Kenyan Fugitive Wanted for Wildlife, Drug Trafficking Arrested

One of two Kenyans wanted for alleged involvement in wildlife and drug trafficking has been arrested in a joint U.S.-Kenyan operation. The U.S. government had announced a reward for information leading to the arrest of Badru Abdul Aziz Saleh.

U.S. officials said Kenya’s security agencies received a tip from the public that led to the arrest of Saleh Monday in Liboi, Garissa county. An embassy statement said U.S. and Kenyan law enforcement officials cooperated to apprehend Saleh.

Another suspect, Abdi Hussein Ahmed, remains at large.

On Thursday, the United States announced rewards of up to $1 million each for information leading to the arrest, prosecution and conviction of the two Kenyans.

Eric W. Kneedler, chargé d’affaires at the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, said Monday’s arrest of Saleh “would not have been possible without the public’s support. He appealed for information leading to Ahmed’s arrest.

Saleh remains in police custody in Nairobi and is expected to be extradited to the U.S.

Saleh was arrested back in 2019 for drug trafficking but released on bail, according to the U.S. State Department. A statement said he was a fugitive with an outstanding warrant for his arrest. A federal grand jury in New York indicted him in 2021.

Saleh and Ahmed were accused in the transportation, distribution and smuggling of 190 kilograms of rhinoceros horns and 10 tons of elephant ivory from different African countries.

They were also alleged to have been involved in transporting and distributing 10 kilograms of heroin from Kenya to the United States.

If convicted, both could face up to 10 years in prison in the U.S.
In March, Kenya launched a financial toolkit to help fight illegal wildlife trade.

Source: Voice of America

In Commonwealth, Queen’s Jubilee Draws Protests, Apathy

After seven decades on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II is widely viewed in the U.K. as a rock in turbulent times. But in Britain’s former colonies, many see her as an anchor to an imperial past whose damage still lingers.

So while the U.K. is celebrating the queen’s Platinum Jubilee — 70 years on the throne — with pageantry and parties, some in the Commonwealth are using the occasion to push for a formal break with the monarchy and the colonial history it represents.

“When I think about the queen, I think about a sweet old lady,” said Jamaican academic Rosalea Hamilton, who campaigns for her country to become a republic. “It’s not about her. It’s about her family’s wealth, built on the backs of our ancestors. We’re grappling with the legacies of a past that has been very painful.”

The empire that Elizabeth was born into is long gone, but she still reigns far beyond Britain’s shores. She is head of state in 14 other nations, including Canada, Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Bahamas. Until recently it was 15 — Barbados cut ties with the monarchy in November, and several other Caribbean countries, including Jamaica, say they plan to follow suit.

Britain’s jubilee celebrations, which climax over a four-day holiday weekend starting Thursday, aim to recognize the diversity of the U.K. and the Commonwealth. A huge jubilee pageant through central London on Sunday will feature Caribbean Carnival performers and Bollywood dancers.

But Britain’s image of itself as a welcoming and diverse society has been battered by the revelation that hundreds, and maybe thousands, of people from the Caribbean who had lived legally in the U.K. for decades were denied housing, jobs or medical treatment — and in some cases deported — because they didn’t have the paperwork to prove their status.

The British government has apologized and agreed to pay compensation, but the Windrush scandal has caused deep anger, both in the U.K. and in the Caribbean.

A jubilee-year trip to Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas in March by the queen’s grandson Prince William and his wife Kate, which was intended to strengthen ties, appears to have had the opposite effect. Images of the couple shaking hands with children through a chain-link fence and riding in an open-topped Land Rover in a military parade stirred echoes of colonialism for many.

Cynthia Barrow-Giles, professor of political science at the University of the West Indies, said the British “seem to be very blind to the visceral sort of reactions” that royal visits elicit in the Caribbean.

Protesters in Jamaica demanded Britain pay reparations for slavery, and Prime Minister Andrew Holness politely told William that the country was “moving on,” a signal that it planned to become a republic. The next month, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne told the queen’s son Prince Edward that his country, too, would one day remove the queen as head of state.

William acknowledged the strength of feeling and said the future “is for the people to decide upon.”

“We support with pride and respect your decisions about your future,” he said in the Bahamas. “Relationships evolve. Friendship endures.”

When then Princess Elizabeth became queen on the death of her father King George VI 1952, she was in Kenya. The East African country became independent in 1963 after years of violent struggle between a liberation movement and colonial troops. In 2013, the British government apologized for the torture of thousands of Kenyans during the 1950s “Mau Mau” uprising and paid millions in an out-of-court settlement.

Memories of the empire are still raw for many Kenyans.

“From the start, her reign would be indelibly stained by the brutality of the empire she presided over and that accompanied its demise,” said Patrick Gathara, a Kenyan cartoonist, writer and commentator.

“To this day, she has never publicly admitted, let alone apologized, for the oppression, torture, dehumanization and dispossession visited upon people in the colony of Kenya before and after she acceded to the throne.”

U.K. officials hope countries that become republics will remain in the Commonwealth, the 54-nation organization made up largely of former British colonies, which has the queen as its ceremonial head.

The queen’s strong personal commitment to the Commonwealth has played a big role in uniting a diverse group whose members range from vast India to tiny Tuvalu. But the organization, which aims to champion democracy, good governance and human rights, faces an uncertain future.

As Commonwealth heads of government prepare to meet in Kigali, Rwanda, this month for a summit delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, some question whether the organization can continue once the queen’s eldest son, Prince Charles, succeeds her.

“Many of the more uncomfortable histories of the British Empire and the British Commonwealth are sort of waiting in the wings for as soon as Elizabeth II is gone,” royal historian Ed Owens said. “So it’s a difficult legacy that she is handing over to the next generation.”

The crisis in the Commonwealth reflects Britain’s declining global clout.

Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth under its authoritarian late President Robert Mugabe, and is currently seeking readmission. But many in its capital of Harare have expressed indifference to the queen’s jubilee, as Britain’s once-strong influence wanes and countries such as China and Russia enjoy closer relations with the former British colony.

“She is becoming irrelevant here,” social activist Peter Nyapedwa said. “We know about [Chinese President] Xi [Jinping] or [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, not the queen.”

Sue Onslow, director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London, said the queen has been the “invisible glue” holding the Commonwealth together.

But she says the organization has proven remarkably resilient and and shouldn’t be written off. The Commonwealth played a major role in galvanizing opposition to apartheid in the 1980s, and could do the same over climate change, which poses an existential threat to its low-lying island members.

“The Commonwealth has shown a remarkable ability to reinvent itself and contrive solutions at times of crisis, almost as if it’s jumping into a telephone box and coming out under different guise,” she said. “Whether it will do it now is an open question.”

Source: Voice of America

Islamic State Claims Responsibility for Killing 15 in East Congo Village 

Islamic State on Tuesday claimed responsibility for an attack that killed at least 15 civilians in a village in northeast Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, the militant group said on an affiliated Telegram channel.

A rights group and a local official said on Monday that fighters believed to be members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) stormed the village of Bulongo in North Kivu province after dark on Sunday, pillaging homes, murdering inhabitants that crossed their path and setting fire to six vehicles. Read full story.

The ADF is a Ugandan militia that has been active in east Congo since the 1990s and killed scores of civilians, many in middle-of-the-night attacks carried out with machetes and hatchets. It pledged alliance to Islamic State in 2019.

Islamic State claimed its members killed nearly 20 Christians and set fire to six trucks in the attack using machine guns, and returned to their bases unhurt.

Source: Voice of America

Conagen’s New Dihydro Resveratrol Made By Clean Bioconversion Inspires Novel Products and Drives Market Growth

Bedford, Mass., May 31, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Massachusetts-based biotech Conagen announces the development of a new scalable natural compound, dihydro resveratrol, for use in industrial and human health applications. Conagen’s dihydro resveratrol is made by bioconversion from p-coumaric acid (pCA), a natural preservative Conagen produced by precision fermentation.

The same proprietary bioconversion technology used to make dihydro resveratrol can be used to make resveratrol and other polyphenol class molecules. Both compounds are natural metabolites of plants, such as berries and grapes, and are commonly found in red wine.

Because resveratrol and dihydro resveratrol exist in only very small quantities in plants, cultivation, extraction, and purification are very inefficient, using more land, water, and energy. Instead, Conagen starts with pCA made using fermentation of microorganisms. Bioconversion of pCA allows Conagen to use a much smaller footprint to make dihydro resveratrol and related compounds.

“The development of dihydro resveratrol demonstrates Conagen’s strong capability to manufacture and deliver innovative and versatile compounds for multiple large-scale applications,” said Casey Lippmeier, vice president of innovation. “Our proprietary bioconversion and precision fermentation capabilities enable the production of sustainable high-quality polyphenols for use in novel products which drive the growth of new markets.”

Resveratrol molecules in the category of polyphenols possess rich antioxidant properties. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity are linked to protective effects against heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and cognitive decline. Conagen has announced several polyphenol products over the past few years, such as Taxifolin BC-DHQ® (dihydroquercetin), kaempferol, Rosaval™  rosmarinic acid, and hydroxytyrosol, establishing a strong leadership in the development of polyphenol compounds.

In addition to their importance in human health applications for improving the quality of life, dihydro resveratrol and resveratrol are also important industrial intermediates. They offer valuable use in many industrial applications, such as plastic additives, paints, resins, polymers, and high-temperature-resistant biomaterials.

Conagen is working with multiple industrial partners to develop novel applications of dihydro resveratrol, resveratrol, and related compounds.

About Conagen

Conagen is a product-focused, synthetic biology R&D company with large-scale manufacturing service capabilities. Our scientists and engineers use the latest synthetic biology tools to develop high-quality, sustainable, nature-based products by precision fermentation and enzymatic bioconversion. We focus on the bioproduction of high-value ingredients for food, nutrition, flavors and fragrances, pharmaceutical, and renewable materials industries. www.conagen.com

Attachment

Ana Arakelian, Head of Public Relations and Communications
Conagen
+1.781.271.1588
ana.arakelian@conagen.com

Hitachi Energy wins order from Deutsche Bahn to deliver one of the most powerful converter stations in the world

The Thyrow converter plant will convert electricity from the public three-phase distribution network to a frequency of 16.7 Hz and feed it into the traction current network

Zurich, Switzerland, May 31, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hitachi Energy, the global technology and market leader in power grids, announced today that it has won an order from Deutsche Bahn to provide a 120 megawatt (MW) converter station which enables DB Energie to secure power supply for the Greater Berlin rail network. The network serves a metropolitan population of around 3.5 million people and is the hub for multiple high-speed train services to cities throughout Germany and neighboring countries.

The Thyrow converter station, south of Berlin, will enable Deutsche Bahn to convert electricity from the public three-phase power distribution grid, which operates at a frequency of 50 hertz (Hz) to 16.7 Hz, and feed it into the rail power grid used to power trains and rail infrastructure.

The order follows one awarded last year by Deutsche Bahn to Hitachi Energy for the 160 MW Delitz converter station in the greater Halle/Leipzig area, which will be one of the most powerful converter stations for rail power worldwide.

“We are delighted that Deutsche Bahn has selected Hitachi Energy as partner of choice to secure the 16.7 Hz power supply for their rail network,” said Niklas Persson, Managing Director of Hitachi Energy’s Grid Integration business. “This is an excellent example of how we collaborate together with customers and partners to accelerate the energy transition and advancing a sustainable energy future for all.”

The Hitachi Energy solution for the Thyrow converter station comprises three compact 40 MW static frequency converter modules, which use Hitachi Energy’s advanced power semiconductors to provide a steady and reliable power supply at maximum availability and with minimal electrical losses. The solution includes a 30-year service contract and a digitalization package to provide Deutsche Bahn with condition-based and reactive maintenance and data insights into the system status of the converter station over the life cycle.

Hitachi Energy is the world’s leading supplier of grid integration and power quality solutions, including rail converter stations and the integration of renewable energy into power transmission systems.

Notes to the Editor

Static frequency converters

Rail frequency converter stations are based on static frequency converters (SFC). They connect three-phase power distribution or transmission grids, which typically operate at 50 or 60 Hz, with single-phase railway power grids, which operate at 16.7, 25, 50 or 60 Hz. Besides the transfer of active power, the SFC can also control reactive power in both grids independently. It responds immediately to grid faults and enables a smooth and interruption-free transition to island mode during an outage.

Power electronics

SFCs are based on Hitachi Energy’s power electronics. These integrated gate-commutated thyristors (IGCTs) will be part of this solution. They maintain grid stability and power quality by responding rapidly to frequency fluctuations and grid disturbances. Power electronics are an integral part of many Hitachi Energy technologies, including high-voltage direct current (HVDC) and flexible AC transmission systems (FACTS).

About Hitachi Energy Ltd.

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.

Attachment

Rebecca Bleasdale
Hitachi Energy Ltd.
+41 78643 2613
rebecca.bleasdale@hitachienergy.com

Hisense Elevates Home Entertainment for Africans with Upgraded High-Performance ULED Displays

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, May 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Hisense, provider of high-performance TV and home appliances, has announced it will bring four high-performance ULED display products to the African market: the U80H ULED 8K Mini LED TV, U8H Mini-LED ULED 4K TV, U7H 120Hz Quantum ULED 4K TV, and U6H Quantum ULED 4K TV. The products will launch in the African market in June 2022.

Hisense ULED TV lineup

Hisense’s latest 2022 ULED series delivers marked improvements on its predecessors, with enhanced visual and audio quality for extraordinary vivid, bright and immersive images.

With four Mini-LED TV models across two series, consumers are spoiled for choice when selecting the perfect display for their home. All four new displays support Quantum Dot Colour so users can step into a new world of colours with over 1 billion shades available. Dolby Vision IQ and HDR 10+ Adaptive are supported in U7H models and above to provide better HDR performance in any lighting conditions. In addition, both series feature Full Array Local Dimming technology, which uses LED backlighting zones to adjust and create contrast based on each image.

In the U8H, 2.1.2 Multi-Channel Surround brings a vivid immersive surround sound experience that transports viewers into the moment without distractions. Meanwhile, the U8H and the U7H feature room-fitting sound technology, which intelligently generates the most suitable sound curve for the size and materials in the space. IMAX Enhanced is supported in the U8H and U80H 8K models, realising the signature picture, sound and scale in the comfort of the home.

This year, Hisense also delivers next-level gaming in U7H models and above. With HDMI 2.1 support and AMD FreeSync Premium certification, the display automatically activates advanced HDMI features including 120Hz VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) to give gamers a competitive edge.

All 2022 models are powered by Hisense’s updated VIDAA U6 OS, the best glocal content hub. For even more streamlined viewing, users can control the TV via the hands-free voice remote or issue voice commands up to a distance of three meters. All ULED models are with TÜV Rheinland’s product privacy protection certification, which means that the user’s experience with these models will be private, safe and secure.

Good for the home and the environment, Hisense has also introduced eco-friendly packaging this year with a 90% recyclable carton box.

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Billups accélère son expansion européenne et fait appel aux meilleurs talents pour répondre à la demande croissante de publicité extérieure

AMSTERDAM,  31 mai 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Billups, la plus grande entreprise privée de technologie publicitaire en extérieur (OOH) et de services gérés aux États-Unis, a annoncé de nouvelles embauches clés pour renforcer son expansion en Europe. L’entreprise connaît une croissance sans précédent aux États-Unis et dans la région EMEA, avec deux nouvelles acquisitions de technologies publicitaires plus tôt cette année, de nouveaux clients et des approbations de brevets dans le domaine de l’intelligence de localisation.

« 2021 a été la meilleure année de Billups depuis que Heather [Billups] et moi avons cofondé l’entreprise il y a près de 20 ans », a déclaré Benjamin Billups, cofondateur de Billups. « Aujourd’hui, nous avançons à un rythme accéléré où les acquisitions et l’expansion sont importantes pour la croissance, mais ce sont vraiment les talents que nous apportons qui transformeront l’industrie de l’OOH de demain. »

Billups Accelerates European Expansion and Taps Top Talent to Tackle Growing OOH Demand

Après le lancement européen de Billups l’automne dernier, dirigé par Andrew Brunton, directeur général, EMEA, l’entreprise s’est associée à certaines des marques les plus influentes au monde pour faire progresser l’affichage comme pilier de son marketing mix. Alors que les annonceurs et les agences continuent d’investir dans l’OOH, l’OOH numérique (DOOH) et le DOOH programmatique (pDOOH), Billups EMEA effectue des nominations à des postes clés, notamment :

  • Amanda Bingham, directrice de compte, EMEA. En tant que membre du personnel de boomerang, Amanda rejoint Billups à Amsterdam pour superviser la planification stratégique, le placement et les informations sur les données dans toute la région.
  • Andrés Carballo Pacheco, directeur de compte, EMEA. Fort d’une vaste expérience dans les domaines de la technologie et du numérique, Andres supervise la planification stratégique, les investissements et les opérations dans la péninsule ibérique et en Europe du Sud.
  • Finty Barton, directrice de compte, EMEA. Grâce à sa solide expérience mondiale en OOH créatif et axé sur la technologie, Finty rejoint l’équipe de Londres pour étendre la planification stratégique et les relations avec les clients au Royaume-Uni et dans la région EMEA.
  • Thorsten Normann, directeur de compte, EMEA. Avec le lancement de Billups à Francfort, Thorsten gère de nouvelles opportunités commerciales, la planification et le placement à travers l’Allemagne et l’Europe de l’Est.
  • Valentin Prieto, directeur commercial principal, EMEA. Les partenaires commerciaux et les relations avec les clients sont entre de bonnes mains avec Valentin, alors qu’il stimule les opportunités de croissance commerciale dans toute l’Europe occidentale.
  • Lorenzo Conti, directeur des comptes et des partenariats, EMEA. Fort d’une vaste expérience dans les domaines du marketing, du développement commercial, des marques de luxe et de mode, Lorenzo supervise la stratégie des médias et les partenariats en Europe du Sud et au Moyen-Orient.

Billups emploie maintenant plus de 140 personnes, couvrant 26 bureaux dans le monde entier avec des partenariats entre les plus grandes marques dans la technologie, la mode, la finance, la santé, les biens de consommation courante, le divertissement, la restauration rapide, la vente au détail, l’alcool, le tourisme et la cryptomonnaie.

À propos de Billups
Billups réinvente la planification et le placement à l’extérieur dans un monde où les performances sont essentielles. Alliant l’art et la science à une technologie de pointe, nous sommes en tête de l’industrie en matière de ciblage scientifique breveté, de mesure précise pour la publicité en extérieur et d’un moteur de recommandation alimenté par l’intelligence artificielle. Fondée en 2003, Billups offre aux annonceurs, aux agences et aux propriétaires de médias une plateforme qui rend la publicité extérieure aussi automatisée et crédible que les publicités numériques les plus efficaces. Visitez le site www.billups.com.

Contact pour les médias
Jeff Jan
Responsable de la croissance
marketing@billups.com

Logo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1827390/Billups_Logo.jpg

Billups Accelerates European Expansion and Taps Top Talent to Tackle Growing OOH Demand

AMSTERDAM, May 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Billups, the largest privately held out-of-home (OOH) technology and managed services company in the U.S., today announced key new hires to strengthen its expansion across Europe. The company is experiencing unprecedented growth in both the U.S. and EMEA, with two new ad tech acquisitions earlier this year, new client wins and patent approvals in the location intelligence space.

“2021 was the best Billups year since Heather [Billups] and I co-founded the company almost 20 years ago,” said Benjamin Billups, Co-founder of Billups. “Today, we are moving at an accelerated pace where acquisitions and expansion are important to growth, but it is truly the talent we bring on who will transform tomorrow’s OOH industry.”

Billups Accelerates European Expansion and Taps Top Talent to Tackle Growing OOH Demand

After Billups’ European launch last fall, led by Andrew Brunton, Managing Director, EMEA, the company has partnered with some of the world’s most influential brands to advance OOH as a pillar to its marketing mix. As advertisers and agencies continue to invest in OOH, digital OOH (DOOH) and programmatic DOOH (pDOOH), Billups EMEA is making key appointments including:

  • Amanda Bingham, Account Director, EMEA — As a boomerang staffer, Amanda rejoins Billups in Amsterdam to oversee strategic planning, placement and data insights across the region.
  • Andrés Carballo Pacheco, Account Director, EMEA — With an extensive background in technology and digital, Andres oversees strategy planning, investment and operations across the Iberian Peninsula and Southern Europe.
  • Finty Barton, Account Director, EMEA — Offering a strong global background in creative and technology-driven OOH, Finty joins the London team to expand strategic planning and client relationships across UK and EMEA.
  • Thorsten Normann, Account Director, EMEA — Launching Billups in Frankfurt, Thorsten manages new business opportunities, planning and placement across Germany and Eastern Europe.
  • Valentin Prieto, Senior Business Director, EMEA — Business partners and client relationships are in good hands with Valentin, as he drives business growth opportunities throughout Western Europe.
  • Lorenzo Conti, Account & Partnership Director, EMEA — With deep experience in marketing, business development, luxury and fashion brands, Lorenzo oversees media strategy and partnerships in Southern Europe and the Middle East.

Billups now employs more than 140 people, spanning 26 offices around the globe with partnerships across the biggest brands in technology, fashion, finance, healthcare, CPG, entertainment, QSR, retail, alcohol, tourism and cryptocurrency.

About Billups
Billups is reinventing out-of-home planning and placement for the performance age. Blending art and science with advanced technology, we lead the industry with patented scientific targeting, accurate out-of-home measurement and an AI-powered recommendation engine. Founded in 2003, Billups offers advertisers, agencies and media owners a platform that makes out-of-home as automated and attributable as the most effective digital ads. Visit us at www.billups.com.

Media Contact
Jeff Jan
Head of Growth
marketing@billups.com

Logo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1827390/Billups_Logo.jpg