Twitter CEO defends decision not to ban Alex Jones, Infowars

LONDON — Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defended his company’s decision not to ban right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his “Infowars” show, as many other social media platforms have done, saying he did not break any rules.

Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify took down over the past week material published by Jones, reflecting more aggressive enforcement of their hate speech policies after rising online backlash and raising pressure on Twitter to do the same.

Jones’ Facebook account has also been suspended for 30 days but he still has a “verified” Twitter account. A separate Twitter account for “Infowars” is also still running.

“We didn’t suspend Alex Jones or Infowars yesterday,” Dorsey said in a series of tweets late Tuesday . “We know that’s hard for many but the reason is simple: he hasn’t violated our rules. We’ll enforce if he does.”

Dorsey said Twitter did not want to take “one-off actions to make us feel good in the short term, and adding fuel to new conspiracy theories.”

He said he wanted the company to avoid succumbing to outside pressure but instead impartially enforce straightforward principles “regardless of political viewpoints.” He also linked to a blog post Tuesday by the company’s vice president for trust and safety, Del Harvey, outlining the company’s policies.

“Twitter is reflective of real conversations happening in the world and that sometimes includes perspectives that may be offensive, controversial, and/or bigoted,” she said. “While we welcome everyone to express themselves on our service, we prohibit targeted behavior that harasses, threatens, or uses fear to silence the voices of others.”

Jones, who has 858,000 followers on Twitter, has built up his profile while promulgating conspiracy theories, including the claim that the 9/11 terror attacks were carried out by the government. He is perhaps most notorious for claiming that the 2012 Sandy Hook mass school shooting, …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

Are Japan’s Part-Time Employees Working Themselves to Death?

On a sunny morning in June, a middle-aged lawyer named Yoshimasa Obayashi heard his telephone ring once, and nearly ring again, before he rushed to snatch the phone’s receiver from its cradle. It was an unexpected call, from an unknown caller, who confessed that he feared he was working himself to death. In Japan, this sentiment can be expressed using a single word: Karōshi, or “death from overwork,” refers to fatalities from heart attacks, suicides, and other health issues resulting from the stress and fatigue of long hours spent on the job.

In 1988, at the height of Japan’s economic “bubble years,” a group of doctors and labor lawyers launched Japan’s first telephone hotlines dedicated to curbing karōshi. They published their office telephone numbers in pamphlets, and later online, as a means of offering free consultations to at-risk workers, who typically called the volunteer doctors, and bereaved family members, who usually reached out to lawyers like Obayashi for help with compensation claims.

During the summer of 2000, corporate bankruptcies drove hundreds of run-down salarymen to call the hotline each day. By that time, Japan’s government acknowledged just 100 to 200 karōshi cases each year, though Hiroshi Kawahito, a lawyer at the National Defense Counsel for Victims of Karōshi, told me he doesn’t believe that number. He says that given the level of secrecy on the part of employers and what he considers to have been an overly narrow government definition of karōshi at the time—which, for example, didn’t count someone as having worked to death unless they logged more than 100 hours of overtime in the month before dying—the actual number of victims might have been as high as 10,000 cases annually. (The government now uses a lower threshold of hours.)

Press reports about the karōshi epidemic …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Business

Tesla CEO drops latest bombshell with $72B buyout proposal

SAN FRANCISCO — Tesla CEO Elon Musk is gearing up to lead a buyout of the electric car maker in a stunning move that would end the maverick company’s eight-year history trading on the stock market.

In his typically unorthodox fashion, the eccentric Musk dropped his bombshell on his Twitter account, which he has used as a platform for pranks, vitriol and now for a proposal to pull off one of the biggest buyouts in U.S. history.

Musk got the ball rolling Tuesday after the stock market had already been open more than three hours with a tweet announcing he had secured funding to buy all of Tesla’s stock at $420 per share with no further details.

At that price, the buyout would cost nearly $72 billion, based on Tesla’s outstanding stock as of July 27, but it’s unlikely the deal would cost that much because Musk owns a roughly 20 percent stake in the Palo Alto, California, company. He also said he intends to give Tesla’s existing shareholders the option of retaining a stake in the company through a special fund, if they want.

“Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured,” Musk wrote in his first tweet, following up with “good morning” and a smiley emoji. He later tweeted that the only uncertainty about completing the deal is whether he can gain shareholder approval.

The first tweet came hours after the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund had built a significant stake in Tesla Inc., but it was unclear if that was the funding Musk was referring to. The Financial Times, citing unnamed people with direct knowledge of the matter said Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund had built a stake of between 3 and 5 percent of Telsa’s shares.

Musk’s announcement was initially met with widespread skepticism, with many people …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

Trump going ahead with taxes on $16B in Chinese imports

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced Tuesday that it will go ahead with imposing 25 percent tariffs on an additional $16 billion in Chinese imports.

Customs officials will begin collecting the border tax Aug. 23, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said. The list is heavy on industrial products such as steam turbines and iron girders.

The new taxes are in addition to 25 percent tariffs that took effect July 6 on $34 billion in Chinese products. China has responded with retaliatory tariffs of its own.

The administration is preparing tariffs of up to 25 percent on an additional $200 billion in Chinese products. And President Donald Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on virtually everything China sells to the United States. Chinese imports of goods and services into the United States last year amounted to nearly $524 billion.

The world’s two biggest economies are locked in a trade dispute over Washington’s charges that China uses predatory tactics in a drive to supplant U.S. technological supremacy. The alleged tactics include cyber-theft and a requirement that American companies hand over trade secrets in exchange for access to the Chinese market.

…read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News