Google fires diversity memo author

Google fires diversity memo author

A Google employee who wrote a controversial memo about workplace diversity has been fired, the BBC can confirm. The controversial memo broke the firm’s code of conduct, Google’s chief executive Sundar Pichai said on Monday in an email to employees. The memo, shared widely at the weekend, suggested there were fewer women at Google due to biological differences. Mr Pichai said the text crossed the line due to it “advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our…

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Bitcoin soars to record high value

Bitcoin soars to record high value

Bitcoin’s value has jumped to a record high, following a month of turmoil. The virtual currency reached $3,434.02 (£2,636) per coin in Monday trade, according to the Coindesk Bitcoin Price Index. It had never crossed the $3,000 mark until the weekend. The market value of all bitcoins in existence has now surpassed $56bn (£43bn). The surge followed the creation of a spin-off crypto-currency, Bitcoin Cash, last week. The new asset is trading well below the…

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The Swedish physicist revolutionising birth control

The Swedish physicist revolutionising birth control

Inventing the first app in the world to be approved as a contraceptive started as a hobby project for Elina Berglund Scherwitzl. The nuclear physicist, who’d been working on the team that discovered the Higgs boson, was tired of using hormonal contraception but wasn’t ready to have a baby. So the Swede set about using her data skills to find an alternative. “Like many women I had tried many different contraception options since my teenage…

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Amazon profits fall sharply as it invests overseas

Amazon profits fall sharply as it invests overseas

Amazon sales rose in the second quarter but profits plunged, as the e-commerce giant spent heavily in a bid to become the go-to shop globally for everything from food to television. The Seattle firm earned $197m (£151m) in profit in the three months to the end of June, down 77%. The fall came as the company pursues expansion overseas and invests in new products and services, including video. Expenses increased to $37.3bn, up 28% year-on-year….

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Jeff Bezos: Amazon founder is world’s new richest man

Jeff Bezos: Amazon founder is world’s new richest man

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has overtaken Bill Gates to become the world’s richest person, worth $90.6bn (£69bn). A rise in Amazon shares on Thursday means Mr Bezos’s worth has now eclipsed the Microsoft co-founder, according to the latest Forbes Index. Mr Bezos owns almost a fifth of the shares in Amazon, whose value has now exceeded $500bn. In recent years he has focused on his Blue Origin space rocket business and the Washington Post, which…

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New petrol and diesel cars banned in UK from 2040

New petrol and diesel cars banned in UK from 2040

The sale of petrol and diesel cars will end in 2040 – with a new tax on diesel drivers from 2020. Diesel drivers on congested highways are to face new pollution taxes from 2020 – as the Government signals the end of the road for diesel and petrol cars by 2040. A new air quality strategy to be unveiled by the Environment Secretary Michael Gove will propose that all cars on the UK’s roads should…

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Michael Kors buys Jimmy Choo in £896m deal

Michael Kors buys Jimmy Choo in £896m deal

The US firm says it is “the ideal partner” for the luxury shoemaker which counts the Duchess of Cambridge and Beyonce as fans. Image: Jimmy Choo was founded in 1996 One of America’s best-known fashion retailers has agreed to take over luxury shoe brand Jimmy Choo in an £896m deal. Michael Kors, the New York-listed chain, said on Tuesday it was “the ideal partner” for Jimmy Choo, famous for its stiletto shoes and accessories. Several…

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German car makers face test with antitrust claims

German car makers face test with antitrust claims

Germany’s biggest industry is again facing tough questions about how it does business. Still struggling to move on from the “dieselgate” scandal sparked by Volkswagen’s 2015 admission that it rigged engines to appear cleaner than they were, the country’s top car manufacturers now stand accused of operating a huge cartel since the 1990s. News magazine Der Spiegel dropped the bombshell on Friday, citing a letter it said Volkswagen (VLKAY) had written to German antitrust officials…

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Bitcoin swings as civil war looms

Bitcoin swings as civil war looms

The value of the virtual currency Bitcoin has always been volatile. Even so, there has been particular turbulence in recent days as fears of a “civil war” among its adherents first grew and then subsided, although they have not gone away altogether. On Sunday, the value of one bitcoin dropped to about $1,863 (£1,430) before bouncing back to $2,402 on Wednesday, according to data from the news site CoinDesk – still some way off a…

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North Korea economy grows at fastest rate in 17 years

North Korea economy grows at fastest rate in 17 years

North Korea’s economy accelerated at its fastest pace in 17 years, despite sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs. Gross domestic product grew by 3.9% in 2016 compared with the previous year, according to the Bank of Korea. The growth stemmed largely from mining and energy, as well as an increase in exports to China. The US has been urging Beijing to cut trade with Pyongyang as tensions mount over Kim Jong-un’s nuclear ambitions. China…

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