sunny.png
Thursday September 29th, 2022 8:14AM

Davos updates | Initiative aims to build, govern metaverse

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The World Economic Forum has unveiled an initiative to develop the metaverse, a virtual reality construct that many tech companies are betting will be the next big thing for the internet.

The metaverse will merge virtual life with real life and create endless new playgrounds and workspaces for users equipped with virtual reality headsets, augmented reality glasses, smartphone apps or other devices.

The forum said Wednesday that it will work with businesses, regulators, civil society and academic experts to help define and build the metaverse. The focus will be on governing the metaverse as well as how to create economic and societal value.

In a panel talk on the metaverse, Facebook parent Meta's chief product officer, Chris Cox, says he envisioned the need for standards and governance. Meta is betting big on the metaverse as the next big source of the company’s growth.

He says there “will probably be something like a ratings system" for movies, music and other content in the metaverse so parents and young people “can have some sense of what the rules are in the environment that they’re going to walk into.”

Cox compared it to walking into a bar versus a playground, which each have a “different expectation” of the rules that govern those places.

___

A top Saudi official has touted a dual strategy of increasing oil production capacity for export abroad while advocating for a domestic reduction of emissions in line with Saudi Arabia’s net-zero pledge.

Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal al-Ibrahim said on a panel at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos that “these two points do not contradict each other."

He said Wednesday that focusing on climate change without focusing on energy security could lead to more countries burning “the dirtiest kind of coal in a time of need.”

Climate activists and many scientists and energy experts argue otherwise, advocating for an immediate end to greater investment in fossil fuels to keep global temperatures from rising further.

Al-Ibrahim says “energy demand from oil will continue to increase and that higher prices and revenue from oil will help the country reach its 2060 net-zero targets quicker.

___

The World Economic Forum and leaders of some of the world’s largest businesses are announcing the expansion of a partnership aimed at propelling green technologies.

The First Movers Coalition includes businesses that make major purchases around green technologies and down their supply chains. The idea is to send market signals that lead to more investing and scaling up of technologies like green steel, green hydrogen and carbon capture.

On Wednesday, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry was joined by Bill Gates, Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff, Google Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat and several others to announce in Davos that the number of companies had gone from more than 30 to 55.

Sweden, India, Japan, Denmark, the United Kingdom and other countries also joined the partnership, first launched by the U.S. and World Economic Forum.

Gates says “so many green products carry a price premium” compared with established fossil fuel technologies and that “the way you get rid of that is scale up the production.”

The world’s top climate scientists warn that greenhouse gas emissions must be sharply reduced this decade to keep temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 F) since pre-industrial times.

___

The CEO of Ukraine’s largest private energy company says it won’t buy any energy from Russia as long as he’s in charge and insists the European Union can start making up for its “dramatic mistake” of growing dependent on Russian oil and natural gas by buying energy from Ukraine.

Maxim Timchenko of DTEK Group told The Associated Press at the World Economic Forum’s gathering in Davos that consumption of its services in Ukraine has dropped 35% since Russia invaded on Feb. 24. He says some of that excess electricity could be shipped to Europe.

Millions of Ukrainians fled their homes during the war, which also has upended business operations and their electricity needs.

Hours before the war erupted, DTEK disconnected from the grids of Belarus and Russia as part of a test run, and Timchenko says it hasn’t restored the connection. In mid-March, he says the company “synchronized” with the EU grid — but only in “emergency mode.”

He says that doesn't allow the country to get revenue from exporting electricity and that “Ukraine needs this revenue to support financial stability of our energy system.”

___

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that his country will not give up its land to end Russia's war.

Speaking by video link Wednesday at a “Ukrainian breakfast" during the World Economic Forum's gathering in Davos, Zelenskyy said he didn't believe Russian president Vladimir Putin fully understood what was going on in Ukraine.

Responding to a question from CNN's Fareed Zakaria about whether it was possible to negotiate an end to the conflict, Zelenskyy said through a translator that “Ukraine is not going to concede our territory. We are fighting in our country, on our land."

He added that it's a war not against anybody but “for our land, for our freedom, for our independence, and for our future."

As a first step to diplomatic negotiations, Zelenskyy says Russia would need to demonstrate its desire to engage in talks and “should demonstrate at least something like steps withdrawing their troops and equipment to the position before the 24th of February,” when the invasion began.

___

Pfizer says it will provide nearly two dozen products, including its top-selling COVID-19 vaccine and treatment, at not-for-profit prices in some of the world’s poorest countries.

The drugmaker announced the program Wednesday at the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering in Davos, Switzerland, and said it was aimed at improving health equity in 45 lower-income countries. Most of the countries are in Africa, but the list also includes Haiti, Syria, Cambodia and North Korea.

The products, which are widely available in the U.S. and the European Union, include 23 medicines and vaccines that treat infectious diseases, some cancers and rare and inflammatory conditions. Company spokeswoman Pam Eisele says only a small number of the medicines and vaccines are available in the 45 countries.

Eisele says New York-based Pfizer will charge only manufacturing costs and “minimal” distribution expenses. It will comply with any sanctions and all other applicable laws.

This month, the head of the World Health Organization called on Pfizer to make its COVID-19 treatment more widely available in poorer countries.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Pfizer to offer low-cost medicines, vaccines to poor nations
Pfizer says it will provide nearly two dozen products at not-for-profit prices in some of the world’s poorest countries
9:43AM ( 2 minutes ago )
Davos updates | Initiative aims to build, govern metaverse
The World Economic Forum has unveiled an initiative to develop the metaverse, a virtual reality construct that many tech companies are betting will be the next big thing for the internet
9:32AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Gunman kills 19 children, 2 teachers in Texas school rampage
An official says an 18-year-old gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school barricaded himself inside a classroom, “shooting anyone that was in his way."
9:20AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Live updates | Ukraine wants rocket launchers sent quickly
Ukraine’s foreign minister says the urgency of his country’s weapons needs can be summed up in two abbreviations: MLRS — multiple launch rocket systems, and ASAP — as soon as possible
8:28AM ( 1 hour ago )
Seoul: N Korea fires suspected ICBM and 2 other missiles
South Korea says one of the three weapons North Korea test-launched into the sea was a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile
8:26AM ( 1 hour ago )
Davos updates | Saudi official touts oil, emissions goals
A top Saudi official has touted his country’s strategy of increasing oil production capacity for export abroad while advocating for a domestic reduction of emissions in line with Saudi Arabia’s net-zero pledge
8:25AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Davos updates | More businesses join green tech partnership
The World Economic Forum and leaders of some of the world’s largest businesses are announcing the expansion of a partnership aimed at propelling green technologies
6:49AM ( 2 hours ago )
Davos updates | Ukraine energy firm wants to sell to Europe
The CEO of Ukraine’s largest private energy company says it won’t buy any energy from Russia as long as he’s in charge and insists the European Union can start making up for its “dramatic mistake” of growing dependent on Russian oil and natural gas by buying energy from Ukraine
6:33AM ( 3 hours ago )
Davos updates | Zelenskyy says Ukraine won't give up land
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that his country will not give up its land to end Russia’s war
5:57AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Asian stock markets mixed after Wall St sinks further
Asian stock markets are mixed after Wall Street sank on weak U.S. housing sales and a profit warning by a prominent social media brand
11:50PM ( 9 hours ago )
Live updates | Russia-Ukraine War
The Russian parliament has given preliminary approval to a bill that would allow the government to appoint new management of foreign companies that pulled out of Russia after its invasion of Ukraine
9:49PM ( 11 hours ago )
China's bet on homegrown mRNA vaccines holds back nation
China is trying to navigate its biggest coronavirus outbreak without a tool it could have adopted many months ago, the kind of vaccines that have proven to offer the best protection against the worst outcomes from COVID-19
9:22PM ( 12 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Florida suspends abortion clinic after hospitalizations
An abortion clinic serving women from all over the U.S. South had its license suspended this weekend under an emergency order from Florida health officials after two women who had undergone procedures at the clinic were hospitalized this year
8:57PM ( 1 day ago )
Pfizer says 3 COVID shots protect children under 5
Pfizer says three small doses of its COVID-19 vaccine protect kids under 5
7:28PM ( 1 day ago )
78,000 pounds of infant formula arrives in US
A military plane carrying enough specialty infant formula for more than half a million baby bottles arrived Sunday in Indianapolis
1:57AM ( 2 days ago )
AP Business - Health Care
Economy bigger priority than punishing Russia: AP-NORC poll
Americans are becoming less supportive of punishing Russia for launching its invasion of Ukraine if it comes at the expense of the U.S. economy, a sign of rising anxiety over inflation and other challenges
1:10PM ( 20 hours ago )
Davos updates | SKorea official: North mum on vaccine offer
A top adviser to new South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol says North Korea hasn’t responded to a proposal to send COVID-19 vaccines to the reclusive country
12:55PM ( 20 hours ago )
German chancellor discusses Ukraine war in South Africa
South Africa’s neutral stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine was a major topic of conversation as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz meets Tuesday with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, to end his three-nation tour of Africa
12:42PM ( 21 hours ago )
AP Business - Utilities
Pfizer to offer low-cost medicines, vaccines to poor nations
Pfizer says it will provide nearly two dozen products at not-for-profit prices in some of the world’s poorest countries
9:43AM ( 3 minutes ago )
Gunman kills 19 children, 2 teachers in Texas school rampage
An official says an 18-year-old gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school barricaded himself inside a classroom, “shooting anyone that was in his way."
9:20AM ( 26 minutes ago )
School massacre continues Texas' grim run of mass shootings
The gunman who killed 19 elementary school children and two teachers in Texas added to the state's grim recent history of mass shootings
9:12AM ( 34 minutes ago )
Live updates | 19 kids, 2 adults slain in school shooting
A civic center in Uvalde, Texas is where families learned whether their loved ones were among the 19 children and two teachers killed inside their elementary school
9:03AM ( 42 minutes ago )
Refugee Olympic team awarded prestigious Spanish prize
The Olympic Refugee Foundation and the refugee Olympics team are the winners of this year’s Princess of Asturias Award for sports
8:49AM ( 56 minutes ago )