May 22, 2019

Virginia Uber driver was Somali war criminal

Somali citizen Farhan Tani Warfaa testified last week in the Washington DC suburbs that ex-Somali colonel Yusuf Abdi Ali shot and tortured him. In May, CNN reporters went undercover to take an Uber ride with Ali. Ali drove for Uber for about 18 months, after passing a screening process for the rideshare company. The background check included a review of Ali's criminal history using state and national records, and a scan of government watchlists from the FBI and Interpol. Before working for...

May 22, 2019

Nike cancels 'Puerto Rico' shoe over Panama indigenous design

AFP US sportswear giant Nike is withdrawing a new version of its classic Air Force 1 shoe after objections from an indigenous group in Panama. The limited edition model was described as a tribute to Puerto Rico but the Guna community of Panama said it used their traditional "Mola" pattern. The group accused Nike of "Pirating" a protected traditional design. The Guna people live mainly in low-lying Caribbean islands that make up the Guna Yala autonomous region and are one of seven indigenous...

May 21, 2019

Venezuela crisis: Maduro proposes early National Assembly vote

Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro has proposed an early election for the National Assembly, headed by opposition leader Juan Guaidó. Mr Maduro, whose re-election was marred by an opposition boycott and vote-rigging claims, added: "We're going to measure ourselves electorally... we're going to bring forward elections of the National Assembly." AFP. Also on Monday, the National Constituent Assembly - set up in 2017 by Mr Maduro after his party lost control of the National Assembly - has...

May 21, 2019

Instagram: Facebook probes breach of millions of influencer accounts

Photo sharing site Instagram says it is trying to find out how contact details of almost 50 million of its users was stored online in an unguarded database. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, told the BBC it was trying to find out where the data had come from. "We're looking into the issue to understand if the data described - including email and phone numbers - was from Instagram or from other sources. We're also inquiring with Chtrbox to understand where this data came from and how it...

May 21, 2019

US-China trade war: Shoe giants urge Trump to end tariffs

Some of the world's biggest footwear firms are urging Donald Trump to end the US trade war with China, warning of a "Catastrophic" effect on consumers. "It is time to bring this trade war to an end," the firms urged. Mr Trump lifted levies on $200bn worth of Chinese imports into the US from 10% to 25% more than a week ago after Washington and Beijing failed to reach a deal on trade. The footwear companies who signed the letter, including Clarks, Dr Martens and Converse, claim that while the...

May 15, 2019

Pilots 'raised Boeing safety fears' months before Ethiopia crash

American Airlines pilots confronted Boeing about potential safety issues in its 737 Max planes in a meeting last November, US media are reporting. In a closed door meeting with Boeing executives last November, which was secretly recorded, American Airlines' pilots can be heard expressing concerns about the safety of MCAS. Boeing vice-president Mike Sinnett told the pilots: "No one has yet to conclude that the sole cause of this was this function on the airplane." Boeing declined to comment on...

May 15, 2019

Christchurch attacks: Facebook curbs Live feature

UK Prime Minister Theresa May will call for governments and technology companies to work together to prevent terrorist material being shared online. Mrs May will speak at a Paris summit on online extremism, called after the Christchurch mosque attacks in March. The company has also pledged $7.5m towards new research partnerships to automatically detect banned content, after some users bypassed existing detection systems by uploading edited versions of the Christchurch attacks. She is due to...

May 13, 2019

Why Canada is a guinea pig for global markets

The social media behemoth isn't the only company that has found value in using Canada as a place to show proof of concept for new products and innovation before bringing them to wider markets. "In Canada we have really a very diverse population with more than 200 languages spoken throughout the country," says Danny Heuman, chief analytics officer with market research firm Environics Analytics. Michael Moskowitz, president of Panasonic Canada, has championed Canada as a place for global firms...

May 11, 2019

Brazil National Museum: 'Little surprises' salvaged from the ashes

Many Brazilians wept after their 200-year-old National Museum was destroyed in a devastating fire last September. Ironically - tragically - von Seehausen is wielding his trowel, using his archaeological training, to excavate his own workplace - to re-uncover ancient treasures that had already been uncovered by archaeologists in Egypt two centuries ago, but which were buried again when their new home, the National Museum of Brazil, went up in flames. The National Museum, founded in 1818 just...

May 11, 2019

Facebook sues analytics firm Rankwave over alleged data misuse

Facebook is suing a South Korean firm it accuses of unlawfully using data to sell marketing and advertising. According to court documents filed in California on Friday, Facebook is accusing Rankwave of using at least 30 different apps to "Track and analyse" comments and likes on Facebook pages. In its lawsuit, Facebook accuses Rankwave of ignoring repeated requests to open itself up to an audit and provide evidence relating to data it had allegedly obtained. Facebook wants a judge to force...

May 10, 2019

The elite soldiers protecting the Amazon rainforest

French Guiana, a small French overseas territory on the north-eastern coast of South America, is one of the most forested nations on the planet, but its precious ecosystem is under threat from illegal gold mining. Beneath the Amazon rainforest lies treasure: gold deposits can be found just 15m below the forest floor. Just over a decade ago, when the economic crash of 2008 caused the price of gold to skyrocket, a gold rush began all over the Amazon jungle. The price of gold has continued to...

May 10, 2019

Potato farmers want payout from PepsiCo

Indian potato farmers want "compensation for harassment and intimidation" from US giant PepsiCo.

May 9, 2019

Apps off: Ride-share drivers on strike across the US

The drivers say the companies they work for, which include Uber and Lyft, have made it impossible to earn a living.

May 9, 2019

Uber valued at $82bn in share listing

AFP Uber has set a price for floating its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, in what is expected to be one of the biggest stock market flotations of the year. The ride-hailing taxi app firm has priced its shares at $45. The deal values Uber at $82bn. The price is near the bottom of the expected $44-$50 range - a sign that investors are cautious about the firm. Uber hopes to sell 180 million shares when trading starts on Friday. Rival Lyft's flotation was priced at $72 per share when it...

May 5, 2019

Libya crisis: The fight for Tripoli explained from the front line

The BBC's Feras Kilani reports on the self-styled Libyan National Army's push to seize Libya's capital.

May 5, 2019

Facebook bets on stars in quest for sales

Stars with legions of followers on Instagram will soon be able to sell products directly to users using the company's apps. You have to be transparent with your followers, she advises, tagging promotional posts as "Ad". As for the future of the industry, it is harder than ever to grow a following, she says, as platforms like Instagram manage who sees what using content management algorithms. Will this push by Facebook and Instagram for influencers to sell directly to followers help her? Kylie...

May 2, 2019

Antiquities looted in Syria and Iraq are sold on Facebook

Facebook is being used by networks of traffickers to buy and sell looted antiquities, the BBC has learned. The BBC has also seen evidence that antiquities are still being smuggled from Iraq and Syria into Turkey, despite a police clampdown and the retreat of the Islamic State group. Roman mosaics still in the ground in Syria are being offered for sale on Facebook pages shown to the BBC by Prof Amr al-Azm, an archaeologist who has had to leave Syria and now works at Shawnee State University in...

May 1, 2019

Facebook boss reveals changes in response to criticism

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has revealed a series of changes to the firm's portfolio of social platforms, including Instagram and Whatsapp. The new designs and features for its apps are a direct response to widespread criticism of how the firm protects user data. Mr Zuckerberg said Facebook was focused on looking at ways to encode privacy across the firm's entire infrastructure. Other announcements included a new feature called Secret Crush, part of Facebook Dating, which will let Facebook...

May 1, 2019

Thai cave boys sign Netflix deal

Netflix has secured the rights to make a mini-series about the rescue of 12 boys and their football coach from a cave in northern Thailand last year. "Thailand is a very important market for Netflix and we are looking forward to bringing this inspiring local, but globally resonant story to life," she added. AFP/ROYAL THAI NAVY. The team, aged between 11 and 16, and their 25-year-old coach became trapped on June 23 while exploring the cave complex in Chiang Rai, when a rainy season downpour...

May 1, 2019

Apple iPhone sales drop at record pace

Sales of Apple's iPhones fell at their steepest-ever rate during the three months to the end of March but are showing signs of stabilising. The technology giant said revenue from the iPhone dropped by 17% to $31bn. Apple chief executive Tim Cook said sales were stronger towards the end of March, including in China where it cut iPhone prices to boost demand. Apple lifted its outlook for the three months to June, sending its shares over 5% higher in after-hours trading.

Apr 29, 2019

The self-styled Libyan National Army has launched airstrikes on Tripoli

Libyan National Army troops under General Khalifa Hafer launch a new bid to take the nation's capital

Apr 29, 2019

Apple defends removing parental control apps

Apple has defended its decision to remove a number of parental control apps from the App Store, citing security concerns. Apple said the apps were removed because they "Put users' privacy and security at risk". The tools also let parents control how much time their children can spend on apps and websites. In a blog post, Apple said it had taken action against apps that were using "Risky" Mobile Device Management to control children's smartphones. Apple said it was not appropriate for...

Apr 25, 2019

Ghosn: Tokyo court grants $4.5m bail to former Nissan boss

A Tokyo court has granted former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn bail set at 500 million yen, paving the way for his release from custody. His lawyers applied for bail on Monday after Mr Ghosn was charged with aggravated breach of trust. That indictment relates to allegations that the auto boss made a multi-million-dollar payment to a Nissan distributor in Oman, and that as much as $5m was funnelled to an account controlled by Mr Ghosn. Mr Ghosn was the architect of the alliance formed between...

Apr 25, 2019

US Uber drivers plan 12-hour shutdown over pay and conditions

Uber drivers in seven US cities are planning protests to highlight what they claim are poor working conditions and low wages at the ride-hailing firm. For 12 hours, the drivers involved in the protests plan to turn off the Uber app and stop working for the ride-hailing firm. Publicly available figures suggest that Uber and Lyft drivers are paid $8.55 an hour in the US. This is higher than the national mandated minimum wage level of $7.25, but less than rates set by some states. New York now...

Apr 24, 2019

Donald Trump meets Twitter's Jack Dorsey at White House

AFP/Getty/EPA US President Donald Trump has met Twitter's co-founder Jack Dorsey at the White House to discuss social media. In a statement, Twitter said the pair spoke about "Protecting the health of the public conversation" ahead of the US 2020 general election. Mr Trump tweeted a picture of Mr Dorsey and him in the Oval Office and called it a "Great meeting". "Constantly taking people off list. Big complaints from many people," he wrote, claiming the numbers would be higher "If Twitter...

Apr 24, 2019

Facebook sets aside $3bn for privacy probe

Facebook has said it will set aside $3bn to cover the potential costs of an investigation by US authorities into its privacy practices. The social media giant also said sales for the first three months of the year leapt 26% to $15.08bn, narrowly beating market expectations. While it has provided for a heavy toll from the investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission, the final cost could be $5bn, it said. That rise takes the number of users to 2.38 billion. The shares are up by nearly 40%...

Apr 23, 2019

Sri Lanka attacks: Who are National Thowheed Jamath?

A previously little-known group called the National Thowheed Jamath is being accused of having carried out the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka. Until Monday, when the Sri Lankan government spokesman mentioned its name, very few people had heard of the NTJ. The group is believed to have splintered off from another hardline Islamist group in the country, the Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamath. Some reports have also linked the NTJ to a spate of vandalism last December that targeted Buddhist temples...

Apr 22, 2019

Top climbers die in Canadian avalanche

AFP Three professional mountaineers have been found dead after an avalanche at Canada's Banff National Park. Austrian climbers David Lama, 28, and Hansjörg Auer, 35, and US citizen Jess Roskelley, 36, had been attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peake. During their expedition, the group had been taking a route up Howse Peake, known as M16, which has only been climbed once before. In 2003, Mr Roskelly became the youngest American to climb Mount Everest - the world's highest peak - aged...

Apr 22, 2019

Carlos Ghosn: Former Nissan boss hit with fresh charge

Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn has been indicted by prosecutors in Japan on a fresh charge of aggravated breach of trust. It is the fourth charge brought against Mr Ghosn and relates to the alleged misuse of company funds. Prosecutors allege that Mr Ghosn made a multi-million-dollar payment to a Nissan distributor in Oman, and that as much as $5m was funnelled to an account controlled by Mr Ghosn. Mr Ghosn was the architect of the alliance formed between Japan's Nissan and French carmaker...

Apr 22, 2019

TED 2019: How to kill a zombie rumour and fix Facebook

From so-called zombie rumours - viral online stories that refuse to die - to the difference between misinformation and fake news, much of the talk at TED 2019 has been about the need to improve online conversation. He spoke at TED about how the unintended consequences of Facebook's business model, which relies on keeping users engaged, was also making the sharing of questionable content all too easy. In conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson, Mr McNamee talked about how he had spoken to...