Daily Archives: February 12, 2020

VistaJet Continues Its Partnership With Scuderia Ferrari for the 2020 Formula One World Championship

Supporting the team’s travel through shared values of speed, excellence, passion and innovation

VistaJet – Ferrari

VistaJet x Scuderia Ferrari

LONDON, Feb. 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — VistaJet, the first and only global business aviation company, announces its partnership with the Scuderia Ferrari team for the second year running as its Official Supplier of private jet travel.

With the ever-demanding race calendar and often only days between Grands Prix, the team faces challenging timelines. VistaJet will support the team to optimize their travel and transfer times throughout the 2020 Formula One season. In an industry where speed and efficiency are fundamental, the Scuderia Ferrari team will further utilize time off track to arrive in optimum condition.

Having raced competitively with Ferrari for many years and as an official driver in the FIA World Endurance Championship, WEC, VistaJet’s Founder and Chairman Thomas Flohr knows the demands of racing and the intense focus required to perform under such pressure.

Announcing the partnership, Thomas Flohr said: “I am incredibly proud to be supporting the most iconic and successful racing team in the world for a second year. Innovation, technology and a focus on efficiency are values we share with them. VistaJet will continue to provide the Scuderia Ferrari team with seamless travel, to ensure their focus is on what is important – the competition on the track. I am excited to see what the 2020 season holds for Sebastain Vettel, Charles Leclerc and the whole Ferrari team. Forza Ferrari!”

VistaJet – Ferrari

Ferrari 2020 Car

VistaJet places the utmost importance on service and operational excellence. On its owned fleet of over 70 aircraft, VistaJet has completed over 174,000 flights globally, safely flying over 436,000 passengers to more than 1,900 airports worldwide.


Jennifer Farquhar | VistaJet | T: +44 203 617 3077 | jennifer.farquhar@vistajet.com

About VistaJet
VistaJet is the first and only global aviation company. On its fleet of over 70 silver and red business jets, VistaJet has flown corporations, governments and private clients to 187 countries, covering 96% of the world. Founded in 2004, the company pioneered an innovative business model where customers have access to an entire fleet whilst paying only for the hours they fly, free of the responsibilities and asset risks linked to aircraft ownership. VistaJet’s signature Program membership offers customers a bespoke subscription of flight hours on its fleet of mid and long-range jets, to fly them anytime, anywhere. VistaJet is part of Vista Global Holding – the world leading business aviation group, integrating a unique portfolio of companies offering asset light solutions to cover all key aspects of business aviation.
More VistaJet information and news at vistajet.com

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at



Radient Technologies Inc. Signs Supply Agreement with Medical Cannabis by Shoppers, a subsidiary of Shoppers Drug Mart Inc., for the Formulation and Manufacturing of Exclusive Branded Cannabis Products

Radient to Utilize its Proprietary Extraction Technology and In-House Formulation Capabilities to Provide a Brand Exclusive to the Medical Cannabis by Shoppers Platform

EDMONTON, Alberta, Feb. 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Radient Technologies Inc. (“Radient” or the “Company”) (TSX Venture: RTI; OTCQX: RDDTF), a global manufacturer of high quality cannabinoid-based ingredients, formulations and products, is pleased to announce it has entered into a supply agreement (the “Agreement”) with Medical Cannabis by Shoppers, the online medical cannabis platform of leading Canadian pharmacy retailer Shoppers Drug Mart (“Shoppers”).

Under the terms of the Agreement, Radient will utilize its proprietary extraction and downstream processing platform to create a variety of cannabinoid formulations under a brand that will be sold exclusively to patients of Medical Cannabis by Shoppers. The Agreement is for a three-year term, subject to renewal for an additional two years or earlier termination.

Radient’s unique, continuous-flow extraction process has been proven to achieve a higher recovery of active compounds from the cannabis plant (up to 99%) than other extraction methods, has lower risk of cannabinoid degradation during processing which allows products to maintain stability (“shelf life”) for a longer period of time, and has a high level of product consistency. Combining its unique extraction technology with stringent quality control systems and decades of botanical ingredient manufacturing experience, Radient produces a variety of broad spectrum cannabinoid formulations, ingredients and products that meet the highest standards of quality and safety.

Denis Taschuk, President & CEO of Radient commented, “This is an incredible milestone for Radient. We are very proud of what we have achieved as a Company over the last two years, and this partnership is a monumental leap forward. We are very pleased to be supplying Medical Cannabis by Shoppers with unique formulations and products that meet the highest standards of quality and safety, and we look forward to working with them.”

About Radient
Radient Technologies is a commercial manufacturer of high quality cannabinoid based formulations, ingredients and products. Utilizing a proprietary extraction and downstream processing platform that recovers up to 99% of cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, Radient develops specialty products and ingredients that contain a broad range of cannabinoid and terpene profiles while meeting the highest standards of quality and safety. Please visit www.radientinc.com for more information.

SOURCE: Radient Technologies Inc.

Investors please contact: Adam Deffett, Sr. VP Corporate Development: adeffett@radientinc.com

Media/press please contact: Caitlin Cheadle, Director of Communications: ccheadle@radientinc.com

Forward Looking Information:
This press release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, without limitation, statements regarding the growth of the Company’s business operations; the Company’s ability to grow its business in the cannabis sector including pursuant to the Agreement and the Company’s future plans. Generally, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will be taken”, “occur” or “be achieved”. Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Radient, as the case may be, to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Although Radient has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Radient does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.


Phil Snow, CEO of FactSet, Joins Quantopian’s Board of Directors

BOSTON, Feb. 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Quantopian today announced that Phil Snow, CEO of FactSet, has joined Quantopian’s Board of Directors on December 19, 2019. As a result of FactSet’s involvement, Quantopian’s Board of Directors has 8 seats.

FactSet and Quantopian, in 2018, launched a pioneering data analysis solution called Quantopian Enterprise that allows quantitative financial analysts to research and test their investment strategies faster and more effectively.

“We’re very happy to have Phil join the Board. FactSet has been a great partner during the initial integration of our product with their data. Phil’s board membership shows FactSet’s continued support of Quantopian as we scale up Quantopian Enterprise in the market,” said John Fawcett, Founder and CEO of Quantopian.

Background on Phil Snow 
Phil Snow has been the Chief Executive Officer at FactSet since 2015. He began his career at FactSet in 1996 and spent several years establishing and growing the company’s presence in the Asia Pacific region based in both Tokyo and Sydney. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the CFA Institute. Snow is passionate about diversity and inclusion in the workplace and has committed FactSet to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion.

About Quantopian
People everywhere come to Quantopian to learn about quantitative finance. Our community members research investment ideas, build algorithms with wide-ranging data, and win prizes in our challenges and daily contest. With Quantopian, anyone can create and potentially profit from their investing strategies – regardless of their background. The result: more than 300,000 people from over 190 countries have joined the Quantopian community, testing more than 8 million strategies and, in the process, radically rethinking how individuals can be a part of the asset management industry. To learn more about Quantopian, please visit www.quantopian.com.


EU Partially Suspends Tariff-Free Status For Cambodia Exports Over Rights Concerns

The European Union on Wednesday announced plans to suspend tariff-free access for around one-fifth of Cambodia’s exports to its market, citing drastic rollbacks on democracy and human rights in the Southeast Asian nation.

The partial suspension of preferential trade status Cambodia enjoys under the Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme for developing nations would affect around U.S. $1.1 billion of the country’s exports to the EU by reinstating tariffs on garments and footwear, as well as travel goods and sugar, beginning Aug. 12, unless it is blocked by the bloc’s governments or its parliament, the European Commission (EC) said.

The European Union will not stand and watch as democracy is eroded, human rights curtailed, and free debate silenced, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.

For the trade preferences to be reinstated, the Cambodian authorities need to take the necessary measures.

On Nov. 12, the EU warned in a preliminary report that Cambodia has not taken enough measures to prevent a withdrawal of its EBA status, noting the country’s further deterioration of civil, political, labor, social, and cultural rights since the launch of a review process in February last year.

The EU launched the process to strip Cambodia of its preferential trade terms following the arrest of opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) President Kem Sokha in September 2017 and the Supreme Court’s decision to ban his party for its role in an alleged plot to topple the government two months later.

The ban, along with a wider crackdown on NGOs and the independent media, paved the way for Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) to win all 125 seats in parliament in the country’s July 2018 general election.

Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to the EC’s announcement on Wednesday with a statement suggesting that its decision had been triggered by many misperceptions and misunderstandings about the actual realities in Cambodia.

The ministry dismissed the decision as politically driven and devoid of objectivity and impartiality, and said Cambodia’s government would reject any attempt by external parties to use trade or aid as pretexts to justify their interference in Cambodia’s internal affairs.

It also referred to it as an example of a double standard when it comes to the EU’s preferential practices with other trading nations, without elaborating. On Wednesday, the EU Parliament ratified a landmark free trade deal with Vietnam over the objections of lawmakers citing the Southeast Asian nation’s human rights record.

In the lead up to Wednesday’s decision, despite warnings from civil society that loss of EBA status would devastate Cambodia’s working class, Prime Minister Hun Sen had said he had no interest in meeting the EU’s demands to improve his country’s rights record.

Cambodia is the second-largest beneficiary of EBA trade preferences after Bangladesh, accounting for more than 18 percent of all imports to the EU market under the EBA scheme in 2018.

EU imports from Cambodia totaled 5.3 billion euros (U.S. $5.8 billion) that year, nearly all of which entered the EU duty-free, taking advantage of EBA preferences.

Clothing and textiles a crucial industry in Cambodia that employs around one million people account for around 75 percent of EU imports from the Southeast Asian nation.

Call to ‘change course’

Kasit Piromya, a former Member of Parliament of Thailand and a board member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), on Wednesday called the EU decision an outcome that didn’t need to happen, and blamed it on Hun Sen’s drastic crackdown on human rights.

This decision by the EU to remove duty-free access on some Cambodian exports under the Everything but Arms programme heaps more pressure on Hun Sen and his government to reverse its dramatic slide towards authoritarianism, he said in an emailed statement.

Let this be clear: the responsibility to reverse course and regain the trade preferences does not lie with the EU, but with Hun Sen. It is up to him to change course and drop all charges against CNRP members and human rights defenders, allow opposition parties to return to the political fold, and amend laws to ensure Cambodians’ rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for New York-based Human Rights Watch, called the plan for a partial suspension a slap down of PM Hun Sen and his blatant disregard for human and labor rights.

While the EU gave Hun Sen ample opportunities to reverse his crackdown, the prime minister doubled down on his repressive tactics over the past year, Robertson said, leaving the EU no choice but to suspend some trade preferences, in line with EBA rules.

This is not the EU punishing Cambodia, but rather Hun Sen’s arrogant indifference to human rights hurting the Cambodian people who livelihoods may be impacted because of the EU’s decision, he said.

It’s his government’s failure to act to respect rights and fix problems identified by the EU that is driving this decision. PM Hun Sen should recognize this reality and come to the negotiating table now.

Robertson advised Hun Sen’s government to work to fix rights problems identified by the EU while Phnom Penh engages in six-months of negotiations with Brussels focused on, among other things, the imposition of tariffs on goods subject to suspension.

PM Hun Sen should stop his senseless threats to cease discussions on human rights and democracy with the EU, and recognize the only way forward is rescinding abusive laws, and ending punitive attacks, arrests and trials of activists and political opponents, he said.

Meanwhile, the EU needs to stand firm and set clear benchmarks for the government to meet in pursuit of real reforms on human and labor rights.

Vietnam trade pact

The EU’s decision to ratify the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) on Wednesday while suspending some of Cambodia’s privileges highlights the bloc’s determination to use trading partnerships as incentives to secure protections of environmental, human, and labor rights.

Last week, a group of international and Vietnamese nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) urged EU lawmakers to postpone consent on the EVFTA until Vietnam’s government agrees to reform laws they said has led to the jailing of as many as 300 government critics.

On Wednesday, however, the European Parliament consented to the pact with a vote of 401 in favor, 192 against and 40 abstentions.

EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan touted what he called the huge economic potential of the EVFTA in a statement issued after the vote, adding that efforts by Vietnam to improve labor rights in a bid to secure the deal proves that trade policy can be a force for good.

The EVFTA, inked in June, will eliminate 99 percent of tariffs on goods between the bloc and Southeast Asian country, although some will be reduced over a 10-year period and others will be limited by quotas.

The EU is Vietnam’s second-largest export market after the U.S., mostly for garment and footwear products, and in 2018 the Southeast Asian nation sent U.S. $42.5 billion worth of goods and services there, according to official data. Vietnam imported U.S. $13.8 billion from the EU that year.

The Vietnamese government has said that the EVFTA will boost EU exports to Vietnam by more than 15 percent and those from Vietnam to the EU by 20 percent by 2020, while the agreement will increase Vietnam’s gross domestic product by up to 5.3 percent annually between 2024 and 2028.

Copyright (copyright) 1998-2016, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036

Philippine Move to End Military Pact Wrong, US Defense Chief Says

The Philippine government’s decision to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States is a move in the wrong direction, the U.S. defense chief said, as Washington competes with Beijing in the South China Sea region.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the U.S. received official notification about Manila’s decision to end the military pact late Monday, and he wanted to hear from his commanders about the move, considered by security analysts as a formal downgrading of the longtime bilateral military alliance.

We have to digest it. We have to work through the policy angles, the military angles, Esper told reporters Wednesday morning (Manila time) while traveling in a plane from the U.S. to a NATO meeting in Europe, as he gave his first public comments on the move, which officials in Manila had been threatening to make for weeks.

He said the Philippine decision was unfortunate but U.S. officials had six months to study its implications.

I do think it would be a move in the wrong direction, he said, emphasizing this comes at a time when the U.S. and other regional allies are trying to say to the Chinese ‘you must obey the international rules of order.’

And as we try and, you know, bolster our presence and compete with them in this era of great power competition, I think it’s a move in the wrong direction for � for, again, for the longstanding relationship we’ve had with the Philippines for their strategic location, the ties between our peoples, our countries, Esper said, according to a transcript released by the Pentagon.

The Philippines, a former American colony, is among countries that have contending territorial claims in the South China Sea, a vital waterway for international shipping and trade. China claims almost all of the sea, while the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Taiwan have their own overlapping claims to portions of the disputed waters.

For nearly two decades, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have been negotiating a code of conduct to regulate behavior in the South China Sea. Meanwhile, the U.S. military has carried out freedom of navigation flights and sailing in the sea.

Since taking office in June 2016, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned of cutting military ties with the U.S., but his rhetoric softened after Donald Trump was elected U.S. president later that year.

Duterte’s anger was touched off again in recent weeks after the former national police chief who had led his administration’s controversial war on illegal drugs, Ronald dela Rosa � now a senator � said that the United States had revoked his American visa.

Dela Rosa surmised that it had something to do with the drug war that he used to enforce. The campaign has left nearly 6,000 suspected drug addicts and dealers dead, according to government figures, and has been described as a humanitarian disaster.

Duterte also railed against members of the U.S. Senate for backing Philippine Sen. Leila de Lima, his arch nemesis who has been jailed for what she calls trumped up charges of profiting from illegal drugs.

Adopted in 1999, the VFA allows for joint military exercises after the U.S. vacated two of its largest overseas military installations � the Subic Bay Naval Base and Clark Air Base. In 2017, some of that training was put into action as U.S. intelligence officers aided Philippine troops in their successful battle against Islamic State militants in the southern city of Marawi.

Philippines: ‘We must stand on our own’

On Wednesday, Philippine Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. admitted that the VFA termination would affect the military’s ability to combat threats, along with training efforts that have been positive for both nations.

Since we have sent the notice, ongoing training activities will push through unless discontinued. Others will not be implemented, Santos said.

It will affect our rescue operations definitely. But we already presented to the defense secretary our plan to move forward to fill the gap, he said without elaborating.

Salvador Panelo, the presidential spokesman, said that the VFA should have been scrapped a long time ago.

Such a commentary is expected given that the VFA favors the U.S. and its abrogation affects its global strategic defensive positioning, Panelo said in a statement responding to Esper’s comments.

It is about time that we strengthen our defense capabilities. We must stand on our own and put a stop to being a parasite to another country in protecting our independence and sovereignty, Panelo said.

He said relying on another nation to boost the military would weaken defenses.

We are friends to all, enemies to one. Should any country, however, threaten our territorial integrity and assault our sovereignty, we will rise by our own resources and valiantly defend our motherland the way our forefathers did during their time, he said.

Security analyst Rommel Banlaoi, president of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research, said he hoped the VFA termination would lead to new negotiations.

It will give us an opportunity to negotiate another agreement that will be more advantageous to us, he told BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service. This doesn’t mean we’re putting behind our good relationship with America. We’re just asking for a good deal with America that’s advantageous to our interest.

He said the Philippines’ strategic location in the Asia Pacific guaranteed a good bargaining chip.

Before they can enter Guam, Hawaii, mainland U.S., they have to go through the Philippines first, he said. We are their natural barrier, we have a very good location.

Meanwhile, according to Esper, the Philippine announcement does not signal the end of negotiations.

We’ve got to work through it, and � and we’ll just take a deep breath and take it one day at a time, he said.

Copyright (copyright) 1998-2016, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036