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Amazon looking to convert Italy power stations into data centers

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Amazon is in talks with utility Enel over the conversion of old power stations in north and central Italy into data centers as it seeks to expand its lucrative cloud services business in the country.

An Enel spokeswoman said on Wednesday there had been contacts with the U.S. online retailer while a source close to the matter said a deal could be closed in coming months.

Amazon is market leader in the global cloud infrastructure services sector. In the third quarter of 2016, its cloud business grew sales by 55 percent from a year earlier.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud services unit, recently announced it would open data centers in the Paris region, after investing in Ireland, Germany and the United Kingdom.

It will spend up to 1 billion euros ($1.06 billion) to convert plants in Italy, the source said, adding the investment was in line with other data hub deals it had done in Europe.

AWS’s interest in Italy comes as Enel, Europe’s biggest utility in terms of capacity is shutting down old plants as part of a strategy to shift its focus to grids, renewable energy and retail business, especially in emerging markets.

Enel invited parties interested in taking on the sites to present projects on how to use them. Two sale processes were now in an advanced stage, it said last week, giving no details.

Amazon has invested over 450 million euros in Italy since setting up shop in 2010 and employs 1,700 people. In July it announced it would build a major storage and logistics center outside Rome.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has been striving since coming to office in 2014 to attract foreign investors to help kick start Italy’s sluggish economy. He has staked his political future on a constitutional reform referendum in December, aimed at creating stable government and streamlining law-making.

State-controlled Enel said last year it was scrapping 23 thermal power stations in Italy with a total capacity of 13 gigawatts to meet falling power demand and changing business patterns as green energy replaces fossil fuel generation.

The source said talks between Amazon and Enel focus on three to five sites, all in the north of Italy, including the plants of Trino, in the north-western region of Piedmont, and La Casella, close to the northern town of Piacenza.

A second source familiar with the matter said negotiations involved three sites, including La Casella. “The plant is not among the 23 plants being decommissioned but Amazon has asked for a piece of land there.”

Industry Ministry undersecretary Paola De Micheli told parliament last Thursday Amazon was looking into converting three Enel sites, adding the utility could help make the technology company’s power consumption more efficient.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Inter Milan cancells pre match conference ahead of Fiorentina clash

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Inter Milan cancelled a pre-match news conference on Saturday after what it called an “offensive letter” about manager Antonio Conte was printed in Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport.

The Serie A club said the letter, submitted by a reader, was accompanied with a comment from one of the paper’s journalists “justifying its aggression”.

“In order to send out a message to all media outlets that they must ‘guarantee respect for people’, there won’t be a press conference today,” the club said.

Inter were eliminated from the Champions League on Tuesday, losing 2-1 to a young Barcelona team to finish third in their group behind the Spanish giants and Borussia Dortmund.

In the letter, a Bologna fan said that he “enjoyed seeing the great Inter outclassed by Barcelona B”, who had shown Inter’s “worn-out” coach how to play football.

The fan added that although Conte has won a lot of games in his career, he has “never shown a good game” and despite spending more than 150 million euros (£125m), Inter could not beat Slavia Prague and lost to Dortmund in the Champions League.

A journalist added a comment to the letter, saying that Inter have “thrown away the Champions League and maybe the rest too” by loaning striker Mauro Icardi to French side Paris St-Germain.

The journalist added: “No Icardi, No Party”.

Earlier this month, Roma, along with Inter’s rivals AC Milan, announced they would not work with Corriere dello Sport until January in response to the paper using the headline ‘Black Friday’ accompanied by images of Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling.

Corriere dello Sport defended the “innocent” headline in a comment piece on its website, saying it was a way to celebrate diversity.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Klopp agrees to contract extension with Liverpool

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Liverpool has been a revolutionary team ever since klopp was named the head coach in 2015.

Klopp’s masterclass has led liverpool to become a formidable team in all competitions.

Liverpool secured their sixth champions league trophy last season and bags lot of individual awards.

One can boldly say, liverpool is a complete team with the likes of Mohammed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Allison pening for liverpool.

The phenomenal Reds finished second place last season with a point below  Pep Guardiola’s team.

When I see the development of the club and the collaborative work that continues to take place, I feel my contribution can only grow.”

“When the call came in autumn 2015, I felt we were perfect for each other; if anything, now I feel I underestimated that.

“It is only with a total belief that the collaboration remains totally complimentary on both sides that I am able to make this commitment to 2024.

“If I didn’t I would not be re-signing.

“This club is in such a good place, I couldn’t contemplate leaving.” klopp says.

It’s a massive development for the “kops” as they look indisputable to win the premier league trophy with their current longest club unbeaten run.

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