Samsung's foldable phone – at a glimpse

SAN FRANCISCO • Samsung Electronics has unveiled its much-anticipated foldable phone in San Francisco, urging Android developers to start writing apps for it.

The South Korean tech company needs to get the foldable phone right to reverse steep declines in profit for its mobile division and restore some of the cachet its brand has lost to Apple.

Foldable phones promise the screen of a small tablet in a pocket-sized device.

Mr Justin Denison, a senior vice-president of mobile product marketing, on Wednesday showed a prototype with a screen that he said measured 18.5cm diagonally.

Folded in two it looked like a thick phone, but the media and developers were not allowed to touch or see the device up close.

Mr Dave Burke, vice-president of engineering for Google’s Android software platform, told a Google conference in California that Samsung planned to introduce a new Android-based device early next year. “We expect to see foldable products from several Android manufacturers,” he said.

Google’s head of Android UX, Mr Glen Murphy, who was on stage with Samsung, said Google would work with developers to bring more features to the phone.

Samsung said it would be ready for mass production in the coming months.

Technalysis Research analyst Bob O’Donnell said that while the bendable screen provided a wow factor, shoppers may not like the thickness of the folded phone or its price tag. “They’ll have to prove that it’s more than just a gimmick,” said Mr O’Donnell.

“But it’s smart to open it up to developers early to do different types of experiences.”

Ms Maribel Lopez, an analyst at Lopez Research, said the product would likely be quite expensive in the near term. “We’re talking about brand new materials that have been made for this and also a new manufacturing process,” she said.

Samsung is among a few developers working on foldable phones.

China’s Huawei Technologies has said it is planning to launch a 5G smartphone with a foldable screen in mid-2019.

Samsung and Huawei have been beaten to the market, however, by Royole, a Chinese display making start-up, which last week unveiled a foldable Android phone with a 7.8 inch screen, priced from around US$1,300 (S$1,800). Royole said it would start filling orders late next month.


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Frail Mikhail Gorbachev warns against return to the Cold War

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, warned on Thursday (Nov 8) against rising tensions between Russia and the United States and said there should be no return to the Cold War.

The frail 87-year-old was physically helped by aides to a cinema hall to watch the premiere in Russia of a new documentary about his life, his Soviet reforms in the 1980s and his arms control drive that helped end the Cold War.

His legacy has come under a pall as ties between Moscow and Washington have fallen to post-Cold War lows, following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and rows over sanctions, election meddling and the poisoning of a spy in England.

He spoke briefly to a cinema hall in Moscow after “Meeting Gorbachev”, a new documentary directed by filmmakers Werner Herzog and Andre Singer, and was asked if the world would hold back from a new Cold War.

“We must hold back,” he said.

“And not just from the Cold War. We have to continue the course we mapped. We have to ban war once and for all. Most important is to get rid of nuclear weapons.”

Reviled by many Russians as the man whose reforms ultimately led to the Soviet breakup, Gorbachev is lauded in the West as the man who helped end the Cold War.

Gorbachev, whose visibly ailing health was in stark contrast to the vigorous reformist figure he cut in the 1980s, said the world was moving dangerously closer to a new arms race.

Last month in a column for the New York Times, Gorbachev denounced the United States after President Donald Trump said he planned to quit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty which Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan signed in 1987.

The pact eliminated all short- and intermediate-range land-based nuclear and conventional missiles held by both countries in Europe.

In a prepared, written message read out to the hall by an aide before the film, Gorbachev alluded to the article and said”I am convinced we can stop a new Cold War. I will do everything for this.”

“Most dangerous would be a return to confrontation, the start of a new arms race. They are already talking about a nuclear war as if this is something entirely acceptable. It is being prepared, scenarios are being discussed.”

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Rare sharks' nursery of 'mermaid's purses' eggs found off the west coast

Scientists have discovered a “very rare” shark nursery more than 300km off the west coast.

So-called ‘mermaid’s purses’, or eggs, were discovered littered across the seabed during an exploration of Ireland’s deep ocean territory, with large numbers filmed at depths of up to 750 metres.

Marine scientists say such large concentrations of eggs are rarely recorded, and suggest that females may gather in the area. A nearby coral reef might also act as a refuge for juvenile shark pups when they hatch.

The nursery was discovered during the SeaRover survey undertaken last July, which was exploring Ireland’s deep-water coral reef systems.

A large school of Blackmouth catshark (Galeus melastomus) was present at the site, and scientists said the eggs were likely to be from this species.

But a second more unusual and solitary species, the Sailfin roughshark (Oxynotus paradoxus), was also observed.

This is listed as ‘near threatened’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, meaning it may become extinct in the near future. It grows up to 1.2 metres in length, and while not observed by the science team, it may have been feeding on the eggs.

The findings were announced at the INFOMAR seabed mapping seminar in Kinsale, where footage captured by the Marine Institute’s remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Holland 1, deployed on board the ILV Granuaile, was revealed.

The chief scientist on the SeaRover survey, David O’Sullivan, said the nursery was on a scale not previously documented in Irish waters.

“No pups were obvious at the site and it is believed that the adult sharks might be utilising degraded coral reef and exposed carbonate rock on which to lay their eggs,” he said.

“A healthy coral reef in the vicinity may act as a refuge for the juvenile shark pups once they hatch. This discovery shows the significance of documenting sensitive marine habitats, and will give us a better understanding of the biology of these beautiful animals and their ecosystem function in Ireland’s biologically sensitive area.

“It is anticipated that further study of the site will answer some important scientific questions on the biology and ecology of deep water sharks in Irish waters.”

The discovery highlights the importance of mapping seabed habitats, and the nursery was observed within one of six offshore Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) in Irish waters.

These host a diverse range of marine animals including sea fans, sponges, worms, starfish, crustaceans and a variety of fish species.

The survey is the second of three commissioned and jointly funded by the Irish Government and the EU.

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Operations suspended after chain falls near workers on N.S. offshore drill rig

Operations of some non-producing wells at the Sable Offshore Energy Project have been suspended after an accident on a drilling rig involved in decommissioning wells off Nova Scotia.

A news release Thursday from the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board reported a near miss on Nov. 5 after a chain dropped on the Noble Regina Allen rig.

The safety officer with the regulator confirmed that a 15-metre chain, along with a swivel and shackle with a combined weight of 225 pounds, fell to the deck in the derrick area.

There were five workers in the area at the time, but no one was injured.

The board says work was immediately stopped and a safety “stand down” was held with all involved personnel.

A spokeswoman for the regulator said it was not known when the Noble Regina Allen would resume normal operations on the Venture well decommissioning.

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Opinion | Don’t Lease Our Treasured Parklands

To the Editor:

Re “Trump Fracking Boom Imperils Landscape of American West” (front page, Oct. 28):

Our national parks are protected for all of us, forever. Yet what legacy is this administration leaving for our children and grandchildren when it threatens our treasured lands with industrial oil and gas development?

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke must not lease first and ask questions later. This administration should reclaim tools to meet our energy needs without sacrificing our heritage.

Smart planning helped preserve the $294 million tourism economy near Arches and Canyonlands while allowing development to continue where appropriate, when business owners and community members, Park Service leaders and conservationists, tribes and other stakeholders helped shape a plan. When the administration listens only to industry, the rest of us lose.

Secretary Zinke still has time to pivot to conservation, but the clock is ticking, and the future of our irreplaceable parks and public lands remains in the balance.

Theresa Pierno
The writer is president and chief executive of the National Parks Conservation Association.

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Man jailed again for molesting young step-granddaughter a second time

SINGAPORE – A man who had been jailed once before for molesting his young step-granddaughter outraged her modesty again just months after his release.

On Thursday (Nov 8), the cleaner, 55, who cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the girl’s identity, was sentenced to 2½ years’ jail after pleading guilty to a molestation charge. He will spend another six weeks behind bars in lieu of caning as he is over 50 years old.

The court heard that in 2014, the man was jailed for 2½ years for molesting the girl. He was released early last year.

On Oct 27 last year, the 13-year-old girl went to his flat in Lengkok Bahru in Bukit Merah at around 1pm. She planned to stay there for the weekend to be with her siblings.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Amanda Han said that the girl’s younger sister and older brother lived with the cleaner while she and her father lived somewhere else.

The teenager did not want to be alone at home while her father was working, the DPP added.

That night, she slept on a mattress in the living room. At around 3am, the cleaner went up to her and touched her inappropriately.

DPP Han told District Judge Kan Shuk Weng: “He did this for a while until he felt satisfied, then stopped and returned to his area to lie down.”

In the afternoon, the girl told her grandmother about what had happened. Later, she and her father went to the police to make a report.

As he stood in the dock on Thursday, the cleaner, who was unrepresented, pleaded for leniency. He told Judge Kan that he committed the offence as his wife was unable to “satisfy” him.

For molesting the girl, he could have been jailed for up to five years and fined. He cannot be caned as he is above 50 years old.

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Duck Boat Captain in Missouri Is Indicted in 17 Deaths

A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted the captain of a duck boat that sank in July during a violent thunderstorm on a Missouri lake, killing 17 passengers, including nine from the same family.

The captain, Kenneth Scott McKee, 51, faces 17 counts of misconduct, negligence or inattention to duty by a ship’s officer resulting in death.

The indictment accused Mr. McKee of failing to adequately assess the weather conditions before the duck boat set off on a tour of Table Rock Lake in southwestern Missouri, near the tourist town of Branson. It also said that he did not immediately head for the shore once severe weather approached and that he neglected to tell passengers to put on their life vests.

“Today’s indictment alleges that the misconduct, negligence and inattention to duty by the ship’s captain caused or contributed to the loss of those lives,” Timothy Garrison, United States attorney for western Missouri, said at a news conference.

Mr. McKee’s lawyer, James R. Hobbs, said Thursday that his client would soon turn himself in.

“We received the indictment and anticipate that a not-guilty plea will soon be entered and are working with court and counsel for a self surrender and bond hearing,” Mr. Hobbs said.

The July 19 accident was one of the deadliest involving a duck boat — modeled after the amphibious trucks used in World War II to move along land and water — in United States history.

When the duck boat entered the lake, the waters were calm, but there had been numerous warnings of an approaching storm. Wind speeds picked up suddenly, increasing to more than 70 miles an hour. Fierce waves buffeted the boat, which took on water. Within minutes, the vessel had sunk. Fourteen people survived, including Mr. McKee.

The vehicles have had several fatal accidents on both water and land, including in May 1999, when 13 people were killed when a duck boat sank in Hot Springs, Ark.

After that accident, a National Transportation Safety Board report made several nonbinding recommendations, asking operators to add flotation equipment and equip the vehicles with sufficient pumping power to keep them afloat when they begin to take on too much water. The Coast Guard and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are responsible for regulating the crafts because they run on land and in water.

Ripley Entertainment, the company that operated the boats in Missouri, suspended operations on the lake after the accident. The company did not respond to a request seeking comment on Thursday.

The accident killed nine members of the Coleman family, who had traveled from Indianapolis for their annual vacation. Two family members on the boat survived. The Colemans and other victims’ relatives have filed lawsuits against Ripley Entertainment.

The Missouri Attorney General’s office has also filed a lawsuit against Ripley, claiming that the boat’s operators and owners had neglected to address decades of accumulated safety concerns related to the vessels.

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Texas Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Killing Man in Chokehold Case

The husband of a former sheriff’s deputy in Texas has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for fatally choking a man during a confrontation outside of a Denny’s restaurant near Houston last year, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Terry Bryan Thompson, 42, was convicted of murder on Monday in Harris County District Court for killing John Hernandez after putting him in a chokehold outside of the restaurant in the Crosby area in May 2017. A bystander recorded part of their confrontation on a cellphone, which shows Mr. Hernandez kicking his legs as Mr. Thompson lies on top of him, pinning him to the sidewalk while he has him in a chokehold.

Mr. Hernandez, 24, died three days later of strangulation and chest compression, a medical examiner ruled.

Mr. Thompson’s wife, Chauna Thompson, who was an off-duty sheriff’s deputy for Harris County at the time, appears on the recording pinning Mr. Hernandez’s arm to the ground. Ms. Thompson, 46, goes on trial in April on murder charges; an attorney for her did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday. The couple was indicted in June 2017, not long after Mr. Hernandez died.

Ms. Thompson faces the same charge of murder. If convicted, she would face a minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of life.

On Wednesday, Mr. Thompson closed his eyes and slumped briefly while standing for the jury’s announcement of the sentence, video footage from local news organizations showed.

The authorities in Harris County, which includes Houston, had faced pressure to bring charges against the couple. Protesters marched through downtown Houston demanding justice for Mr. Hernandez, a glass installer, and questioning the handling of a case that involved a law enforcement official.

Outside of the courtroom on Wednesday, the Harris County district attorney, Kim K. Ogg, said she hoped the decision would give comfort to the family of Mr. Hernandez and others who cared about him.

“There are no second-class victims in Harris County,” she said, speaking to reporters after the sentencing. “Everybody gets treated equal.”

In an interview on Thursday, Ms. Ogg said that the sentence would send a message that crimes committed against people in “historically disenfranchised” communities were dealt with fairly, even when law enforcement officials or their family members were involved.

“This verdict was a reflection of my administration’s policy and commitment to equal protection of everyone, regardless of their economic or racial status,” Ms. Ogg said.

“It is not historic,” she added. “But it is a sign that times are changing for the better.”

On Thursday, Maria Toral, Mr. Hernandez’s wife, declined to comment when reached by telephone. In court on Wednesday, Ms. Toral told the court that she visits Mr. Hernandez’s grave with their daughter, according to The Houston Chronicle. “She stands on one foot and looks up to the sky and says, ‘Look at me, Daddy, I’m a big girl now,’” Ms. Toral said, in tears.

Scot Courtney, who was Mr. Thompson’s lawyer at trial and has filed a notice to appeal, said in court on Wednesday that his client was a “good man” who “absolutely” made a bad decision, according to The Chronicle. “You need to give him a sentence that will allow him to, one day, return to his family and the responsibilities that he has taken care of,” he said.

In an interview on Thursday, Mr. Courtney said he had sought a two- to 20-year sentence based on a “sudden passion” argument, which suggests Mr. Thompson’s actions were spontaneous as a reaction to being hit by Mr. Hernandez first.

“Race had nothing to do with this case,” he said.

Mr. Thompson confronted Mr. Hernandez on May 28 last year at around 11:40 p.m. after pulling into the Denny’s parking lot with his children about 17 miles from downtown Houston, the authorities said. Mr. Thompson approached Mr. Hernandez, who was intoxicated and urinating outside the restaurant, which led to the fight that left Mr. Hernandez lying face-first on the sidewalk, the Harris County sheriff’s office said.

The recording, which was obtained by a lawyer for the Hernandez family, shows Ms. Thompson, who arrived in a separate car, yelling at Mr. Hernandez to stay on the ground, screaming an expletive at him and driving her right knee into his side.

“Do you want me to hit you again?” Mr. Thompson shouted at Mr. Hernandez, his arm wrapped around his neck.

As The Times reported last year, Mr. Hernandez grunted and struggled. Melissa Trammell, a Denny’s employee who was waiting on Mr. Hernandez and his wife, said she ran outside after seeing Mr. Thompson holding Mr. Hernandez against the ground. At least two people blocked view of the scene and confronted the person recording, saying such documentation was illegal.

“We begged this man, me and my manager, begged this man for him to stop,” Ms. Trammell told reporters. “He was turning purple. He was kicking for his life.”

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'The last call': Searching for missing relatives on migrant route

Tens of thousands of US-bound migrants and refugees have gone missing while crossing borders, rights groups say.

    Puebla, Mexico – Edgar Rodolfo Xon Ajanel called his mother just before he was set to cross the border from Mexico into the United States more than 10 years ago.

    The call came from Matamoros, just south of the border from Brownsville, Texas, on July 22, 2008.

    “He said he was minutes away from crossing,” Sofia Sebastiana Xon, one of Edgar’s younger sisters, told Al Jazeera.

    “That was his last call.”

    Xon was only nine years old when her brother left the family home in Chichicastenango, a mostly Indigenous Maya Kiche town in the Quiche department in Guatemala. Edgar, then 22, wanted to find work in the US to support his five younger sisters and their mother.

    Before leaving, Edgar worked as a street vendor in Chichicastenango and all over Quiche. But sometime after his father abandoned the family, he became the sole breadwinner and his earnings were not enough to feed the family.

    Edgar paid a smuggler to take him over the border but they never found out whether or not he made it into the US, Xon said, speaking softly while fidgeting with the large laminated photograph of her brother she wore around her neck.

    The photo was one of many worn by family members in Puebla this week as part of an annual caravan of Central American Mothers of Disappeared Migrants. 

    Tens of thousands of migrants and refugees have disappeared while travelling north through Mexico to the border with the US, according to human rights and migrant support groups.

    Many Central American migrants simply lose contact with their families along their northbound journey, but others are believed to have died either at the hands of organised crime groups or security forces or from dehydration or exposure to the elements, among other conditions.

    In most cases, families of the disappeared never find out what happened.

    Every year since 2004, Central American mothers and other relatives spend two weeks travelling thousands of kilometres in Mexico to search for their loved ones, raising awareness, and speaking out for radical changes in border and immigration policies. 

    This year was Xon’s second time participating in the mothers’ caravan.

    She stepped off the group’s bus in Puebla to cheers, drumming and applause from members of dozens of local activist collectives, migrant support groups, feminist and student associations, and others who arrived at a city market to hear from the women from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua searching for their loved ones.

    The caravan is organised by the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement, a grassroots network coordinated in Mexico but with ties throughout Central America.

    Much of the network’s work is focused on attempting to locate migrants and refugees who have disappeared in Mexico and reunite them with their families. Sometimes they succeed. But often, they do not. 

    The movement also coordinates Puentes de Esperanza (Bridges of Hope), a project in which Mesoamerican Migrant Movement members travel the migrant trail in Mexico, find Central American migrants who have lost contact with their families, and then attempt to track down the relatives in Central America.

    This year’s caravan participants met mothers of disappeared migrants from Mauritania, Senegal, Morocco and other countries, forming global network.

    Ruben Figueroa, the movement’s coordinator for Central America and southeastern Mexico, called the meeting significant, adding that the group issued a declaration, which stated that the “process of forced displacement all over the world has obligated people to leave their place of origin, their country, and their loved ones behind”.

    ‘Just want to cry’

    The mothers of disappeared migrants from the Americas, Africa and Europe urged governments worldwide to respect international law with regard to asylum, refugees and the treatment of migrants. 

    “Nothing can stop a mother who is searching for her son or daughter. Mothers will bring down all the barriers and cover all the kilometres they need to until they arrive at the truth,” the mothers noted in the declaration.

    Siblings often do the same. Like Xon, Marcela Melchor has been searching for her sister for a decade. Her sister Izabel Melchor Ramos called home to wish their mother a Happy Mother’s Day in May 2008. It was her last call.

    “She always communicated by phone, but from public phones in Mexico,” Melchor told Al Jazeera.

    The Indigenous Maya Kiche sisters are from Ixcan, in the northern reaches of the Quiche department of Guatemala.

    A single mother, Izabel first left home to work in a garment factory near Guatemala City to support her three children, but it became unsafe.

    “There is a lot of crime. When she would leave work, she was followed and hassled,” said Melchor, wearing her sister’s photograph at the mothers caravan event Tuesday in Puebla.

    Izabel came home and then set out in January 2008 for Mexico to search for a job. She worked at a restaurant in Cancun for a while, but her last call home in May of that year was from the state of Chiapas in southern Mexico.

    At the time, Izabel’s three daughters were eight, 10 and 12 years old. She left them in her sister’s care.

    “They call me mama tia [mom-aunt]. I raised them,” said Melchor. 

    The entire family continues to search for Izabel. They found help from local associations in Ixcan, then from a Guatemala City organisation, and then from the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement.

    Melchor feels good to be with other women in similar positions on the mothers caravan, but focusing on so many stories and cases of disappeared migrants while covering more than 5,000km from home to and around Mexico and back is hard, she said.

    “Sometimes there are moments of smiles, but sometimes you just want to cry,” said Melchor.

    ‘Looking to survive’

    This year the mothers caravan overlapped with the ongoing exodus of thousands Central American migrants and refugees, in large groups also called caravans, heading north through Mexico to the US. Aware of the stories of violence and disappearances, the migrants and refugees are sticking together for safety in numbers.

    An initial wave of more than 1,000 Hondurans left their country last month, mainly fleeing violence, repression, poverty and unemployment. The group quickly grew to more than 5,000 people,

    Thousands of Central Americans, mainly Hondurans and Salvadorans, have left in subsequent caravans and are heading north behind the first group, which is currently in Mexico City. An estimated 12,000 Central Americans are making the trek north en masse in large, visible groups.

    The caravan of Central American relatives of disappeared migrants first met up with the first group of thousands of migrants and refugees in the state of Chiapas in southern Mexico at the outset of the mothers caravan.

     Sofia Sebastiana Xon, sister of missing migrant, Edgar Rodolfo Xon Ajanel

    Both Melchor and Xon told Al Jazeera they felt sadness when they witnessed the size and conditions of the group and heard some of the individual stories of participants. For Xon, it reminded her of her brother Edgar and why he left a decade ago.

    “They’re looking for a way to survive,” said Xon, noting the insecurity and violence in many Central American countries.

    Asked if she wanted to add anything before the mothers caravan took off from Puebla to its next stop in Oaxaca on the way home to Central America, Xon began reeling off the basic details that could help identify her brother.

    It was clear she has had practice reciting the litany of information.

    Edgar is 1.62 metres tall. He was 22 when he went missing, so would now be 32. His last known location was Matamoros. He has birthmarks on his nose and cheek, both on the left side, Xon continued.

    “If anyone has heard of my brother, if anyone knows him,” she pleaded. “Please tell us.”

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    Employees In Nairobi Rank Affordable Housing As The Most Important Factor When Deciding Where To Live & Work

    Landmark Mercer Study

    • The study reveals six critical findings, including a disconnect between employers and employees in terms of what motivates people to move to a city and to stay there – which is vital to realizing economic opportunities and growth.
    • City leaders and infrastructure planners should incorporate the “voice of the employee” into their planning processes in order to better incorporate the human and social factors that drive residency decisions.
    • Kenya ranks affordable housing, safety and security, and air and water quality as the most important factors when deciding where to live and work

    Mercer, a global consulting leader in advancing health, wealth and career, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (NYSE: MMC), today announced the results of an extensive study that examines the needs of workers in the world’s fastest-growing cities across four key factors – human, health, money and work.

    The study found that employees in Nairobi rank affordable housing as the most important factor when deciding where to live and work. This is followed by safety and security, air and water quality, transportation and traffic, and finally life satisfaction. “With this in mind, governments and large businesses have a role to play in making cities more attractive in meeting the top needs of employees,” says Francis Omanyala, Associate at Mercer Africa. 

    The study provides critical insight into the motivations of workers against the backdrop of fierce competition for highly-skilled talent. It also provides practical advice for companies and municipalities to help them accelerate their talent strategies and realize commercial gains.

    Entitled “People first: driving growth in emerging megacities,” the study surveyed 7,200 workers and 577 employers in 15 current and future megacities across seven countries, namely Brazil, China, India, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco and Nigeria. As defined by the United Nations[1], these 15 cities will have a combined population of 150 million people by 2030 and share strong, projected GDP.

    “There are unprecedented opportunities in growth markets, yet they come with inherent challenges. The rapid growth of next-generation cities sees them poised to leapfrog larger markets but, in order to do so, they need to attract and keep highly-skilled people,” said Martine Ferland, Group President at Mercer.

    “We learned that employers misunderstand what motivates people to move to a city and stay there. Moreover, cities are not performing well when it comes to addressing many of the more human and social factors that are listed as important among key employee groups. This dynamic creates natural tensions between what people value most and a city’s ability to deliver,” Ms. Ferland added.

    Key findings 

    The study explored 20 critical factors across four people-based pillars – human, health, money and work. Respondents were asked to rank five factors, based on how important they were in affecting their decision to stay in or leave a city. The most compelling finding was that for cities and businesses to attract the right talent to do the work of the future, human and social factors are the most important.

    Most cities are underperforming

    In one of the most significant findings of the study for local governments, most workers say their cities are underperforming. The biggest tension between worker expectations and city performance is in safety and infrastructure. Pollution, personal stress, affordable housing, transport and mobility, and safety and security represent major gaps between what a city is able to deliver and what the employees surveyed value, presenting a major opportunity for making vast improvements in meeting workers’ needs and expectations in the future.

    The study did reveal some good news, however, with many respondents saying the cities they live and work in do quite well in terms of cultural and economic factors, and with other areas including life satisfaction, career opportunities, proximity to airports and green spaces already meeting expectations.

    Clear call for collaborative action

    Although the study’s 15 current and future megacities share some commonalities, some key differences were revealed. Based on performance against the four pillars of human, health, money and work, the cities were grouped into advanced, progressing or approaching in terms of whether they meet worker’s expectations. Advanced cities score well in all four factors, with a small-to-medium gap between workers’ expectations and the city’s performance.

    Cities classified as progressing have a mid-size gap between expectations and performance. Nairobi is ranked among approaching cities which receive low scores across all four dimensions, with the biggest gap in expectations versus city’s performance, and the lowest general life satisfaction among the three groups.

    “We believe one of the most important imperatives emerging from the study is the need for effective public-private partnerships to facilitate the necessary improvements,” said Mr. Anderson. “To accelerate progress at scale and create the environments in which workers and their families can thrive, and in order to underpin sustainable economic growth for everyone, companies and governments must work together to address the future needs of the employees they are trying to attract.”

    Employees are looking to big institutions with the requisite resources and authority to effect real change. Ultimately, no one group can or should be responsible for addressing systemic issues.

    The study reveals people do not expect any one group to be responsible for addressing the systemic issues of their city. According to the study, workers expect their city or local government (79%), national or federal government (74%) and large businesses (57%) all to play a role in making cities more attractive and in meeting their needs for overall life satisfaction, safety and security, and income.

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