1.AMAZON – Amazon.com Inc has apologized to U.S. Representative Mark Pocan, admitting to scoring an “own goal” in its initial denial of his suggestion that its drivers were sometimes forced to urinate in bottles during their delivery rounds.
“We know that drivers can and do have trouble finding restrooms because of traffic or sometimes rural routes, and this has been especially the case during Covid when many public restrooms have been closed,” the company said in a blog post .Its admission came a week after the Democrat criticised Amazon’s working conditions, saying in a tweet: “Paying workers $15/hr doesn’t make you a ‘progressive workplace’ when you union-bust & make workers urinate in water bottles.”
Amazon initially issued a denial, saying in a tweet: “You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you? If that were true, nobody would work for us.” But it subsequently walked back those comments.
“This was an own goal, we’re unhappy about it, and we owe an apology to Representative Pocan,” Amazon said in its blog post, adding that its previous response only referred to staff at its warehouses or fulfillment centers.
The company said the issue was industry-wide and it would look for solutions, without specifying what these might be.
Amazon’s apology comes at a time when workers at an Alabama warehouse are waiting for a vote count that could result in the online retailer’s first unionized facility in the United States and mark a watershed moment for organized labor.
Amazon has long discouraged attempts among its more than 800,000 U.S. employees to organize. Allegations by many workers of a grueling or unsafe workplace have turned unionizing the company into a key goal for the U.S. labor movement.
2.GOLDMAN SACHS :Goldman Sachs Group Inc plans to offer investments in bitcoin and other digital assets to its wealth management clients from the second quarter, the latest top-tier company to move into the cryptocurrency space.
Firms including Tesla Inc, BNY Mellon Corp and Square Inc have recently announced they are betting on bitcoin, as the wider adoption of the cryptocurrency for settling transactions and investments gathers pace.
The move by Goldman, reported by CNBC earlier on Wednesday, comes days after a report that rival Morgan Stanley had started offering clients investments to the emerging asset class.
CNBC reported that Goldman would ultimately offer investments in bitcoin and digital assets that would include the physical bitcoin, derivatives or traditional investment vehicles. A spokesperson for the bank confirmed the details of the report, which cited an interview with Mary Rich, the global head of digital assets for Goldman’s private wealth management division.
Reuters reported earlier this month that Goldman had restarted its cryptocurrency trading desk and that it was also exploring possibilities for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund.
The rising interest in the cryptocurrency comes after Tesla revealed in February that it had bought $1.5 billion of bitcoin, helping drive the cryptocurrency to record highs and breach $1 trillion in market capitalization for the first time.
3.BYTE DANCE :-China’s ByteDance has told an Indian court that a government freeze on its bank accounts in a probe of possible tax evasion amounts to harassment and was done illegally, according to a filing seen by Reuters.
ByteDance in January reduced its Indian workforce after New Delhi maintained a ban on its popular video app TikTok, imposed last year after a border clash between India and China. Beijing has repeatedly criticised India over that ban and those of other Chinese apps.
An Indian tax intelligence unit in mid-March ordered HSBC and Citibank in Mumbai to freeze bank accounts of ByteDance India as it probed some of the unit’s financial dealings. ByteDance has challenged the freeze on the four accounts in a Mumbai court.
None of ByteDance India’s employees have been paid their March salaries due to the account freeze, said two people familiar with the matter. The company told the court it has a workforce of 1,335, including outsourced personnel.
In the 209-page court filing lodged on March 25, ByteDance told the High Court in Mumbai the authorities acted against the company without any material evidence and gave no prior notice, as required by Indian law, before such “drastic action”.
Blocking accounts “during the process of investigation amounts (to) applying undue coercion,” ByteDance argued. It is “intended, improperly, to harass the petitioner.”
India’s Directorate General of Goods & Services Tax Intelligence, and the finance ministry which oversees it, did not immediately respond to requests for comment over the weekend.
The details of the tax investigation have not previously been reported. The tax agency told ByteDance last year it had reasons to believe the company suppressed certain transactions and claimed excessive tax credits, the filing shows.
ByteDance declined to comment on its court filing but told Reuters on Tuesday it disagrees with the decision of the tax authority. HSBC declined to comment, while Citibank did not respond.
4. MICROSOFT:- Microsoft Corp said on Thursday it has resolved an issue with its Microsoft 365 services and features, including workplace messaging app Teams and Azure, after many users were unable to access them.
Microsoft said in its status page that the Domain Name System (DNS) issue was resolved and that all Microsoft 365 services had returned to a healthy state.
DNS is effectively an address book of the internet which enables computers to match website addresses with the correct server.
Earlier, outage tracking website Downdetector showed over 8,000 incidents of people reporting issues with its widely-used Teams workplace messaging app.
Downdetector only tracks outages by collating status reports from a series of sources, including user-submitted errors on its platform.
5.TESLA- Tesla Inc on Friday posted record deliveries for the January to March quarter, beating Wall Street estimates, as solid demand for less expensive models offset the impact of a global shortage of parts.
“We are encouraged by the strong reception of the Model Y in China and are quickly progressing to full production capacity,” Tesla said in a statement.
“The new Model S and Model X have also been exceptionally well received … and we are in the early stages of ramping production,” it added.
Tesla’s Shanghai factory started production of the Model Y late last year in the key market where it already produces Model 3 sedans. In February, Tesla’s China sales jumped from the previous month even as demand usually falls during China’s Lunar New Year holidays which occurred that month.
The electric-car maker delivered 184,800 vehicles globally during the first quarter, above estimates of 177,822 vehicles, according to Refinitiv data.
This also exceeds its previous record of 180,570 achieved last quarter.
In February, Tesla suspended its California plant for two days due to “parts shortages.”
“We believe China and Europe were particularly robust this quarter,” said Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush. He expects Tesla’s annual sales to exceed 850,000 vehicles this year, fueled by the Biden administration’s policy of boosting EV sales and by rising global demand.