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2022 stories that could still have an impact on our lives

Published : Saturday, 31 December, 2022 at 12:00 AM  Count : 386

2022 stories that could still have an impact on our lives

2022 stories that could still have an impact on our lives

Going from one crisis to another has taken a toll on people over the past year. News comes so fast and furious it is hard to keep track. Here are a few stories you may have missed that may have an outsized impact on how we dress, charge our phones, travel and trade goods in the future.

In October, the European Parliament passed a law demanding that all smartphones, tablets, e-readers, earbuds, headphones and cameras must be USB Type-C port compatible starting in 2024. For laptops the law comes into effect in 2026. That means one charger for all devices. The days of drawers full of different chargers and converters could be over.

After efforts failed to convince industry to come up with its own measures, the EU took things into their own hands. The European Commission says a single charger will save customers around €250 million ($265 million) by allowing consumers to reuse them. Buyers will be able to choose whether to buy a new device with or without a charger, cutting down on e-waste.
Apple has the most to do to achieve this standard - and has complained the loudest. But in the end, Apple customers will likely want to be up to date and could go on a buying spree. Others worry that wireless charging is taking over anyhow. Will the EU's 450 million consumers be enough to convince manufacturers to introduce USB-C in other places or will companies have different charging systems based on location?
In October, Trevor Milton, the founder of the electric truck maker Nikola, was also convicted of fraud. And now FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is under multiple investigations after the collapse of his cryptocurrency exchange. On December 12, he was arrested after the US Justice Department charged him with fraud, money-laundering and breaking campaign-finance laws. This increased focus on bosses may keep them more honest, investors' money safer and consumers a litter better protected. Don't promise the moon unless you have something that looks a lot like the moon.

Too big. Too hard to fill with passengers. Too expensive to fuel. The Airbus A380, the biggest passenger jet in service, was all those things. Certified to carry just over 850 passengers in an all-economy version, a typical layout including first and business class could carry 525 passengers. It overwhelmed airports and airlines.

Emirates was the biggest backer of the program and purchased nearly half the 251 jets ever sold. Other big airlines bought a few each. Sales were slow. Some airlines phased out the jets early. Then COVID-19 travel restrictions came and shut down global travel. Other airlines retired or phased out the jets. With a disaster on its hands, Airbus decided to stop A380 production at the end of 2021 and close the program.

A few months before that Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr swore that his A380s were grounded and never going to fly again, a point he drove home as recently as April. But how quickly things can change. Passenger number are up and Boeing is behind in delivering its important 777 jets.

To keep up with travel demand A380s are being revived. According to tracker Flightradar24, seven different airlines are currently flying their A380s. In total 129 are hitting the airways and more are coming. Lufthansa is in the process of bringing 4-5 of its superjumbos out of deep storage and making them airworthy. It is a rebirth that no one thought possible just a few months ago. Never say never.

After years of discussion, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement is making steady progress toward ratification. Known simply as CETA, the free trade agreement between Canada and the EU removes nearly all trade tariffs. Proponents point to tax savings, stronger intellectual property rights, the recognition of professional skills and the ease of moving staff between Canada and the EU.

The Canadians signed on the dotted line in 2016. The European Parliament in 2017. Since then, many parts of the agreement have applied.

But for it to fully come into force, each EU member state needs to approve the measure individually. Germany, with its fear of poor-quality chlorinated food, was a major holdout. In December they put their stamp on it, bringing it one step closer to reality. Perhaps this will convince some neighbors to do the same and let goods and services flow more freely and bring prosperity to the region.













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