Tomorrow, May 20th, during President Donald Trump‘s diplomatic visit to Saudi Arabia, bro-country superstar Toby Keith will play a free show in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. An outspoken supporter of the embattled POTUS, Keith was one of the (very) few mainstream artists Trump was able to recruit for his inauguration celebration earlier this year.Toby Keith has built a massively successful country career on songs like “I Love This Bar,” “Whiskey Girl,” “Drunk Americans,” and “Beer For My Horses.” But for this empirically bizarre performance, there will be no bars, whiskey, drunk Americans, or even girls in sight (although there may, in fact, be some horses around somewhere). That’s right: In keeping with the Middle Eastern country’s strict adherence to a conservative interpretation of Islamic law, there will be no women allowed at the performance.Saudi Arabia adheres to a conservative interpretation of Islamic law: Alcohol is strictly prohibited, unrelated men and women are required to be segregated in public, and women are forbidden from doing a number of things that men can do, including driving a car and, apparently, going to see Toby Keith concerts.The Associated Press reports that in addition to the concert, Saudi Arabia has arranged for an extensive schedule of events for Trump’s two-day trip. The various public figures involved in the itinerary include Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir (who has previously been indicted as a war criminal by the International Criminal Court), Fox News anchor Bret Baier and, of course, nobody with a vagina.Of course, the barring of women from the performance is a symptom of the social climate in Saudi Arabia and not necessarily a reflection of Keith’s or Trump’s personal views (though POTUS’s history of sexist behavior is well-documented). That said, just the thought of a sweaty, sober, Trump-ified sausage fest in the sweltering Saudi Arabian heat headlined by Toby Keith makes Fyre Fest seem like Heaven on Earth.[via NBC][Cover photo via Reuters (Trump), Bio.com (Keith)]
State-owned construction firm PT Wijaya Karya (Wika) has set a target of achieving Rp 21.38 trillion (US$1.46 billion) worth of new contracts in 2020, a third of its initial target of Rp 65.5 trillion due to postponed projects during the pandemic.Wika president director Agung Budi Waskito said the majority of the new contracts, at Rp 13.08 trillion, would be from the company’s infrastructure and building segment. The rest will come from its industry, energy and industrial plant, and its property segment. “As of the second quarter we have achieved Rp 3.4 trillion. We will gain the rest in the third quarter, especially in the fourth quarter,” Wika president director Agung Budi Waskito said during a virtual public expose event hosted by the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) on Tuesday. During the first six months of the year, the company managed to book Rp 3.42 trillion in new contracts, or 15.98 percent of its target this year. During the same period last year, the company booked a total of Rp 15.23 trillion in new contracts. In other words, new contracts attained so far declined by almost 78 percent year-on-year (yoy).“Wika’s performance throughout this year is below our expectation and consensus due to minimal new contract attainment until the first half of 2020,” Mirae Asset Sekuritas Indonesia equity analyst Joshua Michael told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday. Joshua projected that the Indonesian construction sector would recover in the second half of the year with the assumption that the country gradually recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to being supported by the projects coming from the government and state-owned firms in recent months.“For 2021, the budget increase for infrastructure is a positive catalyst for all issuers in the construction sector, including Wika,” Joshua added. He went on to say that Wika’s balance sheet condition, which was considerably good, would support the company to increase its revenue and profitability next year. Artha Sekuritas Indonesia analyst Dennies Christoper, on the other hand, said that Wika and other issuers in the construction sector would still have poor prospects this year driven by a slowdown in cash flow and the postponement of project tenders. “The performance will not be aggressive until the end of the year,” Dennies told the Post on Tuesday. The company is finishing up several major projects in 2020 including the Cengkareng-Kunciran toll road located in Jakarta and Tangerang, which is at 86 percent completion and the the Kuwil Kawangkoan dam in North Sulawesi, which is 73 percent finished.The company’s total order book, albeit declining by around 15 percent yoy, is still at Rp 100.05 trillion in 2020.Wika’s shares, traded on the IDX under the code WIKA, closed at Rp 1,320 apiece on Tuesday, up 0.38 percent against the previous trading day. Throughout the year, it has lost 33.67 percent of its value as of Tuesday.The company stock performed moderately worse than its sectoral index. The property, real estate and building construction index has fallen by 29.65 percent during the same period. Meanwhile, the Jakarta Composite Index, the main gauge of the IDX, dropped 15.25 percent year-to-date.Topics : The target for new contracts is 48 percent lower than the value of new contracts booked last year, as the company recorded a total of Rp 41.18 trillion in new contracts in 2019. The decision to lower the contract target was made after the company’s net profit decreased 72 percent during this year’s first half to Rp 250.42 billion.Meanwhile, Wika’s revenue dropped 37 percent to Rp 7.13 trillion. The biggest fall in sales was experienced in the company’s property segment, which saw a decrease of 53 percent yoy to Rp 264.11 billion.Agung explained that the company had struggled to book contracts in the first half of the year as many projects had been postponed as a result of the social restriction measures imposed to limit the spread of COVID-19.The pandemic has taken a toll on infrastructure projects globally. In Indonesia, supply chain disruption has slowed the construction of ongoing projects, while reallocation of the state budget to social programs has decreased disbursement of funds to new projects.
Google has selected Equinix for its Los Angeles area cable landing station (CLS) supporting the Curie subsea cable system, linking Los Angeles, California to Valparaiso, Chile. In the U.S., the cable will land directly at the Equinix LA4 International Business Exchange (IBX) data center located in El Segundo, California.The Curie cable is expected to go live in 2019.The system will add dedicated capacity to Google’s global network, enabling interconnection to other infrastructure in the region.Jim Poole, vice president, Business Development, Equinix, said: “With the significant increase in global data traffic, we see corporations running global businesses demanding access to high-capacity, low-latency networks capable of connecting them to data centers across oceans with stringent levels of reliability. Any user of a subsea cable system that lands inside one of our Equinix global data center termination points has instant, low-latency access to a host of vibrant industry ecosystems inside Equinix, and that’s a huge advantage.”The level of global data traffic is expected to reach 3.3 zettabytes by 2021, and almost every byte touches a subsea cable as cloud service providers, network service providers, content providers and enterprises push to move data globally in real time.
Millennial Esports has announced that Bob Reif has joined the company as President. Reif will “lead the next phase of growth for the company”.Alex Igelman, Millennial EsportsBob Reif is a man with extensive background in the sports, media and investment world. He’s transacted more than $5 billion in sports, marketing and media rights agreements. He served as Executive Vice President of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Chief Marketing Officer of the Indy Race League. He also was Chief Revenue Officer and Chief Marketing Officer for the St. Louis Rams for 12 seasons, in which he helped the company grow to its current $3.5billion valuation.“We are extremely excited to have a seasoned executive with the direct sports sector experience of Bob Reif joining our team,” said Alex Igelman, CEO of Millennial Esports. “I’m confident that Bob’s experience as an innovator with leading sports and lifestyles brands will translate well to what we are doing at Millennial.”“I see many parallels between the growth of the traditional sports sector and the potential for growth in the emerging Esports sector, with Millennial Esports leading the charge,” said Reif. “I’m confident my experience in the sports arena, particularly in the area of racing, will serve Millennial Esports well, and I’m excited to get started. He continued: “I’m confident my experience in the sports arena, particularly in the area of racing, will serve Millennial Esports well, and I’m excited to get started.”Reif’s responsibilities will include forging relationships with leaders in the traditional sports sector and leading the creation of content to be shared with the wider esports community. As part of the agreement, he will be granted one million stock options to vest equally on a monthly schedule over two years. The options have been granted at a stock price of 77 cents each and are 10-year options.Esports Insider says: Another big appointment for Millennial as they continue their expansion in esports. Interestingly, it’s another man with vast experience in the racing sphere as they look add to the previous acquisition of Ideas & Cars.