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Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Europe is getting squeezed on gas supplies. They should look across the Med.

European governments look set to spend EUR bns to subsidise households gas and electricity bills, as record high prices threaten a winter energy crisis across the continent, the Financial Times reports. Italy is expected to follow France in announcing an EUR multi-bn support package to help households pay their electricity bills, ahead of a meeting between EU leaders this week to discuss national responses to rising power costs. The UK government, meanwhile, may have to prop up bigger energy companies with loans after admitting the potential for a wave of bankruptcies over the winter after several smaller firms went bust in August.

Why are gas prices surging? Low storage supplies and a reduction in Russian gas exports to the continent in favor of Asian markets are the immediate drivers of the price squeeze, though fingers are pointing in all directions as to what got us here. Spain has placed the blame squarely at the feet of gas companies for raking it in, and is calling for coordinated EU-wide action “to avoid being at their mercy.” Some energy companies say a sharp reduction in gas supply amid the switch to renewables is behind the price squeeze, while other players are using the situation to call for the EU’s planned carbon tax to be scrapped. But the EU energy commissioner is holding firm on the need to switch to clean energy: “The only real, long-term solution here is to increase the share of renewable energy, which is already generally the cheapest energy on the market,” she told the FT.

Here’s a thought: Why not buy EastMed gas? Egypt, along with Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan and Palestine, have officially set up the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) with Cairo as the location of its HQ to cooperate on natural gas policy and infrastructure. The move is a big step towards our ambitions of being a regional natural gas hope, wth Egypt’s liquefaction plants servicing the region and used as jump off point for export outside the region. Egypt and Cyprus agreed last week to begin studies that would pave the way for Cypriot gas to be sent to Egypt for re-export.


Instead of doing more to fight income inequality, the rich are trying to fund their immortality: A growing number of Silicon Valley tech bn’aires are investing in the fast-emerging field of longevity, aiming to help people “cheat death,” reports CNBC. Meds, therapies, and other life science tech is currently being researched by the likes of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Alphabet’s Larry Page, and Oracle’s Larry Ellison. If / when this tech is brought to the public, it makes sense that it will probably be unaffordable for the average consumer. However, with all tech that was once limited to the wealthy elites, it eventually trickles down through the classes and will “benefit humanity as a whole”, investors tell CNBC, including Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn.

We’re about to see how valuable their ‘immortality’ investments really are: Stay tuned for the listing of Juvenescence, British bn’aire Jim Mellon’s life extension company which was meant to take place in six to 12 months last September, reported CNBC then. Juvenescence is working to provide a wide range of anti-ageing therapies that it thinks have the potential to extend human life, but the IPO is yet to happen.

Are we really at a point where this is a reality? Read Lifespan: Why We Age―and Why We Don't Have To by Harvard Scientist David Sinclair and Matthew D. LaPlante, where the duo explain recent advances in genetic reprogramming that could allow people to not just feel younger, but actually become younger.


Twitter will pay USD 809.5 mn to settle a 2016 lawsuit alleging the company was misleading investors about the number of its monthly active users and timeline views, the company said in a press release. Under the settlement, all claims against the company and the other defendants will be resolved and clearing them of any fault, liability of wrongdoing. “Twitter and the individual defendants continue to deny any wrongdoing or any other improper actions,” the statement said, explaining that the settlement will be paid during 4Q2021. The settlement is still subject to court approval. The lawsuit was led by the National Elevator Industry Pension Fund, represented by Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, and KBC Asset Management NV, represented by Motley Rice.

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