Friends? Shares? Likes? This Is World News In Focus


Technology: Facebook confirmed on Friday (June 8) that it had shared users’ personal information with other companies.

The personal information, which includes friends of Facebook users and the degree of closeness with users, was gathered from their Facebook profiles.

The Wall Street Journal has revealed in a report released last week that, while the social media has blocked most mobile application developers from using such information in 2015, certain “whitelisted” companies (including RBC Capital Markets and Nissan Motor Co.), advertisers and other business partners, were still allowed continued access to it.

Meanwhile, The New York Times revealed, in another report released on Sunday (3 June), that Facebook has agreements with 60 companies allowing them access to its data.

Facebook responded on Tuesday that it had shared user data such as users’ work history, relationship status and “likes” with these companies as early as 2007.

Among the 60 beneficiaries are several Chinese handset manufacturers, including Huawei, Lenovo, Oppo and TCL, along with Amazon, Apple, BlackBerry and Samsung.

Huawei, which has been flagged by U.S. intelligence officials as a national security threat, said on Wednesday (June 6) that it never collected or stored Facebook user data, according to the Associated Press.

For more we go to CBS News:


Business: German pharmaceutical company Bayer AG bought Monsanto, the U.S. seed and weed-killer maker, on Thursday (June 7).

As part of the US$63 billion acquisition deal, antitrust regulators have demanded that Bayer sell about 7.6 billion euros (US$9 billion) worth of its assets to BASF SE, including its field seeds business as well as some seed treatments and digital farming projects.

When the sale is complete in about two months’ time, Monsanto will become part of Bayer and the once “notorious” name in agricultural business “will no longer be a company name,” according to Bayer’s chief executive Werner Baumann.

Monsanto Co., an American-based multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation, is a chronic target for environmental campaigners and activists opposed to genetically-modified foods.

The company made Roundup, a weed killer, in the 1970s.  In the following decade, it pioneered the development of genetically modified crops.  Soon, Monsanto began to produce crops, such as soybean, corn and cotton, that were genetically engineered to be Roundup-tolerant.  The company also started buying up many other seed companies to become an industrial giant.

Werner Baumann claimed, in his statement on Thursday, that buying Monsanto would allow Bayer to be “better placed to help the world’s farmers grow more healthy and affordable food in a sustainable manner.”

The takeover is seen as the third in a series of mega-deals in the chemical industry, following Dow Chemical Co’s merger with DuPont Co and China National Chemical Corp’s takeover of Syngenta AG.

For more we go to CNBC Life:


Korea:  U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters at the G7 summit on Saturday (June 9) the he will meet the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

The historic meeting will be held at a hotel on the Singaporean island resort of Sentosa on Tuesday (12 June).  It will be the first time a North Korean leader has met a sitting U.S. president.

Pundits say what the U.S. wants from the meeting is for North Korea to pledge complete denuclearization; North Korea wants sanctions relief and international investment.

If the meeting proceeds smoothly, Trump may sign a peace treaty with Kim to formally end the Korean War, and invite Kim to visit the White House.

The Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who hosts the Trump-Kim summit, will meet the two leaders separately ahead of the scheduled summit.

When leaving Quebec on Saturday, Trump described his coming meeting with Kim a “mission of peace”.  He said he would “know within a minute” whether Kim was serious about the meeting and he would walk out of the meeting if he sensed otherwise.

For more we go to ABC News:


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