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More than 30 million people lost their data connectivity on December 6, 2018, in the United Kingdom as O2's network suffered from a nationwide service outage. Based on several reports, the incident was caused by a human error at Ericsson, the telecoms supplier responsible for operating certain parts of the O2 network.

To compensate for the downtime and tarnished reputation, the O2 management is now reportedly seeking damages of up to a hundred million pounds from Ericsson. Considering the size of the claim, this incident clearly shows that the cost of human errors that lead to network downtime is much higher than traditionally accounted for.

At the same time, most service providers working on digital transformation initiatives continue to rely on manual work in many parts of their network automation processes. Based on discussions with dozens of service providers during 2018, incumbent network automation vendors such as Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia and VMware still continue to rely on text files and spreadsheets as part of their solutions.

As manual processes have been the norm in network management for decades, most organizations view automation from the Operating Expense (OPEX) point of view. To justify an investment into a solution that replaces a pair of human hands, the investment is commonly assessed by estimating the cost of manual labor and calculating the payback time for the required investment.

Yet as the recent O2 incident shows, the chances are that the real total cost of manual work is much higher. In a report published in mid-2017, Gartner estimated the average cost of network downtime at 5,600 dollars per minute including both the direct and the indirect costs.

Further considering that based on various estimates roughly half of the network downtime is caused by human mistakes, the salary and overheads paid for manual work are really just a tip of the iceberg.

SD-WAN – Business Case for Automating Manual Network Management Tasks

To provide a concrete example of how the economics of manual steps in network management play out, we decided to prepare a business case for a mid-sized service provider or a large enterprise. As manual mistakes in the source data used for network automation propagate the quickest, we decided to use Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) as an example.

Another reason to select SD-WAN is that edge computing is picking up momentum quickly. Yet leading solutions like Cisco Viptela, Nokia Nuage and VMware VeloCloud still often rely on excel spreadsheets and/or text files as the source for network data used in service activation. The risk of network downtime caused by human error is at its highest with these emerging technologies, as they allow the manual mistakes to propagate further and quicker than ever before in history.

The business case was based on the following assumptions:

  • The operating organization has 10,000 networks under management
  • The organization spends 12 network engineering man-years on manual tasks at the average cost of USD 75,000 per year including overheads
  • On the average, each network suffers one minute of downtime annually
  • 49% of downtime is caused by manual errors (Wireless Review)
  • The average total cost of network downtime is USD 5,600 per minute including direct and indirect costs such as lost reputation, lost business, lost productivity and so forth (Gartner)
  • The total investment in the network automation platform is 20 million dollars
  • The manual steps make 25% of possible automation use cases impossible, thereby reducing the expected ROI from 20% to 15%

Based on these assumptions, we were able to establish the following total cost for the manual work:

  1. Operating Expense (OPEX) spent on manual tasks: USD 900,000
  2. Foregone ROI due to manual steps in the process: USD 1,000,000
  3. Cost of network downtime: USD 27,440,000
  4. Real annual total cost of manual steps in network automation: USD 29,340,000

As we prepared these calculations in November 2018, we were initially skeptical about whether the outcome could really be true. But after the O2 incident at a cost of 100 million pounds, we realized our calculation seems to be very nicely within the ballpark.

Conclusion

While the finding that network downtime constitutes 93.5% of the real total cost of manual network management steps was a real eye-opener, these numbers reveal an even more interesting finding. That is, if one invests 20 million into automating the propagation of human errors, the chances are that the cost of downtime can greatly exceed the value of the actual automation investment itself.

As Digital Transformation marches on, it is not likely that this calculation will do anything to prevent technology megatrends such as cloud computing, edge computing or 5G from marching on. But what it does imply is that if one is serious about network automation, he should not leave any manual steps in an automated process regardless of what a traditional OPEX-based business case would seem to suggest.

Written by Juha Holkkola, Co-Founder and Chief Technologist at FusionLayer Inc.

www.circleid.com | 12/14/18

On December 6th, the Australian Internet Parliament formally passed the "Assistance and Access Bill." This package includes a series of provisions which require tech firms to help the country's security agencies bypass encrypted communications in their systems. i2Coalition Executive Director Christian Dawson issued the following statement.

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"The i2Coalition is disappointed to see this problematic bill pass. i2Coalition worked with a coalition of tech organizations to voice our concerns to the Australian Government's Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Parliament in a series of letters earlier this year, warning them of the ill-effects this bill could have to Internet safety as well as the digital economy, globally.

Strong, uncompromised encryption is the most vital tool we have to ensure the safety and security of Internet users, and governments should not require companies to undermine those critical tools. While we do acknowledge that the Australian Parliament made note that they will restrict requests to areas in which subverting cryptography will not create "systemic weaknesses" in the service's security, we are troubled by the lack of understanding that the core provisions of the bill itself create systemic weaknesses in our most important systems. At worst this bill creates a disaster for cybersecurity, and at best it causes extreme business uncertainty as to what constitutes their requirements under the law.

This is the first country within the Five-Eyes intelligence alliance, made up of Australia, Canada, the United States, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, to take this kind of dangerous step. We need to fight diligently to make sure that the kind of wrong thinking that led to this bill's passage doesn't spread to other countries. As an industry, we will continue to work with legislators worldwide, law enforcement, security professionals, and associations around the world to find smarter ways to address the problems of law enforcement, without putting the security and stability of the Internet as a whole at risk."

www.circleid.com | 12/13/18

LONDON – Exiled Indian business magnate, Dr Vijay Mallya could face fraud charges in his homeland after a court here Monday ruled that he could be extradited from the United Kingdom. The 62-year-old,...

www.nationnews.com | 12/12/18
A deadly knife attack epidemic is overwhelming police forces across the United Kingdom and a $3.8 million-a-day drug trafficking business is partially responsible for the rising crime rate, a new report says.
www.foxnews.com | 11/29/18

WME parent company Endeavor announced on Monday that it has hired former Under Armour executive Kerry Chandler as the entertainment company’s new chief human resources officer.

“As Endeavor continues evolving and expanding, the human resources function and its role in maintaining an environment where our employees have the support and resources to really thrive and seize opportunities become more important than ever,” Endeavor CEO Ariel Emanuelsaid in a statement. “Kerry brings incredible experience across all of the key drivers in creating, and sustaining, this type of environment on a global scale.”

Before serving as chief human resource officer at Under Armour, Chandler held senior executive HR roles with Christie’s International, the National Basketball Association, Disney and ESPN, IBM, and Motorola, among others. Chandler takes over the role at Endeavor, replacing Carole Katz who is stepping down after 18 years with the company. Katz with retain an advisory role with Endeavor in the interim.

Also Read: Endeavor to Exit $400 Million Saudi Arabia Investment Deal

Chandler will work across all of Endeavor’s sports, fashion and entertainment companies, which include WME, IMG and UFC.

“Endeavor has undergone an amazing transformation over the last several years, establishing a significant presence across all facets of media,” Chandler said in a statement. “It’s an exciting time to become part of this company’s journey and have an opportunity to support such a passionate and driven team.”

Chandler began her career as an HR representative at the McDonnell Douglas Corporation before a series of positions with Exxon, Motorola, and IBM. A love for sports brought her to ESPN in 2000 where she served as a Senior Vice President, overseeing HR operations for the company.

Also Read: Amy Schumer Signs With WME

She later held several similar positions within the Disney family including a key role at Hong Kong Disneyland before transitioning to the NBA in 2007 where she rose to Executive Vice President. She then moved on to Christie’s before joining Under Armour as Chief Human Resources Officer in 2015.

Chandler has received numerous recognitions including being named a “Game Changer” among women in sports by the SportsBusiness Journal; one of “The Most Powerful Women in Business” by Black Enterprise; and BizWomen’s “Top 100 Business Women to Watch.”

Chandler is currently a member of the Human Resources Policy Institute (HRPI) and the Executive Leadership Council (ELC). She also serves on the espnW Advisory Panel, the College Football Hall of Fame, and the board of the New York Urban League. Chandler has previously served on the boards of the University of Exeter’s Center for Leadership Studies in the United Kingdom; the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC); Her Justice, an organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of women who are victims of domestic violence; and the Senior Human Resources Forum of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, among others.

Related stories from TheWrap:

WME Parent Company Endeavor 'Assessing' Saudi Partnership After Jamal Khashoggi's Disappearance (Exclusive)

Endeavor Content Opens Nashville Film Unit With Agent William Lowery

Uber Executive Bozoma Saint John Named Chief Marketing Officer at Endeavor

www.thewrap.com | 10/16/18

Thanksgiving is just around the corner in Canada. It's a time of year when the harvest is in, the weather grows colder and families gather to give thanks for all they have.

It is in this moment of gratitude that I want to highlight one of the most valuable and unique offerings in our industry: the ways in which country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) give back. Canadians who choose to use a ccTLD, which for us is .CA, help contribute to investments in the internet community.

CIRA believes that it is important to give back to the internet, whether that be the Canadian internet community or the global internet in which we operate the .CA TLD and participate as a strong contributor. Further, as a not-for-profit organization, CIRA invests its resources into our aspirational goal of building a better online Canada. In fact, we believe so much in this goal that we've invested $6 million dollars over the last five years toward this goal, outside of the investment in our core mandate of bringing .CA to more Canadians and operating a safe, secure and trusted top-level domain.

Many of our ccTLD peers contribute to the internet ecosystem as well. While each organization's program is a little bit different, the intent is the same: to invest in a purpose greater than profit with a return on investment that benefits the communities we serve.

With the exception of a handful of generic TLDs, you won't find this from our more profit-driven peers.

It's a cycle: From community to ccTLD and back

At CIRA, we hold ourselves to high standards in stewarding .CA, which includes providing a safe, secure and stable .CA and underlying domain name system (DNS). We make every effort to provide the best service possible for our customers — .CA holders and others who subscribe to our cybersecurity services.

A portion of the revenue we make, thanks to our customers' trust in us, is funneled back into the Canadian internet community. Here's how:

  • We invest in internet exchange points (IXPs) that provide greater resiliency, data sovereignty and a higher-performing internet in our country. There are 10 IXPs across Canada and we've recently been a catalyst to an additional one in development in the Arctic community of Iqaluit, Nunavut. This will revolutionize the internet there, where right now the community is reliant on satellite connections resulting in slow and expensive internet service.
  • Through our Community Investment Program, we provide grants to organizations across Canada working on the frontlines of the internet. We've contributed $5.45 million over five years through that program. This has included 130 projects from across Canada including one underway now through an organization called Compucorps that will work with Indigenous women to increase their knowledge of website building and online branding to help them engage more in e-commerce. Or the Ragged edge community network stabilization and expansion project that focused on internet infrastructure in Northern Vancouver Island.
  • We're developing and investing in innovative products and services that secure the internet for its users, including our cybersecurity services (our D-Zone suite of products) that keep Canadian schoolchildren safe and add layers of protection to critical healthcare and municipal infrastructure.
  • We encourage Canadians to learn more about their internet by testing its speed and performance through CIRA's Internet Performance Test. There have been over 100,000 tests conducted across the country.
  • We fund, organize and participate in events and forums in Canada and globally where important topics are discussed, which influence internet policy, including an upcoming Canadian Internet Forum, a multistakeholder event being organized for early 2019.

All of that investment improves and expands the internet, gets more Canadians online, safely and securely, and makes it easier and more practical for them to participate in the digital economy. It also creates more opportunities to choose a .CA. Thus, the cycle starts again.

And it's global. We've long shared "giving back" experiences with our European peers — but examples are found around the globe. A recent visit to Brazil showed me a ccTLD highly committed to this cycle of giving back. I was impressed with all they do with their resources and encourage others to learn more from them.

Thanks for making a choice to give back

In Canada, as we gather around the dinner table for our Thanksgiving dinners, I want to give thanks to CIRA's customers for making it possible for our organization to give back. Consumers have more choices than ever when it comes to domain names. They can choose to go with .com or .net, or one of nearly a thousand new domain extensions. But what sets CIRA apart, alongside some of our ccTLD peers, is the determination to give back to the internet ecosystem in our countries. To invest what we earn into a higher purpose.

Thank you to those consumers who chose a ccTLD over others — because of you we're getting closer to a stronger, higher performing and more secure internet every day.

* * *

There are several ccTLDs that give back to the internet community. Here are a few examples.

Sweden: The Internet Foundation in Sweden, IIS invests funds to improve the stability of internet infrastructure in Sweden and to promote internet-focused research, training and education. For example, IIS invested 1 million SEK (about $145,000 CAD) roughly one year ago into Foo Café, a meeting place for developers, which sponsors meetups and events to help developers grow their competence and share knowledge.

Brazil: The Brazilian Internet Steering Committee — a multi-sectoral configuration of 21 members from civil society, the government, the business sector and the academic community — guide the healthy growth of the network in Brazil. One of their initiatives is the Web Technologies Study Center (Ceweb.br), created to help the Brazilian public participate in the global development of the web and public policymaking.

The Netherlands: SIDN not only operates .nl, it also provides funding support to ideas and projects that aim to make the internet stronger or that use the internet in innovative ways. For example, SIDN funded AI for GOOD, a project that aims to use artificial intelligence to improve the world. This online platform presents AI programming challenges to students, start-ups, hackers and developers to solve.

United Kingdom: Nominet funded a granting program for 10 years under the name Nominet Trust. In 2017, that fund began independent operation as the Social Tech Trust and Nominet is now focusing funding on connection, inclusivity and security. For example, they are working with Scouts UK to develop a cybersecurity curriculum and with the Prince's Trust on a digital platform to mentor troubled youth online.

Written by Byron Holland, President and CEO of CIRA

www.circleid.com | 10/4/18

Ariana Grande has disabled her comments on Instagram after some fans began to blame her for ex-boyfriend Mac Miller’s death on Friday.

The “No Tears Left to Cry” singer, 25, has not spoken out about her ex’s death, but her last Instagram post was made on Thursday when she took a short video of her hotel room in the United Kingdom.

“Bye London,” she wrote in the caption.

Miller, 26, died on Friday of a suspected overdose, a source confirmed to PEOPLE. The rapper was found in his San Fernando Valley home on Friday afternoon and pronounced dead at the scene, according to TMZ.

According to a dispatch call obtained by The Blast, a call was made for an “immediate dispatch” by authorities for a patient in cardiac arrest. TMZ was the first to break the news.

The Los Angeles Corner’s Office, as well as a rep for Miller, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

View this post on Instagram

bye london

A post shared by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) on Sep 6, 2018 at 3:54pm PDT

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Grande and Miller, who struggled with drugs throughout his life, dated for two years before separating in May.

The split came as a shock to fans as Miller gushed about the singer on Twitter in April after she released her single “No Tears Left to Cry.”

“Very proud of this girl right here. Welcome back. We missed You. One of a kind,” he tweeted at the time. Following their break-up, Grande dedicated an Instagram Story to the rapper in which she called him “one of my best friends in the whole world and favorite people on the planet.”

“I respect and adore him endlessly and am grateful to have him in my life in any form, at all times regardless of how our relationship changes or what the universe holds for each of us!” the singer wrote.

Grande’s fans came to her defense on Twitter writing it wasn’t the singer’s fault Miller had passed away.

RELATED: Ariana Grande and Mac Miller Have Split But Remain Good Friends

Just noticed Ariana Grande disabled comments on her Instagram account after a barrage of Mac Miller-related comments. Recognize the true problem here, rather than using someone else as a scapegoat & continuing the cycle. All so sad & nauseating.

— Maddy Skye (@MaddySkye) September 7, 2018

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The amount of tweets blaming Ariana Grande for what happened to Mac Miller is disgusting, his addiction and lack of help is what drove this to happen, don't point the finger and blame.

— Jack Mull (@J4CKMULL) September 7, 2018

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Ariana Grande is not responsible for Mac Miller's death. Stop hating her. She's a person like you who also has feelings. I'm sure she's having a hard time. I wish patience to her and his family

— ? (@joshuadun28) September 7, 2018

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“Just noticed Ariana Grande disabled comments on her Instagram account after a barrage of Mac Miller-related comments,” one user tweeted. “Recognize the true problem here, rather than using someone else as a scapegoat & continuing the cycle. All so sad & nauseating.”

Another shared the same sentiment, tweeting, “The amount of tweets blaming Ariana Grande for what happened to Mac Miller is disgusting, his addiction and lack of help is what drove this to happen, don’t point the finger and blame.”

A different fan wrote, “Ariana Grande is not responsible for Mac Miller’s death. Stop hating her. She’s a person like you who also has feelings. I’m sure she’s having a hard time. I wish patience to her and his family.”

RELATED: Mac Miller Dead at 26 of Apparent Overdose

Rest in peace Mac Miller so sad he went to soon! People need to stop blaming Ariana Grande for his death they broke up and she moved on if she would have known more about his addiction she would of helped more so stop blaming her R.I.P pic.twitter.com/fzy1CuFqcN

— Kayley Morey (@KayleyMorey) September 7, 2018

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Rip Mac Miller, he was too young and too talented to go so fast. This is in no way @ArianaGrande fault though. It’s addictions fault. May he Rest In Peace and may this be an eye opener for the industry who glorifies drug abuse .

— Ansley (@ansleydover555) September 7, 2018

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I hope Ariana has a strong support systems because the locals are intent on blaming her for something she has no business being blamed for…AGAIN. @ArianaGrande sis. Wishing you nothing but peace and strength.

— Nihilist (@ZuluGaijin) September 7, 2018

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The fact that it has to be said that Ariana Grande is not at all responsible for Mac's death, is sad. Yes she left him and yes he was heartbroken and yes he was battling depression but it was not her job to fix him. No woman or man should feel the need to stay in a relationship

— B (@issabeeee_) September 7, 2018

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The first reaction of some people is to blame Ariana Grande for Mac Miller’s death to the point she had to deactivate her instagram comments. All she did was to remove herself from a toxic situation. She wanted him sober. There is nothing wrong with that.

— Ines (@inihelene) September 7, 2018

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Months before his death, Miller was arrested for drunk driving on May 14.

Early that morning, the rapper was arrested for DUI and hit and run after he struck a power pole in the San Fernando Valley with his Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon and fled the scene; after law enforcement officers matched the vehicle’s license plates to Miller’s address, they arrested him at his home, a Los Angeles Police Department public information officer previously told PEOPLE.

Following his arrest, a fan blamed Miller’s crash on Grande tweeted the rapper had “dumped him for another dude after he poured his heart out on a ten song album to her called the divine feminine” and called the album “the most heartbreaking thing happening in Hollywood.”

Grande responded directly, tweeting, “how absurd that you minimize female self-respect and self-worth by saying someone should stay in a toxic relationship because he wrote an album about them, which btw isn’t the case (just Cinderella is ab me).”

Her Twitter statement continued: “I am not a babysitter or a mother and no woman should feel that they need to be. I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety & prayed for his balance for years (and always will of course) but shaming / blaming women for a man’s inability to keep his s— together is a very major problem.”

RELATED: Ariana Grande Says She’s ‘Grateful’ for Ex Mac Miller After Breakup: I ‘Adore Him Endlessly’

The rapper went on to open up about his arrest during a conversation with Zane Lowe on Beats 1 on Apple Music in July.

“I made a stupid mistake. I’m a human being,” Miller explained. “But it was the best thing that could have happened. Best thing that could have happened. I needed that. I needed to run into that light pole and literally have the whole thing stop.”

However, Miller went on to let all of his fans know that they shouldn’t worry about him, because he was doing fine.

RELATED: Mac Miller Dead: Chance the Rapper, Khalid, Wiz Khalifa and More Mourn the Late Musician

“I have people that care about me and fans that love my music and it’s a beautiful relationship with them — people who have been with me through being a 19-year-old wide-eyed kid to being a self-destructive depressed drug user to making love music to all these different stages. Then they see something like that and they worry,” he explained. “So your first reaction is, ‘Let me tell them I’m cool.’ ”

During the interview, Miller also explained that both he and Grande had moved on since their split — and that he wished her well.

“I was in love with somebody. We were together for two years. We worked through good times, bad times, stress and everything else. And then it came to an end and we both moved on. And it’s that simple,” he said.

“It’s all positive energy,” he added. “I am happy for her and moving forward with her life, just as I’m sure she is with me.”

people.com | 9/8/18
Hinduja Group flagship company Ashok Leyland is gearing up to expand its light commercial vehicle business, international operations and defence mobility segment, according to company Chairman Dheeraj G Hinduja. For the electric vehicle (EV) segment, Ashok Leyland is also looking to tap the proven success of its Optare bus range in the United Kingdom, for other locations as well.
www.dnaindia.com | 7/8/18
We have told G7 Leaders to Make Gender Inequality and Patriarchy History For most people, the annual G7 meeting may just seem like an expensive photo-op that doesn't connect with any concrete change in people's lives. But for us, appointed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to sit on his G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council, it was a unique opportunity to push for strong commitments for girls' and women's rights. We had the opportunity to meet the seven leaders for breakfast and make a strong case for concrete commitments and accelerated action to achieve gender equality within a generation.  There is unprecedented momentum and support for gender equality and women's rights. With the universal adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, which put gender equality at the center, and the global attention brought by #MeToo and related campaigns on ending sexual harassment and other forms of violence against women, support for improving outcomes for girls and women has never been so high. The explosion of discussions in our offices and shopfloors, our boardrooms and lockerooms, our dining rooms and bedrooms must come right to the G7 table. It is therefore significant that leaders spent two hours discussing gender equality and that it was also part of other discussions. As the richest economies in the world, G7 countries can bring about far reaching systemic changes envisaged in the global agenda for sustainable development. The impact of G7 countries goes well beyond their borders. We have told leaders that they must use this unique footprint for the benefit of women and girls.  Together with the Gender Equality Advisory Council, we have put forward a comprehensive set of recommendations.  As a foundation, it is critical to eliminate discriminatory legislation which persists in G7 countries and around the world. We also called for the removal of barriers to women's income's security and participation in the labour market. Concrete measures, such as legislation and implementation of pay equity can close the wage gap between men and women. And the jobs of the future, whether it is in the digital economy or artificial intelligence, must help close - not further widen - the gender gap.  For most women, the challenge of balancing productive and reproductive lives creates a "motherhood penalty" that triggers major setbacks for women in the economy. G7 leaders can shape an economy that closes the gap between women and men through affordable childcare, paid parental leave, and greater incentives for men to do half of all care work.  Addressing violence against women in the workplace is critical. Employers, shareholders, customers, trade unions, Boards, Ministers all have an obligation to make workplaces safe, hold perpetrators accountable and end impunity. The emerging International Labour Organization's standard to end violence and harassment at work should be supported to drive greater progress in this area. None of this will happen without the full participation and voice of women at all decision-making tables. We applaud the increasing numbers of countries with gender equal cabinets. We need more countries to follow suit, as well as the private sector.  Because men still disproportionately control our political, economic, religious, and media institutions, they have a special responsibility to actively support policies and cultural change. Men's voices and actions, including those of our predominately male political leaders, are critical because they have such a big impact on the attitudes and behavior of other men.  We welcome the announcement by Canada, the European Union, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the World Bank of an investment of nearly US$ 3 billion for girls' education, including the single largest investment in education for women and girls in crisis and conflict situations. This is a significant step forward to build a foundation for greater progress.  In our own work, as the Executive Director of UN Women, and as a writer and activist focused on engaging men to promote gender equality and end violence against women, we've been witness to dramatic changes over the past few decades. The courage of individual women and the leadership of women's movements have meant that patriarchy is being dismantled in front of our eyes. But greater leadership is required. A strong commitment by G7 leaders to take this agenda forward beyond the Summit can push forward the most dramatic and far-reaching revolution in human history. The one that will make gender inequality history. UN Women

BuzzFeed will close its entire French operation and lay off at least a dozen employees, an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.

“We are taking steps to reconsider our operation in France given the uncertain path to growth in the French market,” a spokesperson for the company told TheWrap on Thursday. “We have begun a consultation process with BuzzFeed France and will follow up when we have more information to share.”

“Brutal and completely unexpected decision,” tweeted BuzzFeed France journalist Stephane Jourdain. “It’s very sad.”

Also Read: BuzzFeed Chief Defends Trump Pee Dossier: 'I'm Proud We Published'

“And I thought that my biggest concern during this maternity leave would be the amount of diapers to change,” the site’s editor-in-chief Cecile Dehesdin, tweeted from maternity leave.

Décision brutale et complètement inattendue. On sort de quatre super mois en terme de trafic et d’infos. @sayseal avait constitué une équipe géniale, hyper impliquée, des super gratteurs que j’ai adoré diriger. C’est très triste.

— Stephane Jourdain (@s_jourdain) June 7, 2018

Et moi qui pensait que mon plus gros souci pendant ce congé maternité serait la quantité de couches à changer…

— Cecile Dehesdin (@sayseal) June 7, 2018

The closure was also reported in the French newspaper Le Monde. Staffers at BuzzFeed France were informed Thursday morning of the news and that the company was re-evaluating the operation in that country.

BuzzFeed France learned the office is closing after a meeting this morning. Management told staff it was part of a “transformation process” at BuzzFeed. All 14 staff expecting they’ll be made redundant.

— Mark Di Stefano ???????? (@MarkDiStef) June 7, 2018

“We are taking initial steps to reconsider our operations there,” said Scott Lamb, BuzzFeed’s vice president of international growth in a company-wide email obtained by TheWrap. “We have questions about whether we can build a sustainable business in France.”

The France decision is the latest in a string of bad news to buffet the company’s international operations. In December, BuzzFeed laid off dozens of employees from its office in the United Kingdom, amid budget shortfalls and declining traffic. The cuts in both offices likely stem from a more than $70 million revenue shortfall of a $350 million target for 2017. Talk of an IPO also tapered off around the same time. Growth has been stronger in recent months.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Dear David': 'It' Producer, BuzzFeed to Develop Horror Film Based on Viral Ghost Story (Exclusive)

R Kelly Sex Abuse Documentary From BuzzFeed News to Air on Hulu

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Michael Cohen Withdraws Libel Suits Against BuzzFeed, Fusion GPS

www.thewrap.com | 6/7/18
[The Herald] The United Kingdom and the Standard Chartered Bank have partnered to lend Zimbabwean companies in the private sector US$100 million in a move described by Government as a sign of confidence in its policies aimed at transforming the economy into a middle income by 2030. Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr John Mangudya confirmed the development saying the facility would go a long way in improving the firms' competitiveness.
allafrica.com | 5/17/18
[ANGOP] Luanda -Rui Mangueira, the new Angolan extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador to the United Kingdom, will develop in the light of the challenges of the diversification of Angola's economy the attraction of the British public and private investments, Angop learnt on Thursday from a diplomatic source.
allafrica.com | 5/7/18
The lineup is set for this year’s Inside Pictures , the business training and development programme for international and U.S. film execs. This year’s lineup comprises: Alison Meese – Head of UK Acquisitions, StudioCanal, United Kingdom Carla Quarto di Palo – Director of International Sales, Cornerstone Films, United Kingdom Charlotte Mardon-Heath – Senior Marketing Manager – New Media, Entertainment One, United Kingdom Eun-Zi Kim – Business and Legal Affairs Manager, DCM…
deadline.com | 4/30/18

Piers Morgan has again taken aim at “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling.

British media personality Morgan, who has a history of criticizing Rowling on social media, took another shot at her on Friday, over a tweet Rowling posted about Brexit, the contentious referendum to withdraw the United Kingdom from the European Union.

Rowling’s tweet was in response to Daily Telegraph political correspondent Christopher Hope, who tweeted, “Why do owls get the right to a commemorative stamp but Brexit doesn’t?”

Also Read: Piers Morgan Rips 'Absurd Over-Reaction' to Laura Ingraham's David Hogg Tweet

To which Rowling replied, “Stamps are too small to depict the fact that nostalgic jingoism, fear-mongering, racism and flag-waving delusion narrowly won a referendum, thereby dividing the nation down the middle and ensuring longterm consequences for our society and economy, whereas owls are great.”

As it turns out, Morgan gave a hoot about Rowling’s sentiment, and let it be known in no uncertain terms.

“Of course, this kind of elitist, superior, arrogant ‘we know better than you thickos’ bulls— is precisely why Brexit (and Trump) won,” Morgan shot back.

Also Read: Kim Kardashian's Naked Crotch-Shot Shredded by Piers Morgan: 'Desperate.com'

Read the exchange below.

Stamps are too small to depict the fact that nostalgic jingoism, fear-mongering, racism and flag-waving delusion narrowly won a referendum, thereby dividing the nation down the middle and ensuring longterm consequences for our society and economy, whereas owls are great. https://t.co/n6cj0Tgm7K

– J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) April 26, 2018

Of course, this kind of elitist, superior, arrogant ‘we know better than you thickos’ bullsh*t is precisely why Brexit (and Trump) won. https://t.co/r3d8tZMYot

– Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 27, 2018

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www.thewrap.com | 4/27/18
[Ghana Govt.] Investors and business leaders from the United Kingdom (UK) have been assured of the potential of Ghana as an ideal place in the West Africa region and on the continent to invest in and conduct profitable business.
allafrica.com | 4/19/18
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Theresa May on Wednesday committed to reducing trade barriers to facilitate easier business operations in both India and the United Kingdom (UK), thereby enabling a stronger bilateral trade relationship for the future.
www.dnaindia.com | 4/18/18
[Vanguard] As leaders from donor and malaria-affected countries, governments, business, philanthropic and international organisations come together today to reignite efforts to beat malaria, the United Kingdom is set to commit £50 million (N25,757,154,000.00) to malaria programme in Nigeria even as it pledged £9.2 million to fund new research on development of new triple Artemisinin Combination Treatments.
allafrica.com | 4/18/18
[Premium Times] Heads of States, global business leaders, philanthropists, scientists and civil society are convening in London, United Kingdom, to announce new and expanded commitments towards ending malaria.
allafrica.com | 4/17/18

After the Brexit vote, I wrote that there could be an impact on EU registrants based in the UK.

Over the past year, the UK government has been engaged in negotiations with the EU to navigate the application of Article 50 and the UK's exit from the European Union. While there has been a lot of focus on issues like the customs union and the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, the eventual departure of the UK from the EU will have a tangible impact on the European digital economy.

In the case of the .eu ccTLD, the situation was unclear. Under the current policies, an individual or organisation needs to have an address in the EU and a couple of neighbouring countries to qualify for registration:

(i) an undertaking having its registered office, central administration or principal place of business within the European Union, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, or

(ii) an organisation established within the European Union, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein without prejudice to the application of national law, or

(iii) a natural person resident within the European Union, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

While the UK leaving the EU could be seen as having a clear impact on future registrations of .eu domain names, one would have expected the European Commission not to want to disrupt existing domain names and their registrants. When other domain spaces have updated their policies, they've usually offered some form of "grandfathering" for existing registrations to minimise the negative impact.

However, it appears that the European Commission isn't going to take that approach. In an announcement earlier this week they've made it very clear that they have no intention of allowing existing registrants to keep their EU domain names if they are in the UK.

The document does give a very slight glimmer of hope, but it's only a tiny one. It is hypothetically possible for the UK and EU to reach some form of agreement that would allow for the continued use of .eu domains by UK registrants, but it's looking highly unlikely. Here's the full text of the notice they issued.

As you can see it's highly legalistic and makes lots of references to various bits of legislation and treaties, but the bottom line is summed up in this:

As of the withdrawal date, undertakings and organisations that are established in the United Kingdom but not in the EU and natural persons who reside in the United Kingdom will no longer be eligible to register .eu domain names or, if they are .eu registrants, to renew .eu domain names registered before the withdrawal date.

But what about businesses and individuals in Northern Ireland? Under the Irish constitution they're considered in many realms to be entitled to the same rights and entitlements as Irish citizens and residents:

ARTICLE 2

It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, to be part of the Irish Nation. That is also the entitlement of all persons otherwise qualified in accordance with law to be citizens of Ireland. Furthermore, the Irish nation cherishes its special affinity with people of Irish ancestry living abroad who share its cultural identity and heritage.

ARTICLE 3

1 It is the firm will of the Irish Nation, in harmony and friendship, to unite all the people who share the territory of the island of Ireland, in all the diversity of their identities and traditions, recognising that a united Ireland shall be brought about only by peaceful means with the consent of a majority of the people, democratically expressed, in both jurisdictions in the island. Until then, the laws enacted by the Parliament established by this Constitution shall have the like area and extent of application as the laws enacted by the Parliament that existed immediately before the coming into operation of this Constitution.

2 Institutions with executive powers and functions that are shared between those jurisdictions may be established by their respective responsible authorities for stated purposes and may exercise powers and functions in respect of all or any part of the island.

Does this mean that businesses and individuals north of the border will lose their .eu domain names, or is there a chance of some form of derogation for them?

How can registrars and their clients lodge their concerns with the EU about this move?

Is EURid in a position to do anything?

At the moment there are more questions than answers, but what is sure is that the options are not looking anyway positive.

According to the most recent EURid quarterly report registrants in the UK account a significant chunk of the .eu registration base and weigh in as the 4th largest country for .eu registrations behind Germany, Netherlands and France:

Wiping out this number of registrations will have a negative impact on the .eu ccTLD as a whole, as well as a negative impact on many European based businesses serving the registrants of the 300 thousand plus names.

Is this unavoidable?

For now, as I mentioned above, there are more questions than answers.

Disclosure: my company is a .eu accredited registrar and I previously served two terms on the .EU Registrar Advisory Board.

Written by Michele Neylon, MD of Blacknight Solutions

www.circleid.com | 3/29/18
Instagram is launching its Shopping feature for business accounts to eight new countries: Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Australia. The photo sharing app first began testing shoppable photo tags in November 2016 before making Shopping on Instagram available to businesses in the United States last year. Since Instagram doesn’t allow […]
techcrunch.com | 3/20/18

Hammaad Chaudry’s debut play, “An Ordinary Muslim,” is most effective when it recalls vintage material. The story of a man who lies to his family about a great job he doesn’t really have is nearly foolproof. It worked for F.W. Murnau with his silent-film classic “The Last Laugh” and it works for Chaudry in “An Ordinary Muslim,” which opened Monday at Off Broadway’s New York Theatre Workshop. The suspense, not to mention the sheer pathos, drives the play to its tragic, inevitable conclusion.

More intellectual but equally riveting is Chaudry’s examination of the second-generation curse. Unlike his Pakistani parents, Akeem Bhatti (Sanjit De Silva) didn’t come to the United Kingdom of his own free will. He was born there, and so lacks his parents’ sense of goal and dream fulfillment. And most important, he also lacks any sense of home, feeling very unwanted in West London and possessing no memory of Pakistan (or India before the Partition).

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Chaudry’s portrait of Akeem vividly recalls some of the angry young men of 1950s British theater: He’s railing against everything and everyone, including himself. He can’t understand why his wife (Purva Bedi) wants to start wearing the hijab now that she’s about to be promoted to a managerial position at work. He can’t understand why his not ordering wine at a restaurant during an interview should cost him that job. He’s clearly not at home with his wife, parents (Ranjit Chowdhry and Rita Wolf) and older sister (Angel Desai). He literally throws an imam (Harsh Nayyar) and his son (Sathya Sridharan) out of his parents’ home. And he’s equally combative with a white Brit (David Adkins, being more than accommodating) who’s brimming with ideas on how to make it in the business world, every suggestion of which Akeem feels honor-bound not only to reject but verbally trounce.

Under Jo Bonney’s direction, De Silva finds precisely the right balance as his Akeem teeters between reasonable arguments and irrational behavior, and ultimately comes down hardest on his fellow Muslims. As he tells one of them, “You look like the Taliban. Your beards don’t have to be that long, mate….Wear a suit, look presentable — and then, then, you start praying in the street, in front of everyone….!”

Also Read: 'Hello, Dolly!' Broadway Review: All Bettes Are Off as Bernadette Peters Takes Center Stage

If only Chaudry trusted his lead character’s journey a little more. “An Ordinary Muslim” is a full three-act play with enough characters on stage to give Akeem a large community in which to fight and flounder. The core tragedy holds our attention.

What comes off as forced and unrealized are all the little dramas surrounding Akeem that Chaudry has felt compelled to add: an extramarital flirtation, a grandparent’s favoritism for her male heir, a father’s spousal abuse. They seem stuck on, and some of the supporting performances that have to carry these stories suffer as a result.

“An Ordinary Muslim” marks Chaudry’s professional debut. Many great dramatists have written far less accomplished first plays.

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www.thewrap.com | 2/27/18
[Premium Times] A student (name withheld ) on Thursday recounted before a Sexual Offences Court in Lagos how she was lured to a location by a supposed female friend she met on social media who claimed to be a fashion entrepreneur and just returned from the United Kingdom to set up a business in Lagos.
allafrica.com | 2/16/18
[The Herald] The United Kingdom's Department for International Trade (DIT) is swamped with an overwhelming number of British businesspeople keen on exploiting business opportunities in Zimbabwe.
allafrica.com | 2/9/18
The United Kingdom will remain one of the most important US allies in NATO and Brexit will have no impact on the alliance, US Ambassador to Athens Geoffrey R. Pyatt told EURACTIV Greece’s media partner European Business Review in an interview.
www.euractiv.com | 1/9/18

BEIJING — Britain and China pledged Saturday to promote London as a center for offshore use of Beijing's currency and cooperate in clean energy research and promoting trade as the United Kingdom prepares to leave the European Union.

Officials announced the agreements following an economic dialogue led by Britain's finance minister, Philip Hammond, and a senior Chinese economic official, Vice Premier Ma Kai. The event was attended by a delegation of British business leaders and economic officials.