Business News

Uber unveils 800 number for emergencies

New York, Mar.11 - American multinational online transportation network company Uber has unveiled a phone number for passengers and drivers to get in touch with the company in case of an emergency.

The move comes after Uber faced questions about a panic button in the wake of a deadly shooting in Kalamazoo, Michigan by an Uber driver last month, the Verge has reported.

"In the United States, 911 is the panic button and it's the panic button that we want people to use. It's the panic button that law enforcement wants people to use. And we don't want to try and replace that," said Joe Sullivan, Uber's head of security.

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WTO rules against India on US solar exports

Washington, Feb 25 - In a setback to India, a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel has ruled in favour of the US in its challenge to New Delhi's alleged discrimination against US solar exports, according to US Trade Representative (USTR).

The panel agreed with the US that India's "localisation" rules discriminated against imported solar cells and modules under India's National Solar Mission, according to an official news release citing USTR Michael Froman.

India's domestic content requirements, it agreed, discriminate against US solar cells and modules by requiring solar power developers to use Indian-manufactured cells and modules rather than US or other imported solar technology in breach of international trade rules.

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US dollar falls amid diving oil

New York, Feb 20 - The US dollar decreased against most major peers on Friday as plunging oil prices raised market demand for safe-haven currencies, including the Japanese yen and Swiss francs.

Oil prices declined sharply on Friday, with both the US oil and Brent crude slumping over three percent, after government data showed a rise in the US crude stockpiles.

The yen and Swiss francs climbed 0.55 percent and 0.26 percent respectively against the greenback during the session, as the falling oil renewed market worries about global economic growth, triggering demand for safe-haven assets.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six other currencies, was down 0.33 percent at 96.634 in late trading, reports Xinhua.

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Silicon Valley wants 'dramatic expansion' of H1-B visa: Veritas CEO

Washington: With IT firms struggling to find quality and right number of professionals, a top American CEO has called for a "dramatic expansion" of the H-1B visa scheme -popular among Indian tech firms- to meet the growing demand.

"The entire Silicon Valley believes that the H-1B visa policy needs to be dramatically expanded," Bill Coleman CEO of Veritas told PTI in an interview.

"We can't hire enough good people. They are just not available here. The salaries here are going through the roof, because everybody is competing to hire from everybody else," he said. Coleman, a former chairman of Silicon Valley Leadership Group, is involved with the Silicon Valley for about 40 years.

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US approves sale of eight F-16 jets to Pak

Washington, Feb. 13 : The United States Government said that it has approved the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan built by Lockheed Martin Corp, radar and other equipment in a deal valued at 699 million dollars.

The Dawn reports that Pentagon's Defence Security Cooperation Agency which oversees foreign arms sales said it had notified lawmakers about the possible deal.

The proposed deal will go through a 30-day notification period after which it will be finalized.

The agency said that F-16s would allow Pakistan's Air Force to operate in all weather environments and at night, improving its self- defense capability and bolstering its ability to conduct counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.

India said it was disappointed with decision of US.

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`Healthy` workforce boost firm`s stock market performance

Washington D. C, Feb 8 : Firms with healthy workforces appear to have a competitive edge in the stock market, according to a recent study.

The South African study compared the stock market performance of ten of the healthiest companies in South Africa to the market at large. Nine different investment scenarios were tested and in all nine scenarios, the healthy companies outperformed the Johannesburg Stock Exchange All Share Index.

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US firm accused of abusing H-1B visa

Washington : A Fortune 500 energy company in the US has been accused of replacing American employees with low-wage H-1B workers, including Indians.

In a letter to US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations that 'Eversource Energy' abused foreign worker visa programmes.

In another letter to the CEO of Eversource Energy, which is headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut, Blumenthal called for a full accounting of how and why the company decided to fire 200 American employees, and whether those employees were forced to train future foreign replacements and sign non-disparagement agreements.

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World Bank Group's Compliance Audit slams IFC

Washington, Jan. 19 - The CAO has held the IFC, the private lending arm of the World Bank Group responsible for repeated violations and blatant non-compliance with its own Performance Standards in its investment in the GKEL project.

The investigation asserted four Standards were repeatedly breached, despite sufficient and timely evidence to carry out compliance measures. Furthermore, IFC continued regular disbursements even when its own E&S Team downgraded the Environment & Social Risk Rating to the lowest denominator of 4, which is unsatisfactory.

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World Bank to be anchor investor in Rail Development Fund: Suresh Prabhu

Washington : The World Bank would be the anchor investor in the new Railway Development Fund, which would be used to fund modernisation of Indian railways, Union Minister Suresh Prabhu has said.

"We have decided to work with the World Bank on creating a Railway Development Fund. This was already initiated. But now, we have taken it forward," Prabhu said here yesterday after his meeting with World Bank officials.

Noting that the World Bank would be anchor investors in this new fund, along with other co-investors, Prabhu said, "This fund would be kick started soon as there is unanimity in the World Bank leadership".

He also said the World Bank leadership has realized that based on the performance in the past one year, Indian Railways is in the "right direction".

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Iran nuclear deal implementation may be 'days away': John Kerry

Washington: US Secretary of State John Kerry said today that implementation of the Iran nuclear deal may be only "days away," with Tehran on track to meet its pledge to put a bomb beyond its reach.

Kerry told reporters he had spoken to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who insisted Iran would live up to its promises, and the secretary said the United States would be ready to begin lifting its nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran.

"The foreign minister made it clear to me they intend to complete obligations with respect to implementation day as rapidly as possible," Kerry said.

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Iran nuclear deal implementation may be 'days away': John Kerry

Washington: US Secretary of State John Kerry said today that implementation of the Iran nuclear deal may be only "days away," with Tehran on track to meet its pledge to put a bomb beyond its reach.

Kerry told reporters he had spoken to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who insisted Iran would live up to its promises, and the secretary said the United States would be ready to begin lifting its nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran.

"The foreign minister made it clear to me they intend to complete obligations with respect to implementation day as rapidly as possible," Kerry said.

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US Federal Reserve raises interest rates by 0.25 percent

Washington, Dec.17 - The US Federal Reserve has raised interest rates by 0.25 percent, its first increase in nine years.

This was announced on Wednesday after a two-day policy meeting between officials with stocks rallying in early trading in Europe and the US.

The rate, which stands at 0.5 percent after the increase, was kept the same through out the global credit crunch so that financial institutions could borrow cheaply and in turn allow them to lend at lower rates.

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Volkswagen-like firms often apologise, silence stakeholders to get over scandals

Washington D.C, Sept 27 - As per a recent study, companies like Volkswagen often apologise and then silence their stakeholders to make the world forget about the scandals.

Aalto University researchers have found that large corporations often try to get over their corporate irresponsibility by first asking for forgiveness and then silencing their stakeholders. They also remove traces that may act as a reminder of the scandal. If Volkswagen does what many other corporations have previously done in similar cases, it may not learn to avoid its mistakes - and it may repeat the same mistake later on.

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Fancy steak sauce-flavored spooky black buns? Burger King to launch `Halloween Whopper`

Washington D.C., Sept 26 - Burger King is launching a ' Halloween Whopper' sandwich, which features 'black buns' baked in A1 steak sauce.

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PM Modi meets top business CEOs over dinner in NY

New York, Sept. 25 - Giving a push to his 'Make in India' initiative, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met top business honchos over dinner at an event coordinated by Fortune here today.

"Beginning and ending the day with Business. PM @narendramodi meets with top CEOs at event coordinated by Fortune," Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

"The $ 4.5 trillion club! PM @narendramodi with leading Fortune 500 CEOs at a special event in New York," he added while listing the names of 40 plus CEOs.

The CEOs of Cisco, Mastercard, Boeing, Sandisk, Pepsico, IBM and Ford were present among others during the meeting.

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