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Musings From Abroad

Elon Musk goes tough on revenue drive, says government, businesses to pay for using Twitter

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Billionaire owner of electric car manufacturer, Tesla, Elon Musk, on Tuesday, said government and commercial businesses using Twitter will have to pay for it in a bid to drive revenue and make the social media company he acquired last week become profitable.

In a tweet, Musk wrote that the company will consider charging a “slight” fee for commercial and government users for using the platform.

According to Musk, the fee which will not be very significant, will be part of his push to reposition the company and grow its revenue which has made it lag behind major social media rivals like Facebook and Google.

“Twitter will always be free for casual users, but maybe a slight cost for commercial/government users.

“Some revenue is better than none!” Musk wrote on Twitter while announcing the measure.

This will not be the first time the world’s richest man would be mulling on measures that would place the platform as a profitable business model.

Last week, a few days after completing the take over of Twitter, Musk said he would develop new ways to monetise tweets and crack down on executive pay to slash costs at the social media platform company.

He added that he planned to develop features to grow business revenue, including new ways to make money out of tweets that contain important information or go viral.

On Monday, at the annual Met Gala held in New York, Musk said the reach of Twitter was currently only “niche” without equal revenue to go with it and that he would want a much bigger percentage of the United States to be on the platform.

He said he wanted to make Twitter less ‘niche’ and more revenue driven as much as possible just as he has been able to Tesla a very profitable company.

After completing the deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion, Musk had said he wanted to enhance the platform with new features, make the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeat spam bots, and authenticate all humans.

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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