Current Affairs

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to work……

Long working hours are killing hundreds of thousands of people a year, WHO says

London (CNN Business)Working long hours is killing hundreds of thousands of people a year through stroke and heart disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

In a global analysis of the link between loss of life and health and working long hours, WHO and the International Labour Organization estimated that in 2016, some 745,000 people died as a result of having worked at least 55 hours a week.
Most of the deaths were recorded among people aged 60 to 79, who had worked at least 55 hours between the ages of 45 and 74.
Men were the worst affected, accounting for 72% of deaths, the analysis found. People living in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia, and middle-aged or older workers took on a particularly significant share of the disease burden, the report said.

US and EU Suspend Steel Tariffs

The European Union and the United States on Monday decided to temporarily suspend measures at the heart of a steel tariff dispute that is seen as one of the major trade issues dividing the two sides.

With the decision, “we are walking the talk in our efforts to reboot the trans-Atlantic relationship,” EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis said. It will affect anything from steel production to Kentucky bourbon sales.

On top of suspending the measures, both sides also said they are committed to talks “to address global steel and aluminum excess capacity.

“We are creating the space to resolve these issues before the end of the year,” Dombrovskis said.

It was the second palpable step to get back to better trade relations under President Joe Biden after both sides in March decided on a four-month suspension of tariffs used in the longstanding Airbus-Boeing dispute… CLICK for the complete article

Would you like an entire luxury car or a purse? The price points are the same.


Birkin bags hit record prices even as the world ground to a halt.


New York (CNN)The desirability of an Hermès Birkin handbag — a symbol of rarefied wealth — is such that not even a global pandemic can dull demand for it. Instead, it has helped fire it up even more.

The bags are getting scooped up at record premiums in the pandemic era, according to Birkin resellers. Auction house Christie’s says that one of its two highest selling handbags in history is a Birkin made of crocodile skin that went for nearly $390,000 in November (The other was a Kelly bag, also from Hermès, that sold for close to $450,000).
At reseller Privé Porter, premiums are currently 50 to 100% of the retail price, said the company’s managing director Jeffrey Berk, “except for some collector versions, which can go as high as 10 times the retail price.”

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Sorry, we guess?


The group that hacked into the 5.5k mile Colonial Pipeline issued an apology saying that its goal is to “make money and not [create] problems for society.” Parts of the pipeline are slowly coming back online.

Colonial Pipeline hackers apologize, promise to ransom less controversial targets in future

‘We are apolitical, we do not participate in geopolitics’



Chinas sweeping antitrust clampdown

China is preparing a substantial fine for Tencent Holdings (0700.HK) as part of its sweeping antitrust clampdown on the country’s internet giants, but it is likely to be less than the record $2.75 billion penalty imposed on Alibaba earlier this month, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Tencent should expect a penalty of at least 10 billion yuan ($1.54 billion), significant enough for the State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) to make an example of it, both people said.

Tencent faces penalties for not properly reporting past acquisitions and investments for antitrust reviews, an offence with a fine capped at 500,000 yuan per case, and for anticompetitive practices in some of its businesses, with music streaming in particular focus, said the sources.

Neither SAMR nor Tencent immediately responded to Reuters’ requests for comment.

“The attitude from the regulator is that unlike Alibaba you are not the biggest target here, but it would be impossible not to penalise Tencent now that the campaign is in action,” said one of the people.

China has in recent months sought to curb the economic and social power of its once loosely regulated internet giants, in a clampdown backed by President Xi Jinping.

Tencent and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (9988.HK) are China’s two biggest tech conglomerates, with market values of $776 billion and $642 billion, respectively.

Earlier this month, SAMR imposed its record fine on Alibaba after an investigation found the e-commerce firm had abused its dominant market position for several years.