Top Stories

July 11, 2022


Leak reveals Uber broke laws, duped police, lobbied governments

A leaked trove of confidential files has revealed the inside story of how tech giant Uber flouted laws, duped police, exploited violence against drivers and secretly lobbied governments during its aggressive global expansion. The unprecedented leak of more than 124,000 documents – known as the Uber files – lays bare the ethically questionable practices that fuelled the company’s transformation into one of Silicon Valley’s most famous exports. The leak uncovers Uber executives breaching laws and taxi regulations, obstructing justice and citing violence against traditional cab drivers. The data shows how Uber tried to shore up support by courting prime ministers, presidents, billionaires, oligarchs and media barons. Uber executives met with Biden, Macron, Israel’s Netanyahu and the UK’s George Osborne in secret meetings not publicly declared by officials. (The Guardian)


Volvo Cars to leave ACEA car lobby group over climate goals

Luxury vehicles company Volvo Cars announced it will leave the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) by the end of 2022, citing differences between its net-zero emissions strategy and that of the lobby group. The carmaker has committed to having a fully-electric car range by 2030, ahead of the EU’s proposal for an effective ban on fossil-fuel cars as of 2035. In a statement Volvo said: "we have concluded that Volvo Cars' sustainability strategy and ambitions are not fully aligned with ACEA’s positioning and way of working at this stage." The news comes less than a month after carmaker Stellantis said it would leave ACEA by the end of 2022 as part of a new approach in shifting away from traditional lobbying activity. (Reuters)


Black women less likely to get quality feedback at work

Black women are nine times more likely to receive non-actionable feedback at work, a study has found, highlighting the bias that exists in performance review processes. A report by linguistics-focused software company Textio found that for every piece of non-actionable feedback white men under 40 received, Black women – regardless of age -received 8.8 pieces of such feedback. The report found that earnings likely correlate with feedback quality. Other underrepresented groups, such as Latina women, and Black men, also were more likely to get “low-quality” feedback. Actionable feedback is specific feedback that gives recipients examples to learn from and advice to act on in the future. Asian men and white men are the least likely to receive low-quality feedback, the report found, while Black and Latino women are the most likely. (Forbes)


Disabled benefits claimants suffer £300m in late payments

Working-age disabled benefits claimants are waiting five months for a decision after applying for disability benefits, according to a briefing paper by think-tank Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). The research institute said this “likely contributes” to the link between disability and deprivation, with disabled people making up nearly half (44%) of the most deprived working-age adults in the UK. It comes as separate research by Citizens Advice estimates that disabled claimants are waiting for almost £300 million in support because of the delays. Since 2013 the Government has been gradually replacing disability living allowance with the personal independence payment, with the intention of reducing spending by 20%. The IFS concluded that the majority of the most deprived disabled people do not receive disability benefits. (The Independent)


UK supermarkets could still be buying deforestation-linked meat

Supermarkets and retailers have been asked to end relationships with soya traders who allegedly continue to buy soya from suppliers contributing to deforestation in Brazil. It comes as an investigation by campaign group Mighty Earth alleges that suppliers selling to leading soya traders have deforested at least 27,000 hectares across 10 farms in the Cerrado region of Brazil since August 2020. This is despite a previous agreement in principle from retailers to end buying meat connected to the destruction of natural ecosystems. Campaigners say 77% of the world’s soya beans are used for feeding animals. The scale of destruction in the Cerrado is vast, the report says, with the most severe case of known deforestation occurring within Condomínio Agrícola Estrondo in Bahía. (The Guardian)






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