Ford announces plans to shift productions of electric SUV to Mexico

Ford Michigan Assembly Plant

Thursday 7 December, Ford announced plans to make electric SUV at its Cuatitlan factory, in Mexico. The company declared that shifting production of an electric SUV from the U.S. to Mexico will allow to make more self-driving vehicles in Michigan.

The automaker said in March it would not build a new plant in Mexico and it announced to expand the production of EVs and autonomous cars in Flat Rock, a move that would created 700 jobs, as the company said. The plan was prepared after Donald Trump threatened to withdraw the U.S. from the North American Free Trade Agreement. The United Automobile Workers (UAW) told to Free Press that “the latest decision by Ford to produce the EVs in Mexico will not result in fewer jobs at home because the union already negotiated future job commitments”.

Furthermore, Ford  announced to add a second autonomous vehicle to the Flat Rock Assembly Plant and to increase the investment in Flat Rock to $900 million as well as hire a total of 850 workers.

Musk defeats MADA in Missouri court: Tesla can sell EVs in Missouri state again

Tesla

Thursday 7 December, the Missouri Court of Appeals has overturned last year verdict to ban Tesla from getting a license in Missouri’s State.  Musk’s company was forced to close all stores in the state after the Missouri Automobile Dealers Association (MADA) tried to have Tesla’s dealer license revoked. Tesla can now resume selling cars directly to consumers: “We have been serving customers in Missouri for almost five years and have contributed to the state economy and jobs for Missourians, something that will now continue,” the company said in a statement.

The appeals court rejected the plaintiffs’ arguments that the MADA was entitled to challenge the issuance of licenses to Tesla, and the court point out that the association was effectively a Tesla rival trying to avoid competition and not looking after the public interest.

Tesla operates two stores and a service centre in Missouri (one in Kansas City and one in University City) and it can now sell EVs to customers again without having to go through third-party dealers.

 

Venezuela crisis: some Venezuelans are playing old video games to survive

venezuela flag

Venezuela is today one of the South America’s rotten economy and the country become a symbol of Latina America’s socialism failure. The currency is worth less than a dime, people are starving and fighting to have basic commodities and essential supplies, young brains continue to expatriate in other countries.

The country is sitting on the larger oil reserves in the world (397 billions barrels), and the Venezuela’s economy rely on oil export too much (oil accounts for about 95% of Venezuela’s export). Oil prices collapsed in late 2014 from $110 per barrels to $45 and reached a $25 low in early 2016, putting Venezuela’s economy under severe stress (Crude oil and Brent are now stable around $55 per barrel, which is still not enough to stop the economic bleeding).

Economic instability and political blockade turned Venezuela into a leaving hell since then. The hyperinflation, which soars above 800 per cent  in October and over 4.000 per cent compared to an year ago, made bolivar worthless and the government interrupted many social programmes, mostly financed through oil’s export revenues.

In a race for survival, Venezuelans need to find alternative ways to cover the family’s basic needs. Some of them are using old video games such as RuneScape or Tibia, where users can trade virtual gold for us dollars or cryptocurrencies, as Bloomberg reports.  Venezuelans gold farmers are becoming so familiar in Venezuela to a point to affect the games’ inflation. The practice, already used in other basket-case economies such as North Korea’s, is usually enough to earn about 2$ per day, more than what they made with their real jobs.

North Korea: radiation contamination is on the rise among North Koreans

North Korea's ballistic missile.

North Korean’s nuclear sites are causing problems to the nearby citizens, as they are spreading a “ghost disease” causing deformations. This is what Korean defectors are saying to the international press.

“So many people died we began calling it ‘ghost disease. We thought we were dying because we were poor and we ate badly. Now we know it was the radiation”, told to NBC News  Lee Jeong Hwa, a defector who was living near a nuclear testing site.

There’s no scientific consensus to support defectors claiming about the nuclear contamination. Lee Jeong Hwa tested negative for radiation, and it’s nearly impossible to prove a direct connection between nuclear testing and other contamination cases.

However, Seoul sources talk about rising problems with the local environment and a rise on babies birth defects.

Kim Jong-un has conducted in six years more tests that during Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung’s regimes combined together, as reported by CNN. Nuclear sites’ satellite images indicate other imminent nuclear tests, while U.S. experts think Pyongyang could conduct a new missile test within days, as reporter by Reuters.

READ ALSO: Making war with North Korea is not a good option

 

Supermoon 2017: When it will appear and where to Watch it live

Supermoon Howrah

On Sunday at sunset (3 December), people around the globe will see a full cold supermoon rising in the east .The moon will be at full phase at 10:47 a.m. EST on Sunday and at perigee on Dec. 4th at 3:42 a.m. EST. This is the only and closest supermoon of the year.  Do you wonder if the supermoon will be visible in your city? To give an idea, “the moon will still be full when it rises at 4:49 p.m. EST Sunday in Springfield, Massachusetts — or, for example, 5:13 p.m. in Buffalo, New York”, masslive.com reports.

The supermoon will also be brighter then usual. “Because the Earth will be at its closest to the sun (called perihelion) in early January, the sunlight reaching and reflecting off the Moon this time of year is about 7 percent more intense (than at aphelion in early July), making wintertime supermoons even brighter”, as NASA reports.

In case you’ll miss this event you could enjoy a similar phenomena in January, when will have other two supermoons.

In this day (3 Deecember), Slooh will air a special supermoon webcast starting at 9 p.m. EST. You can watch the show here or on Space.com.

Maybe you are also interested in:

The MUSE revealed 72 new galaxies

6 interesting pictures of Saturn

8 impressive pictures of Mars

 

Italy: a tornado hits the city of Sanremo (Videos)

San Marino, Italy, tornado

Italy: a tornado hits the city of Sanremo (Videos)

On 1 December a tornado hit the Italian city of Sanremo. The tornado made damages on the coast but it didn’t provoke any victims. Sanremo, famous to host the Sanremo Music Festival, is located in the Liguria region, in Northern Italy.

The  meteorological phenomena lasted just few minutes, yet some people didn’t miss the opportunity to catch it with the smartphone. Below we can see two Youtube videos.

The weather is particularly cold in the Northern regions, with temperatures below the season’s average. Severe weather conditions and extreme meteorological phenomena are increasing on the Italian Peninsula. This last summer the country experienced an unprecedented series of heat waves that made serious damages.

Humanitarian crisis: “If 2017 did not look good, predictions for 2018 are no better”

Humanitarian Aid in Congo

“If 2017 did not look good, predictions for 2018 are no better: violence and insecurity are likely to deteriorate in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Ethiopia, Mali, Somalia and Syria next year“. These are the words written by ACAPS director Lars Peter Nissen in a recent report (the full report can be downloaded here).

The ACAPS, a nonprofit organization that supports the global humanitarian sector, published Thursday a report in which examined the humanitarian crisis in 18 countries to “identify likely developments and corresponding needs”.

The forecast for 2018 is alarming. The humanitarian crisis will put security food under pressure in many countries: parts of the population are at risk of famine, especially in Yemen, Nigeria, Congo-Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Much of the humanitarian crisis are concentrated in Africa (Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Sudan, Yemen, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Central African Republic), in Middle East (Palestine, Syria and Iraq) and in Southern Asia (Afghanistan, Myanmar and Bangladesh). In South America the insecurity risks will in increase in Venezuela, due to the economic crisis and political deadlock.

humanitarian overview
humanitarian overview
AN ANALYSIS OF KEY CRISES INTO 2018 – Credit: ACAPS

Most humanitarian crises are driven by conflict, with a spread in violence and shifts in tactics this year in several countries”, say the report.

This will put the Europe under pressure, with the immigration flows that are not going to cease towards the Old Continent. The European Union’s countries are divided on the issue, with the political parties more interested to defend their own vision than find a common solution.

Syria: China’s government will deploy troops to fight along Assad

Azaz, Syria

The mess in Syria is going to increase quite soon. The Chinese government decided to sent its troops in Syria to fight along with Al-Assad’s forces. The move comes as China becomes more concerned about the presence of Islamic militants in the East Turkestan region. The Uyghurs, an ethnic group also known as Chinese Muslim fighters,  are frequently blamed for terrorist activity in their own country.

The Chinese government will send on the territory two special units: the “Tigers of Siberia” and the “Night Tigers”. Those troops will be responsible of killing the Uyghur fighters.

The Chinese militias will also support the Assad regime in the fight against the Islamic terrorist group known as ISIL/ISIS (Islamic State).

This is not the first time that Beijing decided to send its troops on the Syrian front. In 2015 5.000 soldiers entered the Syrian territory and stationed in the Western region of Latakia.

The move has been seen by some analysts as part of an agenda to increase China’s authority on the international scene. In early November, China tested the Dongfeng-41,  Beijing’s next-gen Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).

The MUSE revealed 72 new galaxies

Space Station View of Auroras

MUSE revealed 72 galaxies never seen before in this very tiny area of the sky. These galaxies are all located in a relatively small area of space known as the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF).

The astronomers conducted the deepest spectroscopic survey ever using the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile. This portion of sky had already been observed,  but it wasn’t until scientists were able to look at it using MUSE that these 72 galaxies became visible. This open a new debate for other life forms and for planets similar to the Earth.

You can read more information on space.com here.

Bad news for the UK economy: the OECD forecasts a slowdown for 2018 and 2019

The UK will start to feel the Brexit’s effects very soon. An OECD’s report has outlined a sharp decline in Britain’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth: in 2018 the growth is set to 1.2% and 1.1% in 2019.

The “uncertainty over the outcome of negotiations around the decision to leave the European Union and the impact of higher inflation on household purchasing power”, is the reason for this slowdown, as reported the institute.

The economic think tank also warned against further rate rises from the Bank of England (BoE). “Monetary and fiscal policies need to remain accommodative. Inflation has risen to 3%, but in the absence of wage pressures the central bank should look through the temporary inflationary impact of currency depreciation,” it is written in the OECD’s report.

This is a sign that Britain could not achieve growth without investment in technology and infrastructure, as stressed by BDO tax partner Paul Falvey.

The UK decided to leave the European Union in the summer 2016, after an historic referendum which divided the country. The real effects of Brexit on the whole Europe and on the UK itself are still unknown.