London Tops List of Seven Most Competitive Cities of the World

London Tops List of Seven Most Competitive Cities of the World

Los Angeles, Beijing, Shanghai, Washington DC on List of Contender Cities

According to a report by real estate consultant JLL and The Business of Cities, London, New York, Paris, Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul are among the seven most competitive cities in the world. The South Korean capital is a new addition to the list in 2017, while the other Asian cities have been included since 2013.

“Seoul has stepped up to join the top six ‘Established World Cities’ due to increasing openness, exceptional digital connectivity, the presence of innovative global firms and robust infrastructure,” says Jeremy Kelly, Director in Global Research, JLL. “Once a traditionally closed market, Seoul is widening its international talent base with the presence of many multinationals, making the city highly competitive on a global level.”

Singapore and Hong Kong maintain stronghold as global cities

Singapore, which ranks at number four of the seven, continues to build its position as a truly global gateway, with an emphasis on being a smart city. According to Mr. Kelly, “To retain its ranking as a global city, Singapore needs to continue fostering its innovation economy and presenting itself as a hub for talent and business.”

Similarly, Hong Kong, in sixth place, continues to punch above its weight as a global city. However, it faces stiff competition from other Chinese cities, with questions raised over its future direction due to political uncertainties, and affordability issues.

“Hong Kong faces both challenges and opportunities from increasing integration with China,” explains Dr. Megan Walters, Head of Research, Asia Pacific, JLL. “On the one hand, it faces huge competition from the likes of Shanghai and Shenzhen. On the other, there are new opportunities especially when it comes to internationalizing the Chinese economy, notably with the Belt and Road Initiative.”

Tokyo climbs back up rankings after slipping in past years

Tokyo currently places at fifth position in the top seven ‘Established World Cities’ list, an improvement on its sixth position in 2015.

“Tokyo has faced challenges with limited economic growth over the past few decades, and is taking steps to become as international as other ‘Established World Cities’, which have made strong advances in their ability to attract international talent, international capital and build international connectivity,” explains Dr Walters. “But the Olympics in 2020 is providing an impetus for Tokyo’s revival as it improves its infrastructure and internationalizes further.”

Competition among global cities

In Asia, issues such as poor air quality and income inequality could potentially hamper governments’ efforts to move up the city rankings. City growth is also impacted by geopolitical uncertainties – the rise of protectionism across the globe and military escalations in Asia have all altered perceptions about which cities appear to be ‘safe bets’ or present higher risks for investment.

As more cities are becoming competitive, a second tier group of 10 ‘Contenders’ has emerged, close on the heels of the ‘Big Seven’. According to the report, China’s ‘Alpha Cities’ – Beijing and Shanghai – are part of this rising group of emerging hubs as the country’s Belt and Road Initiative represents the next step in these cities’ global pathway. The other ‘Contender’ cities identified globally are Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, Madrid, Sydney and Washington DC.

With more than 300 city indices currently measuring all aspects of urban life, The Universe of City Indices 2017: Decoding City Performance includes an analysis of 44 of them spanning seven factors: corporate presence, city gateway function, market size, infrastructure platform, access to talent, specialization and innovation, and soft power.

“These indices have a bearing on how we understand city dynamics and serve to guide investors, businesses and employees as they make location choices. They point to which cities have the ingredients for future success and help steer the real estate industry in its response to the rapidly changing urban landscape,” concludes Mr. Kelly.

The ‘Big Seven’ cities of the world comprises:

  1. London
  2. New York
  3. Paris
  4. Singapore
  5. Tokyo
  6. Hong Kong
  7. Seoul

The ‘Contenders’ comprises:

  1. Los Angeles
  2. Shanghai
  3. Beijing
  4. Amsterdam
  5. Chicago
  6. San Francisco
  7. Toronto
  8. Madrid
  9. Sydney
  10. Washington DC

Courtesy: World Property Journal

Middle East Investors Globally Deploy $10 Billion in Commercial Real Estate

Middle East Investors Globally Deploy $10 Billion in Commercial Real Estate

New York, London, Washington DC Top Target Cities

According to global property advisor CBRE, Middle Eastern investment in global commercial real estate reached $10.1 billion in the 12 months leading up to Q2 2017, with the United States the top country target, while New York City and Washington are among the leading cities.

After a period of exceptionally strong investment activity, outbound investments from the Middle East eased and returned to similar levels as recorded in 2013 and 2014. The Middle East nevertheless remains a major source of capital globally, representing 8 percent of total cross-regional investments between Q2 2016 and Q2 2017.

The U.S. is the top country destination for Middle East investment volume, reaching $3.9 billion in the year to Q2 2017, slightly down from $10.3 billion during the same period in the previous year. London ($1.68 billion) was the leading city target for Middle Eastern investors, followed by New York ($820 million) and Washington, D.C. ($469 million).

“Investors from the Middle East remain active buyers in the global real estate market and continue to target core assets with long leases in safe-haven locations. The recent decline in oil price only strengthened the case for investors to diversify their income streams, both in terms of asset classes and geographies; they are taking a long-term view,” said Chris Ludeman, Global President, Capital Markets, CBRE.

“While investors from other global regions are largely focused on the traditional commercial real estate sectors such as offices, retail and logistics, Middle Eastern buyers typically have a strong appetite for alternative asset classes such as hotels, residential, student housing and healthcare, as well as infrastructure,” added Mr. Ludeman.

In line with previous years, Sovereign Wealth Funds remain the largest source of Middle Eastern capital, acquiring $5.4 billion in real estate assets globally between Q2 2016 and Q2 2017, although this represents a decline of 17 percent year-over-year. High net worth individuals and private investors from the region were less active compared to previous years, which indicates that this group might be more susceptible to adverse market conditions.

“It is becoming increasingly challenging to secure core assets with long leases in the current market environment, particularly with Asian buyers raising exposure to this segment, meaning investors need to be aggressive to win deals. Despite the impact on short-term outflows, the Middle East region remains an important source of global capital with buying activity likely to increase over time,” added Mr. Ludeman.

Courtesy: World Property Journal

New York City: 8 dead and 12 injured after pickup truck plows into bicyclists

Police have arrested a man who allegedly drove a pickup truck along a busy bicycle lane, killing eight people. The terror strike has claimed the lives of five Argentinean tourists as well as one German citizen.

Watch video04:09

Truck attack in New York: DW’s Carsten von Nahmen, journalist James Reinl

Eight people died and 12 others were seriously injured on Tuesday after a man driving a pickup truck plowed through people along a busy bicycle lane in New York City before hitting a school bus, officials said.

The suspect, a 29-year-old man identified as Sayfullo Saipov, had been planning the attack “for a number of weeks,” New York Police Department’s Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence John Miller said at a press conference on Wednesday morning.

Read moreFrom Uber to terror: Who is the New York City attacker?

Watch video00:30

New York Mayor: ‘We will not be moved by terror’

Miller added that the Saipov carried out the attack “in the name of ISIS,” using an acronym for the militant “Islamic State” (IS) group, as indicated by notes found in the truck.

“Multiple knives” were also recovered from the vehicle as well as imitation guns.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the suspect was a “depraved coward” who tried to create terror.

The incident occurred in lower Manhattan shortly after 3 p.m. local time (1900 UTC) near West Side Highway and Chambers Street. The driver was shot and then taken into custody by police. Police opened fire after he exited the rental truck armed with a paintball gun and a pellet gun. He is expected to survive.

Police officials on Wednesday confirmed that the suspect was a legal permanent resident who came to the US from Uzbekistan in March 2010. He had not been the subject of either a police investigation or an FBI investigation.

Notorious tabloid New York Post said he was an Uber driver, which was later confirmed by the ride hailing company itself.

Read more:

– Facebook, Google, Twitter agree on plan to counter Islamist terror

– Boston man convicted of plotting to behead blogger for ‘Islamic State’

– EU introduces new measures to combat ‘low-tech’ terrorism

Who were the victims?

Five of the victims killed in the attack came from Argentina, the country’s foreign ministry and US officials confirmed. They were part of a group of friends celebrating the 30th anniversary of their graduation.

A German national and two US citizens also died in the attack, New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said at Wednesday’s press conference. Earlier, Belgium’s foreign minister said a Belgian national was also killed in the attack. It remains unclear whether one of the victims was a dual national.

Of the 12 wounded, four people are in critical but stable condition while five are in serious condition.

One of the survivors suffered two amputations while others sustained “serious head, neck, back and chest trauma, and trauma to arms and legs,” Nigro said.

Two adults and two children traveling in the school bus at the time of the crash were also among the injured.

Watch video03:40

New York in shock after terrorist attack

Act of terror

US President Donald Trump condemned the attack and ordered newly tightened security checks on immigrants be strengthened even further. He indicated the incident was a terror attack linked to IS.

On Wednesday, Trump noted that the attacker entered the country through the “Diversity Visa Lottery Program” and called on lawmakers to “immediately” begin working on scrapping the program. The visa program applies to countries with low rates of immigration to the US.

He also said he will consider sending the suspected attacker to the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!” the president wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

“I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!”

I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!

Read more: US restarts stricter refugee program, 11 countries still banned

Trump also released a statement expressing thanks to the first responders “who stopped the suspect and rendered immediate aid to the victims of this cowardly attack. These brave men and women embody the true American spirit of resilience and courage.”

Multiple bikes are crushed along a bike path in lower Manhattan in New York, (Reuters/B. McDermid)Witnesses described a scene of panic with people screaming in fear and the path strewn with bodies

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the incident “an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians.”

Anonymously quoted police officials told the Associated Press the suspect had shouted “Allahu Akbar” after exiting the vehicle.

Police Commissioner James O’Neill told journalists that the method of attack and the suspect’s statement enabled officials “to label this a terrorist event.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called it a “lone wolf” attack, saying there was no evidence of a wider plot.

A spokesperson for the US Department of Homeland Security said it was an “apparent act of terrorism.”

rs, aw, amp/jm (Reuters, AP, dpa)

COURTESY: DW

Drone footage captures moment 80-yo New York bridge is demolished (VIDEOS)

Drone footage captures moment 80-yo New York bridge is demolished (VIDEOS)
A drone has captured remarkable footage of demolition crews imploding the remnants of an old bridge that had connected the New York boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens for 78 years.

The old Kosciuszko Bridge carried vehicles over Newtown Creek in New York City from 1939 until a new bridge was opened in April of this year.

Sunday’s controlled demolition, which was the first ever implosion of a major bridge in New York City, will allow for the completion of the second span of the bridge which is set to be completed in 2020.

READ MORE: ‘Akin to barbarity’: Moscow furious over demolition of monument to Red Army soldiers in Poland

An estimated 22 million pounds of scrap metal is set to be recovered from the bridge and recycled, the office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

“After years of stagnation and stunted ambition, we are building across the state bigger and better than before,”Governor Cuomo said.

The bridge is named after a Polish soldier, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, who fought in the American Revolutionary War.

The cost of the project to replace the bridge is set to cost $873 million.

Courtesy, RT

Which US cities could North Korea’s ballistic missile hit?

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has claimed his country could strike any target in the US after its latest intercontinental ballistic missile test. How true are his claims, and what actually is the reach of these ICBMs?

Nordkorea - Raketentest (Reuters/KCNA)

Kim, announcing the second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test, said it demonstrated that North Korea could launch “at any place and time.” The KCNA also quoted him as saying that “the test confirmed all the US mainland is within our striking range.”

But should these claims be taken seriously? Can North Korean ICBMs really strike any target in the US? After all, North Korean leaders are known for exaggerating their nuclear and missile program achievements.

Read: What is an intercontinental ballistic missile?

Standard trajectory and altitude

But it seems that Pyongyang is not entirely incorrect about its ICMB claims.

Military analysts say the latest North Korean ballistic missile appeared to have a range of around 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles), which would put the US mainland within its reach.

“Based on current information, today’s missile test by North Korea could easily reach the US West Coast, and a number of major US cities,” arms expert David Wright of the Union of Concerned Scientists said on his blog.

Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago appear to be well within range of the ICBM, which may also be capable of hitting Boston and New York, Wright said.

North Korean officials said the latest missile had flown for 47 minutes and reached an altitude of more than 3,700 kilometers. On a standard trajectory, the missile would have a range of 10,400 kilometers.

Read: North Korea’s war of words with the world

Infografik North Korea's missile ranges

 Earth’s rotation boosts range

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, North Korea launched its missile on a high trajectory to allow it to fall into the Sea of Japan rather than fly over Japan. However, it was still possible to calculate the range.

If fired eastward, the rotation of the Earth could also increase the range of the missile, meaning the missiles have different ranges depending on the direction they are fired in.

Los Angeles is at a distance of 9,500 kilometers from North Korea, and the calculated range of the missile toward the city is 11,700 kilometers, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. If fired in the direction of Boston, the missile range would be 10,750 kilometers – still just about enough to reach the city.

New York would also be roughly in range, but Washington DC would probably be just outside the strike area.

The organization stressed that the missile range also depends on the mass of the payload it carries. A heavier payload than that used in the test flight might mean the range would be reduced.

Read: Rockets boost North Korean economy

Infografik Timeline Nordkoreas Raketentests 05.07.2017 ENG

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White supremacist who killed black man in New York charged with terrorism

White supremacist who killed black man in New York charged with terrorism
The self-professed white supremacist who admits to traveling to New York specifically to kill black men is facing terrorism charges after fatally stabbing a black man with a sword. He also faces a hate crime charge for the murder.

On Monday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. announced the indictment of James Jackson, 28, who is being charged with first and second-degree murder as an act of terrorism, as well as second-degree murder as a hate crime and three counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

James Jackson prowled the streets of New York for three days in search of a black person to assassinate in order to launch a campaign of terrorism against our Manhattan community and the values we celebrate,” Vance said.

Jackson, an Army veteran living in Baltimore, allegedly took the bus to New York City, where he stalked several black men with the aim of killing them. However, sources who saw footage of Jackson stalking one black man say he got “spooked” by his potential victim.

He appeared to be very close, following a black guy,” a law enforcement source told the New York Daily News. “He slows down and at one point he turned around and came back. It’s clear he was really focused on the guy for some time. Then, he falls out of camera view and doesn’t attack the guy. He made statements that he was following the guy but something spooked him.

In the Monday press release, the Manhattan DA said Jackson chose to travel to New York because it is “the media capital of the world, and a place where people of different races live together and love one another.

James Jackson wanted to kill black men, planned to kill black men, and then did kill a black man. We must never take for granted New York’s remarkable diversity. We must celebrate it, protect it, and refuse to let violence and hate undermine the progress we have made as a city, a state, and a nation,” Vance said.

On March 20, Jackson found Timothy Caughman, 66,  gathering plastic bottles for recycling. Jackson stabbed Caughman in the back and chest with an 18-inch blade several times. Caughman managed to stumble into the Midtown South Precinct station house on West 35th Street, where paramedics rushed him to Bellevue Hospital. He later died from his injuries.

More than 24 hours later, Jackson walked into an NYPD station in Times Square and surrendered himself to the police. He admitted to killing Caughman and said he did it because of his deep-seated rage against black men. Jackson also informed police that he was a member of a white supremacist group.

Jackson was sent to Rikers Island, where he had an interview with New York Daily News on Sunday.

He said he intended for the first murder to be “a practice run.” But after killing Caughman, Jackson says he got “depressed.”

I saw it was too late. It’s irreversible,” he said, adding, “I didn’t want to put my family through any more pain.

Jackson told reporters that he wished he would have rather killed “a young thug” or “a successful older black man with blondes … people you see in Midtown.

I’m sorry I killed that man,” Jackson said. “It was pitch black, I picked a dark place. I didn’t know he was elderly.

Jackson said he originally planned to kill multiple black men in order to deter white women from interracial relationships. He hoped that white women would see the crimes he committed, and think to themselves, “‘Well, if that guy feels so strongly about it, maybe I shouldn’t do it.’

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called Jackson’s alleged crimes “domestic, racist terrorism.

The killing of Timothy Caughman is domestic, racist terrorism. We must fight the current atmosphere of hate around the country.

More than an unspeakable human tragedy, this is an assault on what makes this the greatest city in the world: our inclusiveness and our diversity,” de Blasio said in a statement released Thursday. “Now it’s our collective responsibility to speak clearly and forcefully in the face of intolerance and violence — here or across the country. We are a safe city because we are inclusive. We are a nation of unrivaled strength because we are diverse. No act of violence can undermine who we are.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said that Jackson’s crimes need to be “treated the same way as we treat ISIS,” according to New York Daily News.

Jackson says that he doesn’t understand how the hate crime charge applies to him.

“I don’t hate anyone I don’t think is on my level,” he said during the interview with the New York Daily News.

Blizzard watch issued for New York, Boston as storm forecast to hit Northeast

Forecasters said Sunday there’s a blizzard watch for coastal regions including New York City and Boston for Monday night into Tuesday.

National Weather Service officials said there also is a winter storm watch for a larger area that includes much of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, upstate New York and New England.

The severe weather comes just a week after the region saw temperatures climb into the 60s. The chilly weather and snow some areas got on Friday is expected to be just a teaser.

“It’s a noticeable difference. It’s going to be a cold week,” said Brian Hurley, a meteorologist at the weather service’s Weather Prediction Center in Maryland.

The blizzard watch for the New York metro area encompasses New York City along with Long Island, coastal Connecticut and southern Westchester County.

Carlie Buccola, a weather service meteorologist based on Long Island, said a snowfall of 12 to 18 inches is predicted for the area along with sustained winds up to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. Visibility could be a quarter mile or less, Buccola said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that the New York State Emergency Operations Center will be activated Monday evening, with stockpiles of sandbags, generators and pumps at the ready.

The lower Hudson Valley and northeastern New Jersey could also get 12 to 18 inches of snow, Buccola said. The blizzard watch is not extended to those areas because high winds and low visibility are not expected.

Southern Rhode Island and coastal Massachusetts could possibly receive those blizzard conditions.

Washington is not officially under a winter storm watch but Hurley said the city could get 4 to 8 inches of snow.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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