Italy’s Lake Garda becomes the last visible symbol of a parched continent – The Irish Times

Picture of the week: In case of drought

The early tributaries of the Po have dried up, now Lake Garda water levels have dropped to their lowest level in 15 years, leaving tourists to gaze upon the rocks. With much of Italy’s agricultural north in a state of emergency since early July and crop failures amid the region’s driest weather in 70 years, the country has borne the brunt of the European drought throughout the summer. Evidence of a changing climate is now visible in the flat stone slabs of the Lombardy holiday hotspot Sirmione, a town on the southern shore of Lake Garda, where falling water levels have prompted boat companies to switch from airboats to catamarans and tourist pedal boats sit a few away from the secluded water’s edge. The water temperature has also risen from its usual average of 22 degrees in August to a worrying 26 degrees, leaving it one degree cooler than the average for the Caribbean Sea.

In numbers: the state of the flow

$350 million

The funding that venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz is providing to Flow, a new real estate venture created by Adam Neumann, the controversial co-founder of WeWork. The sum (345 million euros) is the largest check that the company has written for a start-up.

$1 billion

Valuation now given to Flow, which has invested in thousands of apartments across the United States and intends to create a “widely recognized apartment brand with amenities”. Neumann has long been fond of “adult college dorms” or the WeLive vibe.

$47 billion

Maximum valuation of WeWork, the workspace rental company, before its planned IPO was shelved amid enough documentation of Neumann’s unsuitability for corporate leadership to fill a TV series Apple (WeCrashed). It is now worth less than a tenth of that.

Getting to Know: Dan Loeb

New York hedge fund manager Dan Loeb is the kind of person, mislabeled as an ‘activist investor’, who buys stakes in big companies to push for change at the top and cash in on the gains of the share price it expects to follow. It’s been dragging around for a while now, becoming a thorn in the side of several blue chips from auction house Sotheby’s to Sony and Yahoo! More recently, the Third Point founder and chief executive lost money on Intel – he urged the chipmaker to explore breaking up the business, to no avail – and is now busy weighing in on the House of Mouse, aka Disney, with thoughts on what he should be doing to make his new stake in the entertainment giant worthwhile. “We urge the company to embark on a cost-cutting program that addresses both margins and the disposal of underperforming surplus assets,” he wrote in a letter to Disney’s chief executive this week. , Bob Chapek – a sort of “Disney minus” strategy, if you will.

The list: alleged party organizers

Stock up on cans, fill up the ice cube tray, stock up on crisps, book a fancy Airbnb for the night: it’s just standard party prep, isn’t it? Not if Airbnb can help her. Wary of its reputation for facilitating wild shindigs not seen since the last days of Rome, it banned parties in 2020. It is now rolling out ‘anti-party technology’ across Australia and testing it in the US and the UK. Canada to identify and prevent certain reservations. So what factors will trigger the tool’s suspicions?

1 Review History: Users who haven’t received positive reviews from hosts in the past are an unknown quantity and most likely crazy about a party.

2 Signup Duration: Does this new user just want a place to take a mini break, or is he planning to ask WhatsApp to bring in several dozen of his closest friends and smudge the carpet ?

3 Duration of trip: Book an entire house for just one night? Who does that unless he’s planning to get delirious and leave?

4 Day of the week: As shocking as it may seem, not all days of the week are created equal when it comes to holidays. Only a truly dedicated minority of what the tech world calls “bad actors” are bothered for the first leg on a Monday.

5 Distance to property: Party planners don’t tend to host social extravaganzas for their friends hundreds of miles from home, unless they’re too wealthy to need Airbnb first venue.

James V. Hayes