Interesting Global News June 2017

Google aims at countering extremist propaganda on Youtube

The mammoth company announced that the fight against extremism and hate propaganda will take a toll on the freedom of the Youtube content creators. The moderators will target any type of supremacist behavior, including discrimination and hate towards religious groups and all the way up to inciting violence and promoting terrorism.

One of the major problems, as specified by Kent Walker, the Google’s general counsel, is that the Islamic State is using online platforms like Youtube to recruit new personnel. The countermeasure would imply diverting the users’ online traffic from extremist propaganda videos to anti-terrorist material, where they will be educated on the matter, in an effort to change their minds.

Facebook has recently announced adopting similar measures, after the platform leaked the names of more than 1,000 moderators to terrorist suspects, because of an unexpected fault in the system.

Amazon goes toe-to-toe with Wal-mart

The multibillion dollar company has decided to step out of the online environment and begin a mission to demolish the real-world competition. After the recent purchase of the Whole Foods Market Inc, for a staggering $14 billion, Amazon’s influence is soon to cast a shadow on the rest of the market. In this current situation, Wal-mart has the highest stakes in the game. The company holds 22% of the US grocery market and has recently spread its influence in the online sector as well, after purchasing last year, for $3 billion.

For Wal-mart, the news are that much more menacing as Amazon is getting ready to move to Bentonville, Arkansas, where Wal-mart takes 56% of its yearly revenues from. In response to that, Wal-mart has already adopted preventive counter-measures, like:

– Significant price cutting

– Diversifying the food offers

– Modernizing the grocery aisles

– Expanding and diversifying its online services

However, Amazon will adopt similar measures in the near future, which means that the war for US’s grocery market is barely in its initial phases.

Historical cuts in oil prices, due to oil war in China

PetroChina and Sinopec, two of the oil giants in the region, have started a war that announces global repercussions. The fight for the $440 billion oil market started in March, when Sinopec announced significant discounts, as a response to the independent petrol station owners’ promotions.

This triggered PetroChina to adopt similar measures and the ripples soon became obvious. The prices quickly plunged by $0.21/liter and soon dropped by $0.40/liter, which benefits the everyday consumer, without actually causing any losses to the oil giants. Both Sinopec and PetroChina are dominating the oil market, thanks to strategically covering the top consuming regions in the south and east and owning more than 60% of the country’s retail oil sales.

Barclays are facing criminal charges for the Qatar bust

Following a 5-year investigation, regarding the illegal cash flow from a Qatar wealth fund during the peak of the financial crisis, the SFO (Serious Fraud Office) is ready to press charges. Two of the culprits are Barclays and Qatar Holding, from which Barclays received a substantial cash injection in 2008, totaling, with the help of other investors, in excess of $14 billion.

One of the key figures in the process seems to be Roger Jenkins, who left Barclays in 2009 and who is believed to have served as the link between the Qatar investors and the bank. The process is on the role and Barclays is currently in the spotlight.

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