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Category: Progress (Page 1 of 3)

Women Peace Security Index for 2023

Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) seeks to promote a more stable, peaceful, and just world by focusing on the important role women play in preventing conflict and building peace, growing economies, and addressing global threats like climate change and violent extremism.

This fourth edition of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Index ranks and scores 177 countries on women’s status. The results show that countries where women are doing well are also more peaceful, democratic, prosperous, and better
prepared to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

This year, nine of the top ten best countries to be women are European, with Scandinavian countries leading the rankings. Denmark leads the 2023 rankings, scoring more than three times higher than Afghanistan.

1 Denmark
2 Switzerland
3 Sweden
4 Finland
4 Iceland
4 Luxembourg
7 Norway
8 Austria
9 Netherlands
10 New Zealand

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The mayor of Pontevedra, Spain is placing pedestrians first

For decades, throngs of cars clogged the cobblestone streets of Pontevedra’s downtown, making this seaside city on Spain’s northwestern tip a hard place to live. Smog, loud noise and narrow walkways drove young families away from a region struggling with a shrinking and aging population.

Family physician turned mayor Miguel Fernandez Lores managed to halt the bleeding by closing many streets to car traffic. Now Pontevedra is a model of success in a growing global movement that’s trying to reclaim streets for pedestrians.

Bloomberg »

This Spanish Mayor Is Putting Pedestrians First

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Taiwan’s TSMC to invest 3.5 billion euros on chip plant in Dresden, Germany [Updated]

  • TSMC commits €3.5 billion to plant
  • Germany to contribute up to €5 billion / EU approved
  • Operational in 2027

Reuters »

The plant, which will be TSMC’s third outside of traditional manufacturing bases Taiwan and China, is central to Berlin’s ambition to foster the domestic semiconductor industry its car industry will need to remain globally competitive.

Reuters »

Taiwan chip maker TSMC’s €3.5 billion (US$3.83 billion) investment in Germany will drive deeper engagement between the island and Europe, Taiwan’s economy minister said on Wednesday, pitching the political benefits of the deal.

Bloomberg »

Dresden is a continuation down that path of working with clients to jointly own facilities, largely to supply the growing demand for components used in automobiles. TSMC will invest up to €3.5 billion ($3.8 billion) for a 70% share of newly formed European Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Robert Bosch GmbH, Infineon Technologies AG and NXP Semiconductors NV each take 10%, and total capex is expected to be around $11 billion, with the money coming from equity, debt and German and EU funding.

Since its founding by Morris Chang more than three decades ago, TSMC eschewed equity partnerships in favor of maintaining full control over its operations, and thus its destiny. But the global winds have changed, and its new leaders, Chairman Mark Liu and Chief Executive Officer CC Wei, have had little choice but to adapt. TSMC’s balance sheet is solid, its cash flow is stable, and its credit rating is high. It doesn’t need clients nor governments to hand it money in order to pay for these new facilities.

The Register | NY Times | DigiTimes | Euronews | DW

Happy Swiss National Day 🇨🇭

On Swiss National Day, Alain Berset, President of the Swiss Confederation, encourages Swiss citizens living abroad to make their voice heard and to participate in political life.

“I wish you all a wonderful August 1st.” | SwissCommunity

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Canadians have the world’s 7th-most valuable passport – up from 8th in last year’s rankings

According to the much respected Henley Passport Index, which ranks the world’s passports based on official data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), 🇨🇦 Canadians can claim the world’s 7th-most valuable passport this year – up from 8th last year. Canada had been ranked 8th since 2021.

In a bit of a shakeup, 🇯🇵 Japan has been knocked off the top spot on the Henley Passport Index for the first time in five years and bumped into 3rd place. 🇸🇬 Singapore is now officially the most powerful passport in the world, with its citizens able to visit 192 travel destinations out of 227 around the world visa-free. 🇩🇪 Germany, 🇮🇹 Italy, and 🇪🇸 Spain all move up into 2nd place with visa-free access to 190 destinations, and Japanese passport holders join those of six other nations — 🇦🇹 Austria, 🇫🇮 Finland, 🇫🇷 France, 🇱🇺 Luxembourg, 🇰🇷 South Korea, and 🇸🇪 Sweden — in 3rd place with access to189 destinations without a prior visa.
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The Economist names Vienna the world’s most liveable city for 2023

Vienna has retained its crown as the world’s most liveable city, according to Economist’s annual index.

The 2023 Global Liveability Index quantifies the challenges presented to an individual’s lifestyle and standard of living in 173 cities worldwide. The 2023 Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual ranking has also included three Canadian cities among the worlds top 10 most liveable. Australia and Switzerland each have 2 entries. Denmark, Japan, and New Zealand each had one city in the top rankings.

1. Vienna 🇦🇹
2. Copenhagen 🇩🇰
3. Melbourne 🇦🇺
4. Sydney 🇦🇺
5. Vancouver 🇨🇦
6. Zurich 🇨🇭
7. Calgary 🇨🇦 (tie)
7. Geneva 🇨🇭 (tie)
9. Toronto 🇨🇦
10. Osaka 🇯🇵 (tie)
10. Auckland 🇳🇿 (tie)

The Global Liveability Index 2023: optimism amid instability

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The Economist »

68% of Americans consider immigration good for the U.S.

Gallup »

While barely a quarter of Americans consider immigration a bad thing for the country, that view is far more prevalent among Republicans (43%) than Democrats (10%), with independents roughly matching the nation as a whole (28%). Still, half of Republicans consider it a good thing, as do 67% of independents and 87% of Democrats.

The poll was conducted after the Biden administration lifted emergency regulations employed during the pandemic, known as Title 42, that had allowed border control officers to immediately deport people caught entering the U.S. illegally rather than give them an asylum hearing.


US federal government approves largest-ever offshores wind project, expected to generate around 1,100 megawatts of clean energy

Quartz »

Biden’s wind power goals, by the digits

  • 380,000: Homes the Ocean Wind 1 project can power with its energy, according to the interior department
  • 3,000: “Good-paying” jobs the New Jersey project will generate “through development and a three-year construction cycle,” the federal agency said
  • 98: The number of wind turbine generators the Ocean Wind 1 project has permission to construct, according to the Record of Decision (ROD) documents. Additionally, it can build three offshore substations within its lease area
  • $695 million: How much Ørsted expects to spend on the Ocean Wind 1 project in New Jersey. It has some federal help—the New Jersey legislature narrowly approved a bill last week to let Ørsted keep federal tax credits to insulate it from rising costs due to inflation and the covid-19 pandemic hangover
  • 30 gigawatts (GW): President Biden’s offshore wind power generation goal by 2030, which will power 10 million homes, and create 77,000 jobs

The environmentally conscious, deGoogled, Fairphone 4 smartphone is now available in the US

The user repairable Fairphone 4 has been a hit in Europe for the past two years.

It’s now available in the U.S. from Murena, starting at around US$630. No word yet when or if Murena will ship the Fairphone 4 to Canada, but their other models already do, so …

The Verge »

Fairphone is partnering with Murena, a company best known for de-Googling Android phones, to launch the US pilot of the Murena Fairphone 4 — a variant of the handset that runs on a privacy-oriented Android-based operating system: /e/OS.

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