Russia and Cuba have quietly signed an agreement to write off 90 percent of Cuba’s $32 billion debt to the defunct Soviet Union, a deal that ends a 20-year dispute and opens the way for more investment and trade, Russian and European diplomats told Reuters news agency.
The nations announced an agreement to settle the debt squabble earlier this year and finalized the deal in Moscow in October. It would have Cuba pay $3.2 billion over 10 years in exchange for Russia forgiving the rest of the $32 billion debt, the diplomats said.
It must still be approved by the Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament.
Photo: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg/Getty
Mining Deep Twitter To Turn History into a Storify
This week marks the fifth anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. Over the course of three days, chaos ruled across the city formerly known as Bombay, as terrorists targeted hotels, cafes and train stations. It was one of the first major international news stories to break out across Twitter, before the Arab Spring and the 2009 Iranian election protests – and for me, it became one of the most difficult stories to reconstruct so many years after the fact.
I’ve been using Storify to create social media narratives since late 2010, and put it to use frequently during the protests and revolutions around the Arab World. While it was sometimes time-consuming, it was relatively straightforward, as I could construct each Storify in real time, or soon after a particular event took place. Social media has always been extremely ephemeral, so the faster I could build out a Storify, the greater likelihood I’d be able to capture whatever social media I was interested in documenting.
Back in November 2008, though, things were very different. There weren’t any social media archiving tools like Storify. Tweets contained relatively limited amounts of metadata. And it didn’t occur to most of us to make note of all of this historic tweets to utilize them later.
Fast forward to November 2013. All of those tweets from five years ago still exist. They’re part of Deep Twitter, buried in the archives and very difficult to surface through typical search results. Nonetheless, I wanted to reconstruct what happened that fateful week using Storify. This is how I went about doing it – and it wasn’t particularly easy.
Architect Frank Gehry says there are only two buildings in his hometown worth saving: Old City Hall and Osgoode Hall.
Everything else is fair game to be torn down, Mr. Gehry suggested to Toronto and East York Community Council on Tuesday morning.
Mr. Gehry and David Mirvish, the theatre impresario, sought permission on Tuesday from community council to build three condo towers, 82, 84 and 86 storeys tall, on the site of the Princess of Wales theatre and other buildings to its east on King Street West. (Photo: Courtesy of Gehry International, Inc.)
New 314 Acre Japanese Solar Plant to Power 22,000 Homes
Smartphone maker Kyocera recently launched the Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant, a 70-megawatt facility that can generate enough electricity to power about 22,000 homes. The move comes as Japan struggles with energy sources as nuclear power plants were shut down after meltdowns hit Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima plant in 2011.
Set on Kagoshima Bay, the sprawling Nanatsujima plant commands sweeping views of Sakurajima, an active stratovolcano that soars to 3,665 feet. It has 290,000 solar panels and takes up about 314 acres, roughly three times the total area of Vatican City. Kyocera established the facility with six other firms as well as a company to run the plant. It will sell electricity generated to the local utility, Kyushu Electric Power Co.