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Sophi.io Named a WordPress VIP Featured Technology Partner

TORONTO, Feb. 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WordPress VIP, the leading provider of enterprise WordPress, has added Sophi.io, an artificial intelligence system by The Globe and Mail, to its prestigious Technology Partnership program. Sophi joins a small group of enterprise technology companies serving VIP clients, and is the first partner to provide AI-powered automated content curation in addition to their predictive analytics and paywall solutions.

“We’re excited to welcome Sophi to the growing ecosystem of enterprise integrations available to WordPress VIP customers,” said Nick Gernert, CEO of WordPress VIP. “Content is the heart of enterprise growth, and our partners are key players enabling publishers and marketers to create meaningful customer experiences with powerful storytelling tools.”

WordPress VIP provides a fully managed WordPress cloud platform for scale, security, performance, and flexibility, as well as end-to-end guidance and hands-on support. Some of their enterprise clients include Capgemini, Facebook, Microsoft, and News Corp, among others.

Greg Doufas, CTO at the Globe and Mail, said “We’re excited to bring Sophi to all WordPress VIP users. Content publishers are exactly who Sophi was developed for. This partnership will allow Sophi to transform the way content publishers do business, and how their readers are served their most valuable content – where and how they are most receptive to it. We look forward to a strong relationship with WordPress VIP.”

The award-winning Sophi suite of solutions was developed by The Globe and Mail to help content publishers make important strategic and tactical decisions that transform their business. It is a suite of ML and NLP-powered tools that includes Sophi Automation for content curation, Sophi for Paywalls, and Sophi Analytics – a decision-support system for publishers.

Key criteria for technology partners include clear product expertise and innovative go-to-market strategies. VIP vets every partner to identify companies with a proven track record of successful and forward thinking implementations of WordPress integration at scale.

For more information about Sophi’s partnership with WordPress VIP, please visit https://wpvip.com/partner/sophi.

About Sophi.io

Sophi.io (https://www.sophi.io) was developed by The Globe and Mail to help content publishers make important strategic and tactical decisions. It is a suite of AI-powered tools that includes Sophi Automation and Sophi for Paywalls as well as Sophi Analytics, a decision-support system for content publishers. Sophi is designed to improve the metrics that matter most to your business, such as subscriber retention and acquisition, engagement, recency, frequency and volume. Sophi also powers automated laydown of print newspapers and ePapers.

About WordPress VIP

WordPress VIP is the leading provider of enterprise WordPress. VIP’s platform provides enterprise-grade digital marketing and publishing platforms with WordPress at their core. VIP supports flagship digital marketing platforms for some of the best-known brands, including Capgemini, Hachette Book Group, and Facebook. Our digital publishing clients span the media landscape, from focused outlets such as Quartz, TechCrunch, and FiveThirtyEight to some of the biggest publishers and sites in the world, like News Corp, Rolling Stone, and Abril.

With its unparalleled power, flexibility, and interoperability, WordPress is the best digital experience solution at scale. Together with VIP’s expert support, best-in-class infrastructure, and exceptional partner network, it’s an unbeatable combination.

Media Contact

Jamie Rubenovitch
Head of Marketing, Sophi.io, 
The Globe and Mail

Expereo acquires Videns IT Services, the experts in NextGen SD-WAN & SASE

AMSTERDAM, Feb. 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Expereo, the global provider of managed Internet, Cloud access, and SD-WAN solutions, announces the acquisition of nextgen SD-WAN & SASE solutions provider Videns IT Services, bolstering Expereo’s SD-WAN network transformation and management capabilities for its multinational enterprise customers.

Videns IT Services is a network independent managed services provider delivering fully managed SD-WAN and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).

The acquisition illustrates Expereo’s ambition and commitment to simplifying global networking and cloud access with flexible, agile and secure network and cloud access solutions for multinational enterprises. Acquiring Videns will strengthen Expereo’s SDWAN offering with deep sector experience and know-how in leading SDWAN and SASE solutions, adding depth and breadth to its nextgen global network and cloud access solutions.

“Videns expertise is built upon SD-WAN implementations for numerous multinational as well as domestic enterprise customers. Since 2012 we never stopped investing in good partnerships and technology that enabled us to establish ourselves as one of the leaders in Managed SDWAN and SASE services,” says Ruud van Straaten, Managing Director of Videns.

“Expereo’s global leadership position in nextgen internet-centric managed network services is the perfect stepping stone for the Videns team to achieve global scale and presence. Joining Expereo will enable us to further invest and scale the development of class leading SDWAN and SASE solutions with our technology partners, continuing to service our customers with our best practice expertise throughout their network transformation journey,” van Straaten explains.

“Videns has a rich history and early on established a market-leading position in managed SDWAN and SASE services. The Videns team, capabilities and market recognition fuels our ambition of global leadership in the nextgen SDWAN and SASE market, guiding our enterprise clients through their network transformation challenges and delivering on superior, agile, cost effective cloud access and global network solutions,” explains Expereo CEO, Irwin Fouwels. “Videns cuts through the hype, walks the talk, based on a wealth of experience and customer use cases; a great fit in every aspect with Expereo,” adds Fouwels.

About Videns IT Services

Founded in 2012, Videns IT Services is the leading network-independent service provider of managed SD-WAN and SASE solutions. Videns is the alternative for enterprises that are looking to replace their traditional telco services with flexible, cost-effective, cloud-enabled and secure WAN services. Videns combines deep customer knowledge with specialist SD-WAN and SASE knowhow. Videns supports more than 45 multinational enterprise customers with 3.500 customer locations across 70 countries.

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About Expereo

Expereo is the leading provider of managed network solutions, including Global internet connectivity, SD-WAN, and Cloud Acceleration services. Expereo is the trusted partner of 30% of Fortune 500 companies and powers enterprise and government sites worldwide, helping to enhance every business’ productivity with flexible and optimal Internet performance.

In Feb 2021, Vitruvian Partners international growth capital and buyout firm, acquired a majority stakeholding in Expereo, alongside to the leading European private equity firm Apax Partners sas, and company management.

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Conor McGee

Ringgit extends losses to end lower against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR The ringgit extended yesterday’s losses to end lower against the US dollar today, driven by continued profit-taking after recent gains despite the bullish outlook on global oil prices, dealers said.

At the close, the local currency fell to 4.0400/0440 against the US dollar from yesterday’s close of 4.0370/0420.

A dealer said oil prices rose on Thursday, extending this week’s gains and hitting a 13-month high as a cold snap sweeping over Texas and the surrounding region shut at least a fifth of the US refining outputs and a million barrels of crude production.

However, he said investors remained cautious amid lingering COVID-19 pandemic concerns that weighed on positive US economic data.

The local currency was traded lower against other major currencies today.

It fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.0433/0472 from Wednesday’s 3.0388/0432 and went down vis-a-vis the euro to 4.8771/8783 from 4.8710/8783 yesterday.

The ringgit also depreciated against the yen to 3.8218/8263 per 100 yen from 3.8092/8154 on Wednesday and the British pound to 5.6249/6321 from 5.6046/6131 previously.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

KLCI futures close easier

KUALA LUMPUR The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) futures contract (FKLI) on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives closed easier today in sync with the subdued underlying cash market performance.

At the close, spot month February 2021 eased 12.0 points to 1,579, while March 2021 and September 2021 trimmed 11.5 points each to 1,570.5 and 1,560.5, respectively.

Meanwhile, June 2021 fell 12.5 points to 1,567.5.

Turnover decreased to 7,088 lots from 8,820 lots on Wednesday, while open interest fell to 42,487 contracts from 44,862 contracts previously.

The benchmark FBM KLCI went down 19.45 points to 1,575.84 at the close today compared with 1,595.29 on Wednesday.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

UN: Huge Changes in Society Needed to Make Peace with Nature

Humans are making Earth a broken and increasingly unlivable planet through climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, so the world must make dramatic changes to society, economics and daily life, a new United Nations report said.

Unlike past U.N. reports that focused on one issue and avoided telling leaders what actions to take, Thursday’s report combined three intertwined environment crises and told the world what must change. It called for changing what governments tax, how nations value economic output, how power is generated, the way people get around, fish and farm, as well as what they eat.

“Without nature’s help, we will not thrive or even survive,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. “For too long, we have been waging a senseless and suicidal war on nature. The result is three interlinked environmental crises.”

Thus the 168-page report title is blunt: “Making Peace With Nature.”

“Our children and their children will inherit a world of extreme weather events, sea level rise, a drastic loss of plants and animals, food and water insecurity, and increasing likelihood of future pandemics,” said report lead author Sir Robert Watson, who has chaired past U.N. science reports on climate change and biodiversity loss.

“The emergency is in fact more profound than we thought only a few years ago,” said Watson, who has been a top-level scientist in the U.S. and British governments.

This year “is a make-it or break-it year indeed, because the risk of things becoming irreversible is gaining ground every year,” Guterres said. “We are close to the point of no return.”

The report highlighted what report co-author Rachel Warren of the University of East Anglia called “a litany of frightening statistics that hasn’t really been brought together”:

• Earth is on the way to an additional 3.5 degrees warming from now (1.9 degrees Celsius), far more than the international agreed-upon goals in the Paris accord.

• About 9 million people a year die from pollution.

• About 1 million of Earth’s 8 million species of plants and animals are threatened with extinction.

• Up to 400 million tons of heavy metals, toxic sludge and other industrial waste are dumped into the world’s waters every year.

• More than 3 billion people are affected by land degradation, and only 15% of Earth’s wetlands remain intact.

• About 60% of fish stocks are fished at the maximum levels. There are more than 400 oxygen-depleted “dead zones,” and marine plastics pollution has increased tenfold since 1980.

“In the end it will hit us,” said biologist Thomas Lovejoy, who was a scientific adviser to the report. “It’s not what’s happening to elephants. It’s not what’s happening to climate or sea level rise. It’s all going to impact us.”

The planet’s problems are so interconnected that they must be worked on together to be fixed right, Warren said. And many of the solutions, such as eliminating fossil fuel use, combat multiple problems, including climate change and pollution, she said.

The report “makes it clear that there is no time for linear thinking or tackling problems one at a time,” said University of Michigan environment professor Rosina Bierbaum, who wasn’t part of the work.

The report also gave specific solutions that it said must be taken. It used the word “must” 56 times and “should” 37 times. There should be 100 more because action is so crucial, said former U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres, who wasn’t part of the report.

“Time has totally ran out. That’s why the word ‘must’ is in there,” Figueres said.

Change in tax policy

The report called for an end to fossil fuel use and said governments should not tax labor or production, but rather use of resources that damages nature.

“Governments are still playing more to exploit nature than to protect it,” Guterres said. Globally, countries spend about $4 trillion to $6 trillion a year on subsidies that damage the environment, he added.

Scientists should inform leaders about environmental risks “but their endorsement of specific public policies threatens to undermine the credibility of their science,” said former Republican Representative Bob Inglis, who founded the free-market climate think tank RepublicEn.org.

The report also told nations to value nature in addition to the gross domestic product when calculating how an economy is doing.

Getting there means changes by individuals, governments and business, but it doesn’t have to involve sacrifice, said U.N. Environment Program Director Inger Andersen.

“There’s a country that has been on that path for 25 years: Costa Rica,” Andersen said. “Yes, these are difficult times, but more and more leaders are stepping in.”

Source: Voice of America

As Vaccine Confidence Grows, So Do Concerns About Doubters

As vaccination efforts ramp up in the United States, experts say efforts to deal with doubters need to increase along with them.

Some are predicting that as soon as April, there may be more vaccines available than people who want to take them.

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll in January found that just under half of Americans said they want to be vaccinated as soon as possible or have already gotten their shots. Another one-third said they would “wait and see” how the vaccine works for other people before taking it themselves.

That leaves about 20% who say they definitely will not get it or will do so only if required.

According to some estimates, 80% to 85% of the population needs to be vaccinated in order to reach the point known as herd immunity, when enough people are protected from the disease that the virus can’t find new people to infect.

“Right now, there are enough people that are saying that they absolutely will not get (the vaccine), that we wouldn’t be able to reach” herd immunity, said Texas State University anthropology professor Emily Brunson, co-chair of an expert group on vaccine equity.

The good news is, confidence is increasing. In December, about a quarter of people said they definitely would not get vaccinated or would only if they had to.

Experts say confidence will likely continue to increase as more people get their shots with no ill effects.

“I’m hearing so much more of, ‘I want to know more, I’m thinking about it,’ than, ‘No way,'” said Johns Hopkins University pediatrician Sarah Polk. “I am not panicked at this point.”

Polk is co-founder and co-director of Centro SOL, a health outreach organization targeting the growing Hispanic population in Baltimore.

Polls have found Hispanics and African Americans less eager than whites to get vaccinated. Experts say that is largely due to long-standing discrimination and a lack of access to health services.

Trusted messengers

One of the best ways to reach doubters is through what social scientists call trusted messengers. They could be celebrities or politicians, but often they are respected members of the local community.

But finding the right messenger isn’t easy.

For example, an organization called Cure Violence could be well-placed to win over skeptics in the largely African American and Latino neighborhoods in which they work, and where vaccine hesitancy runs high.

The group’s main mission, as the name suggests, is to prevent violence. Its outreach workers come from low-income neighborhoods in more than 20 cities across the country.

When the pandemic began to spread last March, Cure Violence quickly began training its outreach workers about the disease and how to talk about it in their neighborhoods.

Dealing with a disease outbreak may not have been their original purpose, but “that’s the way it goes in epidemics,” said Gary Slutkin, the organization’s founder and CEO. “You usually don’t have an existing epidemic infrastructure. You have to use something or build something.”

Slutkin knows from experience. He worked on fighting cholera, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS in Africa before adopting disease-control methods to prevent violence.

Cure Violence made videos, social media posts and paper posters about how to live real life with COVID-19 around. Of course, that included masks and social distancing. But for some neighborhoods, it also included warnings about avoiding crowded dice games and sharing joints.

That’s why the group is effective, experts say. Workers know the communities in which they work. They understand the concerns. People know them and trust them.

Armed with the right information, they could be powerful advocates for vaccination.

There’s just one problem. Many of Cure Violence’s outreach workers don’t trust the vaccine, either.

“We have the right people, we have the right access, we have the right trust,” Slutkin said, “but we’re still going through the first stages of having our workers themselves feel comfortable with it.”

Slutkin himself is a trusted messenger at Cure Violence. He says a staff member told him it was helpful to know that he took the vaccine.

“Took it?” he replied. “Do you have any idea what efforts I went to?”

He explained that he wanted the vaccine badly enough to go through the messy process of getting an appointment.

Slutkin said they are now recording a conversation between himself and a staffer. “That person would have the questions that the community would have.”

The process Cure Violence is having to go through with its own members mirrors what its workers will deal with in their neighborhoods, and what the country as a whole will have to do on a much larger scale.

Reaching the skeptics is “going to take a lot of work and a lot of effort,” said Brunson of Texas State University. “There is no silver bullet.”

“The vaccine technology is complicated,” she added, “but the people that you’re trying to convince to take the vaccines (are) even more complicated.”

Source: Voice of America

The Aviation MRO Community Will Gather Live at Aviation Week Network’s MRO Americas in Orlando, April 27-29

NEW YORK, Feb. 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The aviation MRO community will gather in-person for the first time in over a year, with the option to attend virtually, at Aviation Week Network’s 26th Annual MRO Americas (#MROAM), April 27-29 in Orlando, Florida. The event will be co-located with the Military Aviation Logistics & Maintenance Symposium (#MALMS).

The hybrid event will allow participants to connect with peers and colleagues in person at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando or attend virtually from anywhere in the world. The in person event will be followed May 4-5 with scheduled virtual meetings, networking, chats, and on demand content.

The conference will address how the industry is moving forward after a year of incredible challenges and change. See here for a preliminary agenda. Topics include:

  • A COO discussion featuring David Seymour, COO, American Airlines
  • Forecast and Key Trends
  • State of the Supply Chain: Impact & Aftermath
  • Cargo: Demand and Conversions Outlook
  • Predictions and Projections on Teardowns and Part-Outs
  • Investing in and Accelerating Adoption of Digital Tools

“As we welcome the MRO Americas/MALMS industry back this year, it will be a condensed and more domestic/regionalized version of past events. The smaller scale conference and exhibition will enable us to accommodate everyone safely and securely and enable our customers to engage and conduct business confidently,” said Lydia Janow, Managing Director, Events, for Aviation Week Network. “MRO Americas plays an integral role in our customers’ business operations and we are so inspired by how the industry has pulled together to support each other.”

The Military Aviation Logistics & Maintenance Symposium, supported by Elbit Systems of America, Logistics Officers Association (LOA) and Teledyne Controls, is designed to bring “best practices” from commercial and military operations together.

The exhibition hall hours are Tuesday, April 27, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Thursday, April 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. See here for a full list of exhibitors. To register for MRO Americas see here.

MRO Americas is supported by our sponsors. Platinum Sponsors are Airbus, Chromalloy, GE Aviation, Honeywell, Lufthansa Technik, MRO Holdings, ST Engineering, and United Technical Operations. Gold Sponsors are ATS, Avparts International, BPAero, COOPESA, CTS Engines, Embraer, GECAS Materials, GlobalParts Aero, IFS, Kellstrom Aerospace, LCI, MB Aerospace, Meggitt, MOOG, Nordam, Spirit Aerosystems, Vertical Aerospace, VSE Aviation, and Wencor Group.

MRO Americas will be organized in accordance with Informa’s AllSecure Health and Safety standards, along with those of the OCCC. As the world’s leading events’ organizer, Informa developed a detailed set of enhanced measures. MRO Americas has planned for an optimally safe environment from the moment attendees check-in at registration to the closing of the show floor. A comprehensive plan can be found at: https://mroamericas.aviationweek.com/en/home.html. Anyone unable to travel to Orlando will be able to participate virtually. Conference sessions will be live-streamed and available on demand and networking will be accommodated over the May 4-5 dates.

Aviation Week Network is the largest multimedia information and services provider for the global aviation, aerospace, and defense industries, serving 1.7 million professionals around the world. Industry professionals rely on Aviation Week Network to help them understand the market, make decisions, predict trends, and connect with people and business opportunities. Customers include the world’s leading aerospace manufacturers and suppliers, airlines, airports, business aviation operators, militaries, governments and other organizations that serve this worldwide marketplace. Aviation Week Network’s portfolio delivers award-winning journalism, data, intelligence and analytical resources, world-class tradeshows and conferences, and results-driven marketing services and advertising is helping our customers succeed. Aviation Week Network is part of Informa Markets, a division of Informa PLC.

Informa Markets creates platforms for industries and specialist markets to trade, innovate and grow. Our portfolio is comprised of more than 550 international B2B events and brands in markets including Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals, Infrastructure, Construction & Real Estate, Fashion & Apparel, Hospitality, Food & Beverage, and Health & Nutrition, among others. We provide customers and partners around the globe with opportunities to engage, experience and do business through face-to-face exhibitions, specialist digital content and actionable data solutions. As the world’s leading exhibitions organiser, we bring a diverse range of specialist markets to life, unlocking opportunities and helping them to thrive 365 days of the year. For more information, please visit www.informamarkets.com.

CONTACT: Elizabeth Kelley Grace