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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

WhatsApp partners with youth NGO for digital business training

first_imgAdi Wahyu Prasetya is trying his best to retain the 44 workers he employs at his small family business, Hj. Mbok Sri, which sells fried onions in Palu, Central Sulawesi. The use of digital platforms has helped his small business despite losses caused by the epidemic.“Previously, we only sold to customers in Palu but now we also ship to other cities as well,” said the young entrepreneur, adding that his market now spanned from Aceh to Papua. “We have seen quite an increase in profit because of digital platforms like WhatsApp Business.”Still for Adi, who has been running his business since 2017, restrictions imposed due to the epidemic have led to higher logistical costs and delayed shipments from up to four days to two weeks to reach Jakarta, the first COVID-19 epicenter that recently extended its transitional restrictions.  Adi, who participated in youth empowerment civil society organization Prestasi Junior Indonesia (PJI), manages among the 13 percent of small businesses across Indonesia that use digital platforms. The rest have not digitized their businesses.To empower youngsters such as Adi in digitizing their businesses, instant messaging platform WhatsApp has partnered with PJI to give six-month training on using digital business platforms to more than 1,000 students in 12 cities across Indonesia.The partnership, which will take place in, among other cities, Tangerang in Banten, Batam in Riau Islands and Jayapura in Papua, aims at encouraging the youth to become entrepreneurs.As the country sources 60 percent of its economic growth from more than 60 million small businesses, the government plans to encourage 2 million small businesses to go online this year.WhatsApp, which is owned by American social media giant Facebook, and PJI plan to introduce the participating students to the mobile app that allows small businesses to communicate with their customers, called WhatsApp Business. WhatsApp Business has more than 5 million users worldwide since its launch in January 2018.As many as 45 percent of young entrepreneurs, including students, said in June that they were more active on e-commerce platforms, according to a survey of 2,200 entrepreneurs by SEA Insights, a subsidiary of technology company SEA Group that owns e-commerce platform Shopee.With many people still staying at home, WhatsApp and PJI will create a web page for participating students to download the training materials and create a WhatsApp group in each city to facilitate the discussion related to the training, according to Utami Anita Herawati, the manager of the western region program at PJI.The training materials include guides on using WhatsApp Business, managing communications with customers, connecting with them and privacy and security of the app.“They can study on their own first,” said Utami. “If they have any questions, we will have a discussion where they can talk to trainers from WhatsApp or PJI.”As part of the partnership, PJI is also creating its own account on WhatsApp Business to promote more than 70 small businesses owned by the youth who have taken part in its similar entrepreneurship program.“This is a free app that millions of businesses have been using in Indonesia,” Karissa Sjawaldy, the public policy manager at Facebook Indonesia, said in a virtual briefing on Tuesday. “We want to focus on young entrepreneurs. We want to train them early on how to benefit from the digital economy.”The partnership comes at a time when many Indonesians have been forced to move from brick-and-mortar stores to online shops as the country imposes restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19.Indonesians’ visits and length of stay at retail and recreation places, including shopping malls, had declined by 18 percent as of July 3, from normal levels in January-February, according to Google data.  Topics :last_img read more

World Bank warns of 2% contraction in Indonesia’s economy this year

first_imgDespite the rising number of cases, the government and regional administrations relaxed social restrictions amid concerns of a slumping economy.Read also: Indonesia’s economy could enter recession in Q3: Sri MulyaniThe government projects the country’s economy to grow by 1 percent this year under the baseline scenario or contract by 4 percent under the worst case scenario as the pandemic batters business activity and hits demand. The economy grew 2.97 percent in the first quarter, the lowest in 19 years.The World Bank’s report, titled The Long Road to Recovery, published this month, states that Indonesia’s GDP is expected to be unchanged from 2019. Last year, the country’s GDP grew 5 percent.  The World Bank has warned that the Indonesian economy might contract 2 percent this year if mobility restrictions are further implemented to contain the spread of COVID-19.“Under somewhat harsher assumptions on the global economy of a deeper contraction, and if there is a need for mobility restrictions to be reinstated going forward, we do think that the economy could actually contract by 2 percent in 2020,” World Bank Indonesia lead economist Frederico Gil Sander said during the virtual launch of World Bank’s Indonesia Economic Prospect report on Thursday. The coronavirus outbreak in Indonesia has not shown any signs of abating as more than 1,000 new cases have been recorded daily since June. Infections stood at 81,600 as of Thursday afternoon with 3,800 deaths, official data show. World Bank Indonesia country director Satu Kahkonen explained during the webinar that the zero percent growth forecast was predicated on three things, namely: the global GDP to contract by 5.2 percent this year, the economy to be fully open in August and no second wave infections. The report suggested that a 2 percent contraction would take place if the global economy slipped into a deeper recession, wherein the global GDP shrank by 7.8 percent, impacting investment and exports. “Under this scenario where the economy would actually contract, poverty would increase quite significantly, especially if there is no additional social assistance,” Sander went on to say.The Washington, DC-based development bank estimated that without the government’s social assistance, 5.5 million to 8 million Indonesians could fall into poverty this year as a result of an aggregate decline in household income of 5 percent to 7 percent due to lower earnings and unemployment. Read also: Bank Indonesia cuts rate for fourth time to four-year low to bolster growthAround 1.63 million people fell into poverty in March, increasing the number of people living below the poverty line to 26.42 million people, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data show. Aside from ensuring robust health system preparedness to handle the pandemic curve, the government needs to assist firms to stay afloat and push for reforms to increase financial sector resilience, Sanders said, as he outlined suggestions for the government.Most importantly, he went on to say, the government should invest more on human and physical capital as the post-COVID-19 economy was likely to require different skills from workers. The country also needed to flatten its debt curve when it started to recover.“The idea that Indonesia can flatten the debt curve by cutting expenditure is very risky in terms of competitiveness. So, the only way out is [by increasing] tax [collection],” he said. According to the Finance Ministry, Indonesia’s borrowing needs of around Rp 1.53 quadrillion (US$104.53 billion) this year to fund the budget deficit will increase the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio to 37.64-38.5 percent by year-end from around 30 percent in 2019.The government has allocated Rp 695.2 trillion to help strengthen the healthcare system, provide social aid and support economic recovery.Read also: Administrative issues hamper COVID-19 budget disbursement: Sri Mulyani“This is not about ‘Do you really know what kind of policy design would be good?’ We know. But do we have all the necessary infrastructure to be able to execute those good policy designs so that they are going to be able to then reach the objective that we want to achieve? This is always the challenge,” Sri Mulyani said in the webinar. She explained that the government struggled when it came to data collection, as the country depended on local government database updates to identify and target poor families. On that basis, she is working alongside the Social Affairs Ministry and the Home Ministry to provide incentives for local governments to update the needed data. “Data will not only help you to better target but to also monitor whether what you are doing is [bringing results],” World Bank managing director for development policy and partnership Mari Elka Pangestu said. “A lot of what Indonesia is doing for households, cash transfers, food and other measures, as well as for small and medium enterprises and the informal sector, is actually pretty much best practice,” Mari said.Topics :last_img read more

Belgian virus cases in intensive care double in month

first_imgTopics : The number of coronavirus patients admitted to Belgium’s intensive care units has doubled in a month and the epidemic is spreading “intensively”, health officials warned on Monday.Belgium suffered one of the highest per capita rates of infection at the height of COVID-19’s progress through Europe but began easing lockdown measures in May after the disease peaked.Now, cases are climbing once again and the country of 11 million has postponed plans to further ease anti-virus measures, while imposing tougher controls in the port city of Antwerp. Most of the new wave of infections are among young adults, but nevertheless, Jacobs said, “The number of people admitted to intensive care has doubled since the beginning of July.”Separately, the economic damage caused by the epidemic continued to cut a swathe through Belgium’s cultural sector, with the historic Ancienne Belgique music hall letting go 200 “external workers”, freelance contractors.The theatre has not hosted a live concert since March and under current anti-virus rules when it reopens in September its 1,000-seater hall will be limited to 100 suitably distanced ticket-holders.”That’s not workable for us,” interim director Marc Vrebos said, explaining the hall had written to security, cleaning, technical and hospitality workers to warn them not to count on getting new shifts.center_img “We can see that the virus is circulating intensively in our territory. The numbers continue to rise,” federal virus taskforce spokeswoman Frederique Jacobs said. “There are no less than 13 municipalities in which more than 100 people per 100,000 inhabitants have tested positive, that’s one person in 1,000 infected as of last week.”On average 2.7 people died of COVID-19 every day in Belgium in the last week of July, up by about a third from two in the previous seven days. At least 9,845 have died since the epidemic arrived.The rate of daily new cases climbed 68 percent between the two weeks, and the daily number of hospitalizations by more than a third. In total 69,849 cases have been detected in the country, although most recover. last_img read more

Split-level home with private and elevated outlook on the market

first_img2 Wilga Drive, Bunya.More from newsFor under $10m you can buy a luxurious home with a two-lane bowling alley5 Apr 2017Military and railway history come together on bush block24 Apr 2019On the market for the first time, this luxurious property at 2 Wilga Drive, Bunya is set in the heart of the Windarra enclave.The five-bedroom, four-bathroom property has a private and elevated outlook with a view opposite a permanent bushland nature reserve.The five-year-old contemporary split-level home features multiple living zones and can accommodate a growing family or executive entertainers.There is a home theatre, in-ground swimming pool with remote control water feature and spa seat, heated outdoor shower and a separate pool house.The property is being marketed by Brian Brady from Professionals — Everton Park with offers over $1.3 million.last_img read more

Woods Park Open brings out 61 disc golfers and plenty of winners

first_img Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one! Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Skyler Struble of Wellington was one of the 61 disc golfers at Wellington’s Woods Park Open. Disc golfers spent the day going through the 18-basket course twice.Sumner Newscow report – The Woods Park Open held in Wellington on June 25 brought out 61 disc golfers.The official results are below. Photo gallery of the event can be found here. The feature story on the tournament can be found here.MPO Brandon Nelson 58 52 110MPO Ben Maass 59 59 118MPO Mike Unruh 65 58 123MPO Andy Horning 62 62 124MPO Lupe Esquivel 61 66 127MPO Russ Horning 63 65 128MPM Chris Smith 53 54 107MPM Shan Mann 57 64 121MPM Chris Dendurent 68 62 130MPM Greg Larmer 63 68 131MPM Lance Roberts 67 66 133MPM Isaac Dimmit 71 63 134MPM James McLaughlin 71 72 143MPM Arty Hicks 80 75 155MM1 Craig Winters 69 67 136MM1 Lee Penner 70 70 140MA3 Will Gibson 67 67 134MA3 Joel Winter 70 65 135MA3 Geno James 68 68 136MA3 Breck Lund 72 67 139MA3 Chuck Hickey 75 70 145MA3 Darren Odell 81 73 154MA3 Tyler James 75 81 156MA2 Skyler Struble 59 69 128MA2 Spencer Hickey 68 65 133MA2 Nathan Brenner 71 66 137MA2 Jeffrey Burdiek 71 67 138MA2 Isaiah Esquivel 68 72 140MA2 Aaron Suiter 71 71 142MA2 Cody Ervin 72 72 144MA2 Don McCaig 74 72 146MA2 Matthew Siri 77 70 147MA2 Brad Kohl 74 73 147MA2 Patrick Schroeder 77 72 149MA2 Jarod Wiens 68 82 150MA2 Josh Kelley 75 76 151MA2 Colton Whaley 78 77 155MA2 Scott Carpenter 84 80 164MA2 Cason Bahr 77 999 DNFMA2 Butch Stewart 79 999 DNFMA2 Nick Layton 84 999 DNFMA1 Tyler Janney 54 65 119MA1 Braden Struble 59 66 125MA1 Brady Delp 59 66 125MA1 Quentin Ray 63 65 128MA1 Jason Adkins 58 70 128MA1 Adam Gate 65 68 133MA1 Jeff Ring 63 70 133MA1 Branden Rusk 73 61 134MA1 Matthew Newton 64 70 134MA1 Kyle Grim 69 66 135MA1 Nick Hunt 70 66 136MA1 Josh Sapp 66 70 136MA1 Lance Small 74 70 144MA1 Austin Dunn 72 999 DNFFPO Cae Morris 66 70 136FPO Miranda Fulton 69 75 144FPO Carol Schonlau 77 71 148FA2 Kristina Hickey 86 79 165FA2 Heather Kohl 89 82 171.Follow us on Facebook.Follow us on Twitter.last_img read more

Coming Soon: Healthy Homes Program Vendor List

first_imgFacebook23Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Elisa Sparkman for Thurston County Public Health and Social ServicesThurston County Healthy Homes Program is creating a new local resource – the Healthy Homes Program Vendor List. This is a list of home repair and home improvement vendors that serve the Thurston County area. The list will include home repair and home improvement services like general contracting, pest control, roofing, home inspection, home renovation, weatherization, mold remediation, electrical, heating,  and ventilation/cooling. If you have friends or family in the home repair and renovation field, please share this great opportunity with them!To qualify for the list, the company’s staff member(s) in charge of training must take the Healthy Homes Class, and professionals must be licensed/registered, bonded, and insured.Register for one of the upcoming classes! Lunch is included!Saturday June 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.Friday June 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.Class Location: Thurston County Public Health 412 Lilly Rd. NE Olympia, WA.To contact the program or to register for a class call (360) 867-2674, or email HealthyHomes@co.thurston.wa.us. For more information about the upcoming classes, view the flyer.More about Thurston County Healthy Homes ProgramSince 2012, the Thurston County Healthy Homes Program has been providing education and guidance on housing-related health risks like mold, indoor air pollution, exposure to toxics (like lead and pesticides), safety hazards and more. The program offers free, voluntary, and confidential Healthy Homes Visits to give customized education and recommendations to Thurston County residents in their homes. Over the first five years, 99% of clients reported that having a Healthy Homes Visit was useful and they’d recommend one to others. Program staff can provide guidance over the phone or email if residents aren’t able to schedule a visit.The Healthy Homes Program also gives public workshops, classes, and volunteer trainings conducted by a certified Healthy Homes Specialist (certified by the National Environmental Health Association). Community members can request a healthy homes workshop for a group, club, or workplace. Classes and trainings are scheduled throughout the year and are posted on the Healthy Homes Program website.To schedule a Healthy Homes Visit or request a workshop contact 360-867-2674 or HealthyHomes@co.thurston.wa.us.last_img read more