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Announcing the shortlist for the 2024 Lionel Gelber Prize

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Five titles being considered for best non-fiction book on international affairs published in English

TORONTO, WASHINGTON, LONDON and ROME, Feb. 8, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The shortlist for the 2024 Lionel Gelber Prize shortlist has been selected by an international panel of practitioners, journalists and scholars. This will be the 34th awarding of the prize, which honours the world’s best book on international affairs published in English. The winner will receive $50,000 CAD and will be chosen from the following five titles:

  • Power and Progress: Our 1000-year struggle over technology and prosperity, Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson (PublicAffairs, Hatchette Book Group)
  • Underground Empire: How America weaponized the world economy, Henry Farrell and Abraham Newman (Macmillan, Henry Holt and Co. U.S.A.; Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Press, U.K.)
  • Homelands: A personal history of Europe, Timothy Garton Ash (Yale University Press)
  • Seven Crashes: The economic crises that shaped globalization, Harold James (Yale University Press)
  • We, The Data: Human rights in the digital age, Wendy H. Wong (MIT Press)

“The jury has chosen five books that explore topics critical to our understanding of the forces that influence the global economy and international cooperation,” said Judith Gelber, Chair of the Lionel Gelber Prize Board. “They each exemplify the values of the Lionel Gelber Prize with elegant writing on important issues.”

This year’s shortlist was selected by the 2024 Lionel Gelber Prize Jury: Prof. Janice Gross Stein (Jury Chair), Prof. Rosa Brooks (Washington), Prof. Francis J. Gavin (Washington), Iain Martin (London) and Eric Reguly (Rome).

Winner Announcement:
The winner will be announced on March 6, 2024. The winning author will take part in a hybrid event hosted by the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy on March 25, 2024. 

About The Lionel Gelber Prize:
The Lionel Gelber Prize, a literary award for the world’s best non-fiction book on international affairs published in English, was founded in 1989 by Canadian diplomat Lionel Gelber. A cash prize of $50,000 CAD is awarded to the winner. The award is presented annually by University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. For further information, please visit: https://gelber.munkschool.utoronto.ca/ or follow @gelberprize on Facebook and Twitter.

The 2024 Lionel Gelber Prize – Shortlisted Books and Authors

Power and Progress: Our 1000-year struggle over technology and prosperity, Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson (PublicAffairs, Hatchette Book Group)

About the authors: 

Daron Acemoglu is Institute Professor of Economics at MIT, the university’s highest faculty honor. For the last twenty-five years, he has been researching the historical origins of prosperity, poverty, and the effects of new technologies on economic growth, employment, and inequality. Acemoglu is the recipient of several awards and honors, including the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded to economists under forty judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge (2005); the BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award in economics, finance, and management for his lifetime contributions (2016), and the Kiel Institute’s Global Economy Prize in economics (2019). He is author (with James Robinson) of The Narrow Corridor and the New York Times bestseller Why Nations Fail. 
 
Simon Johnson is the Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Sloan School at MIT, where he is also head of the Global Economics and Management group. Previously chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, he has worked on global economic crises and recoveries for thirty years. Johnson has published more than 300 high-impact pieces in leading publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and Financial Times. He is author (with Jon Gruber) of Jump-Starting America, and (with James Kwak) of White House Burning and the national bestseller 13 Bankers. He works with entrepreneurs, elected officials, and civil society organizations around the world. 

Underground Empire: How America weaponized the world economy, Henry Farrell and Abraham Newman (Macmillan, Henry Holt and Co. U.S.A.; Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Press, U.K.)

About the authors:

Henry Farrell is the SNF Agora Professor at Johns Hopkins SAIS, the 2019 winner of the Friedrich Schiedel Prize for Politics and Technology, Editor-in-Chief of The Monkey Cage at The Washington Post, and co-founder of the popular academic blog, Crooked Timber. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Farrell has written for publications such as The New York Times, the Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Washington Monthly, The Boston Review, Aeon, New Scientist, and The Nation.

Abraham L. Newman is a professor at the School of Foreign Service and Government Department at Georgetown University. Known for his research on the politics generated by globalization, he serves as a frequent commentator on international affairs, appearing on news programs ranging from Al Jazeera to Deutsche Welle and NPR. His work has been published in leading outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post, Nature, Science, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Harvard Business Review, and Politico.

Homelands: A personal history of Europe, Timothy Garton Ash (Yale University Press)

About the author: Timothy Garton Ash is professor of European studies at the University of Oxford and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His books include The Magic Lantern, his eyewitness account of the revolutions of 1989; The File: A Personal History, based on reading his own Stasi file; and History of the Present. He lives in Oxford, England. 

Seven Crashes: The economic crises that shaped globalization, Harold James (Yale University Press)

About the author: Harold James is the Claude and Lore Kelly Professor in European Studies and professor of history and international affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of numerous books, most recently The War of Words: A Glossary of Globalization (Yale, 2021) and Making a Modern Central Bank: The Bank of England 1979–2003 (Cambridge, 2020). 

We, The Data: Human rights in the digital age, Wendy Wong (MIT Press)

About the author: Wendy H. Wong is a Professor of Political Science and Principal’s Research Chair at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan. She is the author of two award-winning books: Internal Affairs: How the Structure of NGOs Transforms Human Rights and (with Sarah S. Stroup) The Authority Trap: Strategic Choices of International NGOs.

Lani Krantz, Communications and Media Relations Specialist, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto, +1 (647) 407-4384 (text preferred), [email protected]

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Velo Is Enhancing Its Own Ecosystem Through Interoperability

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Interoperability in Velo: To Infinity and Beyond

BANGKOK, March 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — As new blockchains and blockchain-based platforms emerge, it’s crucial for these ecosystems to be interconnected, enabling users to seamlessly transfer their assets without complications. Velo is enhancing its own ecosystem through interoperability, aspiring to become a pivotal connection point for various blockchains.

A significant update within Universe is its support for multiple wallet addresses on a single platform, catering to users who possess multiple wallets across different platforms. This feature is essential for managing diverse assets conveniently.

Furthermore, Universe is integrating multi-chain login and registration support for networks such as Solana and Tron, thereby improving Velo’s accessibility and usability. Efforts are in place to refactor the user database and management code, ensuring a smooth and secure experience.

Velo is advancing its blockchain integration by incorporating the Solana and Tron networks, aiming to offer enhanced deposit and withdrawal functionalities to enrich its ecosystem. This initiative involves deploying Solana and Tron chain-node and full-node functionalities, thereby broadening the network’s diversity and user options. Additionally, Universe is introducing a dedicated user interface (UI) for Solana transactions, encompassing deposit-withdrawal and account management across Webplus and mobile platforms, ensuring a seamless user experience.

This streamlined approach guarantees that Velo’s users have comprehensive and intuitive access to a broader range of transaction options, significantly boosting the platform’s utility and user engagement.

The integration with the Lightning Network marks a significant advancement in improving Bitcoin transactions. By implementing Lightning chain-node and deploying a BTC full-node, Orbit aims to streamline Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals, making them faster and more cost-efficient.

Velo’s dedication to ensuring inclusivity and connectivity with other blockchains is evident through the concrete steps it has taken. With aggressive strides towards unlocking the full potential of the Velo Protocol, Velo is poised for significant growth and innovation.

About Velo Labs

Velo Labs is a global pioneer in Web3-based financial solutions, offering a cutting-edge liquidity and settlement network for secure, efficient value transfers. Backed by Stellar Network and CP Group, our reach has expanded beyond Southeast Asia and the Pacific, now serving partners worldwide. We connect and complement the gap between traditional banking infrastructure and Web3, leading the way in blockchain mass adoption. Our extensive Web3-based payment network and Lightnet, our licensed settlement partner, position us as a global heavyweight. Velo Labs offers a diverse range of Web3-based products, notably Orbit, tailored for individuals, merchants, corporations, and enterprises worldwide — dedicated to empowering global financial connectivity and expanding accessibility globally.

Follow us for more info: Twitter / Telegram / Website

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CGTN: China vows to develop new quality productive forces in modernization drive

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BEIJING, March 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — China saw the number of contracted technology transactions grow by 28.6 percent in 2023, an achievement that speaks volumes of the country’s enhanced capacity for innovation-driven development.

China will leverage the leading role of innovation, spur industrial innovation through advancements in science and technology, and press ahead with new industrialization, according to a government work report submitted on Tuesday to the national legislature for deliberation.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang delivered the report at the opening meeting of the second session of the 14th National People’s Congress in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The report says that the country will strive to modernize the industrial system and develop new quality productive forces at a faster pace.

Developing new quality productive forces

With innovation leading the way, new quality productive forces mean going beyond the traditional models of economic growth. This path features high technology, high efficiency and high quality, and aligns with China’s new development philosophy.

In order to develop these new quality productive forces, the government work report lists a series of tasks.

It calls for improving and upgrading industrial and supply chains besides cultivating emerging and future-oriented industries, such as hydrogen power, new materials, biomanufacturing, commercial spaceflight, quantum technology and life sciences.

The report also says that innovative development of the digital economy will be promoted, an Artificial Intelligence Plus initiative will be launched, and the country will consolidate and enhance its leading position in industries such as intelligent connected new-energy vehicles.

Moreover, China has set an economic growth target of around 5 percent for 2024 and vowed to promote high-quality development. It will issue ultra-long special treasury bonds annually over the next several years for implementing major national strategies and building up security capacity in key areas, starting with 1 trillion yuan of such bonds this year, according to the report.

The report also stresses efforts for invigorating China through science and education and consolidating the foundations for high-quality development.

China will speed up efforts to build a contingent of personnel with expertise of strategic importance and cultivate more first-class scientists and innovation teams.

The country will develop platforms for identifying basic research talent, train high-performing engineers and highly-skilled workers, and enhance support for young scientists and engineers, according to the report.

Acting on people-centered development philosophy

China will make efforts to ensure and improve the people’s welling and promote better and new ways of conducting social governance, the report says.

It highlights that China will deliver real benefits to the people to their satisfaction by acting on the people-centered development philosophy.

In 2023, China’s per capita disposable income of residents increased by 6.1 percent, and over 66 million taxpayers benefited from an increase in the special additional deductions for individual income tax, which cover children nursing expenses, children’s education and elderly care expenses, according to the report.

In 2024, the country expects to create over 12 million jobs in urban areas and keep the surveyed urban unemployment rate at around 5.5 percent.

China will also enhance ecological conservation and promote green and low-carbon development, including taking comprehensive steps to improve the environment and boosting the green and low-carbon economy, according to the report.

In 2023, China’s installed renewable energy capacity surpassed its thermal power capacity for the first time in history and it accounted for over half of newly installed renewable energy capacity worldwide, according to data released by the National Energy Administration.

The country will advance the energy revolution and actively and prudently work toward peaking carbon dioxide emissions and achieving carbon neutrality, according to the report.

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2024-03-05/China-s-top-legislature-starts-annual-session-1rImSPDg5EI/p.html

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SK chemicals, Hyosung Advanced Materials, and Hankook Tire Commercialize South Korea’s First Chemically Recycled PET Tire

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  • Establishing a circular economy that extends from recycled PET to high-strength tire cords and electric vehicle-exclusive tires
  • Leading the global tire industry’s sustainable management by commercializing products with 45% eco-friendly certified materials

SEONGNAM, South Korea, March 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — To reduce carbon emissions, the South Korean industrial sector has developed and commercialized the country’s first tire using chemically recycled PET.

SK chemicals (CEO Ahn Jae-hyun), Hyosung Advanced Materials Co., Ltd. (CEO Cho Yong-soo), and Hankook Tire & Technology Co., Ltd. (CEO Lee Soo-il, hereafter Hankook Tire) announced on the 5th that they have successfully developed the electric vehicle-exclusive tire “iON” applying “circular recycled PET (polyester) fiber tire cords.” Circular recycling is an exclusive chemical recycling technology of SK chemicals that breaks down discarded plastics through chemical reactions into molecular units and then uses these raw materials to produce recycled plastics.

Before the commercialization phase, there were instances where chemical recycling technology was applied to concept tires or prototypes, but the release of a tire product to the market using chemically recycled PET-based tire cords through to commercialization is a first in South Korea.

SK chemicals, Hyosung Advanced Materials, and Hankook Tire have collaboratively developed this tire over a period of about two years. SK chemicals has reliably supplied the circular recycled PET “SKYPET CR”, and Hyosung Advanced Materials developed the high-strength recycled PET-based tire cords using this as a raw material. The developed tire cords were applied to Hankook Tire’s premium electric vehicle tire brand, iON. The iON tire, with a 45% sustainable material content, has recently passed the stringent reliability verification by a European automotive manufacturer, securing final approval for use and being mounted as tires for new vehicles.

Tire cords are fiber reinforcement materials that help maintain the shape of the tire and withstand the load and impact applied during driving, enhancing the tire’s durability, driving performance, and ride comfort.

SK chemicals’ “SKYPET CR” has the advantage of maintaining high-quality properties and safety even after infinite recycling, compared to the physical recycling method of washing discarded plastics or cutting them into flakes for reuse, and it can achieve properties equivalent to petrochemical-based materials.

The iON model developed by Hankook Tire incorporates 45% sustainable materials, including bio-based, circular, and bio-circular polymers, bio-based silica along with Hyosung Advanced Materials’ tire cords, and the model is the first tire to bear the ISCC PLUS certification logo.

 

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