Just a Moment News - 2024-06-25


Hello, everyone! Welcome to ‘Just a Moment News.’ I’m your host, Erika, and today, on June 25, 2024, we’re diving into some of the latest news stories that are making headlines around the world.

First up, let’s talk about a fascinating development from South Africa. Johannes Bochdalofsky, inspired by a major algae bloom a decade ago, has created an alternative fuel from seaweed. His company, SeaH4, recently won the OceanLove Innovation Awards for its sustainable approach using seaweed and green hydrogen to produce fuel. This innovative method not only addresses climate change but also boosts coastal economies by converting seaweed into biogas with cow dung bacteria. Bochdalofsky is planning to start a pilot project in Saldanha Bay and aims to build a full-scale plant by 2029, with hopes of producing enough fuel to neutralize one hundred megatonnes of CO2 emissions by 2040.

Switching gears to the corporate world, Naspers, a technology investor, has seen its full-year earnings more than double, thanks to the strong performance of its e-commerce businesses and contributions from Tencent. The company reported a rise in core headline earnings per share from continuing operations to eleven dollars and forty-eight cents for the year ending March 31, up from a restated five dollars and forty-six cents the previous year. Naspers has also achieved profitability in its consolidated e-commerce business, reversing a previous loss, and reported an eight percent growth in revenue from continuing operations to six point four billion dollars.

Now, let’s look at the e-commerce landscape in South Africa. The Takealot Group, despite facing competition from international players like Shein, Temu, and Amazon, remains hopeful as stricter regulations on clothing imports are set to begin from July 1. This change is expected to improve the competitive position of local e-commerce players by imposing a 45% import duty and 15% VAT on all clothing imports.

In other news, Discovery Vitality subscribers using an Apple Watch received an update. Although the new pause feature in Apple’s WatchOS 11 Health app allows users to pause their Activity Rings, it will not affect how Vitality Active Rewards are measured. Members can still earn rewards and subsidize their Apple Watch by completing weekly exercise goals.

Moving on to a significant legal development, Julian Assange, the co-founder of WikiLeaks, will plead guilty to leaking US national security secrets as part of a deal with the US justice department. This agreement will allow him to avoid a lengthy American prison sentence, marking the end of a nearly 15-year legal battle.

In sports and technology, Formula 1 and Amazon are teaming up to provide AI-powered personalized race viewing experiences. This initiative aims to enhance fan engagement by leveraging Amazon Web Services to analyze race archives and real-time data, providing live context and trivia for broadcasters.

Lastly, a groundbreaking study published in Nature has revealed that baobabs, iconic trees known for their massive trunks and long lifespans, actually originated in Madagascar, not Africa as previously thought. This discovery has significant implications for conservation efforts, especially in Madagascar where six species are native.

That wraps up today’s discussion on ‘Just a Moment News.’ Thank you for tuning in. I’m Erika, and I hope you found today’s stories insightful. Stay informed, and we’ll catch up on more news soon. Goodbye for now!

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