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Lotus Developing answers
Killexams : Lotus Developing answers - BingNews Search results Killexams : Lotus Developing answers - BingNews Killexams : Lotus Goes Electric And Global, All Funded By China’s Geely

“We were writing our product profile in 2018. The last car we brought to market was Evora, which was launched 12 years ago. We saw that our products were dated. This gave us opportunity to be bold, to be different. We could not write our plan without battery-electric vehicles,” says Matt Windle, Managing Director of Lotus Cars, a venerable sports car firm that was purchased in late 2017 by China’s Geely, the same firm that bought Volvo from Ford in late 2010, and more recently launched the Sino-Swedish Polestar battery-electric car brand, a design-driven Volvo spinoff.

Throughout its seven decades Lotus has been second fiddle to the likes of Porsche and Ferrari, and in more latest years eclipsed by the rapid evolution of McLaren. By going electric, Lotus can not only level the playing field with its longtime European competitors, but leapfrog into this alternative future, becoming a benchmark rather than well-loved niche player. Lotus has not made its own purebred sports car engines since the last of the V8 Esprits two decades ago, relying instead on Rover, GM and Toyota powertrains one might find in sedans and CUVs, and in the distant past, engines from Ford and now long-gone English firms. Lotus has never had a powertrain legacy like Ferrari or Porsche—Lotus is all about the chassis, about handling, not the propulsion unit.

“There is a need for us to do something different. We are not going to beat Porsche by being Porsche or beat Mercedes by being Mercedes. We need to differentiate. And we don’t have a legacy car that we need to protect,” says Windle.

By going electric, where the powertrain is comprised of silent batteries and relatively simple electric motors that deliver instant torque, Lotus can focus on its core strengths: performance achieved through efficiency, light weight and innovation. In electric specialty performance cars, handling, packaging, and clever design will be preeminent. A hushed connection to physics will be key, not the character of a singing combustion engine.

“The U.K. government has already announced an end to sales of internal combustion engines after 2030,” says Windle. “Whether the U.K. gets there is a different matter. Norway is 2025.” The U.K., EU, and China hope to adopt fully electric transportation systems. Amongst the Germans, Porsche and VW are leading the way.

This summer Emira arrives, the firm’s final internal combustion car, and it will carry the firm on its back for several years before the battery-electric sedans and CUVs arrive, and ultimately replaced in 2025 by a battery-electric sports car. The Emira is a thorough rethink of the existing Elise and Evora aluminum chassis that was such a revolution when introduced in 1996, and Lotus will continue to employ enhanced Toyota V6 engines, assuaging fears the firm would be forced to use the portly Volvo engine, or a Chinese-market Geely engine. Lotus will be an internal combustion firm for four more years, and Geely wisely allowed a continuing relationship with Toyota, whose V6 is in fact an excellent fit for the aluminum chassis.

Evija, a 2000-horsepower battery-electric hypercar, may also arrive later this year, setting a high operational ceiling that at long last matches Porsche, Ferrari, McLaren, Lamborghini and others. Evija is mission-critical, showing the way forward with electric performance cars, establishing the beach head, engineering discoveries cascading to the vehicles under development.

Emira’s battery-electric sports car successor will arrive in 2025. To expand the brand into lucrative market segments in the West and also provide a range of products to sell in the Chinese market, a “premium” and highly mutable battery-electric platform will come before the battery-electric sports car. The emphasis on China market sales should produce long-elusive profit.

In spite of more than two years of planning and a predicted 4-year gestation period, the Lotus plan is bold, and would not be possible without Geely playing long ball. “Every part of the business has been touched,” says Windle. “Geely’s £2 billion investment is for the product plan, the facilities. The factory here cost over £100 million. We have the facilities in Hethel, but also in China. The development of the architectures, it’s an ambitious product plan, it’s an ambitious expansion of the business. That is not all the money we need, but that’s the start.” The retail components are designed to adapt to American-style dealer showrooms, or to boutiques just off the lobby of a Shanghai hotel. The Lotus retail development execs have clearly studied Tesla and retail process in China.

“We benefit from Geely reporting structures. And we can measure ourselves against the other groups within Geely, to see how we are doing,” says Windle. In short, Lotus has negotiated its assimilation into the broader Geely enterprise, which includes Geely’s technical center in Frankfurt, and the design studios run by ex-Ford designer Peter Horbury in Gothenburg, Sweden.

“There are levels of control within Geely. If things are going away from plan, they jump to action. Historically Lotus drifts away from plan and they’ve just kept going away from plan,” says Windle. This will no longer be allowed.

“Lotus is not a place filled with Geely employees running around checking our homework. There are Geely employees here, but they are integrated into the team. They are very diligent on financial controls and compliance.” One assumes lessons-learned in the long and expensive reinvention of Volvo are applied fully with Lotus.

How will Lotus differentiate as the Germans produce more and more battery-electric models? Using the old Lotus technique of adding lightness. “The electric sports car target weight is the same as Emira,” says Windle. “The engineers are a bit edgy when I say I need a commitment, but the smoke signals tell me they are very close to that challenge. You will have the performance, the torque, the range, and taking weight out of an electric car equals range.”

“In the sports cars, the battery pack is where the engine might have been. It gives us dynamics similar to a mid-engine gasoline sports car,” says Windle. With a skateboard design, “the best sandwich you can get is 110 millimeters, adding to the height of the car. We want you to feel like you’re in the car rather than on the car. The architecture is scalable for the sports cars just like in the premium platform,” says Windle, indicating that once in production, a range of electric sports cars will arrive.

Lotus appears to have an early understanding with Renault’s Alpine performance brand, to produce an Alpine performance car on the Lotus electric sports car. This work is being done through Lotus Engineering, which transfers Lotus engineering and design capabilities to clients. This should prove a classic lead/sign-off product development arrangement, though one assumes Alpine will want lead in areas of exterior/interior design and dynamics, and define performance targets different from the Lotus variant.

“If we go through with Alpine, their requirements with the sports car platform are different than ours,” says Windle. “The architecture will take different motors, different battery packs. That’s what Lotus is about. Finding clever solutions to problems using the minimal amount of parts.”

Battery-electric lends itself to brand identity of exterior and interior design, to calibration, and to neatly bolting in more or less potent electric motors. All these BEV architectures are highly mutable, so cowl heights, roof structures and wheelbases can be varied to bring unique dynamic and physical properties to any client vehicle. It may well prove easier to create vehicles with unique physical presence in the battery-electric future. Here, the distinctive traits of a Ferrari V12, Porsche flat-six or McLaren twin-turbo V8 are not an issue. It’s about pure speed, dynamic traits, and design, all playing to Lotus strengths.

“Sports cars are the core of our brand, the bullseye of our brand. We will keep producing sports cars out of the U.K. The lifestyle cars will be produced out of China,” says Windle, which indicates a program for the “premium” architecture similar to Polestar 2, with Chinese production feeding primarily into the Chinese market, with smaller percentages of production heading to the E.U. and U.S. I doubt anyone would accept a Lotus sports car built in China. As in all special products, there must be a story, there must be a sense of place, and a sports car is a highly personal purchase.

“There is a history of Lotus engineering cars and then telling the world this is what they need to buy,” says Windle. “This time around, we have done a lot of customer surveys, worked with firms that can tell us where the markets are going, and we think our product offerings will fit with what people might like.”

Most compelling is the matter-of-fact answers and approach of Windle to the complete reinvention of a brand, and the very nearly wholesale adoption of a completely new and different means of propulsion. In that, Lotus is on the same wavelength as the Californians, as Tesla has been for 10 years, as Lucid will be once the cars arrive late this year, and as Polestar is, freed from any Volvo legacy.

Lotus PR talks of journalist track tests of Evija, but I am far more intrigued by how Evija will function in the wild, on my favorite mountain road, on a run to Mt. Palomar outside San Diego, on a weekend in the Santa Barbara wine country running past Lake Cachuma. And the same goes for the battery-electric sports car and whatever is the first sedan or CUV based on the premium architecture. No, these Lotus cars won’t have the soulful sounds of internal combustion, but with all that instant torque in a light package, how thrilling will these cars prove on a California mountain road, or shooting over bridges in Miami at night?

Sat, 23 Jul 2022 11:10:00 -0500 Mark Ewing en text/html
Killexams : Lotus Provides an Update for Shareholders

VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / July 27, 2022 / Lotus Ventures Inc. (CSE:J) (OTC:LTTSF) (“Lotus” or the “Company”), a licensed cannabis producer and wholesaler of premium cannabis flower in Canada is providing an update for its shareholders in regard to its sales and marketing strategy moving into the fall months of 2022.

Lotus in its initial two years of production achieved high sales volumes and profitability in the cannabis flower B2B market. Over the past six months Lotus has experienced a slowdown in its wholesale business due to several factors, including but not limited to, wholesale partners exiting the B2B space to focus on the adult-use recreational market, wholesale partners being acquired by other companies, or producers exiting the cannabis space altogether. Lotus is well along on implementing its original gameplan of adding the retail market channel to its sales approach. This new channel provides for both higher margins and a diversification of sales. The Company also recognizes the current state of the Canadian cannabis industry and has adjusted its strategy to further diversify sales channels away from solely B2B sales. The Company is confident it will be able to fulfill the current market demand with its diversified multi-pronged sales approach.

Production Update:

Thus far Lotus has made great strides in producing top-shelf cannabis along with sourcing and developing first-to-market and exclusive strains (The Kalifornia and Tranquil Elephantizer), both of which have been sold at the BC Cannabis Store and the Ontario Cannabis Store, as well as at participating retailers. Lotus recently harvested its largest single lot of the Tranquil Elephantizer with an over 50% greater yield than original expectations and we continually strive to push the quality and yield to even newer highs.

As Lotus obtained its Standard Processing/Sales license on September 8, 2021, the Company is working to obtain provincial sales SKUs. Lotus is currently looking at parallel direct-to-consumer packaging paths which include both in-house and outsourced options for these first steps. Outsourcing the mid-stream packaging and distribution responsibilities provides an expedited, and initially cheaper start-up capex. Direct-to-market creates additional sales channels and increases the margin potential without the need for a large capital influx. This in turn also reduces the volatilitythe industry has experienced in the B2B market.

Lotus has some traction with the Tranquil Elephantizer currently being sold in BC and Ontario but is preparing for the future with more exclusive cultivars that have already been placed into production. The Company is taking the reins to build a recognized brand that reflects the Lotus quality and pride put into the product that is grown in BC.

Lotus Steps Going Forward:

Lotus has started two new very promising cultivars with expected average THC levels of 25% and expects the first harvests to reflect this. The Company is looking for consistent THC levels and to push the THC% ceiling of these new cultivars even higher. Upcoming harvests can be expected in late August with the potential to be ready to ship bulk product in mid to late October if packaged given no unforeseen delays.

The Company is currently working to meet all supply chain requirements to achieve direct-to-consumer sales in the shortest time frame possible. (Registrations, Applications, vendor relations, compliance).

With a long-term focus on the BC, Alberta, and Ontario markets, Lotus has continued to evolve its sales strategy into a multi-pronged approach which should effectively increase sales in all channels while improving the internal control for Lotus. The Company initially expects SKUs to be applied for in BC with Alberta and Ontario to promptly follow.


Lotus Ventures Inc.

“Dale McClanaghan”

Dale McClanaghan, President, and CEO

About Lotus Ventures Inc.

Lotus Ventures Inc. ( CSE: J ) is a BC-based licensed producer and wholesaler of premium cannabis. Lotus owns and operates the consumer brand Lotus Cannabis Co.™, which has had its flower sold by wholesale partners in nine Canadian provinces to date, not including Quebec. Lotus is an experienced cultivator in the North Okanagan and the Lotus flower is currently sold in BC and Ontario by Kolab Project.

To invest in the Company, Lotus Ventures Inc. is listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the symbol J and on the OTC Markets under the symbol LTTSF.

For Further Information:

President & CEO

Dale McClanaghan


Investor Relations

Daniel McRobert


General Inquiries

Learn more by visiting our website at and by following our brand on social media.

Instagram: @lotuscannabisco

Twitter: @lotuscannabisco

LinkedIn: @lotuscannabisco

Facebook: @lotuscanna

Forward-Looking Information:

The information contained within this news release has been prepared by Lotus Ventures Inc. This document includes certain statements that are not descriptions of historical facts but are forward-looking statements. Such statements include, among others, those concerning our expected financial performance and strategic and operational plans, our future operating results, our expectations regarding the market for medical and recreational cannabis products, our expectations regarding the continued growth of the medical and recreational cannabis market, as well as all assumptions, expectations, predictions, intentions, or beliefs about future events. Users are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and that several risks and uncertainties could cause our real results to differ materially from those anticipated, expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties have not been documented or mentioned in this document nor other communications made by the company. The words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “targets,” “optimistic,” “intend,” “aim,” “will” or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. The Company assumes no obligation and does not intend to update any forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

The Canadian Securities Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

SOURCE: Lotus Ventures, Inc.

View source version on

Wed, 27 Jul 2022 07:31:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Lotus Nutrients Wins Best Cannabis Nutrients Award From High Times

SANTA ROSA, Calif., July 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The cannabis culture magazine, High Times, named Lotus Nutrients Bloom formula "Best Flavor Enhancer" in the "Best Of" issue, putting it in their elite class of best cannabis nutrients. For decades, High Times has produced the Best of/Gear of the Year Awards for best-in-class companies offering products or services related to every major category of the industry from cultivation equipment and supplies, to consumption devices and other paraphernalia.

After developing Gorilla Grow Tent (7x Winner Gear of the Year Award), and Kind LED Grow Lights (4x Winner Gear of the Year Award), Grow Strong Industries set out to innovate the cannabis nutrient industry. Lotus Nutrients was designed to simplify the complicated professional cannabis nutrients regimens that pervade the industry. Lotus Nutrients manufactures and sells a 3-part cannabis plant nutrient formula that replaces other 9- to 12-part nutrient systems.

Nicholas Schweitzer, cannabis grower and co-founder/COO of Lotus Nutrients/Grow Strong Industries, said of the product, "I'm thrilled we were recognized for innovating the best cannabis nutrients. Bloom is the culmination of our years of research, development, and testing to develop the perfect flower feeding regimen. By incorporating only quality, naturally derived source ingredients and providing plants with everything they need to optimize their flower cycle, Lotus Bloom amplifies the development of trichomes and resins, creating heavy and potent final harvests with tremendous flavor profiles."

CEO and co-founder, Rory Kagan, says of the award, "High Times is a cornerstone of 420 culture. Lotus Nutrients was innovated with purpose in mind, as are all our brands. We were compelled to fight back against the comically complex and unnecessarily expensive nutrient programs that have long overrun the industry. When we brought Lotus to market, we knew we had developed the best cannabis nutrients, but it is quite an honor to have our beloved nutrient program recognized by such a long-standing and prominent industry organization."

Lotus is a premium, powdered nutrient blend developed as an answer to growers' top complaints about plant nutrients, which are that they tend to be difficult to use, expensive, and messy. The California-based company also offers lifetime grow support to their customers to ensure successful use of their products.

In just a few years Lotus has generated a loyal, brand-dedicated customer base evidenced by the number of reviews and high ranking on Trustpilot, as well as the activity their brand garners on social media mostly found under #LotusNutrients. Company Produced Video Clip featuring reviews on Trustpilot (

About the Company: Lotus Nutrients is owned and managed by Grow Strong Industries, Inc. Based in Northern California's cultivation mecca, their portfolio of premium indoor gardening equipment brands include Gorilla Grow Tent, Kind LED Grow Lights, and SuperCloset. The Company was founded on the belief that growing plant medicine is a human right.

For more info contact:
Sean O'Leary / Grow Strong Industries
Phone: 855.448.4769 Ext. 107


View original content to download multimedia:

SOURCE Grow Strong Industries

Thu, 21 Jul 2022 05:50:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Boston Scientific's Lotus Retirement Spells Job Loss

Boston Scientific shook up the cardiovascular world this week with its decision to retire its entire Lotus transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) platform. That decision translates into job loss for 106 Minnesota-based employees, according to reports from Bring Me the News and MassDevice.

As required by law, the company notified the state of Minnesota of the anticipated layoffs, which are expected to start on Jan.19. While Boston Scientific is headquartered in Massachusetts, the company's interventional cardiology division is located in Minnesota.

MassDevice reported that the company is actively seeking to reduce impacts of the eliminated positions through redeployments within Boston Scientific.

As MD+DI reported on Tuesday, Boston Scientific said its decision to retire the Lotus TAVR platform was based on complexities associated with the product delivery system. The company emphasized that there is no safety issue for patients who currently have an implanted Lotus Edge valve. The company says it will now focus on its Acurate neo2 TAVR, its Sentinel embolic protection device, and other high-growth areas of its portfolio. It should be noted, however, that the Acurate neo2 TAVR system isn't expected to reach the U.S. market until 2024.

Boston Scientific

Analyst reaction to the news was mixed, with most noting that the decision would add to latest investor frustration with the company. But as one medtech analyst pointed out, it will likely prove to be the right decision in the long run.

"Given the gross margin profile and training and field support involved with the current Lotus system, combined with the development time and investment required to develop and reintroduce an enhanced, easier-to-use delivery system, [Boston Scientific] has chosen to sunset the entire Lotus platform immediately," Canaccord Genuity analyst William Plovanic wrote. "Net-net, we believe that this tough decision was the correct one in the long term and definitively answers the question regarding the go-forward strategy in TAVR."

Mon, 18 Jul 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : First Lotus Eletre SUV Rolls Off Brand New Production Line In China

Even though the Lotus Eletre, the brand’s first production EV and SUV, is only expected to go into full production in 2023, the first one reportedly rolled off the production a few weeks ago. It was assembled at the brand new $1.2-billion facility in Wuhan, China and it marks the beginning of a brand new era for the British sports car manufacturer.

Geely bought 51 percent of Lotus in 2017 and since then it has injected funds into the company, helping it launch the new Emira and develop the Evija electric supercar. Production of these models will stay in the UK, but all other future Lotus EVs, especially the ones built on the new bespoke platform that debuted with the Eletre. 

This first ever SUV from Lotus has a dual-motor setup that gives it 591 horsepower, a battery pack with over 100 kWh and a projected range of 370 miles (600 km) on one charge. There will be more powerful variants reportedly with over 900 horsepower, but those have not been confirmed yet, and it’s also been speculated that the battery capacity may be as high as 120 kWh.

After launching the Eletre in 2023, Lotus plans to introduce two more high-riding crossover type vehicles and then its first all-electric sports car; all of them will be on the market in five years’ time.

The sports car known as the Type 135 EV will be roughly the same size as today’s Emira and it should be revealed in 2026. There will be some overlap between these two models before the Emira is phased out and once that happens, it will be interesting to see if Lotus continues to build cars at its Hethel facility in the UK or if it moves all production to China.

The company says it wants to sell 100,000 globally by 2027, even though in 2021 it only sold under 2,000 cars.

Lotus also wants to vastly expand its presence in China where it intends to have 50 locations open in 20 cities, but it says it will also concentrate on European countries too, especially those where EVs are popular like Norway, the Netherlands or Germany. 

Thu, 28 Jul 2022 21:40:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : The White Lotus: When does season 2 premiere?

Season two of hit show The White Lotus has landed a US premiere date.

The Emmy-nominated comedy-drama – which followed a week of misadventures of the guests and employees at a tropical resort in its debut season – will make its return with a location change.

On Wednesday (3 August), the streamer revealed that its second season will take place in Sicily and will premiere on HBO Max in the US in October.

A specific day has yet to be announced.

The forthcoming series will follow a new set of hotel employees and privileged vacationers. However, Jennifer Coolidge will reprise her role as fan favourite Tanya McQuoid.

Additional cast members include F Murray Abraham, Adam DiMarco, Tom Hollander, Michael Imperioli, Aubrey Plaza, Haley Lu Richardson, Theo James, Meghann Fahy, Will Sharpe, and Leo Woodall.

The first season of the limited anthology series received 20 Emmy nominations for the 2022 September award show for Outstanding Limited Series, Writing, Directing, and numerous acting nods.

Fred Hechinger, pictured here with Steve Zahn, plays a tech-addicted teen in ‘The White Lotus’ (Sky)

Among the nominees is Sydney Sweeney, who recently spoke out against the “lack of loyalty” in Hollywood.

Find the full list of Emmy 2022 nominations here. Read The Independent’s five-star review of the first season here.

The White Lotus season two premieres this October on HBO Max in the US, with a UK release date to follow.

Thu, 04 Aug 2022 05:15:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Bio-inspired and Nano-engineered Surfaces Market Is Set For Lucrative Growth During 2022-2030 | BASF AG, Lotus Leaf Coatings, Entergris Inc.

The Bio-inspired and Nano-engineered Surfaces Market is Penetrating at a faster pace and accounted to grow with strong potential in the forecasted period that is 2022 to 2030.

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The emerging market trends, market drivers, restraints, growth opportunities, and challenges lead to change in the market dynamics. These factors allow the in-depth analysis of the data on challenges and new possible pathways in the market. The factors that contribute to the market development are divided into intrinsic and extrinsic. The drivers and restraints are considered the intrinsic factors, whereas; the opportunities and challenges are the extrinsic factors of the market. Analysis of both factors leads to strengthening the potential analysis of the market and achieving the greatest return in terms of revenue throughout the forecast. In addition, allows targeted markets to meet progressive growth.

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Tue, 02 Aug 2022 23:31:00 -0500 Coherent Market Insights en-US text/html
Killexams : The White Lotus Season 2: Jennifer Coolidge Embraces La Dolce Vita in a First Look Photo

Kaftans, ironic slogan T-shirts, and withering stares at the ready: The White Lotus season two is happening—and Jennifer Coolidge’s delightfully spacey heiress Tanya McQuoid will be center stage.

On August 3, Variety revealed that Mike White’s razor-sharp satire about ridiculously privileged guests at an impossibly luxurious resort would be back, presumably with more dissatisfied CEOs, terrifying 20-somethings, and raging general managers, this October. The announcement was accompanied by the first still from the new season, which sets the tone for the hilarity that is sure to ensue: an image of Coolidge’s Tanya pouting serenely while wearing bug-eye sunglasses and a sugary pink dress, her blonde curls wrapped up in a matching chiffon scarf.

The acting legend is the only series regular to be reprising her role, as the show shifts from the fictional White Lotus group’s property in Hawaii to an equally spectacular one in Sicily, where a new set of insufferable visitors will feud with its beleaguered staff members. The ensemble cast for the series’s first season was a formidable combination of established names and rising stars— Connie Britton, Sydney Sweeney, Murray Bartlett, Alexandra Daddario, Natasha Rothwell, and Brittany O’Grady among them—but this time around it’s somehow even more impressive. Due to make an appearance? Comedy stalwart Aubrey Plaza as Harper, a woman on vacation with her husband and his friends; Oscar-winning screen veteran F. Murray Abraham as Bert Di Grasso, an elderly man holidaying with his son and grandson; The Night Manager’s Tom Hollander as Quentin, a British expat; Support the Girls’s Haley Lu Richardson as Portia, a young woman traveling with her boss; and The Bold Type’s Meghann Fahy and Sanditon’s Theo James as husband-and-wife pair Daphne and Cameron Babcock.

As for the locals forced to massage their egos, three Italian actors have also been cast in significant parts: Sabrina Impacciatore as Valentina, the manager of the White Lotus Sicily; and Beatrice Grannó and Simona Tabasco as Mia and Lucia, two young Sicilians who have a habit of hanging around the hotel. Could a holiday romance be on the cards for one of them, as it was for Kekoa Kekumano’s Hawaiian hotel staffer Kai with Brittany O’Grady’s Paula in season one?

While we do know that the upcoming seven-part series will focus on the exploits of guests and employees over the span of a week, just as the first installment did, other questions also remain. Will season two open with the mysterious death of a major character, as season one did? And what state will we find the eccentric Tanya in this time? The latter was partially answered on July 18, when HBO debuted its first footage from The White Lotus season two in a preview of soon-to-be-released shows. It featured Impacciatore’s Valentina welcoming Plaza’s Harper, Fahy’s Daphne, and James’s Cameron to the resort, and Tanya speeding down a picturesque Sicilian hillside on the back of a Vespa. In the brief clip, she appears to have embraced la dolce vita, but how long will it be before her neuroses rise to the surface once again? We’ll find out soon enough.

This post was originally published on Vogue U.K.

Originally Appeared on Glamour

Thu, 04 Aug 2022 03:30:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : New 20 Questions On Deadline Podcast: Jennifer Coolidge Reveals Her ‘White Lotus’ Season 3 Dream & The Real ‘Bend And Snap’ Technique

Welcome to 20 Questions on Deadline, our new interview podcast with a twist. Every week I’ll be asking onscreen stars a set of quirky questions designed to dig into their best advice, biggest fears and fondest memories.

More from Deadline

For this first episode, I sat down with Emmy nominee Jennifer Coolidge. Hot from the Sicilian set of The White Lotus Season 2, she’s already raring to go for a third go-round and reveals a very special co-star she’d like to join that cast.

Having loved the experience of making Season 2’s “incredible story”, Coolidge expects the audience reaction to be very positive. “It would probably be impossible to not like it,” she says.

We also get into how the show’s creator Mike White based her character Tanya McQuoid on Jennifer herself, but how secretly she’d much rather be like her iconic American Pie role, Stifler’s mom.

Plus, she reveals how to pull off a truly successful ‘bend and snap’ move.

Listen to the podcast above and subscribe and listen to 20 Questions: On Deadline on Spotify and on Apple podcasts.

A version of this interview will also appear in print in our AwardsLine magazine and at from August 10th.

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Click here to read the full article.

Fri, 05 Aug 2022 05:20:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : China reckons with its first overseas debt crisis

The 350m Lotus Tower that looms over the skyline in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo is one of the tallest buildings in South Asia. Funded by a Chinese state bank and designed to look like a giant lotus bud about to burst into flower, it was intended to be a metaphor for the flourishing of Sri Lanka’s economy and the “brilliant future” of the bilateral co-operation between Beijing and Colombo.

Instead, the tower has become a symbol of the mounting problems facing China’s overseas lending scheme, the “Belt and Road Initiative”. The construction suffered from lengthy delays and an allegation of corruption levelled by Sri Lanka’s then-president Maithripala Sirisena against one of the Chinese contractors. Now, three years after its official launch, the tower’s amenities including a shopping mall, a conference centre and several restaurants stand either unfinished or largely unused while outside on the streets outrage over Sri Lanka’s financial mismanagement has boiled over into popular protests.

“It is something we would have done better without,” says Athula Kumarasiri, a bookshop owner, as he motions towards the tower. “What is the need for this? It is a complete white elephant.” 

Sri Lanka is one of dozens of countries in the developing world that hoped to take advantage of the surge in Chinese overseas lending over the past decade under the Belt and Road Initiative — a scheme that ranks not only as Beijing’s biggest foreign policy gambit since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949 but also the largest transnational infrastructure programme ever undertaken by a single country.

However, a large number of projects, such as the tower, have failed to yield a commercial return while the huge loans it takes to build such infrastructure can exacerbate financial pressures on vulnerable governments.

Those pressures have converged in Sri Lanka, which defaulted on its sovereign debt in May, the first Asia-Pacific country to do so for more than two decades.

Such cases are becoming much more common. A Financial Times examination of the financial health of the Belt and Road Initiative — once hailed by Chinese leader Xi Jinping as the “project of the century” — has uncovered a mountain of non-performing loans.

In several countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, the project risks metastasising into a series of debt crises. The issue is of crucial importance to the developing world because of the vast scale of the Belt and Road Initiative. Since the programme was first proposed in 2013 the value of China-led infrastructure projects and other transactions classified as “Belt and Road” in scores of developing countries had reached $838bn by the end of 2021, according to data collected by the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based think-tank.

But the loans that finance those projects are now turning bad in record numbers. According to data collected by Rhodium Group, a New York-based research group, the total value of loans from Chinese institutions that had to be renegotiated in 2020 and 2021 surged to $52bn. This was more than three times the $16bn of the previous two years.

This sharp deterioration brings the total of Chinese overseas loans to have come under renegotiation since 2001 to $118bn — or about 16 per cent of the total extended, Rhodium estimates.

China has had to manage a number of defaults on sensitive overseas loans in latest years but the cumulative impact of the multiple renegotiations that Beijing currently faces amount to the country’s first overseas debt crisis.

“This is the worst period of debt pressure since the start of the Belt and Road Initiative,” says Matthew Mingey, senior research analyst at Rhodium Group. “The Covid-19 pandemic took existing problems and supercharged them.”

Many of these loan renegotiations involve write offs, deferred payment schedules or a reduction of interest rates. But as increasing numbers of Belt and Road loans blow up, China has also found itself sucked in to providing “rescue” loans to some governments to prevent their debt distress from morphing into full-blown balance of payments crises.

Bradley Parks, executive director of AidData at the College of William and Mary in the US, says that while the drip feed of rescue loans helps to avert defaults, it does little to resolve underlying financial problems. “I think Beijing is now learning that in some cases the fundamental problem is not liquidity but solvency,” says Parks.

Parks says that for almost five years, China’s state financial institutions tried to keep the government of Sri Lanka liquid enough to service its old project debts and to avoid sovereign credit rating downgrades. However, he adds: “Their effort was a spectacular failure. So, the big question that Beijing needs to answer is whether it wants to be in the rescue lending business in the long run.”

The transition that Parks alludes to is a critical one. As China has financed roads, railways, ports, airports and a gamut of other infrastructure over the past decade, it has found itself in competition with international development lenders — most notably the World Bank. Now, as its lending shifts to focus more on preventing defaults, it is starting to mirror the role usually fulfilled by the IMF — which provides emergency loans to get countries through economic crises.

The magnitude of debt distress in Belt and Road countries is also capturing the attention of world leaders. In May, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz raised the alarm over China’s lending spree in poorer countries, particularly in Africa. “There is a really serious danger that the next major debt crisis in the global south will stem from loans that China has granted worldwide,” Scholz said.

Such warnings reinforce a more general level of concern expressed by the World Bank last month that developing countries may be headed towards a debt crisis on a scale last seen in the 1980s. The war in Ukraine, rising inflation, tightening global financial conditions and tensions between the US and China are all underpinning such dire scenarios.

“These are all material risks and if they materialise at the same time it will be a perfect storm for the global economy,” said Ayhan Kose, head of the World Bank’s forecasting unit. “So, of course, we are worried that more countries will be unable to roll over their debts.”

Distress leading to a spate of bailouts

China is fighting debt fires on several fronts. AidData has uncovered evidence of tens of billions of US dollars in “rescue loans” being extended by China’s state institutions generally in the form of short-term injections of hard currency that allow debtor countries to service their loans and avoid default.

Countries receiving such loans so far have included Pakistan, Argentina, Belarus, Egypt, Mongolia, Nigeria, Turkey, Ukraine and Sri Lanka, AidData says. Each of these countries has a credit rating of “junk” from agencies such as Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s, meaning that the risk of default on their sovereign debt is regarded as significant.

When defaults do occur, the economic and political effects can be swift. Sri Lanka, which has international debts of more than $50bn, has been wracked by severe shortages of essential goods since it effectively ran out of foreign currency reserves.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was forced out of office last week after tens of thousands of people, angered by the shortages and soaring prices, marched in the capital Colombo and an angry throng occupied the president’s official residence.

Sri Lanka’s default was not caused solely by Chinese loans, which total about $5bn, but Beijing’s lending to the island state of 22mn people has proved particularly controversial. Critics argue that the Belt and Road credit was extended at high interest rates for infrastructure projects — like the Lotus Tower, and a port and an airport in the southern city of Hambantota — that have often failed to generate returns.

The money from the binge in foreign borrowing was misspent on “ports, airports, cricket stadiums, all sorts of stupid-looking towers . . . all bullshit,” says Harsha de Silva, a member of parliament from Sri Lanka’s opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya party.

These mounting problems do not obscure the fact that the vast construction of infrastructure in many developing countries around the world with Chinese finance has helped to drive development.

Examples of useful projects abound. A 750km railway line from Addis Ababa to Djibouti has cut the journey time between the Ethiopian capital to the key port from about three days to about 12 hours. Similarly, a new line from Mombasa to Nairobi in Kenya, which cost $3.2bn, cuts journey times significantly. Hydropower dams built by Chinese contractors in Uganda have been opened as destinations for tourists. Roads and pipelines built across Central Asia and south-east Asia have driven development in those countries.

But where debt burdens prove unsustainable, China often finds itself obliged to issue new loans or face the broader distress that follows a default. Pakistan, the biggest single recipient of Belt and Road financing worldwide with a total of $62bn in Chinese finance pledges, is a case in point.

Islamabad, which styles itself as China’s “all-weather friend”, has received a string of rescue loans aimed at averting a sovereign default. The latest was a $2.3bn facility under which a consortium of Chinese banks pledged last month to bolster the country’s supply of hard currency, allowing it to pay creditors for at least a while longer.

But Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves remain on a knife edge, having fallen to less than two months’ worth of the cost of imports. Earlier this month, the IMF agreed to lend $1.2bn, part of a $7bn relief package, to avert a balance of payments crisis in the south Asian nation but analysts say Islamabad’s finances remain strained.

Just as in Sri Lanka, there are questions in Pakistan over the viability of some infrastructure projects undertaken. A big port project in Gwadar, located on the Arabian Sea at the strategically important mouth to the Strait of Hormuz, has long been regarded as a jewel in the Belt and Road Initiative.

But a company boss living in Gwadar, who declined further identification, says that construction on the port project has been mothballed. “There is almost nothing going on in terms of building. We keep on waiting for China’s promises to follow through but there has been very little so far,” he says.

Another big recipient of Chinese loans is Zambia, which defaulted in 2020 on its external debt. China is Lusaka’s biggest bilateral lender with about $6bn out of the country’s $17bn of external debt.

Zambia had been presented as a star of the Belt and Road Initiative on the African continent. As recently as 2019 — just months before the country’s default — the Chinese embassy in Lusaka was extolling the virtues of the scheme in a public statement.

Indeed, the number of intended Belt and Road schemes in Zambia was breathtaking. A huge hydropower dam, two international airports, a railway connecting the country to Tanzania, two sports stadiums and a hospital have all been commissioned.

China steps back from the Belt and Road

Such financial problems are prompting a quiet but fundamental rethink in Beijing as economic risks around the world rise, says a senior government adviser in Beijing, who declined further identification.

“A lot of investment in Belt and Road countries didn’t make commercial sense and was in effect a form of capital flight,” the adviser says. “What’s more, the economic prospects in many BRI countries, led by African ones, has worsened dramatically in latest years. That makes it more imperative for us to think twice before going on another lending spree.”

In addition, China’s foreign exchange reserves — which peaked at nearly $4tn in 2014 — have fallen back to just over $3tn, making the hard currency that Chinese financial institutions use to lend to Belt and Road countries relatively scarce.

Chen Zhiwu, professor of finance at the University of Hong Kong, also sees a clear downsizing under way. “Especially given the changed geopolitical landscape after [Russia’s] invasion of Ukraine, China is significantly downsizing the BRI,” he says.

“I have not seen the BRI being mentioned so much at all in mainstream Chinese media. It is not the same BRI as a year or two ago.”

Going it alone?

The big question now facing China as debt distress spreads amid slowing global growth is whether and to what extent Beijing will participate in multilateral debt resolution programmes in Belt and Road countries.

The destiny of several vulnerable emerging markets appears set to depend on the answer. Both Zambia and Sri Lanka are test cases.

A multilateral approach is counter-intuitive for Beijing because the Belt and Road Initiative has from the start been designed with a strictly bilateral dynamic. The relationships forged have been between each debtor country and its creditors in Beijing, rather than between a collection of countries all enjoying a say. The secrecy embedded into the Belt and Road scheme, along with the multiplicity of participating Chinese financial institutions each with their own agenda, further complicates matters, bankers say.

Some analysts say China has good reason to be cautious about signing up to a multilateral approach led by the IMF and the Paris Club group of wealthy creditor nations.

Kevin Gallagher, head of the Global Development Policy Center at Boston University and an adviser to the Chinese government, says China has “legitimate criticisms” of the conditions attached to IMF programmes that are a prerequisite of sovereign debt restructuring.

“What kind of say are they going to have in something that is so driven by the French and the US?” he says. “They don’t think an austerity-led programme is the way to get a country out of recession.”

In an online interview with Gallagher in November 2020, Zhongxia Jin, China’s executive director at the IMF, said that while IMF conditionality made sense “from a purely economic and theoretical point of view, [in practice] it is very painful for low-income countries . . . Our position on the board is that conditionality . . . should be growth friendly and growth oriented.”

However, there are initial signs that Beijing may be willing to countenance at least a measure of co-operation.

After months of resistance, Beijing last month sat down with France as co-chair of the official creditor committee representing Zambia’s bilateral lenders. This has brought Zambia a step closer to a $1.4bn rescue package from the IMF. But while the talks were described as constructive, western observers say it is far too early to assume that China will join collective action elsewhere, or even that Zambia’s case will reach a successful conclusion.

“It is a commitment they have made,” said Emmanuel Moulin, head of the French Treasury and chair of the Paris Club, of China’s role in Zambia. “But now they need to deliver.”

Its Belt and Road lending has helped to make China the world’s biggest bilateral lender. To the 74 countries classed as low-income by the World Bank, it is bigger than all other bilateral lenders combined.

But its unwillingness to engage with other creditors in debt workouts has been a source of frustration at multilateral organisations.

In a statement before last week’s meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors from the G20 group of large economies, Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, issued the latest in a series of calls for urgent and decisive action on debt treatment “by all involved”.

“Large lenders — both sovereign and private — need to step up and play their part,” she said. “Time is not on our side.”

Additional reporting by Sun Yu in Beijing and Mahendra Ratnaweera in Colombo

Thu, 21 Jul 2022 23:39:00 -0500 en-GB text/html
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