Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister (pictured speaking in Montréal on 21 August 2019), said of wearing blackface: “What I did was hurtful to people who live with intolerance and discrimination every day. I recognize that, and I take full responsibility for it. I know that I let a lot of people down with that choice, and I am deeply sorry.” Photo credit: Prime Minister of Canada’s Office/Adam Scotti
Climate strike today, Juncker says still time for Brexit deal and Airbnb announces IPO. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Friday.
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, said the e-commerce giant would be carbon neutral by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris climate agreement deadline. Sources: BBC, CNBC, Cnet, Deutsche Welle and Seattle Times.
The accommodation booking site Airbnb said it will list on the stock market “during 2020” after saying its second quarter revenue reached $1bn. The company was most recently valued at $31bn. Sources: BBC, Financial Times, Guardian and Reuters.
Half of investors OK, half of investors reject Ryanair boss bonus
Barely more than half (50.5%) of Ryanair shareholders approved a plan to give CEO Michael O’Leary 10m stock options, which could be worth €99m in five years (if O’Leary meets performance targets). Ryanair is currently facing industrial action by British pilots and plans to cut staff. Sources: BBC, Financial Times, Guardian, Irish Times and RTE.
Huawei unveils 5G handset
The Chinese telecoms firm Huawei, which was blacklisted by the Trump administration, introduced its new flagship phone without Google apps. Sources: CNBC, Cnet and Guardian.
MPs in Austria voted to reject the EU-Mercosur free trade deal. It took 20 years to negotiate the agreement and all EU members must agree to the accord with the Latin American trading bloc. Sources: BBC, Deutsche Welle and Politico.
European Parliament objects to commissioner job title
MEPs challenged Ursula von der Leyen, incoming European Commission chief, on the European commissioner for “protection of the European way of life” job title. Sources: Deutsche Welle and Politico.
Pound up on Juncker comments
Sterling rose after Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU commission chief, said there was still time to pass a Brexit deal with the UK. Sources: CNBC, Financial Times and Press Association.
British satire on Johnson and the EU
This week’s cover of Private Eye tackles Boris Johnson’s recent Brexit meetings in Luxembourg.
Here are 10 science & technology stories you may have missed
Social networking: A growing number of tech startups are focused on combatting loneliness, per Crunchbase News. Cybercrime, part 1: A vishing (“voice phishing”) case cost a company $243,000 after AI software successfully imitated the voice of the outfit’s boss, per the Wall Street Journal. Cybercrime, part 2: French police, acting on a tip from the cybersecurity firm Avast, successfully hijacked and switched off a malware network that allegedly infected 850,000 computers, per Techcrunch. Planetary defence: Nasa and the European Space Agency will crash a spacecraft into an asteroid to see if they can change its path (just in case there’s ever an asteroid headed straight towards earth), per MIT Technology Review. Astronomy: Two planetary scientists have theorised that Earth preciously had two moons, which would explain the radical differences in the surface of the visible and dark sides of the modern moon, per Nautilus. Geology: There’s an ancient Greenland-sized continent roughly 1,600km under Italy, per Vice. Flora: Researchers discovered “an intricately shaped and previously unknown type of cell” that explains why walnuts have much tougher shells than other types of nuts, per Science magazine. Fauna: New Zealand researchers reckon the Loch Ness Monster is a bunch of giant eels, per the BBC. Robots: A startup in San Francisco (founded by ex-Skype entrepreneurs) is building a fleet of 6-wheeled robots to deliver restaurant meals and groceries to US university students, said Sifted. I’m sorry Dave, I cannot allow you to order that: McDonald’s acquired “Apprente, an AI startup focused on voice recognition” to help automate its drive thru order process, reported The Register.