Chinese billionaire plans to rebuild London’s Crystal Palace
Milos Raonic of Canada returns a shot to Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina during their men’s singles final match at the Japan Open tennis championships in Tokyo October 6, 2013. Credit: Reuters/Toru Hanai Sun Oct 6, 2013 5:28am EDT (Reuters) – Top seed Juan Martin del Potro beat Canada’s Milos Raonic in the battle of big-servers on Sunday to bag the Japan Open title and boost his chances of qualifying for the end-of-season ATP World Tour finals in London. The 25-year-old Argentine, a last-minute wild-card entry for injured Andy Murray, won 7-6(5) 7-5 with the lone break of serve of the match coming at the fag end of the second set as Raonic lost the final in Tokyo for the second year running. The win gave del Potro his third title of the year and moved him up to fifth spot in the race to London while Raonic is 10th in the qualification race for next month’s tournament involving the top eight players of the world. Raonic, 22, who finished runner-up to Kei Nishikori last year, fired 17 aces and was untroubled in his service games before a crucial double fault in the first-set tie-breaker put del Potro ahead. The Argentine got his first break point opportunity in the 11th game in the second set and managed to convert the third to go 6-5 up before holding on in the next game to win in an hour and 43 minutes. “I played really well in the last two games of the match, returning all of his first serves,” del Potro told reporters. “It was a fantastic week for me as I played better and better with each match. “In the tie-break, he hit a double fault in the most important part of the match and then my chance came, which I knew I had to take. “I did what I could to win. When he serves well and hits aces, it means I have to be aggressive on serve. I threw in drop shots and came to the net to mix up my game.” Del Potro hit seven aces and had to save three break points in the first set against the Canadian, who had won their only meeting in Montreal in August. “I created opportunities and barring a double fault and a few points I could not have done much better,” Raonic rued.
London steals title of best city in the world from Paris
Credit: Reuters/Shadi Bushra By Shadi Bushra LONDON | Thu Oct 3, 2013 1:48pm EDT LONDON (Reuters) – A Chinese billionaire said on Thursday he planned to spend 500 million pounds ($810 million) rebuilding London’s Crystal Palace, a huge glass and steel building that captivated the world before it burned down almost eight decades ago. Ni Zhaoxing, chairman of the ZhongRong Group real estate investment firm, hopes to recreate the 19th century palace that was the world’s largest glass structure before it was destroyed in a fire in 1936 that could be seen across London. The original Crystal Palace was designed by Joseph Paxton to host the 1851 Great Exhibition, held when Britain sought to awe other nations with spoils from its empire and the wonders of industrialization. Originally located in Hyde Park, it was moved to south London in 1854, and Ni now wants to build a replica there to the original dimensions of about 500 meters (1,640 ft) long and 50 meters high. “This is going to recreate a 21st century version of the palace,” London Mayor Boris Johnson told reporters. “This isn’t an act of nostalgia. It is looking forward and it is about adorning our city with a world-class structure.” The 180-acre park, where the palace once stood and includes the original terraced steps, is currently home to an amphitheatre that once hosted reggae singer Bob Marley, a national sports centre and a collection of giant dinosaur sculptures, which also date from the 1850s. If the proposal goes through, it would be another example of China’s growing appetite for investments in Britain. A Chinese firm signed a deal this year to convert London’s Royal Albert Docks into the city’s third financial district. “London is renowned across the world for its history and culture,” said Ni, who says he was tied to Britain through his English-educated daughters and love of British art. “This project is a-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring its spirit back to life by recreating the Crystal Palace and restoring the park to its former glory,” he said. The Chinese company, which says the project would create 2,000 jobs, is seeking to profit from its investment by drawing tourists and using the area to host international exhibitions. Residents of the surrounding area have rebuffed numerous development efforts in the past, including proposals to build a cinema, a new sports centre and housing developments.
Is London Big Enough For A Second Startup Hub?
Wazoku, which provides an internal idea generation and management platform for the BBC has clearly benefited from this proximity. But has being away from the East London tech action created other hassles for the fledgling company? Quite the opposite, claims Hill. A lot of clients, theyre struggling for meeting space in Central London. Theyre really happy to come to us. Weve got a huge space. Weve got a Muay Thai boxing gym in here, so we have two boxing rings in the office people find it quite quirky. If were going to meet clients, then the fact that we can show them an interesting space that isnt just four desks in a really expensive Shoreditch office gives us some more credibility, Hill says. And The Downsides If Hill and other West London startups have the classic advantages of the gentrification pioneer big, character filled spaces in which to create he also faces some of the same challenges. The biggest one? Imminent interest in the transforming neighborhood that will shift the real estate market once again.
But the City of Light, one of the most visited cities in the world, has been knocked off its perch as best city in the world by London and Sydney in a new index released this week. According to the latest edition of the Anholt-GfK City Brands Index which measures a citys brand image, power and appeal, Londons stock has gone up in the world as it took the top spot in the biennial ranking. Possible reasons could include the fact that the city continues to bask in the afterglow of a successful Summer Olympic Games and has maintained a presence in the international spotlight with a string of historic milestones that include the Queens Coronation ceremony and the highly anticipated birth of a new royal with the arrival of Prince George. London also took the top spot as the city where individual cultures are appreciated and where foreigners can “easily fit in.” The Aussie capital of Sydney, meanwhile, enjoys a stellar reputation around the world for being the safest and friendliest city. The City Brands index measures the value of a citys international reputation across six dimensions: its international status and standing; esthetic; a category called pre-requisites such as affordable accommodations and the standard of public amenities; people; pulse (interesting things to do) and its economic and educational potential. More than 5,140 interviews were conducted in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Russia, South Korea, the US and the UK for the index. And while Paris was able to take the top spot in the category of Pulse, where the city failed to crack the top 10 ranking was in categories such as Friendly People and Safety. This summer, in a bid to shed their longstanding image of being rude and surly, the citys chamber of commerce published an etiquette manual for Parisian restaurateurs, taxi drivers and sales staff on how to welcome international tourists. …despite its indisputable charm, the capital has work to do when it comes to welcoming visitors, the chamber admits. And earlier this year, high-profile muggings of Chinese tourists robbed of their passports, plane tickets and cash shortly after landing in Paris tarnished the citys image, as did footage broadcast worldwide of soccer-related riots which broke out not far from the Eiffel Tower. Meanwhile, other notable movements on the index include Tokyo, which suffered a 7-spot drop from tenth place in 2011 to 17th place in 2013. Amsterdam, meanwhile, shot up the ranks from 17th spot to 11th position this year. And while Rio de Janeiro was ranked the third friendliest city on the list, the city fell to the bottom of the heap when it comes to safety (47 out of 50) — a particular concern given it’s set to host the World Cup and the Summer Olympics, the report points out.