Author: James W. Brown

Thai legislature passes same-sex marriage law
World

Thai legislature passes same-sex marriage law

Related media - Recent news Thai lawmakers voted to pass a marriage equality bill on Tuesday, a move that puts the country on track to become the first in Southeast Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. Thailand's Senate passed the bill on Tuesday afternoon, nearly three months after it passed the House of Representatives. The legislation would come into force after being considered by a Senate committee and the Constitutional Court and receiving royal assent from the king, a formality that is widely expected to be granted. The bill's passage highlights Thailand's status as a relative haven for gay couples in Asia. Only Taiwan and Nepal have legalized same-sex marriage. Last year, just as India neared the finish line, the Supreme Court sent the decision back to Parliament. In some A...
UAW reaches agreement on pay and safety at electric vehicle battery plant
Business

UAW reaches agreement on pay and safety at electric vehicle battery plant

Related media - Breaking news GM and Ultium released statements saying they were pleased with the deal. The union said it wants to use the Ultium Cells contract as a model to negotiate local deals at other battery plants that GM and its Detroit rivals are building. GM began production this year at a battery plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, and has another under construction in Lansing, Michigan. Ford Motor plans two battery plants in Kentucky, one in Tennessee and one in Michigan. Stellantis, the maker of Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram vehicles, plans two battery plants in Indiana. Aside from a Ford location, these plants involve joint ventures that were brought under the umbrella of the UAW as part of national contracts the union signed with Ford and Stellantis last fall. The Ulti...
Crisis in the Middle East: The United States imposes sanctions on the Israeli group for blocking humanitarian convoys in Gaza
News

Crisis in the Middle East: The United States imposes sanctions on the Israeli group for blocking humanitarian convoys in Gaza

More news - Recent news The State Department announced Friday that it will impose sanctions on a right-wing Israeli group that tried to prevent aid from reaching people in the Gaza Strip by blocking trucks traveling from Jordan to the coastal enclave.The department's statement said the sanctioned organization, Tzav 9, was "a violent Israeli extremist group that blocked, harassed and damaged convoys carrying life-saving humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians in Gaza."Members of the group have tried for months to prevent humanitarian aid from reaching Gaza, the department said. They blocked roads on which aid trucks travel between Jordan and Gaza, including the West Bank, and in some cases broke into trucks, damaging them and dumping aid packages on the road, the agency said....
Elon Musk got 72% in Tesla shareholder vote on pay
World

Elon Musk got 72% in Tesla shareholder vote on pay

Related media - Breaking news With the pay package, Musk would own 20.5% of Tesla, up from about 13%. He has said he would like a 25% stake, stressing in January that it would be "quite influential, but not so much that it can't be overthrown." If he didn't get such a large stake, he said, "he would rather build products outside of Tesla." Even after this week's rally, Tesla shares are down more than 20% this year, compared with a 14% gain in the broader stock market. The company remains by far the most valuable auto company, with a stock market value of $600 billion, but fears of tougher competition and declining demand for its models have weighed on the stock. At Thursday's shareholder meeting, Musk was characteristically optimistic about Tesla's self-driving technology, includi...
In North Macedonia, disputes over history extend to statues
World

In North Macedonia, disputes over history extend to statues

Related media - Breaking news The center of Skopje, capital of North Macedonia, a Balkan country born just 33 years ago as an independent state, is flooded with history. A statue of Alexander the Great looms over the central square. One of his fathers, Philip II of Macedon, stands on a large pedestal above a nearby square. The city is also dotted with bronze, stone and plaster tributes to generations of other heroes from what the country sees as its glorious and very long history. The problem, however, is that most of the history exposed is claimed by other countries. Modern-day North Macedonia, born out of the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, has no real connection to Alexander the Great, who lived 2,000 years ago down the road in what is now Greece, and many of the other hist...
Amazon fined nearly $6 million over warehouse labor quotas
World

Amazon fined nearly $6 million over warehouse labor quotas

More news - Breaking news An Amazon spokesperson said in a statement that the company is appealing the sanctions and denied that the company used "fixed quotas." Spokeswoman Maureen Lynch Vogel said that “individual performance is evaluated over an extended period of time, compared to the performance of the entire site team” and that workers can “review their performance whenever they wish.” . California law also prohibits quotas that interfere with employees' ability to take mandatory breaks or use the bathroom, or that prevent employers from following state health and safety laws. Experts said the law was among the first in the country to regulate algorithmically tracked inventory quotas and require employers to make quotas transparent to workers. The fines announced Tuesday are...