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Amazon accepts U.S. government business regulation.

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Source: Reuters

The head of Amazon.com Inc’s cloud computing division on Monday said the company would work with any government agency that followed the law, in contrast with rival Microsoft Corp, which has touted its rejection of controversial sales.

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“We will serve the federal government, and they will have to use the technology responsibly,” Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, said at the 2019 Code Conference after being asked if the company worked with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “Any government department that’s following the law, we will serve them.”

However, Jassy said he hopes that the federal regulators “hurry up”, adding that “otherwise, you’ll have 50 different laws in 50 different states.”

In the past year, Amazon has found itself at the center of a growing debate over the use of facial recognition by governments, with critics warning of false matches and arrests and proponents arguing it keeps the public safe.

Jassy acknowledged that the issue around facial recognition technology was a “real one”, but said “just because technology could be misused, doesn’t mean you should ban or condemn it.”

Law enforcement in Oregon and Florida have used Amazon’s face and image ID service, known as Rekognition.

Amazon’s approach has differed somewhat from Microsoft’s. While the Windows creator had defended a recent $480 million hardware contract to supply the U.S. Army, it held off from selling facial recognition when it believed human rights would be at risk.

Microsoft President Brad Smith said earlier this year that the company had rejected a California law enforcement agency’s request to install the technology in officers’ body cameras and cars, fearing that would lead to innocent women and minorities being disproportionately held for questioning.

Artificial intelligence tools are often trained largely on images of white men.


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24 Hours Across Africa

India doctors embark on strike aimed better security

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Source: Reuters

Thousands of doctors across India went on strike on Friday to demand better security at hospitals days after junior doctors in the city of Kolkata were attacked, leaving services in many government-run health facilities paralyzed.

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The state of West Bengal, of which Kolkata is capital, has been the worst hit by the strike with at least 13 big government hospitals affected.

The protests were sparked by an attack at the NRS Medical College in Kolkata on June 10 that left three junior doctors seriously injured after a dispute with a family whose relative had died.

Doctors demanding better security began a strike but their action was confined to the state until West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condemned them on Thursday, saying police did not strike when one of their colleagues was killed.

Banerjee’s remarks, which included a warning that junior doctors would be evicted from their college hostels if they did not go back to work, triggered a nationwide reaction.

The Indian Medical Association said the “barbaric” attack at the NRS reflected a national problem, and called for a countrywide protest. It also demanded legislation to safeguard doctors.

Nearly 30,000 doctors were on a one-day strike on Friday, most in West Bengal, New Delhi and the western state of Maharashtra, according to figures proved by medical associations.

The federal health minister, Harsh Vardhan, tried to calm the furor, promising better security at hospitals and calling on Banerjee to withdraw her ultimatum.

“I urge doctors to end their strike in the larger interest of society. I will take all possible measures to ensure a safe environment for them at hospitals across the country,” Vardhan said on Twitter.

India spent an estimated 1.4% of its gross domestic product on healthcare in 2017/18, among the lowest proportions in the world. Many millions of Indians depend on the cheap but inadequate public health system.

Saradamani Ray, whose 77-year old father is a patient at the NRS Medical College, said she would have to move him because of the strike.

“I will have to take my father somewhere else for his dialysis, maybe a private hospital,” she told Reuters.

“It will cause a lot of financial strain, but there’s nothing I can do. I will have to pay.”


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24 Hours Across Africa

Cazorla pen New deal for Villarreal

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Villarreal veteran Santi Cazorla re-signed with the La Liga club, it was confirmed on Thursday.

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Spain international midfielder Cazorla, 34, renewed for the 2019-20 season after impressing last term following his return to the Yellow Submarine.

The club announced the news on Thursday at a season ticket campaign presentation in the newly opened Plaza Pascual Font de Mora.

Cazorla was not at the event, but appeared in a video revealing that he had signed on for another season

“My only goal was to stay here and I appreciate the support of the club and coaching staff,” Cazorla said.

After re-joining Villarreal – where he left for Malaga in 2011 – from Arsenal, Cazorla scored seven goals and tallied 11 assists in 46 matches across all.


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