Mr. Tortilla Bags #1 Sales Spot on Amazon US, Canada, and UK, Now Looks for Investment Partners

Featured Image for Mr. Tortilla

Featured Image for Mr. Tortilla

SAN FERNANDO, Calif., Aug. 05, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Mr. Tortilla is looking for investment partners to support the company’s exponential growth following record sales. The Southern California company, headed by Anthony Alcazar, has already become Amazon’s top-selling tortilla brand in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom. Alcazar is currently searching for funding opportunities to further aid the market expansion.

“It’s certainly an exciting time for Mr. Tortilla,” Alcazar said. “I couldn’t be happier that our vision has led to such fantastic results. Access to healthy tacos at the click of a button means that customers can rapidly order delicious, quality products straight to their door. Our massive success in the U.S., Canada, and now the U.K. proves that we’re really onto something good.”

Demand is growing for all of their products. Although Mr. Tortilla started selling directly to consumers, it now also sells to distributors, wholesalers, and restaurants internationally. Mr. Tortilla is also in the final stages of developing a vegan household staple that Alcazar will reveal next month.

“The fantastic customer feedback to our growing selection of products speaks volumes. It’s now time to take Mr. Tortilla to the next level with the support of financial growth partners,” Alcazar added.

“We’re a pink diamond,” Alcazar wants to remind potential investors. “Unlike many companies, we can actually scale profitably. This is the once-in-a-lifetime investment that investors search for their whole lives.”

Mr. Tortilla’s e-commerce strategy was born from a frustration about the availability of low-carb tortillas on supermarket shelves. Instead of trying to compete with household brands, Anthony and his brother Ronald chose to reach a market that was looking for their products through their online shop and later Amazon. The results were staggering. Mr. Tortilla’s sales grew by 3,000% and the brand is on the way to carving a name for itself among heavyweights as the go-to tortilla option.

It’s clear that technology and social media have aided the brothers in achieving their remarkable business growth in such a short period of time. Mr. Tortilla has already amassed an impressive 250,000 followers across their verified social media platforms. In June, Alcazar also spoke at the CEO Summit of the Americas where he reflected upon tapping into the benefits of digital tools.

“Embracing the e-commerce model was certainly a risk, but one that has really paid off,” Anthony’s brother Ronald Alcazar, COO of Mr. Tortilla, said. “It all stemmed from a love and passion for good guilt-free food, quality ingredients, and delivering a product that customers want. The last few years have been a whirlwind for our team, but we have our sights set on even bigger goals. As a result, now is the perfect time to look for investors who can support us as we continue to make our dream a reality.”


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การเปิดตัวโซลูชั่นคลาวด์ใหม่สองโซลูชั่นเพื่อการใช้งานส่วนตัวระดับพรีเมียมของบริษัท Synchronoss เพื่อให้ขุมพลังแก่บริษัท Telkomsigma ในประเทศอินโดนีเซีย

นักเรียนนักศึกษาใหม่ของมหาวิทยาลัยทั่วประเทศอินโดนีเซียจะได้รับบัญชีใช้งานระบบคลาวด์ Floudrive แบบฟรี ซึ่งบัญชีบน Floudrive ระดับพรีเมียมนี้จะยังให้บริการแก่ลูกค้าผู้ใช้โทรศัพท์มือถือของบริษัท Telkomsel จำนวน 170 ล้านคนอีกด้วย

เมืองบริดจ์วอเตอร์ รัฐนิวเจอร์ซีย์, Aug. 05, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. (“Synchronoss” หรือเรียกว่า “บริษัท”) (Nasdaq: SNCR) ซึ่งเป็นผู้นำและผู้สร้างนวัตกรรมด้านผลิตภัณฑ์และแพลตฟอร์มระบบคลาวด์ ระบบรับส่งข้อความ และผลิตภัณฑ์ดิจิทัลระดับโลกรายหนึ่งวันนี้ได้ประกาศว่าบริษัทได้เปิดตัวโซลูชั่นระบบคลาวด์ใหม่สองโซลูชั่นเพื่อการใช้งานส่วนตัวระดับพรีเมียมอย่างเป็นทางการในวันนี้ โดยโซลูชันดังกล่าวให้บริการโดยบริษัท Telkomsigma ซึ่งเป็นบริษัทย่อยของบริษัท Telkom Indonesia บริษัทผู้ให้บริการโทรคมนาคมที่ใหญ่ที่สุดของประเทศอินโดนีเซีย หลังจาก สัญญาข้อตกลงที่ได้ลงนามในเดือนพฤศจิกายนในขณะนี้ บริษัท Telkomsigma กำลังให้บริการพื้นที่จัดเก็บข้อมูล Floudrive แก่นักเรียนนักศึกษาต่าง ๆ ของมหาวิทยาลัยพร้อมทั้งลูกค้าผู้ใช้โทรศัพท์มือถือของบริษัท Telkomsel โดยการให้บริการนี้ได้รับการช่วยเหลือสนับสนุนจากระบบคลาวด์ Synchronoss Personal Cloud

ในฐานะที่เป็นศูนย์ข้อมูลและบริการระบบไอที (IT Services and Data Center) ของ Telkomsel บริษัท Telkomsigma จึงสามารถใช้ประโยชน์จากแพลตฟอร์มระบบคลาวด์ Synchronoss Personal Cloud เพื่อการให้บริการพื้นที่จัดเก็บข้อมูล Floudrive ซึ่งให้ประสบการณ์การจัดเก็บข้อมูลบนระบบคลาวด์ที่เชื่อถือได้และใช้งานง่ายพร้อมทั้งฟังก์ชั่นสำหรับการสำรองข้อมูลและการกู้คืนเนื้อหาดิจิทัลที่รวมถึงรูปภาพ วิดีโอ และไฟล์อื่น ๆ เพื่อปฏิบัติตามกฎหมายการจัดเก็บข้อมูลของประเทศอินโดนีเซีย ดังนั้น Synchronoss จึงได้ร่วมมือกับกับ Alibaba เพื่อใช้โครงสร้างพื้นฐานทางไอทีภายในประเทศของตน

Telkomsigma จะให้บริการฟรีแก่นักเรียนนักศึกษาใหม่ของมหาวิทยาลัยสำหรับการเปิดบัญชีบน Floudrive ซึ่งจะรวมถึงการให้บริการพื้นที่จัดเก็บข้อมูลขนาด 50 กิกะไบต์ ซึ่งสามารถนำมาใช้เพื่อการสำรองเนื้อหาดิจิทัลทั้งหมดได้พร้อมทั้งการแชร์ไฟล์และรูปภาพโดยจะเริ่มให้บริการได้ในเดือนกันยายนนี้ การให้บริการฟรีต่าง ๆ เหล่านี้เป็นการให้บริการเป็นครั้งแรกและให้บริการสำหรับมหาวิทยาลัยที่คัดเลือกไว้ในอินโดนีเซีย นอกจากนี้ Telkomsigma จะยังให้บริการพื้นที่จัดเก็บข้อมูล Floudrive ระดับพรีเมียมแก่ลูกค้าผู้ใช้โทรศัพท์มือถือจำนวน 170 ล้านคนของบริษัท Telkomsel อีกด้วย บริการระดับพรีเมียมนี้จะรวมถึงการให้พื้นที่จัดเก็บขนาด 100 กิกะไบต์

“เรารู้สึกตื่นเต้นที่จะเปิดตัวโซลูชั่นระบบคลาวด์ใหม่สองโซลูชั่นสำหรับการใช้งานส่วนตัวระดับพรีเมียมที่ใช้แพลตฟอร์มระบบคลาวด์ Synchronoss Personal Cloud โดยเฉพาะอย่างยิ่งสำหรับการใช้งานภายในมหาวิทยาลัยต่าง ๆ ซึ่งเป็นการเปิดตัวครั้งแรกในแวดวงอุตสาหกรรมนี้” นายแทนโต ซูราทโน (Tanto Suratno) ประธานฝ่ายธุรกิจและการจัดจำหน่าย (Director of Business and Sales) แห่งบริษัท Telkomsigma กล่าว “การผนวกความร่วมมือระหว่างบริษัท Synchronoss และ Alibaba จะทำให้เราสามารถให้บริการสมาชิกผู้สมัครใช้บริการจำนวนหลายล้านคนที่จะใช้ประโยชน์จากบริการ Floudrive ของเราซึ่งเป็นการให้พื้นที่จัดเก็บข้อมูลแบบฟรีระดับพรีเมียม”

“บริษัท Telkomsigma, Telkomsel และ Telkom Indonesia ต่างเข้าใจถึงโอกาสทางการตลาดที่ไม่เหมือนใครเพื่อส่งมอบโซลูชั่นระบบคลาวด์เพื่อการใช้งานส่วนตัวที่จะทำให้สามารถให้บริการดิจิทัลต่าง ๆ ที่หลากหลายแก่สมาชิกผู้ใช้งานทั่วประเทศอินโดนีเซียได้” นายแพทริก โดแรน (Patrick Doran) ประธานเจ้าหน้าที่ฝ่ายเทคโนโลยี (Chief Technology Officer) แห่งบริษัท Synchronoss กล่าว “ด้วยการตระหนักดีว่าประเด็นการสูญเสียอธิปไตยทางข้อมูลระดับท้องถิ่นนั้นเป็นความต้องการของลูกค้าที่สำคัญอย่างยิ่ง ดังนั้นเราจึงได้รับรองแพลตฟอร์มเทคโนโลยีของเราบนแพลตฟอร์ม Alibaba Cloud ซึ่งส่งมอบโซลูชั่นระบบคลาวด์เพื่อการใช้งานส่วนตัวแบบไวท์เลเบลซึ่งเป็นแพลตฟอร์มที่ปลอดภัย เชื่อถือได้ ปรับระดับได้ และใช้งานภายในประเทศ”

ผู้ให้บริการ Tier One ชั้นนำต่าง ๆ เลือกใช้ระบบคลาวด์ Synchronoss Personal Cloud, Synchronoss Email Suite หรือใช้ทั้งสองระบบเพื่อจัดการข้อมูลของผู้ใช้บริการกว่า 250 รายทั่วโลกที่มีการจัดเก็บและจัดการข้อมูลในขนาดที่ใหญ่กว่า 142 เพตะไบต์

เกี่ยวกับบริษัท Synchronoss
Synchronoss Technologies (Nasdaq: SNCR) ได้พัฒนาซอฟแวร์ที่ช่วยให้บริษัทต่าง ๆ ทั่วโลกสามารถเชื่อมต่อกับสมาชิกผู้ใช้บริการของตนได้ในวิถีทางที่มีความหมายและไว้ใจได้ กลุ่มผลิตภัณฑ์ของบริษัทช่วยปรับปรุงเครือข่ายให้ดีขึ้น ช่วยให้การต้อนรับพนักงานใหม่ทำได้ง่ายดาย และช่วยให้สมาชิกผู้ใช้บริการมีความผูกพันกับองค์กรเพื่อสร้างกระแสรายได้ใหม่ ๆ ช่วยลดค่าใช้จ่าย และเพิ่มความเร็วในการเข้าสู่ตลาด สมาชิกผู้ใช้บริการจำนวนหลายร้อยล้านคนไว้ใจผลิตภัณฑ์ของ Synchronoss ในการเชื่อมต่อกับบุคคล บริการ และเนื้อหาที่พวกเขาโปรดปราน ดูรายละเอียดเพิ่มเติมได้ที่

Domenick Cilea

Matt Glover / Tom Colton
Gateway Group, Inc.


VentiSwap Launches Non-Custodial Crypto Exchange Aimed at Cross-Chain Swaps, Lower Transaction Fees

ZURICH, Aug. 05, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — VentiSwap, a new non-custodial, true cross-chain swap, has launched the beta version of its platform aimed at providing users with lower transaction fees, and more efficient cross-chain swaps. VentiSwap joins the small community of an ever-growing need of cross-chain platforms currently active in the industry.

By not relying on the use of middle tokens, bridges, HTLC, or P2P functions to initiate and complete transactions, VentiSwap has differentiated itself from other cross-chain DEX platforms. The VentiSwap platform was developed to provide an intuitive, efficient method for users to trade any type of supported blockchain in one simple transaction by leveraging VentiSwap’s proprietary algorithms.

The advantages of the company’s proprietary algorithms, which VentiSwap bases its cross-chain DEX platform around, are that they enable fast, efficient transactions which require no third-party middlemen to complete – providing users with the ability to perform true cross-chain swaps. VentiSwap has been able to optimize transaction exchange rates for users, encouraging traders to fully leverage multiple liquidity pools. VentiSwap is also the first to ever offer a refund function for failed transactions.

The VentiSwap Token (VST) was originally slated to launch in late 2021, but after potential security issues, the VentiSwap team decided to undergo a security audit by CertiK, an industry-leading DeFi and blockchain security audit company, to ensure code integrity, mitigate risk, and guarantee security.

CertiK found zero critical, major, medium, or minor issues in its VentiSwap code security assessment, which allowed the VentiSwap team to move forward with the launch in Q2 2022. VST is currently available on 1Inch and Uniswap with CEX listings coming soon.

In addition to the VentiSwap platform, VentiTech, VentiSwap’s parent company, is also working on several cross-chain crypto projects:

  • VentiNFT – a cross-chain NFT marketplace
  • VentiWallet – a multi-chain wallet platform
  • VentiPresale – a cross-chain presale platform
  • VentiVerse – an interactive storefront to display NFTs, play games, and earn rewards
  • VentiHeadz – a line of 80’s style utility NFTs
  • VentiSwap Token – an ERC20 “no reflections” and non-taxed utility token

VentiHeadz, the company’s line of 80’s style utility NFTs, has already launched in Q2 2022. Only 5,000 will ever be minted. Advantages of holding a VentiHeadz NFT include full access to VentiTech’s entire line of cross-chain platforms, a complimentary VentiHeadz t-shirt, access to a private online chat community, and an invitation to an exclusive in-person event. The price to mint one VentiHeadz NFT is 0.1 ETH. VentiHeadz website.

About VentiSwap

The VentiSwap project was initiated in March 2021, and the company is incorporated in Switzerland. VentiSwap’s development teams are based in the UK, India, and Pakistan. The platform is officially affiliated with industry-leading Binance, which provides VentiSwap’s back-end liquidity. VentiSwap does not offer money (fiat) transferring or transactions. It only offers token to token swapping. Purchasing and cashing out needs to be done on other platforms.

The beta version of the VentiSwap platform can be experienced by visiting the official VentiSwap website.

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Hyris’ New T-Cell Test is Finally Available to EU Countries to Easily Map Patients’ Cellular Immunity to SARS-CoV-2

After months of experimentation in partnership with some world-class schools of medicine and top-tier diagnostic providers, the much-anticipated T-Cell Test from Hyris, based on innovative qPCR technology, is finally available for the European market with a CE-IVD mark. The new Test will change the way laboratories and diagnostic providers track and monitor T-cell patients’ immunity to SARS-CoV-2, leveraging the unique characteristics of the Hyris System™.

Hyris T-Cell Test finally allows healthcare specialists to depict SARS-CoV-2 specific immunity

LONDON, Aug. 05, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —

As the pandemic crisis has entered a new phase, it is a common belief among the scientific community that COVID-19 is here to stay, maybe for a long time. Many scientists expect the virus that causes COVID-19 to become endemic. According to a 2021 Nature’s poll, administered to more than 100 globally renowned immunologists, infectious-disease researchers and virologists, almost 90% of respondents think the Coronavirus will become endemic, continuing to circulate in pockets of the global population for years to come.

The quality of life of this ‘endemic future’ will heavily depend on our capability to systematically assess and monitor the type of immunity people acquire through infection or vaccination and how the virus evolves, thus maximizing vaccine effectiveness. A recently published Nature’s study confirms that measuring the T cells’ response is a new disruptive approach to fighting SARS-CoV-2Responsive T cells could still protect an individual negative to an antibody test.

Long-term protection from viral infections is mediated by both the humoral (antibodies) and cellular (T cells) immune pathways“, explains Lorenzo Colombo, General Manager and CTO at Hyris, a fast-growing global biotech Company renowned for its democratic approach to genetic analysis. “While SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG and neutralizing antibody quantification are being used as the typical clinical endpoints to determine immune protection, a precise measurement of cellular responses underlying virus protection also represents an important parameter of immune defence“, continues Colombo.

Although its strategic relevance is acknowledged worldwide, cellular immune response assays are rarely performed due to the associated technical challenges. “Detection of antigen-specific T cells is Typically quantified by flow cytometry, ELISpot or ELISA,” points out Colombo. “These techniques, while robust and well accepted in the field, require a skilled workforce and are relatively costly and time-consuming.”

This is where the new T-Cell Test from Hyris comes into play. The fruit of months of experimentation in collaboration with some of the most important medical schools in the world, this new test is finally available for the EU Market after receiving the CE-IVD mark. “Our new T-Cell Test overcomes the limitations typically involved with immune cellular response testing, thanks to its unique two-part process“, clarifies Colombo. Colombo also describes the main steps of the test: “At first, T cells are stimulated within a whole blood sample. Secondly, the sample is analyzed via qPCR in direct amplification to detect potential activation of the T cells“.

This test brings attention to the future deployment of portable qPCR-based systems and could enable immunology testing for a much wider number of patients. “Historically, qPCR-based diagnostic approaches have been limited by laborious, error-prone and expensive RNA extraction methods“, says Andrea Fabbri, Chief Commercial Officer at Hyris. “The new assay on T cells response works in direct amplification, making this protocol more efficient, rapid and scalable“. Fabbri goes even further, highlighting the disruptive features of the Hyris System™, Hyris’ unique AI-powered diagnostic suite. “Thanks to the unprecedented portability and modularity of the HYRIS bCUBE™ [the hardware device at the basis of the Hyris System™ed.], our System enables us to collect real-time PCR data and to provide any user with instant results anywhere and at any time“. 

Fabbri also addresses the issue of energy consumption, an increasingly sensitive topic in the molecular biology industry. “The Hyris System™ is also green compared to other technologies traditionally used in this field, with an energy consumption similar to a single 20 w light bulb, more than a tenth of that of other comparable devices on the market”.

This new assay has been highly anticipated all over the world, both by the scientific community and healthcare specialists. The test immediately helps answer the crucial question at this pandemic stage: “How long is your COVID immunity good for, whether from a vaccine or prior infection?” The truth is, we do not know for sure yet: the temporal threshold commonly accepted is about three or four months, but the latest variants circulating proved to be more capable of breaking through our immunity.

In front of such a challenging frame, we cannot be content with our knowledge about antibody response, which is just half of the picture”, holds Stefano Lo Priore, Co-Founder and CEO at Hyris. “The other half, T-cell response, is rarely sought due to the technical challenges involved. That is why we aimed for simplicity, by using technology that is widely accessible and can turn around results more quickly. Concludes Lo Priore: “Now that key response about our immunity can be tested affordably and massively, leveraging the immediacy, connectivity, and scalability of the Hyris System™.

Contact a Hyris expert to discover how to perform beyond your current diagnostic capability at

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Image 1: Hyris T-Cell Test finally allows healthcare specialists to depict SARS-CoV-2 specific immunity

A 3D rendering of a T cell. Our knowledge of immunity needs to go beyond antibodies. Hyris new T-Cell Test is finally available to the EU market under CE-IVD certification.

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Automobili Lamborghini’s NFT journey continues countdown to the eight-month “The Epic Road Trip” program releasing new Lamborghini NFTs to collect

New York, NY, Aug. 05, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Following its two successful NFT projects to date, Automobili Lamborghini, in collaboration with NFT PRO™ and INVNT.ATOM™, has commenced a virtual journey that starts from the Moon, crosses Space and continues in iconic locations across the world.

In this new adventure, Lamborghini super sports cars will be the unmissable protagonists of places that the traveler can visit and discover, collecting new NFTs every month for eight months until March 2023. The collection consists of four NFTs released each month for 4 days consecutively and will be available to purchase for 24 hours only. The fourth NFT will be available in a limited edition of just 63 units. At the very end of the campaign, only those who have acquired all the monthly NFTs issued – either the three regular NFTs or three regular plus the limited edition – will receive a special NFT.

To reward loyalty during the campaign, other exclusive surprises will be communicated, including a digital artwork by the Lamborghini Centro Stile produced for “The Epic Road Trip” campaign, for those who purchase two complete monthly collections. For those who have completed the first four months acquisitions there will be the opportunity to participate in a special tour of the Sant’Agata Bolognese’s Headquarters.

“Since 1963, the year of its foundation, Automobili Lamborghini has always led from the front, demonstrating this with its super sports cars that continue to be the protagonists in dreams of children and adults all over the world. Entering the virtual world of modern collecting with NFTs is the natural translation and evolution of that dream,” said Christian Mastro, Marketing Director of Automobili Lamborghini. “NFTs are the new, unconventional and exclusive proposition, paving the way for a new form of expression for the younger generations.”

“Lamborghini loyalists and cryptocurrency fans will be amazed by this next series of drops that culminate in a very special reveal next March,” said Christian Ferri, CEO of NFT PRO™, Lamborghini’s launch partner and expert in engagement with consumers of Web3. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Lamborghini by offering this truly exclusive NFT collection.”

INVNT.ATOM the global digital innovation division of [INVNT GROUP]™; led the creative, strategy, design, content, and marketing communications.

“Our previous collaboration with Lamborghini – auctioning off a 1:1 NFT attached to the last physical Aventador Coupé super sportscar – was a testament to how impactful storytelling at the digital frontier cultivates community and consumer engagement. We’re honored to grow our relationship with Lamborghini and to be partnering with NFT PRO to celebrate innovation and Lamborghini’s 1963 heritage,” said Scott Cullather, President, and CEO of [INVNT GROUP].

The first series of four NFTs will be released starting from 8 August 2022 on the website

Photos and videos:

Information on Automobili Lamborghini:

Media Kit: (High res imagery & bios).


INVNT.ATOM, part of [INVNT GROUP] THE GLOBAL BRANDSTORY PROJECT™, is an innovation and brand experience agency devoted to helping global brands chart a course, navigate, activate, and create new opportunities at the digital frontier of Web3. Based in Singapore, the collective of strategists, marketers, creators, programmers, matchmakers, and thought leaders, turn strategies into stories and stories into experiences, that engage communities on the global stage. For more information about INVNT.ATOM, visit:


[INVNT GROUP] was established as an evolution of the founding global live brand storytelling agency INVNT. Led by President and CEO, Scott Cullather, [INVNT GROUP], THE GLOBAL BRANDSTORY PROJECT™ represents a portfolio of disciplines designed to help forward-thinking organizations innovate and impact audiences everywhere. The GROUP consists of modern brand strategy firm, Folk Hero; creative-led culture consultancy, Meaning; production studio & creative agency, HEVĒ; events for colleges and universities, INVNT Higher Ed; digital innovation division, INVNT.ATOM; creative multimedia studio, Hypnogram; and the original live brand storytelling agency, INVNT. For more information about INVNT.ATOM, visit:

About NFT PRO™

NFT PRO is a white -label NFT solution for enterprises, helping brands strategize, create, and sell NFT’s to customers, fans, and collectors. Their proprietary methodology and software take the guesswork from setting up and executing an NFT strategy and ensure consistent results and brand safety for every campaign. NFT PRO simplifies creating and executing NFT campaigns that are both effective and on-brand. For more information about NFT PRO, visit:


For “The Epic Road Trip” campaign & press enquiries:
Paola Cracknell

For [INVNT GROUP] and INVNT.ATOM press enquiries:
Jhonathan Mendez de Leon

For NFT Pro press enquiries:
Devashish “Dev” Sarkar

CTED to brief Security Council meeting on Secretary-General’s latest report on threats posed by ISIL/Da’esh

The United Nations Security Council will hold a briefing on 9 August 2022 on the Secretary-General’s latest biannual report on the evolving and global threats posed by ISIL/Da’esh.

Mr. Weixiong Chen, Acting Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), and Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), will brief the 15-member Council about details in the report.

Amid evolving threats, strengthening multilateral and multidimensional counter-terrorism action hinges on strong partnerships, stated observations in the Fifteenth report of the Secretary-General on the threat posed by ISIL (Da’esh) to international peace and security and the range of United Nations efforts in support of Member States in countering the threat (S/2022/576). Efforts include those of the members of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact to support the balanced implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, reflecting responses that are gender-sensitive and firmly anchored in the rule of law and human rights.

The current threat landscape also underscores the need for comprehensive responses to counter and prevent terrorism, and while Member States have the primary responsibility in that regard, international cooperation remains indispensable, the Secretary-General stated in the report.

Recognized challenges during the reporting period include the following highlights:

• One Member State reported that, among the persons held in 11 camps and approximately 20 facilities in north-east Syria, there were 30,000 children under the age of 12 at risk of Da’esh indoctrination.

• Another Member State highlighted that Da’esh continued to focus indoctrination efforts on children through the “Cubs of the Caliphate” programme, aimed at creating a new generation of extremists, many of whom are approaching or have reached adulthood.

• One Member State noted that approximately 10,000 foreign terrorist fighters remained in the custody of the Syrian Democratic Forces.

• Da’esh significantly increased the use of unmanned aerial systems (drones) in the past year, and one Member State highlighted such use in northern Iraq. With the commercial availability of low-cost and high-tech unmanned aerial systems, which are difficult to track, groups like Da’esh can identify and attack targets with a high degree of accuracy. In some cases, it was noted that Da’esh had used such systems to attack freighters.

• Da’esh has also used front companies to acquire such systems in Asia, Canada, and the United States, subsequently converting them to lethal use. One Member State reported that, to evade detection, anti-aircraft weapons and unmanned aerial systems were sourced from spare parts and later assembled.

On a more positive note, the report also pointed to progress made across regions and action areas, from the launch of the Tech Against Terror initiative to workshops with law enforcement and intelligence officers on human rights-compliant counter-terrorism responses, including:

• The joint project Regional Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience Strategy for Areas Affected by Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin Region, saw the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), CTED, and UNOCT continue to support Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria in strengthening cross-border cooperation and developing comprehensive and tailored approaches to screening, prosecution, rehabilitation, and reintegration. A related joint initiative in close collaboration with the Lake Chad Basin Commission hosted a bilateral Niger-Nigeria cooperation workshop, a regional workshop for countries in the region, and a national workshop for Cameroon.

• UNOCT partnered with UNODC, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on a regional workshop on good practices in border security management for law enforcement officers from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, and the Niger.

• The Central Africa regional office of OHCHR, supported by UNOCT, concluded a four-year project aimed at enhancing the capacity of Cameroonian officials with regard to human rights, the rule of law, and counter-terrorism.

• UNODC and CTED continued to partner in providing capacity-building support to Mozambique in collecting and preserving evidence while implementing a national asset-freezing mechanism, supporting inter-agency cooperation, and developing a national counter-terrorism strategy.

• CTED led a pilot consultation process with Uganda to identify technical assistance needs for implementing targeted initiatives.

• CTED and UNOCT supported the Executive Office for Control and Non-Proliferation of the United Arab Emirates with the implementation of targeted financial sanctions.

• UNOCT partnered with the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) to deliver a series of capacity-building initiatives for Iraqi law enforcement and intelligence officers on human rights-compliant responses to terrorism.

• UNODC, CTED, and UNOCT continued to partner with Indonesia to develop effective practices for the management, rehabilitation, and reintegration of violent extremist prisoners and offenders charged with or convicted of terrorism-related offences.

• CTED contributed to “all-of-United Nations” activities to support Member States in eliminating the supply of small arms and light weapons to terrorists and improving the use of biometrics in border control.

• CTED supported the work of Financial Action Task Force-style regional bodies in their respective plenary meetings and thematic events and ensured consistency between the outcomes of mutual evaluations and the recommendations made in the assessments conducted on behalf of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) – the Counter-Terrorism Committee.

• UNOCT, in collaboration with the Financial Action Task Force of Latin America and with CTED support, convened a regional conference on implementing targeted financial sanctions and enhancing international cooperation and domestic coordination to counter the financing of terrorism in the region.

• A dedicated initiative of Tech Against Terrorism, the CTED-initiated public-private partnership, featured an expert group meeting on the use of artificial intelligence for social network analysis and an expert round table on counter-terrorism and unmanned aerial systems digital forensics (jointly launched by UNOCT, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), and the European Union).

• The Global Programme to Counter Terrorist Attacks against Vulnerable Targets held CTED-led consultations on the level of capacity and preparedness, produced national action plans for Togo and Tunisia, and provided capacity-building support to more than 150 officials from the two countries.

• The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) and CTED continued to implement activities under the initiative on the responsible use and sharing of biometrics in counter-terrorism and the provisions of Security Council resolution 2396 (2017), in particular through the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact. This included regional and national workshops to enhance capacities on the responsible use of biometric data for South-East Asia and Central Asia, including Tajikistan and Thailand.

Source: UN Security Council

Progress of Retail Central Bank Digital Currency (Retail CBDC) Development

Ms. Vachira Arromdee, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Thailand (BOT), has noted that central banks around the world have focused closely on the development of Retail CBDC and see the potential of Retail CBDC1 as being the foundation of the future financial system.

The BOT has been among the first central banks to recognize the importance of CBDC as a novel financial infrastructure, with the potential to increase opportunities for businesses and the general public to have more convenient and greater access to diverse financial services with lower costs. In addition to previous Wholesale CBDC 2 projects and Proof-of-Concept Retail CBDC testing with corporates, the BOT deems it necessary to extend the scope of Retail CBDC development to a Pilot phase in which real-life application of Retail CBDC will be conducted in cooperation with the private sector within a limited scale. The BOT will assess the benefits and associated risks from the Pilot in order to formulate related policies and improve the CBDC design in the future. The Pilot will be separated into two tracks, as follows:

1. Foundation track to assess the system’s efficiency and safety including the technological design. During this phase, CBDC will be used in conducting cash-like activities, such as paying for goods and services, within limited areas and scale of approximately 10,000 retail users selected by the BOT along with three companies3, namely the Bank of Ayudhya Public Company Limited, Siam Commercial Bank Public Company Limited, and 2C2P (Thailand) Company Limited. This phase of testing will adopt technology developed by Giesecke+Devrient4 and is expected to begin at the end of 2022 and last until mid-2023.

2. Innovation track to focus on programmability which will facilitate the development of innovative use cases for CBDC, resulting in new financial services for a wide range of customers. This will help the BOT develop and improve the design of CBDC to suit the Thai context in the future. The BOT will allow the private sector and the public to participate in presenting business use cases for Retail CBDC via a “CBDC Hackathon”. Those who wish to participate in the Hackathon can apply during 5 August – 12 September 2022. Selected participants or teams will receive mentorship from experienced financial institution participants from Project Inthanon5 (further details will be announced on the BOT website).

The BOT reiterates that this Retail CBDC Pilot is part of the study and development of Retail CBDC to assess the suitability of technology and CBDC design. At present, the BOT does not have plans to issue Retail CBDC as the issuance requires thorough consideration of benefits and associated risks for the financial system.

As stated, this Retail CBDC Pilot will be conducted under a limited scale with selected participants; hence, the BOT warns the public to be cautious of frauds and scams claiming to provide Retail CBDC-related services or investments.

Source: Bank of Thailand

Tensions with U.S. spur Chinese buying of chipmaking stocks

SHANGHAI, Chinese chipmakers’ shares jumped by the most in two years this week as House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan heightened tensions with the U.S., driving patriotic bets on a sector Beijing sees as key to its rivalry with Washington.

The surge in interest in chipmaking stocks, which had lost more than a third of their value over the past year on valuation concerns, came after the U.S. Senate last week passed the “Chips and Science” Act to better compete with China.

China’s semiconductor index rose 6.8% on Friday to a four-month high, bringing the week’s gains to 14.2%, the best weekly performance since mid-2020.

Although the U.S. Chip Act would further restrict the use of advanced U.S. technologies in China, while prodding more semiconductor investment in the U.S, some investors interpret it as good news for local Chinese players.

“Domestic chipmakers will have huge opportunities to replace imported products,” said Niu Chunbao, director of investment at private fund house Wanji Asset, adding local players could see explosive growth.

This view was echoed by Guorong Securities, which said in a note that the U.S. Chip Act will “stimulate the development of China’s semiconductor industry”.

Shares in Shenzhen China Micro Semicon Co Ltd soared 82% on their first day of trading in Shanghai, in contrast with weaker recent stock market debuts.

Chinese chipmaking giant Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) jumped 7.1% in Hong Kong and 4.4% in Shanghai . The SSE STAR Chip Index surged 8.3%.

But Chinese chipmakers are expensive compared with their global peers, at a time when the prospect of a global economic recession threatens chip demand.

The global industry, which suffered from supply-chain snags during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, now faces weak demand as inflation and recession fears reduce orders for chips used in everything from cars to mobile phones.

China’s sector trades at around 57 times earnings, and remains the priciest sector in China’s stock market.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service

Blinken Urges Transparency From Cambodia on China-Funded Naval Base

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday urged the Cambodian government to open the naval base it is modernizing with Chinese funds, saying use of the site would pose a threat to Southeast Asia if used for China’s defense.

Blinken, in Phnom Penh to participate in the ASEAN regional meeting, hosted this year by Cambodia, called for calm in the face of China’s live-fire response in the waters surrounding Taiwan in reaction to this week’s visit to the self-governing island by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Blinken also said ASEAN member nations should counter the military junta that grabbed power in Myanmar in February 2021 by seeking “ways to put more pressure on the regime — economic pressure, political pressure. They should engage with all of the representatives of the people of Myanmar, including the National Unity Government.”

He added, “We have to press the regime to allow humanitarian assistance to reach [the] people in Myanmar. And we should look at ways to make sure that weapons don’t get to the regime.”

While in Phnom Penh, Blinken held wide-ranging talks with Hun Sen, Cambodia’s leader since 1985, that included discussions of how to help get the nation’s cashew and mango crops into the world market, and the return of its far-flung looted artifacts, “something I feel very strongly about, protecting culture,” he told VOA Khmer.

The talks drilled down on what Blinken called “the importance of strengthening democracy here in Cambodia, and in particular making sure that as elections are going forward next year, that they’re truly representative and inclusive.

“This is something of course that Cambodia has done before: having multiparty elections. And the United States is not in favor of any particular person or any particular party. We’re in favor of a process, a democratic process, that allows everyone in Cambodia to feel like they’re being represented in the elections and ultimately in government.”

Hun Sen’s government has been criticized for its actions chilling democracy, most recently in suing the opposition party chair for alleging May elections were unfair.

In discussing the Ream Naval Base, in southwestern Cambodia, Blinken told VOA Khmer that U.S. concern “is first and foremost in making sure that Cambodia has a truly independent foreign policy, and is not, does not feel pressured, of course, by anyone.

“And when it comes to the Ream Naval Base, I think countries throughout the region would be very concerned if any one country had exclusive control or use of any portion of the base, or was doing anything there that undermined the security of other countries in the region. So, I think it’s important to have transparency and to make sure that the base is open to all, and not the exclusive use of any one country.”

The U.S. has alleged that China will maintain a military presence at Ream Naval Base, Beijing’s second such overseas outpost and its first in the strategically significant Indo-Pacific region. It also has a post in Djibouti, at the mouth of the Red Sea.

Tea Banh, Cambodia’s defense minister, said in June that the Ream base would most likely not be open for full examination by any foreigners after completion. He said that Cambodia would not allow any foreign military base on its soil and “has no intention to provoke any threats to any country, and Cambodia is never against other countries ‘military building efforts.’ ”

“Cambodia just wants to strengthen its protection capacities to curb against pressure and impacts of the current geopolitics competition,” he said, adding: “Cambodia has no policy to choose one country against one country.”

In October, the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh told VOA Khmer that the Cambodian government had “not been fully transparent about the intent, nature, and scope of this project.”

The Wall Street Journal in 2019 also reported that China has signed an agreement to have People’s Liberation Army officers stationed at the naval base. Satellite imagery has shown the demolition of buildings at the base, some built by the U.S., and the recent construction of two structures on the northern half of the base.

Ream is on the Gulf of Thailand near the South China Sea, where China has claimed sovereignty and disregarded international law.

The U.S. and other nations worry that China could use a Cambodian base to enforce those claims and heighten regional tensions, which are currently white hot due to the Taiwan visit by Pelosi, a longtime China critic.

Blinken addressed Pelosi’s visit, saying, “Speaker Pelosi is from our legislative branch, which is an independent, coequal branch of government. And she has the — had the right to make that visit, as many members of our Congress have visited Taiwan, including this year.

“But regardless of that, China’s reaction is so disproportionate and so dangerous. Whatever it feels about the visit, launching 11 ballistic missiles over Taiwan, sending its ships all around Taiwan. Five of the missiles that it launched landed near Japan. And I think what you’re hearing from countries throughout the region, including ASEAN, which put out a statement, is real concern about how destabilizing and dangerous these actions can be.”

Blinken said the United States “is not going to engage in any provocative actions of our own. We think the seas should be calmed. The Taiwan Strait is of vital importance to virtually every country in the region – so much commerce goes through there. If that were interrupted, it would have a terrible impact on the global economy, and on everyone’s desire to recover from COVID.”

About 48% of the world’s 5,400 operational container ships passed through the Taiwan Strait in the first seven months of this year, according to Bloomberg.

Sophal Ear, a scholar of Cambodia’s politics and development at Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management, told VOA Khmer on Friday, “I think Secretary of State Blinken has reiterated what has been known for years: that Cambodia should be open and transparent on Ream Naval Base and that the exclusive use of Ream by any one country— China, in this case — is a dangerous precedent that should not be permitted. From a regional perspective, it destabilizes the Southeast Asian region.”

On June 8, 2022, Cambodia and China held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Ream Naval Base.

The Beijing-funded project will include construction of meeting buildings; warehouses; leisure buildings; restaurants; a sports facility; a welcome center; electricity, water and sewage infrastructure; a drydock and slipway for repairing all vessels; and two new piers and restoration of the existing one, according to Chau Phirun, the Cambodian defense ministry’s director-general for logistics and technical services, who spoke at the ceremony.

“The project will take 24 months and use the technical forces of [the] Chinese People’s Liberation Army and large companies which have experience in China,” he said.

Source: Voice of America