Tech News

EU 'concerned' about China's curbs on rare metals

The European Commission said Tuesday it was "concerned" about China's decision to impose export controls on two rare metals vital for making semiconductors amid an escalating tech battle between Washington and Beijing.. China's trade ministry on Monday said exports of gallium and germanium would need a licence from August 1 in the name of "security and national interests".

Twitter chaos leaves door open for Meta's rival app

Elon Musk spent the weekend further alienating Twitter users with more drastic changes to the social media giant, and he is facing a new challenge as tech nemesis Mark Zuckerberg prepares to launch a rival app this week.. Many social media users speculated that Musk had simply failed to pay the bill for his servers.

Apple, other firms say they meet EU 'gatekeeper' definition

Seven tech giants, including Amazon and Apple, have informed the European Union they meet the threshold to come under landmark new rules to curb their market dominance, Brussels said Tuesday.. The firms -- Google parent Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, TikTok owner ByteDance, Facebook umbrella Meta, Microsoft and Samsung -- said they had revenue and user figures big enough to be classed as "gatekeepers", EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton said.

UN talks aim to harness AI power and potential

The United Nations is convening this week a global gathering to try to map out the frontiers of artificial intelligence and to harness its potential for empowering humanity.. - 'Perfect storm' - "We're kind of in a perfect storm of suddenly having this powerful new technology -- I don't think it's super-intelligent -- being spread very widely and empowered in our lives, and we're really not prepared," said serial AI entrepreneur Gary Marcus.

IAEA chief in Japan ahead of Fukushima water release

UN nuclear watchdog chief Rafael Grossi arrived in Japan on Tuesday to present a review of Tokyo's plans to release treated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea.. The proposal has already been endorsed by the IAEA, but the government has said the release will only begin after a "comprehensive review" that Grossi will present Tuesday.

Asian markets fluctuate as rate-hope rally fades

Asian markets struggled for direction on Tuesday as investors weighed signs of a slowing US economy against hopes the Federal Reserve's interest rate hiking cycle could be nearing its end.. While the cuts will mean tighter supplies, rising interest rates and the lingering threat of recession are weighing on demand expectations.

Medical, but hold the marijuana: new CBD source found in Brazil

In a laboratory tucked away on a sprawling university campus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian molecular biologist Rodrigo Moura Neto is running tests on a seemingly ordinary plant with a potent secret.. "It was wonderful to find a plant (with CBD but) without THC, because you avoid all the mess around psychotropic substances," says Moura Neto, who has spent the better part of five decades researching in this small lab at Rio de Janeiro Federal University.

Mercosur calls for 'update' to draft EU trade agreement

South American trade block Mercosur opened a two-day summit on Monday with host Argentina calling for an "update" to a long-paused trade deal with the European Union which it said was the product of an "asymmetrical" relationship.. Given the divide, Bruno Binetti, an expert on international affairs at the Inter-American Dialogue think tank in Washington, said "the most" that could come out of the Argentina summit was "a specific agenda" with "demands." 

Activists protest over ship pollution at maritime meet

Environmental campaigners protested Monday outside the London-based International Maritime Organization, which is meeting to discuss curbing carbon dioxide emissions from the high-polluting shipping sector.. Participants are under pressure to agree ambitious emission reduction targets and consider a tax on pollution by the sector.

Troubled retailer Tesco picks Burberry boss as chair

Britain's biggest retailer Tesco on Monday named Burberry boss Gerry Murphy as chairman, replacing John Allan who stepped down after misconduct claims which he denies.. Allan has stated that he "vehemently" denies the claims.