BEIJING, Dec. 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Chairman and CEO of Piaggio & C. S.p.A. (PIA.MI), Roberto Colaninno, and the Vice General Manager of Foton Motor Group, Wang Shuhai, signed a preliminary agreement in Mantua for the development of a new range of four-wheel electric light commercial vehicles. The agreement consolidates the partnership set up […]

BEIJING, Dec. 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Chairman and CEO of Piaggio & C. S.p.A. (PIA.MI), Roberto Colaninno, and the Vice General Manager of Foton Motor Group, Wang Shuhai, signed a preliminary agreement in Mantua for the development of a new range of four-wheel electric light commercial vehicles. The agreement consolidates the partnership set up by the two groups in September 2017 for joint development of innovative solutions for the light commercial vehicles market.

Over the coming months, a team of representatives from the two groups will work on the development and approval of a production and commercial plan and on the contractual documents with a view – in the event of a successful outcome of the above activities – to finalising the technical documentation for the project and the contracts by Spring 2023.

EU deforestation bill threatens Latin America, Asian and African countries

BRUSSELS— European lawmakers and EU member states inked a deal to ban the purchase of products such as cocoa, coffee, and soybeans that contribute to deforestation, increasing the pressure exerted on Brazilian exports. The list also encompasses palm oil, wood, beef, rubber, and derivate products like skins, chocolate, furniture, and paper.


In addition to Brazil, the EU deal should also affect countries like Indonesia, Argentina, Ghana, and Nigeria, as the importation of these products will be prohibited if linked to deforestation after December 2023, explained the European Parliament.


The legislation text specified that the ban aims to protect all kinds of forests. Importing companies will be deemed responsible for their supply chain and must be able to prove traceability through crop geo-location data.


“It’s the coffee we drink in the morning, the chocolate we eat, the charcoal we use in our barbecues, the paper in our books. It’s radical, and that’s what we’re going to do,” celebrated Pascal Canfin, who chairs the European Parliament’s environment committee.


According to the NGO WWF, EU is responsible for 16% of global deforestation through its imports and is the second biggest destroyer of tropical forests after China.


The text was put up for votes in November 2021 by the European Commission and accepted in general terms by the Member States. Still, MEPs voted in September to strengthen it with an expansion of the list of products, including rubber.


The European Parliament called for the regulation’s scope extended to other threatened ecosystems, such as the Savannah-like biome Cerrado (Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia), where some EU soy imports come from.


The Brazilian press agency O Globo published an article in September this year when the proposal was being discussed in the European bloc, in which the Brazilian Association of Soybean Producers (Aprosoja) classified the measure as “commercial protectionism disguised as environmental preservation.”


At that point, the EU Parliament approved the draft legislation, but it still needed to be endorsed by the 27 member states.


Source: Nam News Network

Manatee Relative, 700 New Species Now Facing Extinction

Populations of a vulnerable species of marine mammal, numerous species of abalone and a type of Caribbean coral are now threatened with extinction, an international conservation organization said Friday.


The International Union for Conservation of Nature announced the update during the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, or COP15, conference in Montreal. The union’s hundreds of members include government agencies from around the world, and it’s one of the planet’s widest-reaching environmental networks.


The IUCN uses its Red List of Threatened Species to categorize animals approaching extinction. This year, the union is sounding the alarm about the dugong — a large and docile marine mammal that lives from the eastern coast of Africa to the western Pacific Ocean.


The dugong — a relative of the manatee — is vulnerable throughout its range, and now populations in East Africa have entered the red list as critically endangered, IUCN said in a statement. Populations in New Caledonia have entered the list as endangered, the group said.


The major threats to the animal are unintentional capture in fishing gear in East Africa and poaching in New Caledonia, IUCN said. It also suffers from boat collisions and loss of the seagrasses it eats, said Evan Trotzuk, who led the East Africa red list assessment.


“Strengthening community-led fisheries governance and expanding work opportunities beyond fishing are key in East Africa, where marine ecosystems are fundamental to people’s food security and livelihoods,” Trotzuk said.


The IUCN Red List includes more than 150,000 species. The list sometimes overlaps with the species listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, such as in the case of the North Atlantic right whale. More than 42,000 of the species on the red list are threatened with extinction, IUCN says.


IUCN uses several categories to describe an animal’s status, ranging from “least concern” to “critically endangered.” IUCN typically updates the red list two or three times a year. This week’s update includes more than 3,000 additions to the red list. Of those, 700 are threatened with extinction.


Jane Smart, head of IUCN’s Center for Science and Data, said it will take political will to save the jeopardized species, and the gravity of the new listings can serve as a clarion call.


“The news we often give you on this is often gloomy, a little bit depressing, but it sparks the action, which is good,” Smart said.

Pillar coral, which is found throughout the Caribbean, was moved from vulnerable to critically endangered in this week’s update. The coral is threatened by a tissue loss disease, and its population has shrunk by more than 80% across most of its range since 1990, IUCN said. The IUCN lists more than two dozen corals in the Atlantic Ocean as critically endangered.


Almost half the corals in the Atlantic are “at elevated risk of extinction due to climate change and other impacts,” said Beth Polidoro, an associate professor at Arizona State University and the red list coordinator for IUCN.


Unsustainable harvesting and poaching have emerged as threats to abalone, which are used as seafood, IUCN said. Twenty of the 54 abalone species in the world are threatened with extinction according to the red list’s first global assessment of the species.


Threats to the abalone are compounded by climate change, diseases and pollution, the organization said.


“This red list update brings to light new evidence of the multiple interacting threats to declining life in the sea,” said Jon Paul Rodríguez, chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission.




Source: Voice of America

UN Weekly Roundup: December 3-9, 2022

Security Council adopts resolution creating exemption in sanctions regimes


The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution Friday that will protect humanitarian assistance from unintended negative impacts across all U.N. sanctions regimes. Fourteen council members voted in favor and only one, India, abstained on the U.S. and Ireland-initiated text. The resolution seeks to exempt “the provision, processing or payment of funds, other financial assets,” or the provision of goods and services “necessary to ensure the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance” from U.N. sanctions.


UN Security Council Protects Humanitarian Aid from Sanctions


Condemnation of Iran’s execution of protester


The U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Iran condemned the Iranian government’s execution of a 23-year-old protester as “horrifying and shocking” in an exclusive interview with VOA Persian on Thursday. Protester Mohsen Shekari was hanged Thursday after a swift trial that rights groups said was a sham. He was convicted for blocking a Tehran street and hitting a Basij paramilitary on September 25. Protests have roiled the country since mid-September, when 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in police custody. She was detained for improperly wearing her headscarf.


Read VOA Persian’s interview with Special Rapporteur Javaid Rehman: VOA Interview: Javaid Rehman


UN refugee agency concerned for Somali refugees in Kenyan camp


The U.N. refugee agency warns humanitarian conditions are deteriorating for tens of thousands of Somalis in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camps as unrelenting drought grips the Horn of Africa and funding dries up.


UNHCR: Conditions Deteriorate for Somalis in Dadaab Refugee Camps


First shipment of ‘Grain from Ukraine’ initiative arrives in Horn of Africa


The first shipment of grain as part of Ukraine’s own initiative to supply countries in need arrived Monday in drought-hit Horn of Africa. Another grain ship is due to arrive next week and a third is being loaded. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the “Grain from Ukraine” initiative last month to help countries most affected by the food crisis. This program is separate from the commercially focused Black Sea Grain initiative that gets Ukrainian grain to international markets.


More from the Associated Press: 25,000 Tons of Ukraine Grain Reach East Africa


In brief


— Biodiversity talks opened in Montreal on Wednesday with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealing for “a peace pact with nature.” The two-week long COP15 review conference focuses on the relationship between man and nature’s support systems. The first part of COP15 was held in Kunming, China, in October of last year. This second meeting will include continued negotiations by parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, which the U.N. hopes will lead to the adoption of an ambitious post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.


— The U.N. resident and humanitarian coordinator in Haiti said Thursday that gangs control more than a third of the capital, Port-au-Prince, and they are subjecting the population to violence, including rape. Ulrika Richardson told reporters at U.N. headquarters that hunger is growing, with half the population food insecure. For the first time, there are 20,000 Haitians who are in the most catastrophic level of food insecurity, primarily in the capital’s biggest slum, Cite Soleil. A recent cholera outbreak is also growing, spreading beyond the capital to eight of the island nation’s 10 departments. At least 238 people have died from the water borne disease since October, and nearly 12,000 more have been hospitalized. This year’s flash appeal for $145 million is only 16% funded, as the U.N. looks ahead to next year seeking a further $719 million for hunger, cholera and other humanitarian needs.


— The World Health Organization said Thursday that malaria cases continued to rise between 2020 and 2021, but at a slower rate than in the period 2019 to 2020. The newly released World Malaria Report says there were an estimated 619,000 malaria deaths globally in 2021, compared to 625,000 in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, before the pandemic struck, the number of deaths stood at 568,000. Most countries also managed, despite supply chain and logistics challenges, to maintain malaria testing and treatment during the pandemic. WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said through a strengthened response, risk mitigation, building resilience and accelerating research, “there is every reason to dream of a malaria-free future.”


Good news


The Secretary-General welcomed the signing Monday of a framework agreement in Sudan between pro-democracy political parties and the military, which returned to power in an October 2021 coup. Guterres said he hopes the agreement can lead to the return to a civilian-led transition in the country and he urged the parties to address outstanding issues.


Quote of Note


“In Ukraine today, the ability of civilians to survive is under attack.”

U.N. humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths in remarks to the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday about living conditions in Ukraine, where Russia has stepped up attacks on energy infrastructure as winter temperatures begin to plummet.


What we are watching next week


Griffiths heads to Ukraine December 12-15. He will meet with government officials, humanitarian partners and people impacted by the war. The U.N. humanitarian chief will meet displaced persons in the southern city of Mykolaiv and inspect an aid distribution site in Kherson. He will also meet with senior government officials in Kyiv and meet representatives from the NGO community.





Source: Voice of America

Park Place Technologies Acquires CentricsIT Global Services Division

Purchase Strengthens Park Place as Global Leader for all IT Infrastructure Solutions, as Economy and Skills Gap Challenges Impact Global Business. CLEVELAND, Dec. 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Park Place Technologies, the leading global data center and networking optimization firm, has acquired the TPM and Professional Services assets of CentricsIT, an IT services provider based […]

Purchase Strengthens Park Place as Global Leader for all IT Infrastructure Solutions, as Economy and Skills Gap Challenges Impact Global Business.

CLEVELAND, Dec. 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Park Place Technologies, the leading global data center and networking optimization firm, has acquired the TPM and Professional Services assets of CentricsIT, an IT services provider based in Atlanta, Georgia.

The demand for Professional Services is growing globally, driven by economic conditions and skills gaps. Park Place’s Professional Services offering will benefit from the acquisition with greater capabilities in IMAC, ITAD, Remote Hands, and deployment services, including cabling, wi-fi surveys, data center installs and refreshes, and network installations. Park Place clients will benefit from a state-of-the-art Professional Services portal developed by CentricsIT that provides real-time project status, reporting, and collaboration tools. Park Place’s Project Management Office function will be enhanced with the addition of Project Management Institute-certified CentricsIT employees worldwide. CentricsIT customers will gain access to Park Place Technologies’ unique portfolio of products and services, including automated monitoring and managed services.

Chris Adams, President and CEO of Park Place Technologies, said in addition to investing in Professional Services, Park Place continues to focus on providing exceptional customer service and support. “When acquiring businesses, we always search for companies that are intensely focused on customer service and have a similar culture and value set to PPT. CentricsIT delivers that and more,” he said. “Our combined Professional Services capabilities are evolving to meet client needs, and this will accelerate that CX agenda. CentricsIT’s EVP of Global Services, Patrick Keuller, will join the global Professional Services group. Patrick brings decades of experience and understands the growing needs of companies around the globe that are struggling to recruit skilled stafff and stretching budgets to efficiently manage their infrastructures.”

CentricsIT has been a global leader in IT lifecycle management solutions and professional services since 2007. As the company transitions its professional services and TPM divisions to Park Place Technologies, it will retain its server, storage and networking resale division.

“We’re pleased to have found the right fit in Park Place Technologies for our services practice to grow and thrive,” said CentricsIT founder and CEO Derek Odegard. “We know they will continue to excel in service delivery and client support.”

This is Park Place’s fourth acquisition in 2022.

“Agile Equity provided investment banking services to CentricsIT and facilitated the transaction,” Odegard said. “We enjoyed working with the Agile Equity team. Their expertise in the data center infrastructure industry was very beneficial throughout the transaction.”

Founded in 1991, Park Place Technologies is powered by the world’s largest on-the-ground engineering team, a robust group of hundreds of advanced engineers and its fully staffed 24x7x365 Enterprise Operations Center. Park Place leverages a global parts supply chain, automation, machine learning and a comprehensive portfolio of services and products to optimize networking and data center uptime and performance.

About Park Place Technologies

Park Place Technologies is a global data center and networking optimization firm. Powered by the world’s largest on-the-ground engineering team, a robust group of advanced engineers and our fully staffed, 24x7x365 Enterprise Operations Center, we offer a robust portfolio of IT solutions to optimize networking and data center uptime and performance. Our services include third-party data center hardware maintenance, professional services, infrastructure managed services, network performance monitoring and hardware sales. Through our unique and fully integrated DMSO (Discover, Monitor, Support, Optimize) approach, customers enjoy streamlined infrastructure monitoring and management, cost efficiencies, less chaos, and faster mean-time-to-resolution – ultimately providing the freedom to think bigger. Park Place’s industry-leading and award-winning services include Park Place Hardware Maintenance™, Park Place Professional Services™, ParkView Managed Services™, Entuity Software™ and Curvature Hardware sales. For more information, visit Park Place is a portfolio company of Charlesbank Capital Partners and GTCR.

Jennifer Deutsch
Park Place Technologies
(440) 991-3105

Michael Miller
Park Place Technologies
(440) 991-5509

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8711279