British Airways Faces $230 Million Fine After Compromising the Data of its Customers

British Airways Faces $230 Million Fine After Compromising the Data of its Customers

British Airways has to pay a record fine of $230 million after compromising the data of its customers. Around 500,000 customers’ personal details were compromised after the website failure according to the report of CNN. The penalty has been filed by the information commissioner’s office under the General Data Protection Regulation.

The Information Commissioner’s Office revealed that weak security allowed the user traffic to be diverted from the British Airways’ website to the fraudulent page which began in June last year. The proposed fine of $230 million is regarded as 1.5% of British Airway’s annual revenue. The regulator informed that the company can file an appeal against the proposed fine within 28 days.

British Airways had initially announced that around 380,000 transactions were affected in the data breach which included names, email addresses, credit card details and security codes obtained by travelers while booking flights on British Airways. The airline, which disclosed the incident on September 6, 2018, revealed that neither passport nor travel details were taken.

“We are surprised and disappointed in this initial finding,” said Alex Cruz, chairman and chief executive officer of British Airways in an official statement. He argued that British Airways had responded quickly to the data breach and found no evidence of fraud on accounts that linked to the theft.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which forces companies to make sure the way they collect, process and store data is safe, comes into effect on May 25, 2018. The regulation is applicable to any organization that uses data of people inside the European Union regardless of where it is based. The organizations will be fined up to 4% of their annual revenue if they failed to comply with the regulation. Before GDPR came into force, the Information Commissioner’s office had filed Facebook a penalty of $626,000 as fine which was the maximum under British data protection law then.

US Economy is Taking Damage from Trump’s Trade War with China, Says Top Analyst

US Economy is Taking Damage from Trump's Trade War with China, Says Top Analyst

There have been many predictions that the US-China trade war is not going to end well for both parties and especially for China. Now, however, a top analyst claims that the trade war is damaging the US economy in an unprecedented way. Mark Zandi, who is the Analytics Chief Economist at Moody’s, believes that the total impact of the trade war can be tracked through any means.

“The fingerprints of the trade war were on this employment report, they are weighing on the economy. Growth is slowing because of the trade war and the uncertainty created by that. I think it will become more evident going forward,” Zandi was quoted saying during a show named The First Trade by Yahoo Finance. It can be noted that the analyst is taking into consideration the whole growth and not just stocks.

It is true that the trade war has not had a noticeable impact on the stock levels in the United States. This has led to the false assumption that the US would indeed be safe even after when the trade-war is over. Zandi was also talking about the employment creation report that was revealed recently, which said that the US private sector failed to add as many jobs as the Wall Street Journal had anticipated.

Zandi believes that this development, among many others, can shatter the stability of the US economy in a couple of months. “As long as they are uncertain what products are going to have tariffs, they are not going to be out there hiring people. So I think the trade war will continue to do damage to the labor market,” said Zandi in the show while talking about the namesake truce the US and China had reached sometime recently.

Tesla Breaks its Record of Car Deliveries, Sends Stocks Soaring

Tesla Breaks its Record of Car Deliveries, Sends Stocks Soaring

Tesla has managed to break its previous record by manufacturing the largest number of cars in a quarter. The American automotive company has reportedly delivered a total of 95,200 cars in its second quarter. This marks a 51.1% increase in the number of deliveries compared to its previous quarter. The company’s flagship vehicle, the Model 3, alone made 77,550 deliveries.

The previous best number of deliveries made by the company was recorded at 90,700 cars. This feat was achieved in the 4th quarter of last year. The company intends to provide a similarly large number of deliveries in the 3rd quarter. The statement made by the company made its stocks jump by 7% in the after-market trading. Investors were already hopeful after the company announced in April at a strong second quarter.

The company said in a statement, “In addition, we made significant progress streamlining our global logistics and delivery operations at higher volumes, enabling cost efficiencies and improvements to our working capital position.” Most analysts had expected a much lesser production and delivery number from the company after its dismal performance in the first three months of the year. The analyst expected not more than 91,000 possible deliveries by the company, according to data by FactSet. The company which specializes in making electric cars could deliver only 63,000 vehicles in its first quarter.

Tesla had to face a number of issues in the first three months that included transporting cars from various of its factories and a gradual decrease in the demand for its vehicles. It also faces strong competition from other companies that develop high-end electric cars. Automotive manufacturing giants like Ford, Jaguar, Volkswagen, etc., prove strong competitors in the electric car market.

John Oliver’s Criticism of the Cruel Working Condition at Amazon were Met by Refutation by a Company Executive

John Oliver’s Criticism of the Cruel Working Condition at Amazon were Met by Refutation by a Company Executive

An Amazon executive has responded back at the harsh criticism made by John Oliver on his show. John Oliver is the anchor of HBO’s Last Week Tonight. In the episode that aired on Sunday, Oliver criticized the working conditions that the retail giant offers to its workers. He pointed at the high rate of injury and illness that the workers must face.

 “The more you look at Amazon, the more you realize its convenience comes with a real cost, because, think about it, we used to have to drive to stores to buy things,” Oliver said during the HBO show. “Now those things are brought directly to us and they’re somehow cheaper. That didn’t just happen with a clever algorithm, it happened by creating a system that squeezes the people lowest on the ladder hard and all the while, the man behind Amazon is now worth $118bn, more than anyone else in the world,” said Oliver.

Dave Clark, the senior vice president of operations at Amazon, refuted against the allegations made by Oliver in his show. He reassured that the workhouses operated by the company provide a favorable work environment to the employees. Clark mentioned the $15 minimum wage that his company provides to the employees in a tweet he made on Monday.

Oliver mentioned that the Amazon warehouses present a very cruel working condition for the workers.  He mentioned the tactics that the company uses to not allow worker unions to take up their cause. He went on to criticize how the company tries to squeeze as much as possible work from its employees. He said that the decreasing amount of time that the company takes to deliver its items put extra pressure on the employees. The impact that a retail giant like Amazon has on other competitors is massive as they try to imitate the highly successful company in every way, including subhuman working conditions for their employees.

Tesla Stocks Are Surging, Thanks to Production and Delivery Records

Tesla Stocks Are Surging, Thanks to Production and Delivery Records

Tesla stocks have been facing continuous decline for the past few months since the company wasn’t able to meet many of the pre-set deadlines. Now, as an antithesis to this, Tesla stocks are soaring, all thanks to the new production and delivery record the company has set. It was all following Elon Musk’s announcement that the company sold 95,200 cars within three months, ending on June 30th.

Of course, by doing this, Tesla has done more than increasing the price. It should be noted that the company was under constant criticism because it was not able to deliver cars to owners at the agreed-upon time. In addition to these, missing deadlines was creating a bad mark in analysts’ books as far as the firm was being concerned. All those investors’ predictions, however, have been broken at this point.

Talking about the numbers again, a delivery of 95,200 vehicles means a significant increase over the numbers it had achieved in the first quarter of 2019, which was especially weak. The number also succeeds the last year’s record of 90,700 vehicles. Considering that Tesla vehicles have serious demand even at this point, it is easy for the company to increase numbers if the processes are optimized.

Several issues have been taunting Tesla in the first quarter of 2019. It is more appropriate to say that the production hell and logistics hell that Musk hinted at in 2018 was extended to the subsequent year. However, now, it seems that the company has found a way around these issues and at the maximum production and delivery rates again.

Musk seemed quite optimistic about the next quarter in the companywide email that was sent out on the 25th of June. He also added the fact that vehicles that are currently in transit would also make it to the number of sales in the next quarter.

OPEC Set for the Extension of Oil Supply Cut 

OPEC Set for the Extension of Oil Supply Cut 

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies has set for the extension of oil supply cut for six to nine months amid weakening global economy according to Reuters. OPEC countries and its allies led by Russia will meet on Tuesday to discuss the deal that involves curbing oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day. Russia and Saudi Arabia have agreed to endorse the policy while Iraq joins them later. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Sunday that they have agreed with Saudi Arabia for the extension of oil supply output by six to nine months.

“We will support the extension, both Russia and Saudi Arabia. As far as the length of the extension is concerned, we have yet to decide whether it will be six or nine months,” said Putin who had meetings with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia during the G 20 meeting in Japan. He also implied that the extension might be nine months.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Sunday that the deal would take a nine-month extension and there is no need of deeper reduction. Iraq also announced its decision to endorse the pact recently. Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban said on Sunday about endorsing the extension until the end of the year. He also added that he had no objection for the consensus for the nine months, and the decision should be taken within OPEC which is going to happen.

Iran remains the only major OPEC nation to not issue any statement regarding the extension. They have been publicly objectifying the policies of Saudi Arabia accusing them of having a relationship with the United States. OPEC countries and its allies have been reducing oil output since 2017 amid a decline in global demand and hike in the oil production by the U.S. who became the world’s top producer of oil this year.

Pepsi is Shifting from Plastic Bottles to Can Water, To Reduce Plastics

Pepsi is Shifting from Plastic Bottles to Can Water, To Reduce Plastics

PepsiCo is one of the biggest beverage manufacturers in the world and it consumes a lot of water and makes a lot of plastic waste. That may be about to change since the company is shifting from plastic bottles to cans that are more durable and environmentally friendly. Subsidiaries of PepsiCo, including LIFEWTR and bubbly, will be making the shift to recyclable plastic and no-plastic modes, respectively.

In addition to this, PepsiCo is also making some changes to Aquafina, one of the most popular brands to get bottled water. The company says that Aquafina plastic bottles will be replaced by Aluminum cans that would soon be available in US food outlets. Of course, all these steps are in the testing process to see how users do accept the change.

“The changes, which all go into effect next year, are expected to eliminate more than 8,000 metric tons of virgin plastic and approximately 11,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, representing the latest ambitious steps in the company’s sustainability journey and pursuit of a circular economy for plastics. They reinforce and advance PepsiCo’s goals to by 2025 make 100% of its packaging recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable and use 25% recycled plastic content in all its plastic packaging,” read an official press release from PepsiCo while talking about the impact of the decision.

Authorities at PepsiCo added that it is their fundamental duty to tackle the issue of plastic waste. CEO of the company, Ramon Laguarta, added that the company would not stop until we are living in a world where plastic is renewed and reused on a regular basis. Of course, PepsiCo does not publicly mention the fact that the products from the company are a reason for the increasing amount of plastic in landfills. The US will be the first place to witness these changes and other regions are to be followed soon.

Japan is Planning Restrictions on High-Tech Material Export to South Korea, Reports

Japan is Planning Restrictions on High-Tech Material Export to South Korea, Reports

According to the Sankei newspaper, the Japan government is planning on putting up restrictions on many kinds of high-tech material being exported to South Korea. This means that South Korea will not be receiving many exports high-tech materials used for smartphone production and other gadgets. The decision comes after a South Korean ruling on war-time forced labor, which Japan disputed.

Diplomatic ties between South Korea and Japan were very smooth until this ruling, which was made by the South Korean Supreme Court last October. The ruling said that a Japanese manufacturer, Nippon Steel, is to offer compensation for South Koreans because the population was forced to labor during the period of World War II. This actually cut the smooth flow and things have been under discussion since.

Japan is of the opinion that war-time labor issues were sorted out decades earlier and that the recent ruling is ‘unthinkable.’ It seems that the internal discussions regarding the matters were not as fruitful as they were expected and that is why Japan is taking a decision that could be a blow to the South Korean economy. It is to be noted that electronic manufacturing is indeed a major player in the South Korean market.

The way these restrictions work in the form of stopping preferential treatments. Earlier, it was easy to export high-tech materials to South Korea. With these restrictions being active, the exporters will have to apply for permission every time an export needs to be carried out. This approval process normally takes about ninety days, according to the newspaper.

Fluorinated polyimide is one of the many high-tech manufacturing materials that are to be restricted. This plays an important role in smartphone displays and the delay in these restrictions would put South Korean firms in a dilemma.

Ford is Laying Off 12,000 Workers Across Europe

Ford is Laying Off 12,000 Workers Across Europe

Ford is laying off 12,000 workers across Europe as part of its plan to restructure the business operation in Europe. The motor company will also reduce the number of manufacturing facilities in Europe. Ford Motor Co. announced on Thursday that it is launching a new business model with a fresh vehicle line up. As part of the restructuring, the company will be laying off its workers and realign its operations. The restructuring as claimed by Dearborn, Michigan-based automakers would be the most comprehensive redesign in the history of its business in Europe.

Only 2000 jobs are fixed salary positions in the 12,000 jobs laying off across Europe. The left jobs are workers on hourly contracts or agency workers. Most job reduction will be voluntary separations as announced by the automakers. “Ford will be a more targeted business in Europe, consistent with the company’s global redesign, generating higher returns through our focus on customer needs and a lean structure,” said Stuart Rowley, president of Ford of Europe in an official statement.

Ford will be closing several factories in Europe including the closure of the Bridgend Engine Plant in South Wales,  a transmission plant in France and three facilities in Russia. The total manufacturing outposts in the region will be reduced to 18 facilities at the end of 2020. European business will be divided into three new business groups centered on customer needs such as Commercial Vehicles (CVs), Passenger Vehicles (PVs) and Imports. The company has also announced that the new European operating model and the resulting management organization will be effective from July 1.

The company is expected to release its first long-range all-electric Mustang inspired model this year. It will also manufacture sport utility vehicles in the coming years. Ford’s restructuring of its business operation is considered as part of its broader shift toward electric and other battery-powered vehicles which will be emission free.