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Rewe drops ads with DFB over armband row By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An employee disinfects a shopping cart before each new customer at Rewe’s grocery store in Potsdam, Germany, March 20, 2020, as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues. Photograph: Michel Tantossi/Reuters

Written by Håkan Ersen and Matthias Inverardi

FRANKFURT/DUsseldorf (Reuters) – Major grocery chain Rewe has canceled its ad campaign with the German Football Association (DFB) after soccer’s global governing body cracked down on players wearing “OneLove” armbands in support of diversity at the World Cup in Qatar.

The move by Rewe, one of Germany’s largest supermarket chains with annual group-wide sales of 76.5 billion euros ($78.5 billion), makes it the first sponsor to take action after FIFA threatened to issue yellow cards to any player wearing the multicolored captain’s armband. in the world Cup.

German sportswear group Adidas (OTC:), carmaker Volkswagen (ETR) and carrier Lufthansa said separately they would maintain their deals with the German Football Association, although all three said they defended diversity.

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The case is the latest headache for sponsors participating in the World Cup in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal and where authorities are under fire over deaths among migrant workers who helped build the stadiums for the tournament.

It comes after FIFA’s last-minute decision on Friday not to allow the sale of beer at World Cup stadiums in Qatar, dealing a blow to brewer AB InBev, one of the tournament’s sponsors.

“We stand for diversity – and football is also diversity. We live and stand for that position,” said Lionel Market, CEO of the Rewe Group. “FIFA’s scandalous position is completely unacceptable.”

The decision reflects Germans’ negative mood towards the tournament online, with the hashtag #BoycottQatar2022 trending on Twitter in Germany, and on the ground with protests, including at a German stadium lighting 20,000 candles for the dead Qatari migrant workers on Sunday.

A survey conducted by Hohenheim University on Monday showed that nearly half of Germans support sponsors and politicians boycotting the event, and more than two-thirds consider Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to the tournament unnecessary.

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Rewe said she told the German Football Association in October that she did not want to continue their partnership, but after the captaincy decision she wanted to clearly distance herself from FIFA’s position and give up her advertising rights under their agreement.

A DFB spokesperson said: “The DFB’s sponsorship with REWE has not been terminated due to current events. Please note that REWE and DFB agreed weeks ago that the contract, which expires at the end of the year, will not be extended.”

big mistake

“We are convinced that sport should be open to all. It is necessary to continue the discussion,” Adidas said in a statement.

Volkswagen said FIFA’s behavior was “unacceptable”.

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“The discussions and feedback show that something fundamental needs to change in world football,” a spokesperson for the carmaker said on Tuesday.

Separately, Deutsche Telekom (OTC:) said it plans to speak with the German Football Association (DFB) about the armband controversy, while Lufthansa said it has no intention of ending its partnership with DFB.

German Minister of the Interior and Sports Nancy Weser, who is due to travel to Qatar later in the day, said Fifa’s decision was “a big mistake that tears the hearts of the fans,” adding that she will address the issue while in Doha.

“It’s a difficult road to go, but I think it’s important that we continue to discuss human rights with the decision makers out there,” Weser said.

Several football associations have said their captains will wear the ‘OneLove’ armband in Qatar. But federations from Germany, England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Denmark said on Monday they would drop those plans after FIFA’s warning.

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The German Football Association said on Tuesday that associations backing the armband faced “severe blackmail”, and canceled plans for players to wear it because it was unfair for them to suffer the consequences.

Rewe said it would begin donating World Cup poster albums for free and donating the proceeds from those already sold to charity.

The Sun reported on Sunday that beverage maker and English sponsor Lucozad had pulled all of its branding from the World Cup in a snub of Qatar.

FIFA said on Monday it had introduced its own “No Discrimination” campaign from the scheduled quarter-final stage so that all 32 team captains would have a chance to wear their captain’s armband during the tournament.

The Football Association is the largest football association in the world, with over 7 million active members. Other DFB partners include Commerzbank (ETR:) and Munich Re’s ERGO.

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Hidden Gems: The Most Underrated Tourist Attractions in the U.S.

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When you take your kids on vacation, they’ll probably want to go to a popular theme park.

But theme parks have gotten more expensive these days and the more you spend, the more you expect, which could set you up for disappointment.

In a study by tourism site HawaiianIslands.com, some of most overrated tourist spots are theme parks.

Volcano Bay Water Park at Universal Studios in Orlando ended up the most overrated attraction in the U.S., according to the HawaiianIslands research of more than 17,000 Tripadvisor reviews. Some 39 reviews out of every 1,000 expressed disappointment by their experience and labeled the park “overrated.”

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BP doubles down on hydrogen as the fuel of the future by Reuters

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2/2

© Reuters. The BP logo is seen at a BP gas station in Manhattan, New York City, US, November 24, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/Files

2/2

Written by Ron Bousso

LONDON (Reuters) – Bernard Looney, chief executive of British Petroleum (NYSE), is betting on hydrogen to power the low-carbon companies of the future as governments in major economies raise money to develop fuels for decarbonization.

Low-carbon hydrogen already has a large fan base and is expected to play a major role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from heavy industry and some forms of transportation.

But it is expensive to produce and often needs government subsidies to compete against fossil fuels.

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The US, for example, offers significant incentives to produce them under President Joe Biden’s $430 billion Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

BP has been responsive and is in the early planning stages of developing a large, low-carbon hydrogen center around its refinery in Whiting, Indiana, Tomica McLeod, BP’s newly appointed head of US hydrogen, told Reuters.

When Looney took office nearly three years ago, he pledged to reshape BP and cut carbon emissions by reducing oil and gas production and developing renewables. He is preparing to brief investors on February 7 on the current situation.

BP sources told Reuters that hydrogen will play a starring role alongside offshore wind.

BP has reformed its structure to create a dedicated hydrogen division led by Philippe Arbelaez which has 150 employees. It has also made several investments in large hydrogen projects, including in Australia, Europe and Britain.

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The company told Reuters that it is also studying the potential for developing green hydrogen in Oman, and is also studying projects in Mauritania.

Company sources said BP’s spending on low-carbon hydrogen remains modest but is expected to grow into the hundreds of millions by the end of the decade as projects start.

BP spent nearly a quarter of its $15.5 billion budget in 2022 on the low-carbon business, when it included the $4.1 billion acquisition of US biogas producer Arkea, according to Reuters calculations.

Company sources said that in February Anja Isabel Dutzenrath, head of renewables at Looney and BP will unveil its clean hydrogen production target for the first time, aiming for a 10% share of hydrogen in “core markets” by 2030.

“Hydrogen is going to be a huge focus, and it’s moving much faster than we ever thought,” CFO Murray Auchinclose told Reuters last month.

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Most hydrogen is currently used in oil refining and fertilizer making and is usually made by heating, a highly polluting process known as gray hydrogen.

But gray hydrogen becomes “blue hydrogen” if polluting emissions are captured. There’s also “green hydrogen,” which is produced by splitting water using electrolysis that’s powered by renewable energy.

To expand its blue hydrogen business, BP is drawing on its expertise in oil and gas to build carbon capture and storage facilities, where carbon is injected into depleted reservoirs.

It also plans to boost its renewable energy generation capacity to 50 gigawatts by 2030, which will be partially used for electric power generation.

BP declined to comment on whether it would set a hydrogen production target or its hydrogen spending plans.

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tax credits

McLeod said BP’s project at the Whiting refinery would initially replace about 200,000 tonnes of gray hydrogen used by the refinery each year with blue hydrogen. The project could start operating by 2026-2027 and expand to green hydrogen.

“Our focus in the US, and it’s similar around the world, is how do we decarbonize and reimagine our own assets,” she said.

The low-carbon fuel in the second phase will be used by other heavy industries in the region to reduce about 36 million tons of carbon dioxide emitted there each year.

The project will rely on subsidies, highlighting the challenge hydrogen faces in competing with low-cost fossil fuels.

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The IRA is offering a $3 per kilogram tax credit for clean hydrogen, which makes green hydrogen equal to or even less than the cost of gray and blue hydrogen, according to analysts.

“With the hydrogen production tax credits now in place … it has allowed green hydrogen to be more competitive,” McLeod said.

McLeod said the subsidies would initially allow green and blue hydrogen to compete with gray hydrogen, allowing consumers to switch to cleaner fuels.

“Demand growth for new hydrogen applications will be a function of cost competitiveness,” said Andy Brogan, global head of oil and gas at EY.

“There are physical components to energy demand where hydrogen is the only clear technologically viable alternative to carbon intensive options,” Brogan said. “However, these are often price sensitive, so rapid acceleration will depend on cost.”

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BP is already one of the largest investors in hydrogen projects among the world’s largest oil and gas companies, including Shell (LON:), TotalEnergies, Repsol (OTC:) and Italy’s Eni, according to Globaldata, a data provider.

BP in June acquired a 40.5% stake in a 26-gigawatt renewable energy project in Australia that could produce green hydrogen. It is developing two projects in Britain where it aims to produce 1.5 gigawatts of blue and green hydrogen by 2030.

Hydrogen production by technology https://www.reuters.com/graphics/HYDROGEN-PRODUCTION/gkvlwgymlpb/chart.png

BP Spending Plans https://www.reuters.com/graphics/OIL-MAJORS/ENERGY-TRANSITION/gkvlgnoxdpb/chart.png

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After 23 Royal Caribbean Cruises, What I Learned About Tipping

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Tipping has always been a mostly voluntary practice that is supposed to revolve around customers rewarding service staff for good service. The problem is that restaurants generally consider tips as part of their wages and don’t pay minimum wages to waiters (which is legal in most places). This makes tipping, while usually optional, very demanding.

That’s kind of how tipping works at Royal Caribbean (RCL) – Get a free report and Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) – Get a free report ships. It’s still technically optional, but opting out of daily tips—what cruise lines call the fee added to your onboard account each day for each person in your room—literally takes money out of the hands of the lowest-level workers on cruise ships.



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