1.AMAZON: Amazon will guarantee an entry-level wage at its German warehouses of 12 euros ($15) an hour, the company said on Friday in the face of a long-running battle with a top labour union.
Germany is Amazon’s biggest market after the United States, and the Verdi union has been organising strikes at Amazon in the country since 2013 to protest low pay and poor conditions.
The pay increase is effective from July and compares with entry-level pay as low as 11.30 euros per hour for some locations, though pay exceeded 12 euros in other locations.
Amazon’s wages exceed Germany’s current minimum wage of 9.50 euros per hour. But workers have regularly gone on strike, such as last year to coincide with the $1.6 trillion company’s global “Prime Day” promotion event. They were disgruntled that a coronavirus bonus had been scrapped.
A Verdi official said that the increase was the least that the company could do after “earning a pretty penny in recent months” and that pay still fell short of its demands for many employees.
Amazon – which saw net profit rise to $8.1 billion in the first quarter, more than tripling from $2.5 billion the year earlier – has faced similar criticism over conditions and pay throughout the globe.
A spokesperson for Amazon in Germany said all employees would be getting a raise, and Amazon said in a statement that further increases were scheduled for the future.
2.TOSHIBA -Toshiba Corp, facing a deepening crisis over corporate governance, said on Sunday it will change its board director nominees for an upcoming shareholder meeting, as two are stepping down.
The shake-up follows an investigation that found the company had colluded with the Japanese government to pressure foreign investors, a revelation that its second-largest shareholder called the greatest corporate governance scandal in the world in the last decade.
The report was commissioned by shareholders, who voted in March for an independent investigation into allegations investors had come under pressure from the company.
Audit committee chair Junji Ota and audit committee member Takashi Yamauchi will retire as board directors, the company said in a statement, following a four-hour long emergency board meeting.
Toshiba’s audit committee has come under scrutiny as the investigation alleged the committee failed to take any action even when it became aware of Toshiba’s attempt to prevent shareholders from exercising their rights.
Toshiba also said two executives, Masayasu Toyohara and Masaharu Kamo, will leave this month. The report alleged these two reached out to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) for support ahead of Toshiba’s annual general meeting last July.
In the statement, Toshiba said it “will take action to identify the root cause without delay, in an objective and transparent manner, including the participation of third parties.”
The board, particularly chairman Osamu Nagayama, is likely to continue to face repercussions from the report in the run-up to the annual shareholders meeting on June 25.
3. TESLA :Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk tweeted on Sunday that the electric carmaker will resume allowing bitcoin transactions when miners who verify transactions use more renewable energy.
“When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with a positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing Bitcoin transactions,” he said in a tweet.
Bitcoin rose 5.1% to $37,360.63 at 1810 GMT (2:10 p.m. ET) on Sunday, adding $1,817.87 to its previous close, after Musk’s tweet.
Musk also said that Tesla sold about 10% of holdings to confirm bitcoin could be liquidated easily without moving the market.
He announced in May that Tesla would no longer accept bitcoin for car purchases, citing long-brewing environmental concerns for a swift reversal in the company’s position on the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin fell more than 10% after his tweet.
The billionaire said that he believed cryptocurrency has a promising future, but it cannot be at great cost to the environment.
In February, Tesla revealed it had bought $1.5 billion of bitcoin and would accept it as a form of payment for cars.
4.MICROSOFT :-Microsoft on Sunday showcased 30 upcoming games and said most of those titles will be available on its monthly subscription service, Xbox Game Pass.
One of Microsoft’s big-ticket games, “Halo Infinite,” is now set for a holiday launch this year after being delayed due to the challenge of developers being stuck at home during coronavirus restrictions.
Several of the game launches announced by Microsoft at the E3 conference came from video game publisher Bethesda, behind hits such as Fallout and Doom. Microsoft last year bought ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda, for $7.5 billion.
Microsoft also announced launch dates of two big-budget games, exclusive to Xbox and PC – role playing game “Starfield” and vampire-themed shooting game “Redfall.” “Starfield” will launch on Nov. 11, 2022 and “Redfall” next Summer.
Both Microsoft and Sony launched their next-generation gaming devices in November last year and have seen heightened demand for the consoles as gamers stuck at home due to the pandemic snapped up the devices.
Gaming analytics firm Newzoo forecasts that the global games market will generate revenue of $175.8 billion in 2021, with 2.9 billion players, and surpass $200 billion in 2023.
5. APPLE – Apple Inc on Friday said it has tightened some of its rules for responding to legal requests after the U.S. Justice Department during Donald Trump’s presidency subpoenaed it for information on Democratic lawmakers.
Apple said it recently instituted a limit of 25 identifiers such as email addresses or phone numbers per legal request.
The Cupertino, California-based company said it received a subpoena from the Justice Department in February 2018 for information on 109 identifiers made up of 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, but that it did not release content such as emails and pictures to prosecutors.
The New York Times on Thursday reported that federal prosecutors subpoenaed Apple and other companies as part of an investigation searching for the sources behind news media reports about contacts between Trump’s associates and Russia.
The investigation targeted at least two Democrats on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, aides and family members, including one minor, the Times reported.
Apple said that it had no way to tell what the nature of the investigation was and released only basic “account subscriber information” such as names, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers, as well as connection logs and IP addresses.
Apple said that it did not provide data showing to whom or when messages of any kind were sent.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said on Friday he will investigate the department’s efforts under Trump to seize the communications data of lawmakers and members of the news media.