SoftBank Launches Robot Venture With Alibaba, Foxconn

Japan’s SoftBank Corp said on Thursday it is setting up a joint venture with Chinese online shopping giant Alibaba and electronics supplier Foxconn Technology to sell its human-like robot Pepper around the world.The robots – which the mobile phone and Internet conglomerate envisions serving as baby-sitters, medical workers or even party companions – would go on sale to general consumers ... Read More »

US balcony collapse: Mary McAleese anger at New York Times report

The New York Times “should be hanging its head in shame” over a report on the California balcony collapse, former Irish President Mary McAleese has said. The paper apologised for “insensitive language” in its report that linked the accident to previous “drunken partying and the wrecking of apartments”. Five of the six people who died were Irish students temporarily in ... Read More »

Hong Kong lawmakers reject Beijing poll plan

  The reforms would have given Hong Kong voters the right to choose their leader for the first time in 2017. But candidates would be vetted by a pro-Beijing committee and pro-democracy activists said the reforms only offered “fake democracy”. Beijing said it would not change its position on democratic reforms. Some in Hong Kong had hoped that if the ... Read More »

Charleston church shooting: Suspected gunman arrested

The suspected gunman in the killing of nine people at a historic African-American church in South Carolina has been arrested, Attorney General Loretta Lynch says. Officials earlier named 21-year-old Dylann Roof as the man they were looking for after the shooting in Charleston. The gunman sat in a bible study meeting for up to an hour before firing. Six women ... Read More »

Amazon Appstore Removes Kodi (XBMC) Over Piracy Concerns

Amazon last week removed the media centre Kodi (formerly known as XBMC) from its Appstore. The app was removed because of concerns over piracy, according to reports. As per Amazon, Kodi can be used to facilitate piracy and illegal downloads of content, which is not allowed on Amazon’s Appstore. That’s not exactly correct, and in fact, the XBMC Foundation, which ... Read More »

Scientists Plan Risky Move to Get Rosetta Spacecraft Nearer Comet

    European scientists are planning a risky manoeuvre to get their Rosetta spacecraftcloser to the comet it is orbiting, so it can communicate with its robotic lander on the surface and start experiments that could unlock some of the universe’s secrets. The lander, called Philae, surprised scientists at the weekend by waking up and sending a signal to Earth. ... Read More »

Uber Ruling Fuels Debate Over Workers

In a ruling that fuels a long-simmering debate over some of Silicon Valley’s fastest-growing technology companies and the work they are creating, the California Labor Commission said that a driver for the ride-hailing service Uber should be classified as an employee, not an independent contractor.The ruling ordered Uber to reimburse Barbara Ann Berwick $4,152.20 (roughly Rs. 2.6 lakhs) in expenses ... Read More »

UN raises alarm as global refugee population reaches 59.5 million

Syria overtook Afghanistan to become the world’s biggest source of refugees last year, while the number of people forced from their homes by conflicts worldwide rose to a record 59.5 million, the United Nations’ refugee agency said on Thursday. Pointing to crises in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Burundi and elsewhere, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said he doesn’t expect ... Read More »

Pope Francis encyclical calls for end to fossil fuels

The Pope has issued an encyclical, calling for fossil fuels to be “progressively replaced without delay”. Pope Francis urges the richer world to make changes in lifestyle and energy consumption to avert the unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem. Environmentalists hope the message will spur on nations ahead of the UN climate conference in Paris in December. But parts of the ... Read More »

Boko Haram crisis: Attack in Niger kills dozens

An attack by suspected Islamist Boko Haram fighters in Niger has killed at least 38 people, officials say. It took place late on Wednesday night, according to a security source quoted by the Reuters news agency. Local MP Bulu Mammadu told the BBC that the victims included women and children who had been shot dead in two different villages. Boko ... Read More »