Japanese Emperor, Akihito to step down officially

Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe announced the abdication of the ageing Emperor Akihito. On April 30th 2019, the 83 year old will officially step down, which will mark an end to an imperial Heisei era in Japan.
Akihito had explained in 2016 that his depleting health condition have made it difficult to fulfill his responsibilities as an Emperor. He was admitted earlier for a heart surgery and was later discovered with prostate cancer. He wanted to step down before his death. There was no abdication procedure under the current law. Due to failing illness and public concern, the government passed a law allowing him to step down.
The Imperial Household Council, which includes Mr. Abe, lawmakers and Japan’s royal family members in a meeting on Friday decided upon the date of the abdication. After which in a press conference Mr. Abe announced the news.
Crown Prince Naruhito, will now take up his father’s position on May 1st. This will be the first abdication after two centuries by a Japanese Monarch. Emperor Kokaku was the last one to be abdicated in 1817.

Amazon Alexa to hit the business market

Amazon’s Alexa is your new assistant at work. The device takes your command with the help of your voice. The increasing popularity has made the device to enter office spaces. Amazon is on a mission to give Alexa much more power by competing with Apple or Google.
The question that ponders is not the purchasing of Alexa but whether the businesses and conference rooms may trust the device with sensitive information. “Without a doubt, privacy and security is the number one issue,” said Geoff Blaber, analyst, CCS Insight.” Arguably that is more important than the functionality.” he adds.
 
To start off and understand the effectiveness, Alexa would be used for mundane and basic office activities like printing papers before doing anything confidential. Alexa is expected to turn tables with the new Amazon’s product. Its cloud computing software will allow businesses to create customised skills for the device. Specific business related questions, directions, travel and expenses for corporate offices include some of them.
A device like Echo is supposedly told to reduce the stress and overload of tedious tasks at work like, managing calenders, handling conference calls, checking availability of meeting rooms and so on. Alexa sell out has been 11 million already within a year after its launch. Reaching office spaces is the next logical step for the device, as Blaber says.

 

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Nazi tweet by Jeffrey Lord cost his job

Jeffrey Lord, a conservative commentator has lost his job after he tweeted ‘Sieg Hail’ to one of the prominent liberal critics. He is the head of Media Matters for America.
Mr Lord is said to have not known the depth of this issue and later said he was mocking fascists and was misunderstood. A CNN spokesperson confirmed the news in a statement “Nazi salutes are indefensible. Jeffrey Lord is no longer with the network.”
 
“I want to make something very clear. I have nothing but respect, affection and love for CNN. I think the world of CNN,” Lord told The Associated Press. “I think they’re terrific people and serious people.” Mr Lord said in an interview with the Associated Press. He added that the decision to fire him from the network was not wise and strongly disagreed with it, though he respects the CNN journalists.
He had posted an article called, The American Spectator following the harsh tweets on Thursday morning. Mr Lord called Carusone’s group ‘Media Matters Fascists’ as anti-free speech bigots. After a series of tweets in the morning, he resumes on twitter to end up the conversation with ‘Sieg Hail’.
Sources – BBC, CBC News

Travis Kalanick, Uber CEO sued

On Thursday, a lawsuit was filed against the former Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick for accusing him of filling the board seats of allies. Kalanick was forced to resign from the post of Chief Executive Officer at Uber Technologies Inc in June after they reported a series of scandals.
Inappropriate handling of the rape case by an Uber driver in India; dismissal of the top executives of Uber for sexual harassment allegations have been some of the troubles Uber have been handling with.
Benchmark Capital held a stake of $9 billion where the total worth achieved by Uber was $68 billion last year. The Venture Capitalist Bill Gurley was unhappy with Kalanick’s behavior towards his position and the organization. The lawyers who handles this case at Benchmark alleged that he used to “entrench himself on Uber’s board of directors and increase his power over Uber for his own selfish ends”
Travis Kalanick regarding the issue made a statement completely without merit and riddled with lies and false allegations.” There is no comments from Uber or Benchmark as of now. 
The search for the new Chief Executive Officer for Uber has begun, though the procedure is said to be hard.
Sources – Reuters, BBC

Offensive messages targeting Chinese at Australian Universities

A University in Sydney saw racist comments inscribed on the toilet walls. “Kill Chinese” was written above a Swastik. A week prior to this incident, flyers were distributed in that targeted Chinese in two major universities in Melbourne.
The vice president of the Chinese Students Association, Poppy Wang told in a report that such graffitis have made her feel much less secure and safe.
A university spokesperson told SBS: “We do not know who is responsible, although the university’s security people suggest that it appears to be the work of a lone individual.”
In an exclusive interview with BBC, she said that many students who go abroad to pursue higher education and job opportunities do not find it safe anymore. They feel really upset about the fact that treating students like this could bring down their caliber and productivity. 
A student from Melbourne University, Lisa Lu tweeted that she was “shocked” to see the post on the east gate of the Doug McDonnell building on Monday. She reacted by asking who would do such an act on the very first day of the semester. Her tweets were noticed fast.
News sources- ABC, BBC

BBC, CNN circulate fake news on Kenya Elections

The news that went live about the Kenya Elections were apparently reported fake. It was shown as if it was reported by the broadcaster CNN and BBC with a focus on Africa. The videos showed the survey of elections with the President Uhuru Kenyatta who stood ahead in the August elections in Africa. The news channels of CNN and BBC, made the news stories look like he was leading over his competitor Raila Odinga. The President is currently facing criticism for the same. 
The response of CNN was tweeted on the offical page that confirmed the news. BBC urged everyone to ensure they verify their stories on the official website of BBC. The heated up elections in Africa has made the polls variate. 90% of the Kenyans suggest that this is not the first instance they have seen and heard of fake news stories and videos published of public forums during the polls.
The Kenyan Media is told to be misleading by many sources especially during the polls and elections. The citizens of Kenya find more trust by means of social media, with the usage of Facebook and Whatsapp.
Sources: Dubai Eye, BBC

Obamacare collapses after Republican’s action

Two Republican Senators. Mike Lee and Jerry Moran has informed that the new government is not repealing the Obamacare. The taxes for the Healthcare does not allow the middle class to to avail medical help at moderate prices.
“In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes [the bill] doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations”. says Mr. Lee.
 
According to the Republicans, the customers or patients that have availed the services of this Healthcare have less choices and more premiums. They claim that the patients would find it difficult to find support and end up paying much more that expected. The Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said “Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful,”
 
President Donald Trump has promised that the new legislative move by the Republicans will allow the Obamacare to be replaced with a more effective Healthcare service for the citizens, that will include more benefits ans less premiums. 
SOURCES: CNN, BBC
IMAGE SOURCE: JAPAN TIMES