US border tax plans raise major questions for GM, Fiat

6 Apr

Republican plans to introduce a US border adjustment tax have auto giants General Motors and Fiat Chrysler looking for clarity, company executives said this week.Tax plans advanced by some Republicans currently include arrangements to reform corporate …

Back-nine disaster for Spieth at Masters

6 Apr

Jordan Spieth set aside bad memories from last year and parred Augusta National’s tricky 12th hole Thursday at the Masters, only to suffer another quadruple-bogey disaster on the back nine.The 23-year-old American, whose quadruple bogey on the par-3 12…

Lyft filling tank with cash as value revs: report

6 Apr

A fruitful funding round has bumped Lyft’s value to $7.5 billion, as the ride-hailing company drives to gain ground on scandal-rocked rival Uber, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.Lyft is closing a $500 million funding round in which it saw its…

Legendary US comedian Don Rickles dies at age 90

6 Apr

Legendary US comedian Don Rickles, who was known for his biting wit that spared no one, died on Thursday from kidney failure at his Los Angeles home, his publicist said.He was 90 years old.Rickles, throughout his career that spanned decades, often appe…

Uruguay to sell marijuana in pharmacies from July

6 Apr

Uruguay will become the first country in the world to allow recreational marijuana to be sold in pharmacies, starting in July, the president’s office said Thursday.The South American country adopted a revolutionary law in 2013 that fully legalized the …

Paraguay faces new protests in re-election row

6 Apr

Paraguay will face the threat of fresh unrest Monday as rival demonstrators march for and against President Horacio Cartes’s controversial bid to allow himself re-election, which triggered deadly riots last week.A political crisis has erupted in the So…

Five bizarre sporting injuries

6 Apr

World number one Dustin Johnson withdrew from the Masters in Augusta on Thursday after injuring his back in a freak fall down stairs on the eve of the tournament.Johnson is just the latest in a long line of athletes who have ended up on the sidelines a…

Windy conditions spell Masters disaster

6 Apr

Blustery conditions humbled the world’s greatest shotmakers in Thursday’s opening round of the Masters as gusting winds and Augusta National’s lightning-quick greens took a nightmare toll on players.”It’s very difficult conditions and borderline (unpla…

YouTube channels must win audiences before winning ads

6 Apr

YouTube on Thursday stopped placing ads on channels with fewer than 10,000 views in a move aimed at preventing people from making money off offensive or pirated videos.

The move came with YouTube striving to derail an ad boycott started by companies worried their brands might be paired with hateful videos at the service, which is part of California-based Google.

“This new threshold gives us enough information to determine the validity of a channel,” product management vice president Ariel Bardin said in a blog post.

“It also allows us to confirm if a channel is following our community guidelines and advertiser policies.”

YouTube also plans to soon add a review process for new “creators” who want money-generating channels as part of a partner program at the video-sharing service, according to Bardin.

After a creator’s channel passes the 10,000-view mark, the videos will be reviewed to determine whether they are in keeping with YouTube policies before ads are served up with content.

“Together, these new thresholds will help ensure revenue only flows to creators who are playing by the rules,” Bardin said.

Google needs to strike a balance between pleasing advertisers and those who upload videos to YouTube and are free to take creations elsewhere if unsatisfied with their shares of ad revenue.

Google said early this week that it was using new artificial intelligence systems to enforce YouTube video policies and help weed out content objectionable to advertisers.

These systems will be adapted to advertiser preferences, Google said.

The tech giant also said it would work with third parties to help advertisers protect their brands from unwanted placement.

Google, which has seen a slew of companies withdraw ads fearing placement alongside extremist content, has introduced new tools to give firms greater control.

The boycott began in February after the Times newspaper of London found BBC programs were promoted alongside videos posted by American white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan member David Duke as well as Wagdi Ghoneim, an Islamist preacher banned from Britain for inciting hatred.

The analysis found more than 200 anti-Semitic videos, and that Google had failed to remove six of them within the 24-hour period mandated by the European Union after it anonymously signaled their presence.

The movement spread to the United States, with AT&T and Verizon pulling ads from Google.

Norway confirms plans to build first-ever sea tunnel for ships

6 Apr

Norway has announced plans to build a first-of-its-kind $310 million mile-long tunnel underneath a mountain pass that will create a shortcut for its passenger and cargo ships and save them from exposure to severe Arctic storms. Read Full …

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Twitter rejects US effort to unmask anti-Trump users

6 Apr

Twitter filed suit Thursday against the US government, asking a court to back its refusal to hand over the identities of users claiming to be dissenting federal employees.The lawsuit revealed that the Department of Homeland Security and US Customs and …

Scuffles, planes grounded in Argentina strike

6 Apr

Airlines in Argentina grounded international flights and riot police scuffled with protesters Thursday as workers staged a general strike to protest job and pay cuts.Conservative President Mauricio Macri condemned the call to strike in Latin America’s …

Trump warns ‘something should happen’ after Syria attack

6 Apr

President Donald Trump on Thursday denounced Bashar al-Assad as responsible for an “egregious” crime, suggesting the United States could be poised to take action against the Syrian leader over this week’s apparent chemical attack.”What Assad did is ter…

Accident theory in Syria attack ‘fanciful’: experts

6 Apr

Chemical weapons experts have thrown doubt on Russian claims the attack that killed more than 80 civilians in rebel-held Syria could have been caused by an air strike on a “warehouse” containing toxic agents.The Syrian regime’s ally Russia has sought t…

Record amount of renewables capacity added in 2016: UN

6 Apr

The world added a record 138.5 gigawatts of renewable power capacity in 2016 despite a 23 percent drop in investment, reflecting the falling cost of clean energy, the UN announced Thursday.The new energy — mainly from wind and solar installations, but…

France clears sale of STX shipyard to Italy’s Fincantieri

6 Apr

The French government on Thursday gave its approval to the sale of STX France, the last gem in the country’s once-thriving shipbuilding industry, to its Italian rival Fincantieri.The shipyard, on the Atlantic coast of Brittany at Saint-Nazaire, has a s…

92 children among 306 killed in Colombia mudslide

6 Apr

There were 92 children among the 306 people killed in the giant mudslide that slammed into the southern Colombian town of Mocoa last week, the government said Thursday.The mudslide hit late Friday after heavy rains caused three rivers to flood, sending…

IOC set to decide on flooded Lima for 2024 vote

6 Apr

The IOC look set to decide Friday whether to keep stricken Peruvian capital Lima as the location for a meeting to choose the 2024 Olympic Games hosts, sources confirmed to AFP.Flash floods and landslides hit parts of Lima last month and with the diffic…

Pet shop boy — Brazil swim chief arrested in graft probe

6 Apr

Brazilian swimming chief Coaracy Nunes was arrested Thursday as part of an investigation into a $12.8 million corruption probe where even a pet shop was used as a front to launder funds, prosecutors announced.In charge of the federation (CBDA) since 19…

Czech leader calls October general election

6 Apr

Czech president Milos Zeman said Thursday the next general election in the EU member country would take place on October 20-21 this year.”I will schedule the parliamentary vote for the latest date possible (under the Constitution), which is October 20-…

Facebook adds tips for spotting ‘fake news’

6 Apr

Facebook on Thursday ramped up its fight against “fake news” by adding tips on how to tell when shared stories are bogus.An initiative being launched in the US, France and a dozen other countries added an educational tool in an “awareness display” in n…

Facebook launches digital assistant ‘M’ in US

6 Apr

Facebook on Thursday launched its digital assistant named “M” for US users of its Messenger application, ramping up the social network’s efforts in artificial intelligence.For users of the messaging platform, M will pop up and suggest “helpful actions”…

A symptom-free virus may spark allergy to gluten: study

6 Apr

A common virus in infancy could trigger a life-long allergy to gluten and lead to celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder which affects one in 133 people in the United States, researchers said Thursday.Celiac disease is caused when the body has an impro…

Husband of Trump supporter deported to Mexico

6 Apr

Mexican immigrant Roberto Beristain’s own American wife voted for Donald Trump as US president because he promised to expel crooks from the country.Now, after 20 years living and working in the United States, it is Beristain himself, a 43-year-old fath…

Chemical watchdog has ‘ongoing’ probe into Syria attack

6 Apr

The world’s chemical weapons watchdog said Thursday it has opened an “ongoing investigation” into the suspected chemical attack in Syria that killed at least 86 people.The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said it has “initiated cont…

China’s Xi arrives in Florida for summit with Trump

6 Apr

Chinese President Xi Jinping touched down in Florida Thursday for a first face-to-face meeting with President Donald Trump, hoping that a basket full of “tweetable” deals will help avoid a public clash.Xi was greeted at Palm Beach airport by a red carp…

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No Nadal, no problem as Spain plan more Djokovic misery

6 Apr

Spain captain Conchita Martinez believes her team still has the armoury to beat Serbia in the Davis Cup quarter-finals this weekend despite the absence of 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal.Nadal made himself unavailable for the trip to Belgrade,…

Dustin Johnson withraws from Masters

6 Apr

World number one Dustin Johnson withdrew from the 81st Masters on Thursday, walking off the first tee due to a back injury.The reigning US Open champion had been a heavy favorite in the year’s first major golf championship after winning his three prior…

EU to start checks at external borders

6 Apr

Europeans will face systematic checks at the external borders of the EU’s Schengen border area from Friday under legislation designed to tackle “foreign fighters” returning from Iraq and Syria.”Member States will as of tomorrow have an obligation to ca…

Republicans go ‘nuclear’ to clear way for Trump court pick

6 Apr

US Republicans swatted away decades of tradition Thursday by changing Senate rules to ensure Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, bypassing the first-ever successful opposition block on a high-court nominee.President Donald Trump’s pick, e…

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Defoe ready to dance away from football

6 Apr

Sunderland forward Jermain Defoe said Thursday he was prepared to change his football boots for some very different footwear in order to take part in the BBC’s hit television show Strictly Come Dancing.The 34-year-old England international is trying fo…

Christians hope for an ‘open Jerusalem’ for Easter

6 Apr

Christians in Jerusalem said Thursday that they are hoping for an “open Jerusalem” ahead of Passover and Easter celebrations in the city.Palestinian Christians from the West Bank and Gaza receive special permits to enter Jerusalem for Easter, where the…

Where is Venezuela’s crisis headed?

6 Apr

Venezuela is never dull, and the last few days have been particularly frenzied amid opposition claims of a coup, then government tirades against “imperialist” enemies, and the two sides ending up hating each other as much as ever.After this latest spas…

Taser renames itself as it promotes body cameras

6 Apr

Taser International was officially re-branded as Axon Thursday as the company broadens its focus from its controversial stun guns to police body cameras.Axon has offered free body cameras to all US police, part of its effort to develop a technology bus…

Willett shows ads still pay at Masters

6 Apr

The Masters is one of the most advertising-free zones in sport — but reigning champion Danny Willett is living proof that there are still millions to be made.The Englishman’s sponsors picked up $7.7 million (7.25 million euros) of free advertising dur…

Huge fleet of 400+ icebergs invades North Atlantic shipping lanes

6 Apr

International shipping lanes in the North Atlantic have almost been ground to a halt by an armada of over 400 icebergs, an increase of 363 in just seven days, once again sounding the alarm about the effects of climate change. Read Full Ar…

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