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ABC News gets rare access to Apple’s troubled plants in China

ABC’s “Nightline” news program will air a special report Tuesday night that will give an “unprecedented” look into the Apple production lines at the troubled Foxconn plants in China. Labor conditions at the plants have drawn the ire of critics and Apple fans alike. Apple, one of the most secretive companies in business today, has closely guarded the details about its production facilities that make its coveted iPhone and iPad mobile devices. After numerous negative reports about Foxconn, including several worker suicides, the dam broke in January with an extensive report by the New York Times that closely documented worker abuses. Apple responded by saying it would investigate abuses by the plants, and Foxconn agreed to raise worker wages by 16 to 25 percent. Foxconn also produces products for Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, and other major electronics companies. The “Nightline” report will be one of the first times Apple and Foxconn have allowed any news organization tour the floor and get access with managers and workers. It will show off the conditions of half a dozen production lines of factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China. “Nightline” anchor Bill Weir said that after years of denials, Apple finally gave him and ABC News the go-ahead to file a report from the Foxconn floor. He says that he doesn’t know exactly why he was picked but suggests it could be because: • I’ve said nice things about their products on the air. • ABC News is owned by the Disney Corporation and Disney CEO Bob Iger serves on the Apple Board of Directors • The Steve Jobs Trust is Disney’s largest shareholder. • They enjoy “Nightline.” Apple said Weir would have full access to the plant but he would not be allowed to speak with CEO Tim Cook or long-time Apple VP Jony Ive about the facilities. From ABC News’ early preview of the report, the most eye-opening part of the visit might very well be interviews with Foxconn workers. A look into the psyches of several workers shows how mind-numbing the job is: “I don’t think much about other things,” 26-year-old Liang Juan told Weir, “because the management is strict and we’re busy working and have no time to think about other things.” ABC will air the “Nightline” report on Foxconn and Apple Tuesday night at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT. Will you stay up late to watch? Foxconn factory video screenshot: ABC News Filed under: VentureBeat

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ABC’s “Nightline” news program will air a special report Tuesday night that will give an “unprecedented” look into the Apple production lines at the troubled Foxconn plants in China. Labor conditions at the plants have drawn the ire of critics and Apple fans alike. Apple, one of the most secretive companies in business today, has closely guarded the details about its production facilities that make its coveted iPhone and iPad mobile devices.

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After numerous negative reports about Foxconn, including several worker suicides, the dam broke in January with an extensive report by the New York Times that closely documented worker abuses. Apple responded by saying it would investigate abuses by the plants, and Foxconn agreed to raise worker wages by 16 to 25 percent. Foxconn also produces products for Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, and other major electronics companies.

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ABC News gets rare access to Apple’s troubled plants in China — will you watch?

Myanmar

Digital Revolution and Repression in Myanmar and Thailand

Activists have also proactively published social media content in multiple languages using the hashtags #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar and #WhatsHappeningInThailand to boost coverage of events on the ground.

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By Karen Lee

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Following the February 1 coup, Myanmar’s netizens became the latest to join the #MilkTeaAlliance, an online collective of pro-democracy youth across Asia.

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Ecommerce

How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?

Oxford Business Group

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How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?
– After falling significantly in 2020, oil prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels
– The rise has been driven by OPEC+ production cuts and an improving economic climate
– Higher prices are likely to support a rebound in oil-producing emerging markets
– Further virus outbreaks or increased production would pose challenges to price stability

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A combination of continued production cuts and an increase in economic activity has prompted oil prices to return to pre-pandemic levels – a factor that will be crucial to the recovery of major oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Brent crude prices rose above $60 a barrel in early February, the first time they had exceeded pre-Covid-19 values. They have since continued to rise, going above $66 a barrel on February 24.

The ongoing increase in oil prices, which have soared by 75% since November and around 26% since the beginning of the year, marks a dramatic change from last year.

Following the closure of many national borders and the implementation of travel-related restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, demand for oil slumped globally.

In the wake of the Saudi-Russia price war in early 2020, Brent crude prices fell from around $60 a barrel in February that year to two-decade lows of $20 a barrel in late April, as supply increased and demand plummeted. The value of WTI crude – the main benchmark for oil in the US – fell to record lows of around $40 a barrel last year on the back of a lack of storage space.

While global demand for oil remains low, one factor credited with reversing the trend is the decision to make significant cuts to oil production, which subsequently tightened global supplies.

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Tech

How the Rural-Urban Divide Plays Out on Digital Platforms

It is one thing for entrepreneurs, whether urban or rural, to create and operate an online store, as some digital platforms have made it relatively easy to manage an e-store – even by using just a smartphone.

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In the West, villages are emptying out due to the lack of economic opportunities. Consider Italy where, in a bid to attract newcomers, a handful of municipalities have turned to selling houses for €1.

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