AL-JAZEERA IN BATTLE FOR US COVERAGE
Al Anstey, managing director of al-Jazeera English, entered Comcast’s Philadelphia headquarters on Wednesday with four cardboard boxes. Inside were printouts of 13,000 e-mails the Doha-based news channel had received, urging the US cable company to carry its signal.
EAST EUROPEAN MIGRANT NUMBERS BACK ON THE RISE
The number of eastern Europeans coming to work in the UK has risen for the first time in four years, exacerbating the problem facing David Cameron, prime minister, as he tries to cut yearly net migration to the “tens of thousands”. The 7 per cent increase in 2010 is because Latvians and Lithuanians are arriving in droves as they escape their countries’ bleak job markets.
BA BITTEN IN WEB PROTEST OVER BED BUGS
British Airways has become the latest airline to face a sophisticated internet protest after a passenger posted graphic photos of what she alleges was an “absolutely disgusting” attack of bed bugs on two recent international BA flights. Zane Selkirk, a 28-year-old Yahoo product manager from Los Angeles, has published her own website, www.ba-bites.com, to make people aware of what she alleges is BA’s “unhelpful and unfriendly” response to her complaints.
APPLE, GOOGLE AND SPOTIFY RACE TO MUSIC MARKET
The digital music market is set to be shaken up as soon as this summer as Apple, Google and Spotify race to deliver new services that labels warily hope may reverse a decade of declining revenues. Each company is taking a slightly different approach with their new services, as the industry grapples with a slowdown in sales.
DEMAND FOR NEWEST PHONES SEES RETURN OF OLD TARIFF
The British love of the most up-to-date smartphone has forced a return to old-style phone contracts because people want to replace their handsets more frequently. Vodafone and O2 will reintroduce 12-month contracts allowing customers to upgrade their handset every year if they pay a fee starting at about £100 for a new model.
TATA SALE OF REDCAR STEEL PLANT SALVAGES 700 JOBS
An historic steelworks in Teesside has been sold to a Thai metals company, saving 700 jobs and potentially creating a further 800 in the North East. The Corus Teesside Cast Products (TCP) factory in Redcar, North Yorkshire, which has been mothballed for a year, was sold to Sahaviriya Steel Industries (SSI), for £291 million.
The Daily Telegraph
JPMORGAN RAISES $1BN TO INVEST IN SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES
JPMorgan has raised more than $1bn (£620m) for a fund to invest in social media companies, as it becomes the latest Wall Street bank seeking to tap a wave of interest from investors. According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the JP Morgan Digital Growth Fund is a venture capital fund that has raised $1.2bn from investors. That eclipses an initial target of between $500m and $700m that the fund had reportedly set itself.
GREENPEACE CAN BRING CASE AGAINST UK DEEPWATER OIL DRILLING
The safety of deepwater drilling near the Shetland Islands, where BP, Total and Chevron operate, will be challenged in a landmark court case brought against the British Government.
THE STREET JOURNAL
HUAWEI LOOKS TO LAY US SECURITY CONCERNS TO REST
Huawei Technologies Co. urged the U.S. to investigate the company, hoping to quash what the Chinese telecommunications manufacturer says are unsubstantiated suspicions that it poses a threat to U.S. national security. Friday’s roughly 2,000-word letter is Huawei’s highest-level public response to allegations that the company has ties to China’s government and military.
DREAMWORKS PROFIT FALLS SHORT
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.’s fourth-quarter earnings soared 96 per cent but the bottom line was skewed by a large one-time tax benefit. The movie studio said revenue jumped 42 per cent to $275.7 million but its gross margin slumped to 29.7 per cent from 41.4 per cent as costs jumped 70 per cent.