the Technical University of Kenya (TUK), fishers on Lake Victoria may soon have a drone keeping an eye on them and making sure they do not fall victim to border conflicts. Credit: TUK

By Wilson Odhiambo
Nairobi, Jul 14 2022 – It is exactly two years since George Omuodo’s brutal confrontation with fishers from Uganda, an encounter that left him hospitalized with a broken arm and bruised ribs. After listening to his ordeal, one wonders where he gets the courage to go back to the lake every day.

“I have to feed my family,” Omuodo tells IPS.

Omuodo is a 28-year-old fisher from Homabay county, a place famously known for its fishing activities with its large harbor and string of fishing boats lined up along the shores of Lake Victoria.

George Omuodo, who relies on fishing on Lake Victoria, had a violent confrontation with others from Uganda. Now a pilot project using a drone to keep fishers from border conflicts could assist in keeping him safe. Credit: Wilson Odhiambo/IPS

George Omuodo, who relies on fishing on Lake Victoria, had a violent confrontation with fishers from Uganda. Now a pilot project using a drone to keep fishers from border conflicts could assist in keeping him safe. Credit: Wilson Odhiambo/IPS

Omuodo and most of his friends rely on fishing, a source of food and income for their families. The only problem with this humble lifestyle is that it suddenly turned risky.

Border conflicts have been a perennial problem for local authorities on Lake Victoria for a long time, which has seen some fishermen lose their lives as they participate in their trade. The infamous Migingo Island is one example of border conflict that has seen many Kenyan fishers suffer at the hands of Ugandan authorities. The fishermen complained of being harassed by the border patrols, some of whom forced them to give up their equipment, catch, and even freedom due to trespassing rules.

“The area around Migingo is good for fishing and is what drives us there. However, the Ugandan government believes that Migingo Island is their territory and that all the fish around the area belong to them. Their border patrol and fishermen have been harassing us,” Omuodo lamented.

“Since this is our only source of livelihood, we have no choice but to constantly risk our lives just to earn a living for ourselves,” he said.

Omuodo and his friends may finally have someone to watch over them as they go about their business.

Thanks to the Technical University of Kenya (TUK), fishers on Lake Victoria may soon have a drone keeping an eye on them and making sure they do not fall victim to border conflicts.

In 2018, TUK embarked on a project that saw them develop their nanosatellite dubbed “TUKSat-1,” which was aimed at monitoring security on Lake Victoria, including helping local authorities in rescue operations.

According to TUK, the satellite works by relaying coordinates, including pictorial views, to the relevant personnel, thus aiding in tracking water vessels and people who go missing on the lake.

TUKSat-1 aims to mitigate this problem by sounding an alarm whenever a Kenyan vessel drifts too close to a Kenya-Tanzania or Kenya-Uganda border.

Professor Paul Baki, the project’s lead investigator, said the nanosatellite program was a joint effort that involved disciplines from various schools such as mechanical and process engineering, surveying and geospatial technologies, aerospace, and aeronautical engineering, electrical and electronic engineering as well as physics and earth sciences. Credit: TUK

Professor Paul Baki, the project’s lead investigator, said the nanosatellite program was a joint effort that involved disciplines from various schools such as mechanical and process engineering, surveying and geospatial technologies, aerospace, and aeronautical engineering, electrical and electronic engineering as well as physics and earth sciences. Credit: TUK

Professor Paul Baki, the project’s lead investigator, told IPS that the nanosatellite program was a joint effort that involved disciplines from various schools such as Mechanical and process engineering, surveying and geospatial technologies, aerospace and aeronautical engineering, electrical and electronic engineering as well as physics and earth sciences.

“The TUKSat-1 program was initiated at the University in 2018 and involved collaborations between TUK and other institutions abroad,” Baki told IPS. “We were able to get funding from the Kenya Space Agency in 2020 and built the 1U nanosatellite (10cm3 in volume) between October 2020 to October 2021,” he added.

Baki said that the parts used to build the satellite were bought locally, and all the work was done in TUK’s physics laboratory.

Space exploration is not alien to Kenya, as NASA once launched a satellite from the San Marco launch site, Malindi, in 1970. Despite the satellite (dubbed Small Astronomical Satellite 1, SAS-1) not being Kenyan-owned, it did bear the Kenyan slogan “UHURU,” and the launch was a historic moment for a country that had just gained its independence. The satellite was also the first of its kind dedicated to X-ray astronomy.

Fast forward five decades later, where the University of Nairobi was able to build the first Kenyan-owned satellite (1st Kenyan University Nanosatellite-Precursor Flight) 1KUNS – PF, which was launched from the international space station in the United States.

The CubeSat, assembled by University of Nairobi (UON) engineering students in collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), was launched into the international space station on May 11, 2018. Its purpose was to carry out technological tests while recording details about the earth.

The UON got its funding, worth Ksh.120 million (about US$ 1miillion), from the joint space program between JAXA and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) in 2016.

However, unlike the 1KUNS-PF, which currently floats around in space, the TUKSat-1 was launched on a drone and is meant to demonstrate the technology in preparation for more technical launches.

“Space technology and exploration will soon influence our economy and livelihood,” said Seth Odhiambo Nyawacha, a Geomatics Application Expert at Locate IT Limited. It is time Africa started producing the minds needed for technological advancements.

Nyawacha explained that Africa quickly became a consumer of space-based technology and products, which called for investments from stakeholders, especially in education and training about space technology and its exploration.

“With the development of the African Space Agency, soon to be hosted in Egypt, the continent will require home-based technicians and engineers to propel our satellites to space, ranging from communication satellites, weather forecast satellites in the wake of climate change, among other satellite types,” Nyawacha told IPS. He applauded the effort by JAXA and UNOOSA to help fund and train engineers in Sub-Saharan Africa.

A 2021 Kenyan-Spaceport report said that Kenya’s position on the equator made it a suitable center for rocket launches, and Marsabit was chosen as the site for setting up a spaceport.

The Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Moi University are other Kenyan institutions interested in space exploration.

“Kenya has shown great potential in space technology, and we should use this opportunity to set up a small-scale domestic space industry. As a country, we need to tap into the bright minds in our universities and help them propel Kenya into the frontiers of space technology,” Baki added.

Omuodo doesn’t understand much about satellites but welcomes any measure that would help them ply their trade in peace.

IPS UN Bureau Report


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World Faces Cascading Crises Causing Profound Suffering & Multiple Famines

Credit: United Nations

By Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
UNITED NATIONS, Jul 14 2022 – Our world is in deep trouble – and so too are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Time is running out. But there is still hope. Because we know what we need to do:

End the senseless, disastrous wars – now. Unleash a renewable energy revolution – now. Invest in people and build a new social contract – now.

And deliver a New Global Deal to rebalance power and financial resources and enable all developing countries to invest in the SDGs.

Let’s come together, starting today, with ambition, resolve and solidarity, to rescue the SDGs before it is too late.

We meet at a time of great uncertainty. The world faces cascading crises that are causing profound suffering today, and carry the seeds of dangerous inequality, instability and climate chaos tomorrow.

The ripple effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have hit amid a fragile and uneven recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, while the climate emergency is gathering pace.

Some countries are investing in recovery through a transition to renewable energy and sustainable development.

But others are unable to do so, because of deep-rooted structural challenges and inequalities, at global and national levels.

Some 94 countries, home to 1.6 billion people, face a perfect storm: dramatic increases in the price of food and energy, and a lack of access to finance.

And so there is a real risk of multiple famines this year. Next year could be even worse, if fertilizer shortages affect the harvests of staple crops, including rice.

The United Nations Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance has warned of the impacts of the current cost of living crisis and the future risks for next year.

Sixty per cent of workers today have lower real incomes than before the pandemic; developing countries are missing $1.2 trillion per year, just to fill the social protection gap; And sixty percent of developing economies are currently in, or at high risk of, debt distress.

Meanwhile, the number of people forced from their homes has risen to 100 million — the highest number since the creation of the United Nations.

The planet’s largest ecosystems – oceans and forests – are in danger. Biodiversity is declining at unprecedented rates.

Discrimination against women and girls continues in all sectors and all societies, while gender-based violence is at emergency levels. Attacks on women’s reproductive rights are reverberating around the world.

Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals will require $4.3 trillion USD per year — more money than ever before — because the international community is simply not keeping pace with the commitments it made;

In the face of these cascading crises, we are far from powerless. There is much we can do, and many concrete steps we can take, to turn things around.

I see four areas for immediate action.

First, recovery from the pandemic in every country.

We must ensure equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines, therapies and tests. And now it is very important to have a serious effort to increase the number of countries that can produce vaccines, diagnostics, and other else technologies thinking about the future.

Governments must work together with the pharmaceutical industry and other stakeholders to share licenses and to provide technical and financial support to allow many other countries to produce vaccines and other medical important products.

Then we must redouble our efforts to make sure future outbreaks of disease are better managed by strengthening health systems and ensuring Universal Health Coverage.

Second, we need to tackle the food, energy and finance crisis.

Ukraine’s food production, and the food and fertilizer produced by Russia, must be brought back to world markets — despite the war.

We have been working hard on a plan to allow for the safe and secure exports of Ukrainian produced foods through the Black Sea and Russian foods and fertilizers to global markets.

I thank the governments involved for your continued cooperation.

But there can be no solution to today’s crises without a solution to the crisis of economic inequality in the developing world.

We need to make resources and fiscal space available to countries and communities, including Middle Income Countries, that have an even more limited financial toolbox than three years ago.

This requires global financial institutions to use all the instruments at their disposal, with flexibility and understanding.

Among other measures, they must consider raising access limits, re-channeling all unused Special Drawing Rights to countries in need, and reviving the Debt Service Suspension Initiative to provide immediate support to those in debt distress.

We should not forget that the majority of poor people do not live in the poorest countries; they live in Middle Income Countries.

If they don’t receive the support they need, the development prospects of heavily indebted Middle-Income Countries will be seriously compromised.

Looking ahead, we need a New Global Deal so that developing countries have a fair shot at building their own futures.

My report on Our Common Agenda calls for concerted efforts to rebalance power and resources through an operational debt relief and restructuring framework; lower borrowing costs for developing countries; and investment in long-term resilience over short-term profit.

The global financial system is failing the developing world.

Although since it was not designed to protect developing countries, perhaps it is more accurate to say the system is working as intended.

So, we need reform.

We need a system that works for the vulnerable, not just the powerful.

Third, we need to invest in people.

The pandemic has shown the devastating impacts of inequality within and between countries.

Time and again, it is the most vulnerable and marginalized who suffer most when crises hit.

It is time to prioritize investment in people; to build a new social contract, based on universal social protection; and to overhaul social support systems established in the aftermath of the Second World War.

Education is one critical example.

Any hope of solving the world’s challenges starts with education. But education today is racked by a crisis of equity, quality and relevance.

The Transforming Education Summit that I will convene in September is a platform for world leaders to recommit to education as a global public good; to chart a new vision for education systems fit for the future; and to mobilize support in order to move from vision to reality, especially in developing countries.

The Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions offers another critical entry point.

I urge all countries to make full use of this tool to reskill and retool their workforces for the economies of the future: powered by renewable energy and based on digital connectivity.

Fourth, we cannot delay ambitious climate action.

The battle to keep the 1.5 degree goal alive will be won or lost this decade.

While achieving this goal requires a reduction in global emissions of 45 percent below 2010 levels by 2030, current pledges would result in a 14 percent increase in emissions by that date.

This is collective suicide. We must change course.

Ending the global addiction to fossil fuels through a renewable energy revolution is priority number one.

I have been asking for no new coal plants and no more subsidies to fossil fuels because funding fossil fuels is delusional and funding renewable energy is rational.

Developed countries must make good on their $100 billion climate finance commitment to developing countries, starting this year.

Developing economies must have access to the resources and technology they need.

Half of all climate finance should go to adaptation. Everyone in climate- related high-risk areas should be covered by early warning systems within the next five years.

And we need to review access and eligibility frameworks for concessional finance, so that developing countries, including Middle Income Countries, can get the finance they need, when they need it.

The World Bank and the other international financial institutions must provide much more concessional funding, especially in relation to climate adaptation.

The High-level Political Forum is the place where the world comes together around solutions for sustainable development; for rebuilding differently and better; for achieving the SDGs.

We have the knowledge, the science and technologies and the financial resources to reverse the trajectories that have led us off course.

We have inspiring examples of transformative change.

In just over one year’s time, we will meet here for the 2023 SDG summit marking the halfway point between the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, and its target date.

Let’s do everything in our power to change course and build solid progress by then.

I wish you a successful meeting.

IPS UN Bureau


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In his opening address to the 2022 Ministerial meeting of the High-Level Political Forum on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, July 13-15.

Hitachi Energy wins order to connect one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms to the UK power grid

Zurich, Switzerland, July 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hitachi Energy, the global technology and market leader in power grids, today announced it has won a major order from rsted, the world–leading renewable energy company, to provide two high–voltage direct current (HVDC) systems to transmit green electricity from the Hornsea 3 wind farm, located more than 120 km off the UK east coast.

The wind farm will have the capacity to generate up to 2.85 gigawatts of renewable electricity, enough to power more than three million UK homes. With more than 200 wind turbines installed across almost 700 square kilometers*1, this will be the single largest offshore wind farm in the world. This project is a significant step towards the British Energy Security Strategy ambition of sourcing up to 50 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2030.*2

Hitachi Energy has supported rsted with the grid connection of Hornsea 1*3 and Hornsea 2*4, but Hornsea 3 will be the first phase to use HVDC application in the Hornsea cluster.

The overall HVDC system, including the offshore platform, is delivered in partnership with Aibel*5. Hitachi Energy will supply two HVDC Light converter systems, while Aibel will deliver two HVDC offshore converter platforms. The platform is based on Hitachi Energy's modular HVDC system including its advanced control and protection system, MACH. As the HVDC offshore market grows and becomes more complex, Hitachi Energy will continue to develop solutions with its customers and partners to enable a more flexible offshore grid of the future.

"Offshore wind is a critical part of the clean energy transition and our HVDC technology is vital for effective transmission to the mainland power grid," said Niklas Persson, Managing Director of Hitachi Energy's Grid Integration business. "To address the rapidly growing offshore market, partnerships and collaboration are key to deliver at the speed and scale required to reach our decarbonization and energy security goals."

"The rsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy and the Hornsea projects are a significant step towards this goal in the UK," said Patrick Harnett, Vice President Programme UK at rsted. "Together with Hitachi Energy, we are demonstrating that renewables like offshore wind are a huge part of the world's sustainability journey. Hornsea 3 will not just provide low cost, clean energy for millions of homes in the UK, it will also deliver thousands of high quality jobs and billions of pounds of investment in the offshore wind supply chain in the UK and beyond."

Hitachi Energy is supplying four HVDC converter stations, which convert AC power to DC for transmission in the subsea cables, then reconvert it to AC for integration into the onshore grid. Two of the converter stations will be installed on offshore platforms and two at mainland grid connections.

Note to editors:

Hitachi Energy's HVDC solution combines world–leading expertise in HVDC converter valves, the MACH digital control platform*6 converter power transformers and high–voltage switchgear, as well as in–system studies, design and engineering, supply, installation supervision and commissioning.

HVDC Light is a voltage source converter technology developed by Hitachi Energy. It is the preferred technology for many grid applications, including interconnecting countries, integrating renewables and "power–from–shore" connections to offshore production facilities. HVDC Light's defining features include uniquely compact converter stations and exceptionally low electrical losses.

Hitachi Energy pioneered commercial HVDC technology almost 70 years ago and has delivered more than half of the world's HVDC projects.

*1 About Hornsea 3

*2 British Energy Security Strategy (BESS) "" offshore wind

*3 Hornsea One Press Release

*4 Hornsea Two Press Release

*5 Aibel partnership Press Release

*6 Modular Advanced Control for HVDC (MACH)

About Hitachi Energy

Hitachi Energy is a global technology leader that is advancing a sustainable energy future for all. We serve customers in the utility, industry and infrastructure sectors with innovative solutions and services across the value chain. Together with customers and partners, we pioneer technologies and enable the digital transformation required to accelerate the energy transition towards a carbon–neutral future. We are advancing the world's energy system to become more sustainable, flexible and secure whilst balancing social, environmental and economic value. Hitachi Energy has a proven track record and unparalleled installed base in more than 140 countries. Headquartered in Switzerland, we employ around 38,000 people in 90 countries and generate business volumes of approximately $10 billion USD.

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi drives Social Innovation Business, creating a sustainable society with data and technology. We will solve customers' and society's challenges with Lumada solutions leveraging IT, OT (Operational Technology) and products, under the business structure of Digital Systems & Services, Green Energy & Mobility, Connective Industries and Automotive Systems. Driven by green, digital, and innovation, we aim for growth through collaboration with our customers. The company's consolidated revenues for fiscal year 2021 (ended March 31, 2022) totaled 10,264.6 billion yen ($84,136 million USD), with 853 consolidated subsidiaries and approximately 370,000 employees worldwide. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at https://www.hitachi.com.

About rsted

The rsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy. rsted develops, constructs, and operates offshore and onshore wind farms, solar farms, energy storage facilities, renewable hydrogen and green fuels facilities, and bioenergy plants. Moreover, rsted provides energy products to its customers. rsted is the only energy company in the world with a science–based net–zero emissions target as validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). rsted ranks as the world's most sustainable energy company in Corporate Knights' 2022 index of the Global 100 most sustainable corporations in the world and is recognised on the CDP Climate Change A List as a global leader on climate action. Headquartered in Denmark, rsted employs more than 7,000 people. rsted's shares are listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen (Orsted). In 2021, the group's revenue was DKK 77.7 billion (EUR 10.4 billion). Visit www.orsted.co.uk or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

Media Contact:

Paul Haines

Head of UK Media Relations

+44 7880 149088