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Barcelona sells major stake of Barca Studios for $102M

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Spanish football club Barcelona’s president has announced the sale of 25 percent of Barca Studios, the company managing the club’s digital business and audiovisual productions.

Spanish football club Barcelona sold 25 percent of Barca Studios, which manages the club’s digital business and audiovisual productions, to Socios.com for $102.5 million dollars (100 million euros), club’s president Joan Laporta has said.

Club members had voted to allow the sale of 49 percent of the shares.

“For the moment, we have sold 25 percent to Socios.com,” Laporta said at the press conference on Monday to present Jules Kounde, bought for a reported $51.2 million (50 million euros) from Sevilla, as a Barcelona player.

Earlier this summer, the deeply indebted club sold 15 percent of its La Liga TV revenue to the American investment fund Sixth Street in two tranches or a total of 400m euros before going on a transfer spree.

In addition to Kounde, Barcelona have bought Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich and Raphinha from Leeds and signed AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie and Chelsea’s Danish central defender Andreas Christensen on free transfers.

READ MORE: Bayern Munich agree on Lewandowski transfer to Barcelona for $50M

Drive to raise money

While the deals with Sixth Street are for 25 years, the sale to the Socios.com platform is permanent.

“It’s a sale for ever,” Laporta said. “There would be a way to recover this 25 percent but for the moment this operation means the entry of a new partner, Socios.com, which has injected 100 million euros,” he said.

Socios.com is a platform that allows clubs to increase their interaction with fans and try to make more money from it, including the use of Fan Tokens, a kind of digital asset based on blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

In its drive to raise money quickly, Barcelona has taken a $611 million (595 million euro) loan from investment bank Goldman Sachs and signed a sponsorship deal worth an estimated $446 million (435 million euros) with streaming service Spotify.

In August 2021, Laporta announced that an audit of the club’s finances showed Barca faced an estimated debt of $1.39 billion (1.35 billion euros).

They allowed Lionel Messi to leave for Paris Saint-Germain in 2021 because they could not afford to keep the Argentine star, even on a reduced salary.

READ MORE: ‘Ashamed’: Barcelona president alters ticket policy after Eintracht game

Source: TRTWorld

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Chief of Defence Force inducted into International Fellows Hall of Fame

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Chief of Defence Force Major General Abdulla Shamaal has been inducted into the International Fellows Hall of Fame at the National Defence University (NDU) in Washington, DC, United States (US).

Major General Shamaal received the award at the International Fellows Hall of Fame induction ceremony held at the Sydney Sheraton Grand Hotel. Lieutenant General Michael Plehn, the President of the NDU, presented the certificate and memento of induction into the International Fellows Hall of Fame.

Major General Shamaal is the first Maldivian to be awarded the honour. He and four others from four countries have been awarded the honour. He completed a Master of Arts in Strategic Security Studies from the NDU in 2012 and was awarded the Distinguished Honour Graduate of the course.

The International Fellows Hall of Fame was established in 1999. The purpose of the programme is to provide a prestigious and visible means of honouring NDU graduates who have attained through merit the highest positions in their nation’s armed forces, service component, or government, or who have held an equivalent position in a multinational organisation. The members of the International Fellows Hall of Fame are recognised in a formal ceremony on the NDU campus. Their photographs are displayed in Marshall Hall in the Hall of Fame area.

 

Source: psmnews

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Media urged to highlight nations’ joint BRI efforts

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A senior official underlined on Tuesday the important role of media in boosting high-quality cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, urging international media outlets to tell about participating countries’ joint efforts to promote peace and prosperity, open, green and innovative development, and cultural progress.

Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, made the remark in a video speech at the 2022 Media Cooperation Forum on Belt and Road, which was held in Xi’an, Shaanxi province.

Huang said that jointly building the Belt and Road was a significant initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping in line with the trend of global development and in answering the call of the times, with a view to advancing the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Since the initiative was proposed, infrastructure connectivity has advanced, the synergy of rules and standards has made progress and the bonds among people in countries involved in the initiative have been strengthened, Huang said.

The efforts to enhance Belt and Road cooperation have been deepened with fruitful results, and the initiative has become a global public good and a platform for international cooperation welcomed by the international community, he added.

Emphasizing the media’s important role in promoting the communication of information, enhancing mutual trust and building consensus, Huang said jointly building the Belt and Road is inseparable from the active participation of the media outlets worldwide as well as their sincere exchanges and pragmatic cooperation.

Looking forward, Huang expressed his hope that international media organizations will actively promote the perspective of civilization that features equality, mutual learning, dialogue and inclusiveness, make the voices of win-win cooperation heard and contribute to high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

The forum was held in both an online and offline format. It was jointly organized by People’s Daily, the CPC Shaanxi Provincial Committee and the Shaanxi provincial government. More than 120 media representatives from over 40 countries and international organizations attended the forum.

By the end of March, a total of 149 countries and 32 international organizations had signed cooperation documents with China on jointly building the Belt and Road.

From 2013 to 2021, the volume of trade in goods between China and countries involved in the Belt and Road amounted to around $11 trillion, and two-way investment exceeded $230 billion, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

 

Source: China Daily

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Management plans to be implemented this year for two protected areas in Baa Atoll

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The Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve Office has stated management plans will be formulated and implemented this year for two more areas in the atoll declared as protected areas.

Baa Atoll currently has 10 protected areas, of which three areas have a management plan. These three areas are Hanifaru, Olhugiri and Mendhoo region.

The Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve Office revealed management plans are being formulated for two more areas, to be implemented this year. As such, management plans are to be implemented this year for the areas of Angafaru and Goidhoo Koaru.

Angafaru was declared protected on June 6, 2009. The protected area includes Dhonfanuthila, Dhiguthila and Mahaanagaa. The area used to be a breeding ground for both grey and white tip reef sharks. However, reef shark numbers have dramatically decreased from the site due to overfishing

Goidhoo Koaru, located on the northern side on the inhabited island of Goidhoo, was declared protected on June 5, 2011. This area has the highest biodiversity and largest mangrove forest within Baa Atoll. It is one of the largest mangrove ecosystems within the nation and has a high biodiversity population of mangrove associated vertebrates and invertebrates. This site is also a popular roosting site for migratory birds such as the Ruddy Turnstone and Northern Shoveler.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has declared Baa Atoll as a biosphere reserve for an additional 10 years. UNESCO has instructed the Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve Office to formulate and implement effective management plans for all protected areas in the region.

 

Source: psmnews

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