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Musings From Abroad

Homeless Billionaire: Elon Musk reveals he doesn’t own a house, sleeps in friends’ spare bedrooms – Video

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Billionaire Tesla Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and one of the single largest shareholders of social media giants, Twitter, Elon Musk, may be the richest man in the world presently with a net worth of $269.5 billion according to Forbes, but he claims to be homeless as he doesn’t own his personal house and sleeps in his friends’ spare bedrooms.

Musk made the revelation on Monday in a video interview with the non-profit organization TED, famously known for its popular “TED Talks” and conference, where he discussed his life and challenges as a billionaire.

“I don’t even own a place right now. I’m literally staying at friends’ places,” the money man said.

“If I travel to the Bay Area, which is where most of Tesla’s engineering is, I basically rotate through friends’ spare bedrooms,” the Tesla CEO added.

When asked about wealth disparity across the world and the amount of money spent by billionaires on luxury goods and properties, Musk said he does not believe in such luxuries as he doesn’t have a yacht nor take vacations.

“I don’t have a yacht, I don’t take vacations. I think there’s axiomatic flaws that are leading to that conclusion. It would be very problematic if I would be consuming billions of dollars a year in personal consumption, but that is not the case,” he said.

The Twitter shareholder, however, admitted to having an exception in his private plane which he sees as a necessity.

“It’s not as though my personal consumption is high, with the one exception being the plane. If I don’t use the plane, then I have less hours to work,” he added.

Last year, the billionaire had tweeted that his primary residence is a rental from SpaceX, worth $50,000, and in the same tweet, he had also admitted to owning an “events house” in the Bay.

Musings From Abroad

CLIMATE CHANGE: Germany to sign climate protection contracts with industries

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As the cry towards a green environment intensifies amidst the increasing effects of climate change, Germany is taking a lead in the climate renewal agenda as it is set to sign climate protection contracts with industrial companies next year.

The Economy Minister, Robert Habeck revealed on Sunday that the agreement will support a transition towards cleaner production and a switch to hydrogen.

Habeck was quoted as saying by Funke media group that  “the aim is to efficiently develop a green industry along the value chain that becomes marketable.”

Reports emerged during the week that Germany was planning to award companies in energy-intensive industries including chemicals and steel 15-year subsidy arrangements that he called climate protection contracts, in return for reducing carbon emissions in their production.

Recall that several world leaders last month, converged in Cairo, the capital of Egypt for the United Nations COP27 Climate Summit, over talks on the “need to deepen cuts in emissions and financially back developing countries already devastated by the effects of rising temperatures.”

According to UNFCCC, the most recent seven years, from 2015 to 2021 were the warmest on record. The 2018–2022 global mean temperature average is estimated to be 1.17 ± 0.13 °C above the 1850–1900 average.

Africa seems to be feeling the heat more as countries across the continent’s East and West have suffered devasting drought and floods beyond what used to be the usual climate pattern.

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Musings From Abroad

Swiss firm, ABB, gets $4.3 million fine over bribery case in South Africa

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Judicial authority in Switzerland has fined engineering and technology group ABB, the sum of 4 million Swiss francs ($4.3 million) in connection with a bribery case in South Africa.

According to the country’s Attorney General, the fine on ABB is for “not having taken all necessary and reasonable organisational provisions in order to prevent bribery payments to foreign officials in South Africa”.

The group was found guilty of improper payments and other compliance issues at the Kusile power station after a wide-scale investigation into state corruption concluded in June 2022.

Earlier in the week, ABB and South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) agreed that the company will pay reparations for its involvement in state corruption.

According to a statement by the NPA, the company agreed to pay 2.5 billion rands ($144.51 million) in punitive reparations to South Africa within 60 days from the first day of December.

The reparation is in addition to 1.6 billion rand ($92.48 million)the company paid back to South African state power utility Eskom in 2020.

The Central Europe country has been fingered in lots of corruption cases involving African countries.

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