Sheikh Hamdan’s statement on the seven shifts shaping future cities was seemingly delivered ‘from the future’.
The future is not just about technology, it is about the potential of the human being, innovative ideas and tolerance, said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council.
Addressing the audience at the World Government Summit via 3D hologram technology, Sheikh Hamdan’s statement on the seven shifts shaping future cities was seemingly delivered ‘from the future’.
Flanked by two giant screens, the hologram of Sheikh Hamdan laid out his vision for the future for the city. Using visual aids, infographics, futuristic videos and life-like images, Sheikh Hamdan wished to put Dubai 10 years ahead of other cities in a manner that will sustainably tend to the needs of the continually booming world population.
The visual aids gave life to an idea of what cities of the future could look like. From vertical farms to self-driving cars, and transparent solar panels to artificial intelligence windows capturing and storing power, the future is keenly focused on improving the quality of life of people.
However, apart from technological advancements, Dubai’s future communities are tolerant and rely on innovation and ideas. He said: “Dubai is a model of tolerance and coexistence, where over 220 different nationalities live in peace.”
According to Hamdan, “seven major transformations will take place in the cities of the world and the objective of their review is to benefit from them in order to confront the transformations and changes”.
He added: “Cities are the foundation of global economic development and the convergence of cultures and ideas… Measuring the development of cities depends on the quality of life and the journey towards the future provides us with passion and energy to achieve greater goals.”
He began his talk by saying “cities are the foundation of the future. They are the cradle of ideas and a source of capital. Countries are nothing but a bundle of cities.” He added, “Furthermore, the future is intimately related to the city of Dubai. Many of the world cities look at Dubai being a city of the future.”
He credited his father His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for building a metropolis ‘that is advanced compared to other countries’.
He said: “The future shall always become something we are interested in, it is a source of inspiration and the journey towards future is a continuous activity.”
Seven shifts shaping future cities
Where will we live?
>The first shift addresses the issue of infrastructure.
>Most present cities were developed in the beginning of the 20th century
>Vehicles, lack of parking spaces and excessive movement are reducing the quality of life
>Cities need to be redesigned to provide better quality of life and all requirements of people must be met within a radius of less than 20 minutes
Where will we move?
>The average time for individual to move inside a city from the place of residency to work is 60 minutes a day.
>Traffic and uneasy access reduce level of happiness in people
>According to a study by the University of West of England, when 20 minutes is added to mobility, it reduces happiness, which in-turn reduces salary by 19 per cent
>If five per cent of the transportation is made autonomous, congestion will decrease by 40 per cent
>In the cities of the future, new mobility options like Hyperloop and flying taxis would be added.
What will be our source of power?
The third metamorphosis will be an increase in the use of artificial intelligence, smart devices and use of power.
>According to data deduced from the Internet of Things, there will be 500 billion devices by 2050 making cities more intelligent
>This will cause a revolution in production of data, and thanks to AI, future societies will be experiencing peace and security
>There will be decrease in rates of crime
>Virtual reality is set to enhance human experiences by contributing to the real world
How will we consume resources?
>In the cities of the future, homes will be environment-friendly
>Each person will become consumer and producer at the same time, and every house will be able to store the energy that it needs
> This shift would not become tangible if we do not reduce the cost of production, and for that we should move from traditional sources of production
> Energy from solar panels will be 16 times higher by 2040, according to reports from the International Energy Organisation
>The future will witness the production of transparent solar panels and every window in every single building will have the capacity to store energy
>By 2050, the world population is estimated to be 9 billion and food production will be a challenge in rural to urban areas
>In developed countries, the production will increase by 70 per cent and 100 per cent in developing countries
>Horizontal farms inside cities will double production and will increase most of the needs of population and urban areas
>Future cities will play a key role in supporting farmers and facing the challenge of global food security
How will cities compete?
>The future of competition between cities will be not about infrastructure, but about attracting talent
>The cities of the future will be the food basket for individuals thanks to the flourishing of food production techniques
>The power of future cities is based on tolerance and Dubai is a shining example
>The competitiveness of cities is not limited to the quality of the business environment and infrastructure, but also to the establishment of values of tolerance, cooperation and prosperity
How will cities create value?
>Technology will establish the economy of communication
>Energy providers will become a platform to exchange ideas and information through
> The data economy, shared economy and circular economy will take over the markets
> Data is new economy source that exceeds oil
> The cities of the future will have wells of data and shared economy will change the concept of consumption
How will the government work?
>Governance in the future will consist of agile leadership
>Solutions for challenges will be designed in partnership with society, through brainstorming
>The availability of data and the Internet of Things will help leaders measure policies in a better way
>Deployment of innovation is the only way to succeed in ensuring citizens’ wellbeing
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German far-right holds congress with COVID ‘hotspot potential’
About 600 members of AfD due to meet Saturday at an unused nuclear plant in Kalkar city defying pandemic warnings.Hundreds of AfD delegates will gather Saturday for a congress that authorities have warned could become a coronavirus hotspot, as the German far-right party increasingly aligns itself with activists protesting coronavirus restrictions. Six hundred members of…
About 600 members of AfD due to meet Saturday at an unused nuclear plant in Kalkar city defying pandemic warnings.Hundreds of AfD delegates will gather Saturday for a congress that authorities have warned could become a coronavirus hotspot, as the German far-right party increasingly aligns itself with activists protesting coronavirus restrictions.
Six hundred members of the anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant party are due to meet at an unused nuclear plant in western Germany’s Kalkar city to draw up their first concept on pensions.
To win approval for the huge gathering at a time when Germans are asked to limit their contacts to just two households at a time, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) had signed up to stringent rules including compulsory mask-wearing and distancing in the huge hall.
The party’s own security officers are due to ensure that the rules are met, alongside officials from Kalkar city.
Hundreds of police officers will also be deployed to ward off any unruly scenes, as anti-AfD protesters have also announced plans to demonstrate outside.
The event can “become a hotspot,” warned Kalkar’s mayor Britta Schulz, adding that, while it was “irresponsible” to hold such a big event, the political gathering could not be prohibited.
Because new appointments are also due to be made to the AfD’s board during the meeting, the congress is exempted from rules banning large gatherings in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
More than 15,000 COVID deaths
In contrast, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party has twice postponed its congress to elect a new leader because of the risks of coronavirus contagion. The Greens held their meeting online last weekend.
Shrugging off possible risks, the AfD’s health policy spokesman Detlev Spangenberg claimed, “The coronavirus is comparable to the influenza in terms of the course taken by the illness as well as in terms of its lethality. So the serious measures [taken to fight it] are not proportionate.”
Germany has recorded more than a million coronavirus infections. A total of 15,586 people have died from the illness, according to official data.
The AfD has been the focus of repeated controversies since it began life as a eurosceptic outfit seven years ago.
In 2015, as public opinion soured against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to keep Germany’s borders open to hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war in Iraq and Syria, the AfD morphed into an anti-immigration party.
It was rewarded for its Islamophobic positioning at elections in 2017, when voters sent it into the Bundestag for the first time to become the biggest opposition group in parliament.
A year before national elections, the party is once again positioning itself at the side of groups railing against the government – this time over curbs imposed to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Party co-chief Alexander Gauland recently accused the government of using “war propaganda” to champion its “corona-dictatorship”.
AfD politicians are now also regularly marching side by side demonstrators against coronavirus curbs.
During the latest round of protests in central Berlin, when violence reached a level that the capital’s police chief said had been unseen in decades, an AfD politician was charged for using a forged medical certificate to claim he could not wear the required nose and mouth covering.
In a separate incident recently, Gauland was forced to apologise after two of the party’s legislators invited to parliament two far-right YouTubers who went on to harass politicians in the building.
Nevertheless, the AfD’s ratings have held at about 10 percent, compared with highs of 15-16 percent at the height of the refugee crisis.
In 2017, German voters sent AfD into the Bundestag for the first time to become the biggest opposition group in parliament [File: Fabian Bimmer/Reuters]Toxic infighting between ultra-conservatives and others in the party has weakened the AfD. Some voters are also turned off by association with neo-Nazi skinheads, as the AfD’s most radical faction “Fluegel” is now the object of official surveillance by Germany’s intelligence agency.
Instead, approval ratings for Merkel – who is due to retire from politics next year – have soared to new heights, as the vast majority of the population voiced satisfaction at her handling of the pandemic.
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One of the facility’s tanks was hit by a missile in early on Monday.
The attack knocked out 10 percent of all fuel that was stored at the plant, a Saudi Aramco official said on Tuesday, adding that the tank – one of 13 at the facility – is currently out of action.
The official described the site as a “critical facility” that distributes more than 120,000 barrels of products per day.
A fire caused by the attack was extinguished in about 40 minutes with no casualties, he said.
The attack was confirmed by a Saudi official who told the Saudi state news agency (SPA) it was a “terrorist attack with a projectile”.
The oil company’s production and export facilities are mostly in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern province, more than 1,000km (621 miles) away from Jeddah, across the country.
Announcing the attack, a military spokesman for the Houthis warned that “operations will continue”.
Yahya Sarea said the attack was carried out with a Quds-2 type winged missile. He also posted a satellite image with the label: “North Jeddah bulk plant-Saudi Aramco”.
“The strike was very accurate, and ambulances and fire engines rushed to the target,” Sarea said.
That facility is just southeast of Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport, an important site that handles incoming Muslim pilgrims en route to nearby Mecca.
Yemen has been mired in conflict since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in March 2015 to restore the Yemeni government, which had been removed from power in the capital Sanaa by Houthi forces in late 2014.
Cross-border attacks by Houthi forces have escalated since late May when a truce prompted by the novel coronavirus pandemic expired. The Saudi-led coalition has responded with air raids on Houthi-held territory.
The Houthis control most of north Yemen and most large urban areas. They say they are fighting a corrupt system.
Sarea said the attack was carried out in response to the Saudi-led coalition’s actions in Yemen.
The claimed attack came just after a visit by outgoing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Saudi Arabia to see Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The kingdom also just hosted the annual G20 summit, which concluded on Sunday.
US appoints first Venezuela ambassador in a decade amid tensions
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The two nations have not exchanged ambassadors since 2010 when relations began to fray under late President Hugo Chávez.The United States has its first ambassador for Venezuela in 10 years despite Washington having no diplomats at its Caracas embassy amid a breakdown in relations.
James Story’s nomination as ambassador was confirmed on Wednesday by a US Senate voice vote.
The South Carolina native takes the job that he will carry out from the capital of neighbouring Colombia as Venezuela endures an historic economic and political crisis.
The US and Venezuela have not exchanged ambassadors since 2010 when relations first started to fray under late President Hugo Chávez.
The two nations totally broke diplomatic ties last year, each withdrawing its diplomats shortly after Washington backed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the country’s leader.
Story, 50, will likely play a key role in helping guide US policy on Venezuela during the transition of President-elect Joe Biden.
Biden’s win has sparked debate among those who back President Donald Trump’s hardline approach of isolating his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro and others who say it is time for a new course.
The critics say heavy sanctions have failed to remove Maduro from power, opening Venezuela to US competitors such as China, Russia and Iran, while making life harder on millions of residents of the South American nation.
The US leads a coalition of dozens of nations that rejected Maduro following his election in 2018 to a second term in a vote Washington called fraudulent.
The US has since heavily sanctioned Maduro, his inner circle and the state-run oil firm, attempting to isolate them.
The Trump administration offered a $15m reward for Maduro’s arrest after a US court indicted him on drug charges.