Google CEO Sundar Pichai Apologises Over Leaked Internal Document on Tactics to Counter EU Rules

first_imgAlphabet CEO Sundar Pichai has apologised to Europe’s industry chief Thierry Breton over a leaked internal document proposing tactics to counter the EU’s tough new rules on internet companies and lobby against the EU commissioner.Pichai and Breton exchanged views in a video-conference call late on Thursday, the third this year, according to a statement from the European Commission.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – “Our online tools have been a lifeline to many people and businesses through lockdown, and Google is committed to continuing to innovate and build services that can contribute to Europe’s economic recovery post-COVID,” spokesman Al Verney said in a statement.The incident underlines the intense lobbying by tech companies against the proposed EU rules, which could impede their businesses and force changes in how they operate.Breton also warned Pichai about the excesses of the internet.“The Internet cannot remain a ‘Wild West’: we need clear and transparent rules, a predictable environment and balanced rights and obligations,” he told Pichai.Breton will announce new draft rules known as the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act together with European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on December 2.The rules will set out a list of do’s and don’ts for gatekeepers – online companies with market power – forcing them to share data with rivals and regulators and not to promote their services and products unfairly.EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager has levied fines totalling EUR 8.25 billion (roughly Rs. 72,780 crore) against Google in the past three years for abusing its market power to favour its shopping comparison service, its Android mobile operating system and its advertising business.Breton told Pichai that he would increase the EU’s power to curb unfair behaviour by gatekeeping platforms, so that the Internet does not just benefit a handful of companies but also Europe’s small- and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs.“Europe’s position is clear: everyone is welcome on our continent – as long as they respect our rules,” he told Pichai.© Thomson Reuters 2020Which is the best TV under Rs. 25,000? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below. “In any case, yes I had a discussion with Sundar… I told him what I had to tell him….he apologised. (I told him) If you need to tell me something, my door will always be open,” he said.Pichai apologised for the way the document came out, which he said he had not seen or sanctioned, saying that he would engage directly with Breton if he sees language and policy that specifically targets Google, another person familiar with the call said.Google said the two had a frank but open conversation.- Advertisement – The call came after a Google internal document outlined a 60-day strategy to attack the European Union’s push for the new rules by getting US allies to push back against Breton.The call was initiated by Google before the document was leaked. Breton brought up the leaked document and showed it to Pichai during the call.“I was not surprised. I’m not naive. I thought it was a bit old fashioned…,” Breton told the Anglo-American Press Association in a online meeting on Friday, waving the document in the air.- Advertisement –last_img read more

COVID-19 infections among children overshadow plans to reopen schools

first_imgIn a separate statement issued on Monday, the IDAI noted that Indonesia was among the countries with the highest COVID-19 case fatality rates (CFR) among people aged 18 years and younger in the Asia-Pacific region.The CFR among children in the country stood at 1.1 percent, the group said, citing data from the national COVID-19 task force as of Aug. 16. This was much higher than the rates in China, Italy and the United States, each of which stood below 0.1 percent, while in Europe it was 0.3 percent.The CFR is the proportion of infection cases resulting in death.Meanwhile, the incidence proportion among children stood at 9.1 percent in Indonesia, which compares to 0.9 percent in China, 1.2 percent in Italy and 5 percent in the US. Incidence proportion is the likelihood of children being infected with COVID-19.The figures cited were collected by the IDAI from a number of publications, some of which used data prior to August.One of the reasons why more children in Indonesia contract and die from COVID-19 is malnutrition.“The prevalence of stunting, malnutrition and pneumonia is still high here. There are also those with tuberculosis and other comorbidity factors.“Even before the pandemic, we didn’t have a good report card [on health], so when the pandemic hit, the burden instantly tripled,” Aman said.The double burden of malnutrition in Indonesia has prompted concerns over children’s immunity.Basic Health Survey (Riskesdas) data from 2018 show that 30.8 percent of children below 5 years of age were stunted, while 2013 data show that the prevalence of obesity among 5-12-year-olds was 18.8 percent.Children below the age of 14 accounted for 8.4 percent of tuberculosis cases in 2018, while the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that pneumonia, congenital diseases and diarrhea were the main causes of death among young children.Government data as of Aug. 6 show that, from a sample size of about 6,000 confirmed infections, as many as 34 children were found to have pneumonia, while four had tuberculosis and several others asthma or hypertension.From a sample size of 1,000 deaths, some were children that had suffered from pneumonia, heart or liver problems or hypertension.Aman said that, because COVID-19 symptoms may resemble those of other illnesses common among children, like diarrhea and pneumonia, and because of a lack of awareness, among other factors, such cases ended up being treated like other diseases.Families would also be late in seeking treatment – in some cases, even a month after the onset of symptoms, he said. As a result, doctors would often discover that the children were already at a severe stage of illness when diagnosed; some passed away before receiving the optimal treatment, while others died even before undergoing tests.Under such circumstances, and coupled with other concerns by parents and teachers, the decision to allow schools in low-risk areas to reopen raises questions about the government’s preparedness for the possible emergence of new infection clusters from schools, as seen in some other countries.With inadequate testing and tracing capabilities and a limited capacity for isolation and intensive care unit (ICU) beds, there is much at stake for the nation’s young population.Indonesia has a total of 38,494 ICU and isolation beds, including for neonatal and pediatric cases, according to 2018 official data.Meanwhile, national COVID-19 task force spokesperson Wiku Adisasmito acknowledged that tracing capabilities were still low and that the country was trying to reach 30 contacts per confirmed case. Low testing rates also persisted, especially outside Jakarta.There are also concerns about transmission among schoolchildren’s older family members. Riskesdas data from 2019 show that 40 percent of people aged 60 years and older in Indonesia live in three-generation households, meaning they live with their children and grandchildren.Even as the decision to reopen schools would be left up to local administrations, and by extension to schools and parents, a lack of data transparency would not help lead to informed decisions, said Elina Ciptadi, cofounder of crowdsourced database KawalCOVID-19.”It’s not fair to shift the responsibility for reopening schools to parents when the decision itself is not based on data and they don’t know the risks they face,” she said.“Improve testing and tracing, and disclose the data to all the parents and teachers before they decide on whether to reopen schools or not,” she demanded.Much of the dilemma about reopening schools has been prompted by the severe digital divide among regions, which prevents effective distance learning in many cases. A recent study showed that the majority of people still find online learning too costly.The Education and Culture Ministry’s head of research and development, Totok Suprayitno, admitted that Indonesia was not at all prepared for distance learning, with teachers resorting to task-based learning instead of delving into more ideal teaching and learning processes.However, a simplified curriculum that included only essential competencies was expected to help teachers deal with the limitations of time and interaction during distance learning, he said.”Teachers are also allowed to map out their own curricula using the simplified curriculum as inspiration […]. This can [allow for] a diversification of approaches, instead of using a top-down [approach],” Totok said.Topics : Indonesia’s pediatricians have raised concerns over the government’s plan to allow more schools to reopen, given that the share of children among COVID-19 fatalities is higher in Indonesia than in other countries.With around 30 percent of Indonesia’s 270 million population being below the age of 18, at least 9,216 children have been infected with the disease in the country as of Aug. 6.Child deaths accounted for 2.3 percent of the overall COVID-19 death toll, which exceeded 6,000 on Tuesday, official data show. According to figures from the Indonesian Pediatric Society (IDAI), which are lower than those of the government, 59 COVID-19 deaths and 318 suspected deaths among children were recorded as of Aug. 10.Forty-two percent of the 59 deaths are children who never got to celebrate their first birthday, followed by children aged 1-5 years (24 percent), 6-9 years (14 percent) and 10-18 years (20 percent).”Some of the deaths occurred because the children had comorbidity factors, but for others it was because we acted too late,” said IDAI chairman Aman Bhakti Pulungan.“Even with comorbidity factors, they shouldn’t have died,” he said during a press conference held on Monday in protest of plans to reopen schools.last_img read more

World Athletics to expel Russia unless it pays $6.3m fine

first_img Loading… “We have had to plough the field ourselves on most occasions. But I am pleased we had made a bit of a breakthrough. It is a start, but only a start. “At least we are now in a position to continue the reinstatement process having at least had a very clear indication that they have accepted the seriousness and severity of the situation. “The proof of the pudding will be in the reinstatement plan that we have from them.” Matytsin, the sports minister, welcomed World Athletics’ decision as “constructive”. “We see a desire from World Athletics to work together with the Russian side,” he said, quoted by Russian agencies. The global governing body for athletics said Thursday it would expel Russia unless it makes an outstanding payment of $6.3 million in fines and costs for anti-doping violations by August 15. The Russian athletics federation has been suspended since 2015, and its athletes were barred from the 2016 Rio Olympics. Rune Andersen, the head of the World Athletics Taskforce dealing with Russia’s reinstatement efforts, said he had seen “very little in terms of changing the culture of Russian athletics” in the past five years. Andersen said Russia’s sports minister Oleg Matytsin had given an “unconditional commitment” in a letter on Thursday that the overdue amount of $5 million in fines and $1.31 million in costs would be paid by August 15. The federation missed the previous deadline of July 1. World Athletics said it would call on its Congress to meet “as soon as possible” to vote virtually to expel the Russian federation (RUSAF) from the sport, if the outstanding amount is not paid. An expulsion would mean Russian athletes are sidelined from international competitions including the Tokyo Olympics next year, and taking in those who had previously been authorised to compete as neutrals. As well as paying the fine, World Athletics has demanded RUSAF set out a detailed plan for its reinstatement by August 31, including commitments for anti-doping and governance reforms World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said following a two-day virtual meeting of his federation’s Council that dealing with Russia had been “tortuous”. “The history here has been a sad and deeply ingrained one,” Coe added. Coe claimed athletics had been “a lone voice as a sport” in fighting Russian doping. Read Also: Lampard aims to cap Chelsea comeback with FA Cup glory “We have a very difficult path ahead to create the conditions for Russia’s return but I think we have reached agreements which allow us to hope for a constructive step,” Matytsin added. Leading Russian athletes Maria Lasitskene, Sergey Shubenkov and Anzhelika Sidorova have been openly critical of their federation and in June asked President Vladimir Putin to find a way to allow them to compete in the Tokyo Olympics. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted Content10 Most Praised Historical Movies7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The UniverseCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayTop 7 Best Car Manufacturers Of All Time5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks7 Universities In The World Where Education Costs Too MuchWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?Can Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body?You’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of Anime8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its GrowthWho’s The Best Car Manufacturer Of All Time?Did You Know There’s A Black Hole In The Milky Way?last_img read more

Betsson rebrands ‘Oranje & Kroon’ Dutch online casino properties

first_img Submit Share Betsson outrides pandemic challenges as regulatory dramas loom July 21, 2020 GiG lauds its ‘B2B makeover’ delivering Q2 growth August 11, 2020 Related Articles StumbleUpon Netherlands Remote Gambling Act submitted for EC review July 15, 2020 Stockholm-listed Betsson AB has confirmed that it will rebrand its two Dutch-facing online casino properties of Oranje Casino and Kroon Casino.Moving forward, Kroon Casino will operate under its new identity of ‘Casino Winner’, whilst Oranje Casino will be rebranded to ‘Loyal Casino’.Betsson has operated both online casinos since 2014, forming part of its €40 million acquisition of Oranje and Kroon Maltese operating companies, in a strategic move by Betsson governance to acquire recognised Dutch gambling assets.Last August, the Netherlands Gaming Authority – Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) sanctioned a €300,000 fine to Betsson Dutch market subsidiary Corona Ltd.The KSA charged Corona, operating company of Oranje and Kroon casinos of offering/promoted unlicensed gambling services to Dutch consumers.Betsson governance has appealed the fine, stating that Corona has operated Oranje and Kroon properties under the guidance of  EU compliant applicable laws, acting in the absence of Dutch regulations for online gambling.This February the Netherlands Senate approved the passing of the ‘Remote Gambling Act’, a mandate which will allow the KSA to begin its Dutch licensing window.However, since the approval ‘Remote Gambling Act’, the KSA has bolstered strengthened its stance against foreign remote operators.Last March, stating that it would not tolerate ‘cowboys’, the KSA increased its minimum operator fines from €150,000 to €200,000.Furthermore, issuing a stern warning to European betting leadership, the KSA detailed that it could move to suspend ‘rogue operators’ from applying for Netherlands licenses for a period of two years, should they continue to target Dutch consumers. Sharelast_img read more