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Biden, Putin arrive in Geneva for high-stakes summit

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Russian President Putin and US President Biden have arrived in Geneva.

Why the Biden and Putin summit could change the world | TICKER VIEWS

As the new US President prepares to meet Russia’s Vladimir Putin in Geneva, foreign countries, from Europe, to the Baltic States and China, are left wondering what sort of decisions will be made, and how it will impact them. This is Joe Biden’s moment. And this summit could have major consequences for the world ahead.

It’s not the first time Joe Biden has met Vladimir Putin. But it’s tne first time as President of the United States. Earlier this week at the NATO summit, Joe Biden referred to Putin as a “worth adversary”.

So it’s no wonder they chose Switzerland as the location for their meeting. This is a meeting that will start, at least, in a neutral space.

We’re expecting a very different tone compared to the meeting between Putin and Donald Trump in Helsinki. Back then, Trump decided to meet Putin without aides in Helsinki for a one on one meeting.

Joe Biden is far more hawkish towards Russia, and has been building support this week from leaders across Europe.

Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin will beat their chests
Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin will beat their chests
https://twitter.com/tickerNEWSco/status/1405081910049529859?s=20

What’s on the agenda

It’s what we don’t know, but later find out, that is always intriguing for any watcher of global politics.

But what we do know is we can expect lots of talk about signals – issues like Russia’s treatment of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and his imprisonment in Russia.

Navalny flew back to Russia in January and was arrested at passport control.

Vladimir Putin has refused to give any guarantee that the opposition leader Alexei Navalny will get out of prison alive.

These sorts of issues become major news around the world, but really, there’s so much more going on behind the scenes that impacts the daily lives of millions of us who live outside of Moscow and Washington.

With respect to Navalny, issues like this are a smokescreen for far broader issues.

Alexei Navalny is still in prison
Alexei Navalny is still in prison

Cyber hacking

Not a week goes by without a major cyber attack somewhere in the world. And the finger is almost always pointed towards Russia. Either people working for the Russian government, or Russians no longer living in Russia.

The FBI is currently investigating a major hack against the world’s largest meat processing company, which forced the company to close its operations in the US and Australia. JBS ended up paying the ransom, believed to have been demanded by Russian hackers.

Ransomware attacks involve malware that encrypts files on a device or network causing the system to become inoperable. Criminals behind these types of cyberattacks typically demand a ransom in exchange for the release of data.

The Kremlin has denied claims that it has launched cyberattacks against the United States.

Russia has been blamed for hacking foreign governments and business.

Will there be a change in relations?

Experts can only hope, but know it’s highly unlikely. Vladimir Putin is a strongman, and the best outcome from this meeting would be a return to “mutual respect”. To get that, Joe Biden needs to go in tough, as tough as Putin.

For anyone watching over a long period of time, through the Cold War and even recent years, it’s as if the leaders of Russia and the United States both need each other.

For the US, Russia poses an omni-present threat. A reason to keep its bases around the world. A reason to do business with countries it might otherwise avoid due to public sentiment.

For Russia, well, the people love a strongman. It’s as if Russia has middle child syndrome. Always wanting to play with the big boys, but suffering from an economy which is smaller than Australia’s. With a heavy reliance on natural resources but unable to control the price, and therefore it’s future.

What will they agree on?

For all their disagreements, Russia and the United States have a lot in common. They both play in similar territories. They both have relationships with China, and Moscow is probably envious that it’s once smaller sibling is quickly outgrowing them in terms of regional power.

The US and Russia both have similar views on tackling climate change and controlling nuclear arms and the countries that might get hold of them. It’s these issues we might see some progress from this meeting.

But aside from “strategic stability”, whatever that means, there’s unlikely to be an end in sight to this sibling squabble. Siblings, with nuclear weapons.

Tech

TICKER NEWS is available on podcast apps

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For the first time, TICKER NEWS is now available on podcast apps, allowing you to hear the latest news, plus special programs

TICKER NEWS is now available as a podcast.

You can catch up on the latest news, or programs devoted to special topics including U.S. politics and TICKER AIR.

TICKER CEO Ahron Young says:

“TICKER always puts the story first. Video is in our DNA, but we want TICKER content to be available however our audience wants to enjoy it.”

“We are putting significant resources into TICKER content to make sure we get to the heart of the stories we cover.”

TICKER AIR is one of the podcasts available from TICKER

The first podcast to air is TICKER AIR, cohosted by Ahron Young and Geoffrey Thomas from Airlineratings.com

Every day, two full world news bulletins will be available, as well as three special documentary programs.

TICKER podcasts are available daily on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts. Just search TICKER NEWS to subscribe.

APPLE PODCAST – https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/ticker-news/id1632145760

SPOTIFY – https://open.spotify.com/show/3iidnXUXPDVWG2QMEhN0Kt?si=e2e195a8ee584fa6

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Tech

Five reasons it’s so expensive to travel right now

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We’ve been waiting years to go on holiday, but wow it’s expensive to fly. Here are the five reasons it’s so expensive to travel right now

Remember the good old days of competition in the travel industry? Those were the days. Now every time you look to book a flight, the prices are soaring. Even if you want to use your points.

The airline industry is complex, so a total shut down of the industry was always going to have long term effects. The long hangover from the shutdowns and lockdowns are with us.

So let’s break down the five key reasons your flight is so expensive.

“Revenge travel”

It’s not just you who wants to go overseas and change up the scenery. Everyone else is thinking the same thing.

And as the northern hemisphere enjoys its first lockdown free summer in years, everyone is clamouring to use all that saved up cash, topped up with government assistance, to spend on flights.

The simple supply versus demand philosophy means it’s become an airline’s dream to push up prices while often pushing down the value of the ticket. How bad are those airline meals at the moment?

Big planes are grounded

Remember the good old 747 and A380s? Well you’re doing well to find a 747 in the skies these days. The last remaining airlines that were operating them used the cover of COVID to either reduce their fleet of the ageing Queen of the Skies, or retire them altogether.

Then there’s the A380, which is integral to huge airline flees like Emirates.

They were first to go into storage in the desert in 2020 as the pandemic hit. Airlines noticed its often cheaper to fly two 787s on the same route as an A380. So they are begrudgingly bringing the super jumbo back, but only once all their 787s are back in service first.

Don’t you just long for the days of extra space on a plane?

Rocketing fuel prices

In some cases, spot prices for aviation fuel has soared to 80 per cent! Airlines usually rely on hedging fuel prices (as in locking the price in in advance). But not many carriers in Asia do that, meaning they are at risk of fluctuating oil prices.

Airlines have a simple strategy for dealing with rising fuel prices – passing the cost on to consumers. Some passengers flying out of Asia are finding that a flight to London in economy is now $5000, five times the price.

The war in Ukraine hasn’t helped matters either, with Russian oil now missing from the global supply chain. That’s pushing up the cost of resources everywhere, and there’s no sign that’s about to end.

Lack of staff

Airline staff get COVID too, and in some (hilarious) cases, front line staff are returning to stop working from home!

Airlines have rules in place regarding how many flight attendants and pilots need to be on board an aircraft. And with so many different types of planes in service, some flight attendants can only work on certain aircraft types.

That severely limits the capability of airlines to quickly man aircraft in an emergency. And one cancellation snowballs into a travel nightmare.

Airports are struggling too. Lack of maintenance at baggage carousels and airport equipment means some airports are relying on just one vehicle to help every plane back out of a gate.

Remember when the pandemic hit and airlines sacked thousands of workers? The airlines didn’t think they would need them all back so quickly, and highly skilled pilots went on to find other, perhaps more stable jobs.

Accountants taking over

Airlines are big businesses with gigantic overheads. Think of the cost of a plane, which often reaches over $300 million.

Then add the cost of airports, fuel and staff.

Qantas had a debt bomb of $6.5 billion at the height of the pandemic, and while governments have been throwing money at airlines to stay in business, they still are a business.

Airlines need to make a profit, they need to return value to shareholders, and they need to pay down debt to stay financial. Not to mention cashflow.

So regardless of the airport queue, or the soggy sandwich you’re eating in business class, think of the balding accountants praying for good news.

And keep your eye out for some bargains. It’s not all doom and gloom. Some airlines are even allowing you to burn your points on upgrades. So why fly economy?

And if you can hang on a few months longer, you might enjoy cheaper fares. But no promises.

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Media

Disney vs Netflix – who will win the streaming revenue raise?

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Netflix and Disney shares fall as the streaming companies fight to stay on top of their game

Investors to evaluate Walt Disney’s shift from cable television to subscription service as the company’s shares fall by 31 percent.

This comes after Netflix announced its first ever decrease in subscribers last month. The company reported a loss of 200,000 subscribers in its first quarter while predicting more losses ahead.

Netflix’s decision to suspend its services in Russia also led to a loss of 700,000 subscribers. It’s shares have also fallen by a staggering 71 percent this year, a bigger loss than its competitor Disney.

While Netflix struggles with its subscriber count, FactSet Estimates predicts Disney+ to have attracted 5.3 million new subscribers through march leading to a total of about 135.1 million subscribers.

Disney also predicts it will have amassed more than 230 million subscribers by September 2024.

Netflix is reportedly considering adding an advertisement-based subscription option by the end of the year as the company looks at how to stay competitive in the increasingly saturated streaming market.

In a previous statement, Netflix’s chief executive said they were looking to introduce advertisements in a year or two but a leaked internal note to the employees has revealed the company is introducing it as early as October 2022.

The note also says Netflix will begin cracking down on password sharing by monetizing it.

All of this has resulted in Netflix being sued by shareholders who argue they have been mislead about the state of the company and future prospects.

Rijul Baath contributed to this report

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