|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
Alibaba has bagged a big Olympic deal.
For 12 years, the Chinese e-commerce giant will supply technology to the International Olympic Committee to help organize the Games, support a new shopping platform for merchandise and run a Chinese version of the Olympic internet TV channel.
Jack Ma, the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba (BABA, Tech30), announced the deal at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, alongside IOC President Thomas Bach.
Ma called it a "historic day for Alibaba."
"This is a long term agreement, we are the first Chinese company to engage in an agreement like this, and we are hoping we can empower the Olympic movement even more," Ma said.
Alibaba will create a global e-commerce platform that will sell official Olympic products to fans.
"All our 206 national Olympic committees will be able to connect better with fans looking for Olympic-licensed products," said Bach.
Jack Ma Davos
The deal will last until the 2028 summer Olympics, covering the next six games -- three winter, three summer.
Alibaba will support the organizers of each games, and in return receive rights including advertising and promotional use of Olympic marks and imagery from the Olympic Games, as well as marks from the National Olympic Committees.
Neither Alibaba nor the IOC would comment on the financial value of the deal.
Alibaba has also become a partner of the "Olympic Channel," launched after the 2016 Rio Olympics to show Olympic content all year round online and on iOS and Android mobile apps.
Bach said the deal was first discussed a year ago. "[Ma] inspired me from the very first moment...now we are here to announce this exciting partnership," he said.
One area of potential friction is counterfeits on Alibaba's platforms. (The U.S. just returned Alibaba to its "notorious markets list" for pirated goods.) The IOC and national organizing committees go to great lengths to protect Olympic trademarks.
Ma pledged to do more to tackle the problem. He said Alibaba is spending more than one billion yuan to fight the problem, but admitted there was no easy answer.
"We are listing more than 1.2 billion products on our site, this is a huge world, governing and managing a world like this is not easy," he said. "This is something that I am gonna fight for... we are confident that by working together [with the IOC], we are going to create a masterpiece," he said.
The Government of Mongolia has decided to allocate MNT 447 million for saiga conservation that are suffering from rinderpest.
According to the data as of Jan 9th, about 693 saigas in Mongolia died due to a rinderpest.
Mongolian saigas, one of the most threatened species on the planet inhabit six soums of Gobi-Altai and Khovd aimags, the western Mongolia.
In 2015, saiga population in Mongolia were stood at 13,000 while global population of saiga was estimated at 120,000.
Saiga once had a much larger range. Today, saiga are only found in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia and Mongolia. All of the saiga’s range states were part of the Soviet Union or China for most of the last century. Saiga went extinct in China in the 1960s.
Saiga hold a sad record in the animal world – they are one of the fastest declining mammal species on our planet today. Since the early 1990s over 95% of the saiga population has disappeared. There is considerable international concern, and saiga have been listed as Critically Endangered by IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
South Korea's national airline has used electric stun guns on five passengers during flights, the BBC has learned.
Korean Air is believed to be the only major carrier to routinely have the weapons on board.
The airline is ramping up training for staff using the guns after criticism for the way it handled a recent in-flight disturbance.
In that incident, US singer Richard Marx was among passengers who helped restrain an unruly passenger.
Afterwards, both Mr Marx and his wife Daisy Fuentes used social media to claim that the crew was "ill-trained".
Ms Fuentes wrote on Instagram: "They didn't know how to use the Taser and didn't know how to secure the rope" around the passenger.
Taser is a brand name of a electric stun gun. The reference surprised many who did not expect airlines to carry the weapons, which are more commonly used by police.
The carrier told the BBC it first introduced electric stun guns in 2002.
It now carries at least one set of weapons on every plane, with two sets on its A380 jumbo jets.
A Korean Air spokesman said that of the five incidents, three involved the gun being fired.
In those instances, the gun used compressed air to fire darts that release a 50,000-volt electric charge, designed to temporarily paralyse the target.
In the two other cases, the weapon was used as a stun gun, with the electric current fired directly into the passenger, with the weapon held against them at close range.
Korean Air would not give further details about what prompted each incident, when they occurred or what happened to the passengers.
But it confirmed all took place while the aircraft were airborne.
After the incident involving Mr Marx, the airline said it was training its crews to use the weapons more "readily" against violent passengers.
It also invited media to see a session where crew were practising using Tasers.
Korean Air's former president, Chi Chang-hoon, said Asian airlines had not followed US carriers in tackling on-board violence and suggested "Asian culture" was to blame.
However, the airline's spokesman said that current protocol limited cabin crews to using tasers "only during life threatening situation or when the safety of an aircraft is threatened".
Do other airlines carry electric stun guns?
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said airlines were not required to inform them if they carried the weapons on board.
Several major carriers contacted by the BBC declined to comment on whether or not they had Tasers on board, citing security concerns.
But some large airlines including Etihad, Malaysia Airlines and India's Jet Airways confirmed they did not carry electric stun guns.
And sources at other global carriers, including Emirates and Lufthansa, also said they were not part of standard on-board kit, although the airlines did not officially confirm this.
However, most airlines do carry equipment to restrain disruptive passengers including ropes, cuffs and adhesive tape.
Are Tasers safe to use on planes?
There is some risk to using Tasers or other similar stun guns, although this tends to revolve around the harm to those hit by them.
In the UK, there have been at least 17 deaths linked to the use of stun guns since they were introduced by police in 2003.
And while not ideal to use one on a plane, there is not thought to be any great risk to the safety of a plane if a Taser was activated.
Bear in mind that proponents of air marshals (see below) argue that even when using regular gunfire on a flight - the level of risk is manageable.
Unruly behaviour on aircraft is a growing problem according to a study by IATA, with a sharp rise of incidents in 2015.
Incidents of people getting in fights, being verbally abusive or refusing to follow cabin crew orders were up by 17%.
Alcohol or drug use was identified as a factor in one-in-four incidents.
In 11% of cases, there was physical aggression or even damage to the aircraft.
Some 10,854 incidents of passengers disrupting flights were reported to IATA last year, up from 9,316 incidents in 2014. That's one incident for every 1,205 flights.
Are there still air marshals on planes?
An air marshal is an undercover armed guard on board a commercial aircraft, to counter hijackings and other hostile acts.
In the event of an imminent threat from a passenger, air marshals say they are trained to respond with lethal force.
Their use was ramped up, especially in the US, after the 11 September 2001 attacks.
It is thought there are now several thousand marshals employed by the US Department for Homeland Security, compared with the 33 flying regularly pre-9/11.
Israel's El Al has had armed marshals operating on its flights for more than 30 years.
IATA says that - perhaps not surprisingly - countries which do employ air marshals, do not disclose which flights they are on.
A Japanese hotel chain has come under fire for its owner's claims that a World War Two massacre in the Chinese city of Nanjing did not take place.
A book by Toshio Motoya, who owns APA Hotels, was found this week to be widely distributed in his outlets.
It has prompted a rebuke from the Chinese government as well as a boycott by Chinese hotel booking websites.
But the chain has refused to withdraw the book and Mr Motoya, an outspoken revisionist, has stood by his views.
The book is said to be available in every guest room and for sale in hotel gift shops.
The Nanjing massacre, also known as the Rape of Nanjing, is a hugely sensitive issue in China and a contentious subject in Japan.
In December 1937 Japanese troops invaded the eastern city of Nanjing. China says 300,000 of its civilians were massacred, but some historians have disputed this figure while some Japanese nationalists deny any killings took place.
The dispute is one reason why Beijing continues to accuse Tokyo of failing to properly apologise or atone for its wartime past.
In China, which introduced an annual state commemoration in 2014, the massacre has become a symbol of nationalism.
What is in the book?
Chinese people and armed police attend the state memorial ceremony for the Nanjing Massacre at Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall on 13 December 2016 in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province of
The book, titled "The Real History of Japan: Theoretical Modern History II", is a compilation of Mr Motoya's columns written for the hotel's newsletter.
Mr Motoya casts doubt on historical evidence of the massacre and claims it "was fabricated by the Chinese side and did not actually happen".
In another section, he also denies that Japanese soldiers forced women to become their sex slaves.
The issue of "comfort women" is another sensitive subject in China as well as South Korea, where it currently is the subject of a row with Japan.
How has China reacted?
China's foreign ministry has said Mr Motoya's book "once again shows that some forces in Japan are still reluctant to look squarely at history, and even try to deny and distort history".
APA, one of Japan's largest hospitality chains with more than 400 hotels, is popular with Chinese tour groups.
But Chinese and Japanese media reports said that popular Chinese hotel booking portals such as Ctrip have pulled APA's listings from their sites.
And what did APA say?
The chain said in a statement that it would not withdraw the book even though it had received "floods of opinions" and enquiries.
The book was a "fact-based true interpretation of modern history", it said.
"Although we acknowledge that historic interpretation and education vary among nations, please clearly understand that the book is not aimed to criticize any specific state or nation."
Mr Motoya told Japanese newspaper Nikkei on Wednesday that he "wrote what I believe is the truth".
The Japanese government has said both countries should look to the future "rather than paying excessive attention to our unfortunate history".
How did the uproar happen?
It's not clear how long the book has been available in APA hotels, but its existence was highlighted in a video posted on Chinese microblog site Weibo on Sunday by a couple who call themselves KatAndSid.
The couple, an American woman and a Chinese man studying in New York University, said they had noticed the book while staying travelling in Japan and staying in an APA hotel.
They added they wanted to raise awareness of the book so that guests, including Chinese nationals, would be better informed.
Their video has been shared more than 703,000 times.
Mongolia is to reconstruct some old parts of building of the Government Palace due to the risk of earthquakes. As reported by working group of inspectors, a total of MNT 42.4 billion in investment is needed for rebuilding of some parts of the structure. Rebuilding process will begin from 2018.
The ‘Saaral Ordon’ or ‘Grey Palace’, as it is known locally, was built in 1947-1951 and is home to the State Great Khural (parliament) and the Presidential Administration . A minor earthquake hit the Mongolian capital in 2015, which triggered discussion on what damage a larger quake could cause.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ On Wednesday, Minister of Labor and Social Welfare N.Nomtoibayar called a press conference to announce that the decision to lower the annual interest of pension credits from 18 to 15 percent is coming into force from January 18.
On the national level, there are a total of 378 thousand pensioners, 60 percent of whom are in debt of credit with 18 percent annual interest. To relieve the financial burden on the shoulders of those pensioners, the Ministry has talked down the annual interest rate of pension credits and established agreements with State Bank and Khan Bank, through which 91 percent of all pensioners are provided services.
With the decision, the pensioners will enjoy 15 percent annual interest credits with 1-6 months of duration from the moment of enforcement of the agreements with the banks. The outstanding credits will continue to be paid in formerly agreed terms, in other words, with 18 percent annual interest.
Pensioners gained access to free choice of banks, through which they receive benefits, pursuant to the decision made at the last month’s meeting of the National Council of Social Insurance. Before this, all pensioners received pensions through Khan and State banks. The decision has also been made in the best interest of the pensioners, so that the commercial banks would be willing to lower their credit and savings' interests to attract more customers, said the Minister.
When asked if the pension credit interest rate will decrease again, Minister N.Nomtoibayar answered that "The Prime Minister has given obligations to gradually decrease the interest rate. The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare and the General Authority of Health and Social Insurances have been working together on this issue.
Funding is being allocated from the Social Insurance Fund to the banks, with consideration of the banks’ credit flow. As of today, MNT 45 billion has been distributed to the State Bank and the Khan Bank.
Mongolian company Solar Power International LLC in cooperation with Japan`s Sharp corporation and Shigemitsu shoji Co., Ltd have completed the construction of the biggest solar power plant of Mongolia, located in Khongor soum, Darkhan-Uul aimag. Total investment of the project was US$ 17.4 million.
According to the preliminary study, the 10MW solar power plant has a capacity to generate 15.2 million kWh electricity per year through its 32,274 solar panels, which is able to provide renewable energy to 20 thousand homes. Moreover, the power plant will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 14,764 tons.
An official opening of Darkhan 10MW solar power plant will be held on Jan 19th. However, the power plant has started to supply electricity to the main power grid since Jan 1st.
Japan`s Sharp corporation installed 32,274 pieces of high-performance solar panels and supplied low and high-voltage electrical appliances from German company CMA and Swedish company ABB, using the latest technology, know-how and experience. Electrical cables of the plant to withstand temperatures up to -40 C degrees.
"We are happy to commence the operation of Mongolian first mega power plant.
Our country has huge solar energy reserves. Based on that reserve, many domestic and foreign professional organizations have received permission to establish solar power plant from Energy Regulatory Commission.
Future of many projects that will be implemented in energy sector may depends on the operation of this solar power plant", said Energy Regulatory Commission Head A.Tleikhan.
The Darkhan 10MW solar power plant project has successfully implemented by the experts and engineers of both Japan and Mongolia.
The world's biggest oil company, Saudi Aramco, is still planning to go public next year.
"We're still looking at 2018 and no change in our plan to deliver in that time," Aramco CEO Amin Nasser told CNNMoney's John Defterios at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Saudi Arabia revealed plans to sell part of its oil giant last year when deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman unveiled a new economic strategy.
The kingdom was forced to rethink after a slump in oil prices blew a huge hole in its finances.
If it happens, the sale of Saudi Aramco is expected to be the biggest IPO in history.
Saudi officials have said they expect an IPO to value Aramco at around $2 trillion. If the market agrees, selling just 5% would raise $100 billion -- four times as much as Alibaba's (BABA, Tech30) IPO in 2014, the largest to date.
Related: 7 crazy numbers about the world's biggest oil company
Aramco says it has 261 billion barrels of oil in reserves, giving the company plenty of resources to exploit in the years ahead. That's more than all of North America's oil reserves put together.
"We are very comfortable with the size of our reserves and the methodology we use to calculate our reserves," Nasser said. "We are not doubling our exploration program in preparation of the IPO."
Aramco pumps about 10.3 million barrels per day. That is more than twice its closest competitor Rosneft, Russia's state-owned producer.
But Saudi Aramco production is set to fall this year after the kingdom and other major oil producers agreed in December to cut output to ease a global supply glut. Lower oil output is likely to depress growth in Saudi Arabia's economy to just 0.4% in 2017, the International Monetary Fund has said.