Global shares tumble…Amazon bans police use of its face recognition for a year…Unilever to place HQ in UK
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares tumbled today as reports of rising numbers of coronavirus infections in many countries are raising fears over risks from reopenings from pandemic shutdowns. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 plunged nearly 3.0%, Germany’s DAX dropped 2.7% and Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 2.5%. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed 2.8% lower, South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.9% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 2.3%. The Shanghai Composite shed 0.8%. U.S. shares are set for declines, with Dow futures down 2.2% and S&P futures down 1.8%.
NEW YORK (AP) – Amazon has banned police use of its face-recognition technology for a year. In doing so, the online retailer becomes the latest tech giant to back away from the use of face-detection systems. The technology has been criticized for being inaccurate, especially in recognizing people of color and women. Amazon hasn’t said why it is making the decision now. But it comes amid nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. An MIT study found racial and gender disparities in facial recognition software.
LONDON (AP) – Consumer goods giant Unilever says it will end its Anglo-Dutch corporate structure and be based in London, backing away from a proposal two years ago to move to the Netherlands. The group behind household names like Dove and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream stresses that its presence in both countries will remain unchanged. Unilever had been forced to change previous plans to switch its headquarters from London to Rotterdam in 2018 amid anger from shareholders.
LONDON (AP) – Centrica plc, which owns British Gas, is cutting 5,000 jobs as it restructures. The company says it needs to simplify and modernize the business. Centrica Group Chief Executive Chris O’Shea says the harsh reality is that the firm has “lost half its earnings in recent years.” He says that the changes “are designed to arrest our decline, allow us to focus on our customers and create a sustainable company.”
NEW DELHI (AP) – Indian authorities have seized diamonds, pearls and silver jewelry worth $180 million as part of an investigation of a fugitive diamond merchant who is being held in London while fighting his extradition. The items belong to Nirav Modi and his uncle, who also fled the country. Indian authorities say companies that Modi controlled used fake documents to get bank loans to buy and import jewels.