UK scrambling to fix critical gaps in Brexit Border Plan
Officials of Boris Johnson are now scrambling to try and avoid a major border crisis when the UK leaves the European Union at the end of this year, despite warnings that crucial IT systems may not be ready in time.
According to a leaked document, there is only four months to go to fill these critical gaps, some of which have been described as “unmanageable”. Ministers have asked hauliers and other industry groups for help in averting chaos at the border when the transition period ends later this year.
Warnings of grave concerns over the dangers ahead are from a government official’s note after a meeting with representatives from the logistics industry. The memo lists 13 key risks that are to be flagged to ministers, which include a lack of contingency planning and inadequate time to prepare. If these issues are not addressed, disruption to UK businesses and the supply chain could be severe. Delays in processing the paperwork needed after Brexit could throw supply chains into chaos, create large traffic jams at ports, and could bring even more economic damage on a country that continues to suffer from the Coronavirus.
But with the government ruling out a delay to the UK’s departure, the pressure is on to find a solution in time.
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Amazon delivery drivers are hanging smartphones in trees
Something strange has happened near Amazon delivery stations in the Chicago suburbs. Contract delivery drivers have started hanging smartphones from trees, which they’re doing to take advantage of rivals seeking orders.
Someone will place several devices in a tree which is located close to the delivery station, sync their own phones with the ones in the tree, and wait nearby for an order pickup.
Drivers in the U.S. are resorting to such extreme methods because of the increased competition for work due to the pandemic. The economy is suffering from double-digit unemployment, and a smartphone perched in a tree can be crucial to getting a $15 delivery route before somebody else does. Gig workers only get paid by each job they do, so this is the only way to make money for some.
However, the phones appear to serve as master devices that dispatch routes to many other nearby drivers. Other drivers in the area seem to believe than an unidentified person or entity is acting as an intermediary between Amazon and the drivers. It is also believed that they are charging drivers to secure more routes, which is against Amazon’s policies.
It is likely that the work is spread around to multiple Amazon Flex accounts to avoid Amazon detecting them. If all routes went through one device, it would be easier for Amazon to detect. One driver said that the company knows about it, but does nothing. These people are just one step ahead of company‘s algorithm and its developers, says another.
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New Study: One fifth of global CO2 emissions come from large multinational companies and their supply chains
A study published in Nature Climate Change has found that large multinational companies and their supply chains are to blame for almost one fifth of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. The true carbon footprint of large companies such as Total and BP is concealed because of how emissions are reported. It was found that carbon emissions from multinationals‘ foreign investment were 18.7% of all emissions in 2016.
The study found that carbon dioxide produced by foreign affiliates of BP and Total exceeds the oil industry emissions from the supply chains of big companies, located in every country in the world except the US. Samsung and Apple generate more emissions than the whole of the foreign-owned electronics sectors for multiple Asian countries. Researchers have argued that emissions should be assigned to countries where the investment comes from rather than countries where the emissions are generated.
Multinational companies have a huge influence that stretches beyond national borders. One of the study’s authors,Professor Dabo Guan at University College London, said that if the world’s leading companies exercised leadership on climate change, for example by requiring energy efficiency in their supply chains, then they could have a transformative effect on global efforts to reduce emissions. However, many companies such as Apple are feeling the pressure to reduce their carbon footprint, which could have a catastrophic effect on global warming at the end of this century if companies do not act now.
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