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Google creates new parent company

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(Last Updated On: October 25, 2022)

Move to place businesses under new firm Alphabet to allow reporting of results of diversified operations separately.

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Google, the US technology company, is reorganising under a new moniker – Alphabet – in a move underscoring its founders’ ambitions to pursue ventures far beyond the company’s internet search core, from self-driving cars to cutting-edge medical research.

It will still use the Google name for its popular internet search engine, mapping service and related products.

However, Larry Page, Google’s CEO and co-founder, said on Monday the creation of the new holding company will provide more independence for divisions like Nest, which makes internet-connected home appliances, and Calico, which is researching ways to prolong human life.

Analysts said the move may also be an attempt to satisfy Wall Street’s demands for more fiscal accountability: As part of the reorganisation, Page said the company will begin reporting financial results by segments.

Google reported more than $14bn in profit on $66bn in sales last year, most of it from lucrative internet advertising, while other ventures have required large investments without showing immediate returns.

The company’s stock has surged in recent weeks after a new chief financial officer announced other moves to rein in corporate spending.

Rise of Sundar Pichai

The reorganisation cements the rise of Sundar Pichai, a longtime Google executive, who will become CEO for the core Google business.

Page will be CEO of the new holding company, with his co-founder Sergey Brin serving as president.

Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, will have the same title at Alphabet.

“Sundar has been saying the things I would have said (and sometimes better!) for quite some time now,” Page wrote in a blog post announcing the changes.

Pichai, 43, who was named overall chief of Google products last autumn, is viewed by many as a potential successor to Page.

Pichai was part of the team that launched the Chrome browser in 2008 and also worked on various search products, including Google Toolbar, Desktop Search, Gadgets and Google Gears, according to the company.

Before joining Google, Pichai worked as an engineer at manufacturer Applied Materials, followed by a stint in management consulting at McKinsey & Company.

Originally from Tamil Nadu province in southeast India, Pichai received a B Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur.

He also has a Master of Science from Stanford University and a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

More authority

With the reorganisation, Page indicated that he wants to give more authority to CEOs of the companies that will be part of the new entity known as Alphabet.

“Our company is operating well today, but we think we can make it cleaner and more accountable,” he wrote.

“We believe this allows us more management scale, so we can run things independently that aren’t very related.”

Businesses that will operate separately under the Alphabet umbrella include Calico, which Google established to conduct health research in 2013; Nest, which Google acquired in 2014; Fiber, which is building high-speed broadband networks in several cities; and the Google X, the research lab responsible for Google’s self-driving car venture and previously developed its controversial Internet headset, known as Glass.

Alphabet will also oversee Google Ventures and Google Capital, two corporate investment entities that focus on early- and growth-stage start-ups.

Google’s YouTube video division, however, will remain part of the core business under Pichai, although Page made a point of praising its chief, Susan Wojcicki, another longtime ad executive.

Written by: Aljazeera

Source: Agencies

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UN warns 6 million Afghans on brink of famine

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(Last Updated On: December 1, 2022)

The United Nations warned on Wednesday that six million people in Afghanistan face an emergency level of food insecurity amid a shortage of sufficient humanitarian assistance due to the lack of funding.

“The economic shocks, which we are experiencing these days are the primary drivers for the humanitarian needs,” UN Deputy Special Representative, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan Ramiz Alakbarov told reporters.

He said that winter is approaching with temperatures dropping in certain areas of the country to minus 25 degrees Celcius.

“We require $768 million to support winter preparedness activities, and 614 million are required before the end of the year… We’ve been struggling for the funding for the entire year,” Alakbarov said.

Two-thirds of the entire population – more than 28 million people – will need humanitarian assistance next year, according to the UN.

He also said that six million people are getting closer to the famine line.

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Explosion at Samangan school sparks widespread condemnation

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(Last Updated On: December 1, 2022)

The deadly explosion on Wednesday at the Al-Jihadi school in the city of Aybak, the center of Samangan province, which killed and injured a number of children and teenagers, has sparked widespread condemnation both locally and internationally.

According to an announcement by the Ministry of Interior, 10 children died and a number of others were injured in the explosion.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West, in a series of tweets called the attack terrible.

“All Afghan children have the right to go to school without fear,” he tweeted, adding that the United States condemns this senseless attack against innocent civilians.

Amnesty International called the blast “disturbing”, and stated it was “yet another reminder to the world that the sufferings of Afghan people are far from over.”

Amnesty International has said that Afghanistan demands the attention of the world and that determined efforts must be made to protect the people of this country and that those responsible for such reprehensible attacks face justice in fair trials.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has also said in its response that it is horrified by the explosion.

UNICEF added that at least 288 children were killed or injured in Afghanistan in the first half of this year, including in attacks on schools and educational environments. According to the organization, it is believed that the real figure of Wednesday’s explosion is much higher.

The United Nations Children’s Fund has said that children should never be the target of violence.

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also condemned the blast.

“Appalled by today’s horrendous bomb attack on a school in Samangan, Afghanistan, killing and wounding innocent people and students. These atrocities only add to the multitude of crises in Afghanistan. My thoughts go out to the victims’ families and their loved ones,” Anniken Huitfeldt, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway tweeted.

Germany also condemned the explosion, adding that children should be able to go to school without fear and harm.

“We are shocked and saddened by the reports of an attack on a school in Aybak in northern Afghanistan with many dead and injured, including children & young people. Children should be able to go to school without fear and harm. Our thoughts are with those who grieve for a loved one,” German Foreign Office tweeted.

Imdadullah Mahajer, head of the cultural information department in Samangan province, says that an explosion occurred on Wednesday at a religious school called Al-Jihadi in the vicinity of Aybak city, the center of Samangan province.

Mahajer said that students were praying at the time of the explosion.

According to him, 15 students were killed and a number of others were wounded. However, the IEA has put the death toll at 10.

The attack was also widely condemned by IEA officials in the country.

Mawlawi Abdul Kabir, the political deputy of the current government, has strongly condemned the explosion and said that it is against all Islamic and humanitarian principles and an “unforgivable crime”.

“The enemies of Afghanistan and Islam revealed their enmity with Islam with this attack that targeted the students of Quran and Sunnah. I assure that the perpetrators of this crime will not remain unanswered,” Kabir tweeted.

Hamid Karzai, the former president of Afghanistan, has also strongly condemned this explosion and called it against all human and Islamic values.

Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the High Council of National Reconciliation under the previous government, also condemned the incident in a Facebook message.

Abdullah wrote that attacking worshipers, students, religious schools, mosques and places of worship is against Islamic and human values.

The ministry of interior meanwhile stated that the explosion targeted a religious seminary in Samangan’s capital Aybak, killing 10 students and wounding several others.

However, reports on social media indicate that the casualty toll was much higher.

So far no group claimed responsibility for the blast.

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IEA stops Radio Azadi from broadcasting in 13 cities across Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: December 1, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) publication head, at the Ministry of Information and Culture, says Radio Azadi has been ordered to stop broadcasting in 13 cities in Afghanistan.

The FM radio station has been accused of violating the IEA’s broadcasting regulations.

“This radio broadcasts one-sided news in violation of journalistic principles,” Abdul Haq Hammad tweeted.

Hammad added that: “Radio Azadi, which started broadcasting after the American occupation, was stopped due to non-compliance with journalistic principles and one-sided broadcasts.”

At the same time, Voice of America has also reported that according to the new guidelines of the Ministry of Information and Culture, Voice of America radio broadcasts from inside Afghanistan will be stopped from December 1st.

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