Categories
Business News

Coronavirus: ‘Relief’ for Leicester businesses out of lockdown – BBC News

Staff wiping down surfaces at Leicester Racecourse Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Businesses across the city – including Leicester Racecourse – have put extra safety measures in place

Owners of restaurants, pubs and hairdressers in Leicester have spoken of their “relief” at being able to open for the first time since March.

Businesses which were preparing to open with the rest of England on 4 July were told on 29 June to remain shut as a local lockdown was announced.

At the end of last week it was announced some hospitality businesses in Leicester could reopen.

Restaurant owner Dharmesh Lakhani said he was “really happy” to get to work.

Image copyright Dharmesh Lakhani
Image caption Restaurant owner Dharmesh Lakhani said he was “really, really excited” to be reopening

Mr Lakhani, who runs Bobby’s in the city’s Belgrave Road, is opening at midday and said he was worried it would take businesses in Leicester longer to recover because people would be reluctant to travel there due to the “stigma” of the local lockdown.

“Four-and-a-half months we have been shut. It is quite demoralising,” he said.

“We are already one month behind the rest of the country. That was the toughest part. It made us feel inadequate.”

However, although he said he believed it would be a “slow start”, he said he was “really, really excited to finally get a chance to open the business and get into some sort of routine and normality”.

Image caption Blake Edwards said there could be a “rocky road ahead” for many businesses

Blake Edwards, of the Flappers and Gentlemen hair salon, will be opening on Tuesday for the first time since March.

He said he felt a “massive relief” at finally being able to open, adding he wanted to make people feel proud of Leicester again.

He said the lockdown had “cost the businesses immensely”.

“We know there is a rocky road ahead,” said Mr Edwards.

“We are happy but aware safety is the number one priority. We don’t want any more setbacks.”

He said as well as affecting the mental health of people working in Leicester, the lockdown had taken a toll on business owners like himself who had to go to bed “working out whether they can still carry on employing the team”.

He said: “You really have had to be mentally strong.”

He added he hoped the reopening of businesses would “hopefully start pushing Leicester in the direction it deserves”.

Image caption Pub manager Sarah Gillett said she hoped people would not be nervous to visit

Sarah Gillett, manager of the Market Tavern, in Market Place, said the pub would be opening at 10:00 BST.

She said she felt “very relieved”, adding “it has been a long time coming”.

She said: “We don’t know how it is going to be. We don’t know whether people will still come out or be nervous.

“I don’t know how everyone is going to take the rules and regulations. If everyone does what they are told it will be fine.

“Alcohol and common sense don’t mix well but we don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun.

“I am a bit apprehensive but this time next week we will wonder what we were worried about, I’m sure.”

Follow BBC East Midlands on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Send your story ideas to eastmidsnews@bbc.co.uk.

Categories
Business News

India’s factory activity contracted at a sharper pace in July – The Indian Express

By: Reuters | Bengaluru | Published: August 3, 2020 10:45:00 am

A further decline in new orders and output signaled weakness in overall demand despite factories again cutting their prices, leading firms to reduce their workforces for a fourth month in a row. (Representational image)

India’s factory slump deepened in July as renewed lockdown measures to contain surging coronavirus cases weighed on demand and output, raising the chances of a sharper economic contraction, a private business survey showed on Monday.

Asia’s third-largest economy, which has the third-highest coronavirus caseload globally, is expected to shrink at its sharpest pace since 1979 this fiscal year, a Reuters poll found last week.

Reinforcing that grim outlook, the Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, compiled by IHS Markit, fell to 46.0 last month from 47.2 in June, below the 50-level separating growth from expansion for a fourth straight month and marking its longest spell of contraction since March 2009.

“The survey results showed a re-acceleration of declines in the key indices of output and new orders, undermining the trend towards stabilisation seen over the past two months,” noted Eliot Kerr, an economist at IHS Markit.

“Anecdotal evidence indicated that firms were struggling to obtain work, with some of their clients remaining in lockdown, suggesting that we won’t see a pick-up in activity until infection rates are quelled and restrictions can be further removed.”

A further decline in new orders and output signaled weakness in overall demand despite factories again cutting their prices, leading firms to reduce their workforces for a fourth month in a row.

A persistent decline in both input and output prices raises the chance that overall inflation would ease, after spiking above the upper bound of the Reserve Bank of India’s medium-term target of 2-6% in June.

That might give the RBI more room to ease policy further, after having cut its repo rate by 115 basis points (bps) since March to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic.

The central bank was forecast to cut its key interest rate by another 50 bps by year-end, according to a Reuters poll.

With more monetary stimulus expected, business optimism about the coming 12 months hit a five-month high in July, the PMI showed.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Business News, download Indian Express App.

Categories
Business News

Microsoft to continue talks to buy TikTok’s US operations – BBC News

TikTok logo

US tech giant Microsoft has confirmed that it is continuing talks to purchase the US operations of Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok.

Microsoft boss Satya Nadella had a conversation with President Donald Trump about the acquisition on Sunday, the tech firm said.

Microsoft stressed that it “fully appreciates the importance” of addressing President Trump’s concerns.

A full security review of the app will be conducted, the company added.

Microsoft will also have to provide the US government with a list of the “proper economic benefits” to the country, it said in a blog post.

The tech giant hopes to conclude discussions with TikTok’s parent firm ByteDance by 15 September.

Microsoft said it was looking to purchase the TikTok service in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and would operate the app in these markets.

The tech firm added that it “may” invite other American investors to participate in the purchase “on a minority basis”.

Microsoft emphasised that it would ensure that “all private data of TikTok’s American users” was transferred to and remained in the US.

Further, it would ensure that any data currently stored or backed up outside the country would be deleted from servers after it was transferred to US data centres.

It also said that Microsoft “appreciates the US Government’s and President Trump’s personal involvement as it continues to develop strong security protections for the country.”

But the tech giant added that current discussions were still in the “preliminary” stage, and as such there was “no assurance” that the purchase would proceed.

Government concerns

A possible sale of TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft was thought to be on hold after Donald Trump vowed to ban the video-sharing app, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The potential sale was had been seen close to agreement but was put in doubt after the US president’s warning on Friday.

And on Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that President Trump would take action “in the coming days” against Chinese-owned software that he believed to pose a national security risk.

Speaking to Fox News, Mr Pompeo said the action would be taken “with respect to a broad array of national security risks that are presented by software connected to the Chinese Communist Party”.

Short-form video app TikTok is thought to have about half a billion active users worldwide – and about 80 million in the US – with a huge proportion of these in their teens or early 20s.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionWATCH: Will TikTok be banned?

Some US politicians are worried the app’s Chinese owner ByteDance poses a risk to national security because it could be used to collect Americans’ personal data. Regulators have also raised their own safety concerns.

Late on Friday, Mr Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One: “As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States.”

And in a statement on Saturday, a White House spokesman said: “The administration has very serious national security concerns over TikTok. We continue to evaluate future policy.”

The Wall Street Journal said ByteDance tried to make significant concessions to the White House, including creating of thousands of jobs over three years.

A sale of the US operation to Microsoft, which owns LinkedIn, would give the US tech giant a far greater presence in social media, an area dominated by rivals. The value of TikTok’s US arm has been put at between $15bn and $30bn (£11bn-£23bn).

According to the Financial Times, some executives at ByteDance believe Mr Trump’s intervention may just be a negotiating ploy to help Microsoft secure a better deal.

TikTok declined to discuss the possible Microsoft deal, but a spokesperson said in a statement on Sunday: “While we do not comment on rumours or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok.”

The statement re-iterated that the company was committed to protecting the privacy and safety of users.

‘Bizarre’

The move to ban TikTok comes at a time of heightened tensions between the Trump administration and the Chinese government over a number of issues, including trade disputes and Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

The president’s announcement on Friday was criticised by some in the tech sector, including former Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos, who questioned whether the move was spurred by national security concerns.

He tweeted: “This is getting bizarre. A 100% sale to an American company would have been considered a radical solution two week ago and, eventually, mitigates any reasonable data protection concerns. If the White House kills this we know this isn’t about national security.”

Image copyright Getty Images

Mr Trump was also criticised by the American Civil Liberties Union. “Banning an app that millions of Americans use to communicate with each other is a danger to free expression and is technologically impractical,” said the ACLU’s surveillance and cybersecurity counsel, Jennifer Granick.

“Shutting one platform down, even if it were legally possible to do so, harms freedom of speech online and does nothing to resolve the broader problem of unjustified government surveillance,” she said.

On Saturday, in a bid to reassure TikTok’s millions of US users, Vanessa Pappas, the country’s general manager said in a video message: “We’re not going anywhere . . . We’re here for the long run.

“When it comes to safety and security, we’re building the safest app because we know it’s the right thing to do. So we appreciate the support.”

Categories
Business News

ASX falls as Victoria’s tougher coronavirus lockdown weighs on business – ABC News

The Australian share market is lower in early trade as Victoria declares a state of disaster and announces harsher coronavirus restrictions, including an evening curfew and new rules around businesses.

At 10:15am (AEST) the ASX 200 index was down 1.1 per cent to 5,865, with most sectors in the red, led lower by banks, consumer stocks and industrials. Mining and technology stocks have been among the rare early gains.

The All Ordinaries index lost a similar percentage and was down 62 points to 5,998, slipping below the psychological 6,000-point mark.

Hearing-implant firm Cochlear jumped nearly 4 per cent to $197.40, while gold miner Newcrest was up 1.7 per cent to $35.82.

Travel firms led the early falls, with Corporate Travel Management down 5.8 per cent to $8.22 and Flight Centre down 5.3 per cent to $10.03.

Gaming firm Tabcorp will write down the goodwill value of its betting, media and gaming services businesses by up to $1.1 billion for the 2020 financial year because of the impact of the coronavirus.

It is predicting after-tax earnings to come in at between $267 million and $273 million before one-off items, down around one-third from last year. Its shares fell 4.2 per cent to $3.40.

Employment website Seek is the latest firm to ditch its dividend amid the coronavirus uncertainty. Seek told the market it would pay no final dividend to investors and its shares fell 2 per cent to $21.23.

The company-reporting season gets into full swing this week, with expectations that some big companies could see annual earnings plunge by up to 20 per cent because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Later this week, Insurance Australia Group and real estate firm REA Group will report their annual profits.

The Australian market fell 2 per cent on Friday amid rising coronavirus infections in Victoria and after the US economy saw its worst June quarter on record because of COVID-19.

On Friday, Wall Street ended higher in a volatile session, despite no deal in Congress to extend extra unemployment benefits for millions of Americans.

The Nasdaq rose after COVID-19 boosted the earnings of tech giants such as Apple and Amazon.

Apple shares jumped 10.5 per cent to end at a record high of $US425.04 after the company’s quarterly results. It has surpassed Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 115 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 26,428, the S&P 500 gained 25 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 3,271 and the Nasdaq Composite added 157 points, or 1.5 per cent, to 10,745.

The Australian dollar slipped from a 15-month high to around 71.3 US cents.

Categories
Business News

Tiktok: Microsoft to continue talks to buy app’s US arm – BBC News

TikTok logo

US tech giant Microsoft has confirmed that it is continuing talks to purchase the US operations of Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok.

Microsoft boss Satya Nadella had a conversation with President Donald Trump about the acquisition on Sunday, the tech firm said.

Microsoft stressed that it “fully appreciates the importance” of addressing President Trump’s concerns.

A full security review of the app will be conducted, the firm added.

Microsoft will also have to provide the US government with a list of the “proper economic benefits” to the country, it said in a blog post.

The tech giant hopes to conclude discussions with TikTok’s parent firm ByteDance by 15 September.

Microsoft said it was looking to purchase the TikTok service in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and would operate the app in these markets.

The tech firm added that it “may” invite other American investors to participate in the purchase “on a minority basis”.

Microsoft emphasised that it would ensure that “all private data of Tiktok’s American users” was transferred to and remained in the US.

Further, it would ensure that any data currently stored or backed up outside the country would be deleted from servers after it was transferred to US data centres.

But the tech giant added that current discussions to purchase TikTok were still in the “preliminary” stage, and as such there was “no assurance” that the purchase would proceed.

Government concerns

A possible sale of TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft was thought to be on hold after Donald Trump vowed to ban the video-sharing app, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

A sale was thought close to agreement but was put in doubt after the US president’s warning on Friday.

And on Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that President Trump would take action “in the coming days” against Chinese-owned software that he believed to pose a national security risk.

Speaking to Fox News Channel, Mr Pompeo said the action would be taken “with respect to a broad array of national security risks that are presented by software connected to the Chinese Communist Party”.

Short-form video app TikTok is thought to have about half a billion active users worldwide – and about 80 million in the US – with a huge proportion of these in their teens or early 20s.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionWATCH: Will TikTok be banned?

Some US politicians are worried the app’s Chinese owner, Bytedance, poses a risk to national security because the app could be used to collect Americans’ personal data. Regulators have also raised their own safety concerns.

Late on Friday, Mr Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One: “As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States.”

And in a statement on Saturday, a White House spokesman said: “The administration has very serious national security concerns over TikTok. We continue to evaluate future policy.”

The Wall Street Journal said Bytedance tried to make significant concessions to the White House, including creating of thousands of jobs over three years.

A sale of the US operation to Microsoft, which owns LinkedIn, would give the US tech giant a far greater presence in social media, an area dominated by rivals. The value of TikTok’s US arm has been put at between $15bn and $30bn (£11bn-£23bn).

According to the Financial Times, some executives at ByteDance believe Mr Trump’s intervention may just be a negotiating ploy to help Microsoft secure a better deal.

TikTok declined to discuss the possible Microsoft deal, but a spokesperson said in a statement on Sunday: “While we do not comment on rumours or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok.”

The statement re-iterated that the company was committed to protecting the privacy and safety of users.

‘Bizarre’

The move to ban TikTok comes at a time of heightened tensions between the Trump administration and the Chinese government over a number of issues, including trade disputes and Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

The president’s announcement on Friday was criticised by some in the tech sector, including former Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos, who questioned whether the move was spurred by national security concerns.

He tweeted: “This is getting bizarre. A 100% sale to an American company would have been considered a radical solution two week ago and, eventually, mitigates any reasonable data protection concerns. If the White House kills this we know this isn’t about national security.”

Image copyright Getty Images

Mr Trump was also criticised by the American Civil Liberties Union. “Banning an app that millions of Americans use to communicate with each other is a danger to free expression and is technologically impractical,” said the ACLU’s surveillance and cybersecurity counsel, Jennifer Granick.

“Shutting one platform down, even if it were legally possible to do so, harms freedom of speech online and does nothing to resolve the broader problem of unjustified government surveillance,” she said.

On Saturday, in a bid to reassure TikTok’s millions of US users, Vanessa Pappas, the country’s general manager said in a video message: “We’re not going anywhere . . . We’re here for the long run.

“When it comes to safety and security, we’re building the safest app because we know it’s the right thing to do. So we appreciate the support.”

Categories
Business News

Victorian coronavirus restrictions about to tighten on business as Melbourne enters stage four lockdown – ABC News

Melburnians have emerged from their first night under a coronavirus curfew, as the Victorian Government prepares to shut some businesses down and force others to drastically wind back their workforce.

From 6:00pm on Sunday, all of metropolitan Melbourne was plunged into stage four restrictions, which includes a curfew from 8:00pm to 5:00am each night preventing people from leaving their homes unless it is for work, giving or receiving care, or visiting a partner.

Victoria is now under both a state of disaster and a state of emergency, after the Government offered police greater powers to help enforce tightened restrictions in a bid to force down worrying community transmission of coronavirus.

The alternative, Premier Daniel Andrews said, was a situation where the rate of community transmission would leave the state unable to lift stage three restrictions until the end of the year.

After declaring that Victorian students would return to remote learning, and Melbourne childcare centres would be closed from Thursday, Mr Andrews and his cabinet’s crisis council met to discuss further restrictions for workplaces.

Government juggling national economy and workplace transmission

Areas of particular concern to health authorities include abattoirs, which have been linked to some of the state’s biggest outbreaks, as well as distribution centres and construction sites.

On Sunday, Mr Andrews said the business restrictions would fall into three broad categories:

  • Business largely as normal: This will include shops like supermarkets, butchers, greengrocers, takeaway food outlets and pharmacies
  • Reduced total output: These businesses may be instructed to reduce output, which would result in fewer shifts and therefore less contact between workers
  • Businesses that will close: Some businesses will be told to move to a work-from-home model. If they cannot, they must stop operating

The Premier said extra time was being taken to consult with businesses to avoid unintended consequences when the restrictions on workplaces begin from Wednesday at the earliest.

Victoria has the largest container port in Australia, one of the factors which Mr Andrews said made the introduction of restrictions “quite a complex task”.

Appleton Dock at the Port of Melbourne

Appleton Dock at the Port of Melbourne

The Port of Melbourne handles more than 8,200 containers each day.(AAP: Julian Smith)

“What gets turned off here will have a direct impact right across the nation and indeed right across the region and the world when it comes to exports and the like,” he said.

He also warned while every industry may in good faith see itself as “essential”, tough decisions would need to be made.

“If we have everybody who argues the case that they’re critical staying open then we’ll have nothing being closed and we’ll continue to see big transmission numbers coming out of too many people moving too often, going to work,” he said.

Anxious businesses consider what restrictions could mean

The Australian Industry Group’s Victorian head, Tim Piper, said the announcement had created “a huge amount of uncertainty and indeed panic with some companies”.

“How are they going to stay open? How are they going to deal with interstate colleagues, how are they going to deal with overseas, how they’re going to deal locally?” he said.

“How are they going to pay their employees if they are forced to stand them down? To what extent are they going to get any support for themselves?

“There are so many questions that remain unanswered around this, and the companies will be asking us all week as to what the next steps are.”

He said it was clear there would be more people out of work and JobKeeper would not be able to look after them all.

“There’s going to be a lot of arrangements that have to be put in place over the next few days,” he said.

Mr Piper said interstate businesses were reliant on the Victorian economy and it was critical the Government carefully considered the impact of business closures on national supply chains.

“So, we can’t just pull the pin on everything, we’ve got to be able to make sure the companies are still able to continue in at least some form or another,” he said.

Regional Victorian businesses back to stage three

In regional Victoria, Mildura beautician Caitlin Grambeau is preparing for a return to stage three restrictions. She said she was expecting it to be mentally tougher the second time around, because she knew what she was in for.

But the threat of the virus spreading from Melbourne had been on her mind in recent weeks, including on Saturday when she had to ask a Melbourne family to leave her salon.

She said she had survived the first 11 weeks of closure and had looked after her staff by putting them through extra training.

“It was tough, we made sure that we looked after our staff the best we could and put them all into extra staff training,” Ms Grambeau said.

“It’s going to be tough, but it is about protecting Victoria and in the end we all want to have a good Christmas, we all want to see our families [that live interstate], so closing in winter is going to be easier than closing in September or November,” she said.

Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien said the Government’s failures in the hotel quarantine program was the reason Victorians faced the harshest restrictions imposed in Australia since the pandemic began.

“These measures will be very costly in both economic and human terms. Victorians are being asked to make sacrifices like never before,” he said.

But Mr O’Brien said Victorians would “get through this together” because the prospect of losing the fight against the spread of the virus was something that could not be contemplated.

Categories
Business News

Top business news: Big Tech, Exxon job cuts, Young Living Empire – Business Insider – Business Insider

Hello everyone! Welcome to this weekly roundup of Business Insider stories from executive editor Matt Turner. Please subscribe to Business Insider here to get this newsletter in your inbox every Sunday. 

antitrust hearing zuckerberg bezos cook pichai

Graeme Jennings – Pool/Getty Images/MANDEL NGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images/Business Insider

Hello!

It’s been a dizzying week for Big Tech, with Jeff Bezos et al appearing in front of Congress, then earnings, before the week wrapped up with an unexpected twist involving Tik Tok, President Trump, and Microsoft

For smart commentary on the Congressional hearing on tech antitrust, I’d recommend these opinion pieces:

Personally, I often find some of the most illuminating takeaways to be buried in the documents that are released as part of the hearing. These can offer a window into how top executives think and communicate. The picture they paint is often less than flattering. For example:

As Becky Peterson reported:

Market position, “land grabs,” and winning were all top considerations for the CEOs at Amazon, Facebook and Google ahead of major acquisitions, according to emails and instant messages made public on Wednesday as part of Congressional hearing over possible anticompetitive practices in tech.

The documents give unique insight into the thought processes of these powerful (and often rash) men on the eve of big purchases, which over time have proven to completely rewrite the technology landscape. Ultimately, the messages show, none of these companies made their most high-profile acquisitions because of the quality of the technology.

You can read her story in full:

Now we know exactly what Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Tim Cook think about before they make giant startup acquisitions

What were your takeaways from the hearing?

And what do you make of Microsoft’s interest in buying TikTok’s US operation? The outcome is difficult to predict now that President Trump has said he’s against a deal, but the very fact that Microsoft had been keen is fascinating.

Email me at mturner@businessinsider.com. I’d love to hear from you. 

Exxon’s stealthy job cuts

FILE PHOTO: The sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas, U.S., November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Angus Mordant

The sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack in the Permian Basin in Loving County
Reuters

From Benji Jones:

Like many of her colleagues, Katie considered herself a hard worker. Her manager told her as much, often throwing compliments her way about the value she was delivering to Exxon — her employer and the largest oil company in the US.

Earlier this summer, she was told she was in good standing, quelling fears that she’d be axed as part of Exxon’s performance-based cuts, which were ramping up in the wake of the worst oil downturn in a generation. Then everything changed.

Days ago, Katie was told she was among the company’s worst performers during Exxon’s annual review process. Her options were to resign or enroll in a performance-improvement plan that she understood employees rarely passed.

Benji reported that Exxon is disguising layoffs as performance-based job cuts, citing current and former employees. Several employees said they received no negative feedback before being told that they were ranked as poor performers and forced out of the company, he reported. 

You can read the story in full here:

Internal documents, leaked audio, and 20 insiders reveal Exxon made managers dub more employees poor performers as the oil giant sought to quietly cut staff

Inside the Young Living empire

young living mlm 4

Detail from the cover of “Seed to Seal: D. Gary Young.”
Photographic illustration by Hollis Johnson/Business Insider; Source photograph via “Seed to Seal: D. Gary Young”

Young Living, a multi-level marketing company that boasts celebrity endorsements from the likes of Ellen Pompeo, Jenna Dewan, and Kristin Cavallari, claims revenues of $1.5 billion a year from its network of 6 million members, Nicole Einbinder reports.

From her story:

  • 89% of all its members sit on the company’s bottom rung of sellers, earning, on average, only $4 — that’s four dollars — annually.
  • While Young Living members worked to keep their businesses afloat, the founders of the company earned a lavish lifestyle in a $1.3 million 10,000-square-foot mansion, trips to far-flung countries, and private planes.
  • The company is being sued by plaintiffs who allege it’s “an illegal pyramid scheme.” The company denies the claims.
  • “Young Living disputes many of these claims as outdated, misleading, or exaggerated,” the company told Business Insider. “The company has instituted robust compliance practices and complies with applicable laws.”

You can read the story in full here:

How Young Living lures desperate people into its multilevel sales network, where 89% of members make, on average, $4 annually

Separately, Nicole reported that while Young Living founder Gary Young’s official life story is sunlit and ruggedly all-American, the evidence paints a less flattering portrait. From her story:

Young’s early career included enrolling at a school dedicated to the teachings of a man who was convicted of practicing medicine without a license after a patient died. Young himself was convicted of illegally posing as a health practitioner. He did time in Spokane County Jail in Washington.

You can read that story in full here:

Inside Gary Young’s criminal history, secret past, and his cultlike leadership of the Young Living ‘essential oils’ empire

I’ll be out next week, so you’ll be hearing from Olivia Oran. As a reminder, you can:

Below are headlines on some of the stories you might have missed from the past week. 

— Matt

A decade-old settlement shows a top aide to Kamala Harris mysteriously left her California AG’s office with a $35,000 taxpayer-funded settlement check

The 31 top power players helping CEO Evan Spiegel run Snap

200-plus money managers pay thousands to set eyes on Jim Osman’s stock buy list. Here are 2 he says are set to soar — and an under-the-radar IPO to keep a watch on

Walmart is pushing harder into advertising with a new tool that shows if people buy a product after seeing an ad for it

This Google leadership exec quit after months spent meditating under lockdown: ‘I could never go back to that lifestyle.’

OpenSpace, a startup that applies AI to managing building sites, used this pitchdeck to nab $15 million. Here’s a look at its vision to be the ‘telemedicine of construction.’

Top VCs say these 9 legal tech startups are poised to take off as clients pressure law firms on costs

Why you should think twice before starting a ‘pandemic pod’ for your kids instead of school in the fall

Categories
Business News

Business news for Aug. 2, 2020 | Business | themercury.com – Manhattan Mercury

New Boston

Creative Group wins awards

New Boston Creative Group, LLC won a platinum award, two gold awards and an honorable mention for content, design and work from the 14th Annual Hermes Creative Awards.

The work recognized was produced for Kansas Farm Food Connection (content writing), Kansas Farm Bureau’s Kansas Living magazine (print design) and Meadowlark (video production).

The Hermes Creative Awards honor creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional and emerging media.

Hermes Creative Awards recognizes outstanding work on traditional and digital platforms. Competition judges evaluate the creative industry’s best publications, branding collateral, websites, videos, and advertising, marketing and communication programs.

New Boston Creative Group is a full-service integrated marketing communications agency that specializes in website design, digital marketing, and video production. A full listing of its services is available at newbostoncreative.com.

Categories
Business News

TikTok: Microsoft pauses talks on buying US arm – reports – BBC News

TikTok logo

A possible sale of Chinese-owned TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft is reportedly on hold after Donald Trump vowed to ban the video-sharing app.

A sale was thought close to agreement, but was put in doubt after the US president’s warning on Friday.

The Wall Street Journal said Microsoft had now paused talks despite TikTok owner ByteDance making last ditch efforts to win White House support.

It comes amid criticism of Mr Trump’s threat as an attack on free speech.

The popularity of the short-form video app has soared, with TikTok thought to have about half a billion active users worldwide – and about 80 million in the US – with a huge proportion of these in their teens or early 20s.

But some US politicians are worried the app’s Chinese owner, Bytedance, poses a risk to national security because the app could be used to collect Americans’ personal data. Regulators have also raised their own safety concerns.

Late on Friday, Mr Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One: “As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States.”

And in a statement on Saturday, a White House spokesman said: “The administration has very serious national security concerns over TikTok. We continue to evaluate future policy.”

The Wall Street Journal said Bytedance tried to make significant concessions to the White House, including creating of thousands of jobs over three years.

A sale of the US operation to Microsoft, which owns LinkedIn, would give the US tech giant a far greater presence in social media, an area dominated by rivals. The value of TikTok’s US arm has been put at between $15bn and $30bn (£11bn-£23bn).

According to the Financial Times, some executives at ByteDance believe Mr Trump’s intervention may just be a negotiating ploy to help Microsoft secure a better deal.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionWATCH: Will TikTok be banned?

TikTok declined to discuss the possible Microsoft deal, but a spokesperson said in a statement on Sunday: “While we do not comment on rumours or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok.”

The statement re-iterated that the company was committed to protecting the privacy and safety of users.

‘Bizarre’

The move to ban TikTok comes at a time of heightened tensions between the Trump administration and the Chinese government over a number of issues, including trade disputes and Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

The president’s announcement on Friday was criticised by some in the tech sector, including former Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos, who questioned whether the move was spurred by national security concerns.

He tweeted: “This is getting bizarre. A 100% sale to an American company would have been considered a radical solution two week ago and, eventually, mitigates any reasonable data protection concerns. If the White House kills this we know this isn’t about national security.”

Image copyright Getty Images

Mr Trump was also criticised by the American Civil Liberties Union. “Banning an app that millions of Americans use to communicate with each other is a danger to free expression and is technologically impractical,” said the ACLU’s surveillance and cybersecurity counsel, Jennifer Granick.

“Shutting one platform down, even if it were legally possible to do so, harms freedom of speech online and does nothing to resolve the broader problem of unjustified government surveillance,” she said in a statement.

On Saturday, in a bid to reassure TikTok’s millions of US users, Vanessa Pappas, the country’s general manager said in a video message: “We’re not going anywhere . . . We’re here for the long run.

“When it comes to safety and security, we’re building the safest app because we know it’s the right thing to do. So we appreciate the support.”

Categories
Business News

Apple To Release The Cheapest MacBook Ever…And Other Small Business Tech News – Forbes

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — This MacBook could be the cheapest Apple laptop ever, according to a new report.

According to newly leaked data, the new Macbook with Apple Silicon will be the most inexpensive Apple laptop to date. The MacBook will cost approximately $799 and the MacBook Pro 13-inch approximately $1,099. The leaked price points are $200 less than the 2020 versions of both the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro 13-inch. Apple is expected to officially announce these new laptops as well as their official pricing in the fall. (Source: LaptopMag)

Why this is important for your business:

We’re all trying to conserve cash in these very difficult times, so if you’re thinking of replacing MacBooks in your office you may want to hold off for a few months.

2 — Ford fetched robot dogs to work in a factory.         

Boston Dynamics—a global leader in mobile robots—is piloting a program using their robotic innovations in Ford’s Van Dyke Transmission Plant. As part of this pilot program, Ford is going to be leasing two mobile robots named Spot that will work in that facility. Both robots will initially be operated by a controller who will be responsible for monitoring how the bots operate. Each of the robots contains five cameras, will be able to work with 2 hours of battery, and will patrol the factory floor in order to capture dimensions and data of the plant, with the idea that these tasks will be able to be performed by the robots without a person in the future. (Source: ZDNet)

Recommended For You

Why this is important for your business:

Aw, how cute. I’m sure none of your employees will mind being spied on by a little robotic puppy, right? These types of robots give a hint of the future: smaller, more nimble devices that are less…well…robotic and more appealing to humans working with them. Meanwhile, these little guys are measuring, observing, absorbing data about the workings of your plant in ways that you could never do yourself. I have a client who recently realized just how much he didn’t know about his production facility until workers called out sick and he had to go on the floor himself. In a few short years, robots like this will do a better job of keeping busy small businesses owners up to date on the goings on inside their businesses.

3 —Drones are coming to one of 78 million backyards near you.

The future of package delivery may very well be driven by drones. Flytrex— a company considered to be a pioneer in the drone delivery field— has broken down barriers with several “firsts” in their hunt to perfect packages being delivered by drones. Flytrex supplies the machines which are equipped with cloud-based systems that are able to maintain various tasks that are performed by the drones, which would be operated by employees to operate them. (Source: Pymnts)

Why this is important for your business:

Speaking of robots, drone technology continues to move forward and as more consumers become accepting of drone delivery, look for more of these flying machines to be bringing products to people living in remote areas of the planet. For a small business this means being able to reach more customers with more (and hopefully less expensive) shipping options.

4 — Microsoft Teams is introducing their new Tasks app.

Microsoft has begun implementing their new Tasks app within Teams, combining both Microsoft To Do and Microsoft Planner. The move is in an effort for Microsoft to streamline their Teams scheduling tasks throughout Office, To Do, Planner, and Outlook. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re a Teams user, you’ll see more productivity from this. While Tasks that are already made in Outlook currently sync up with To Do, the “@” feature will soon be able to be used in PowerPoint, Word, and Excel, making it easier for leaders to assign specific tasks through that function that will immediately appear in a user’s “Assigned to you” section. (My company is a Microsoft partner).

5— Google is letting employees work from home until at least next summer.  

A spokesperson for Google announced this past week that the company will allow employees to work remotely until July 2021, if not later. The extension of Google’s remote work plan could be an indication that other businesses may do the same in light of the ongoing pandemic. Google’s global voluntary work from home option is geared toward roles that are not required to be in a physical office. Other tech giants like Facebook and Twitter have also helped set the trend allowing some employees to permanently work from home. (Source: CNN)

Why this is important for your business:

It’s not just Google. Many of my clients – both big and small – are leveraging cloud technologies and adapting to the new remote working model. For those companies, the benefits will be enormous. For landlords and small businesses that rely on office workers for their livelihood, not so much.