Amazon

Amazon announces 1,500 new apprenticeships for 2022

The 40 schemes range from engineering to health and safety and includes more than 200 apprenticeships which are degree level.

Amazon employs more than 70,000 staff in the UK and said the scheme would help more people get the skills in demand in the job market.

BT Group recently announced plans to recruit more than 600 apprentices and graduates for September 2022.

The group, one of the UK's largest private sector apprenticeship employers, said it would recruit for posts in its engineering, customer service, applied research, and cyber-security areas.

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Amazon criticised over safety at tornado-hit warehouse

"This never would have happened if they cared about lives over productivity," the sister of one of the victims commented on social media.

The company says its team had "worked quickly" in response to the tornado.

The roof collapsed as the storm hit the warehouse on Friday.

Kelly Nantel, an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement the company is "deeply saddened" by the deaths.

One of those who died, Clayton Cope, 29, spoke to his family on the phone shortly before the building in the town of Edwardsville, Illinois was struck.

Amazon announces Astro the home robot

The company said it can be remote-controlled when not at home, to check on pets, people, or home security.

It can also patrol a home automatically and send owners a notification if it detects something unusual.

Amazon said it was more than "Alexa with wheels" and had been programmed with a range of movements and expressions to give it personality.

It demonstrated asking Astro to "beatbox" - and the robot bopped its head and made expressions while playing hip-hop beats.

Amazon was also keen to pre-empt privacy concerns.

Older Kindles may lose internet connection, Amazon warns

First- and second-generation Kindles did not come with wi-fi functions included, using mobile internet only.

But the slower technology used at the time - 2G and 3G internet - is being discontinued in some places, particularly the United States.

Several other models will also be restricted to wi-fi only.

The mobile-capable versions have historically been more expensive than the equivalent wi-fi-only models.

But aside from that upfront cost, there is no mobile-data bill for Kindles - Amazon pays those fees to keep customers connected to its online store.

Amazon offers 'wellness chamber' for stressed staff

In a video shared on its Twitter account, Amazon said the "AmaZen" chamber would help staff focus on their mental health.

But it deleted the post after a wave of ridicule from other social media users.

The US retail giant has been repeatedly criticised over working conditions in its facilities.

Amazon has not replied to the BBC's request for comment.

On 17 May, the company announced a scheme called WorkingWell focusing on giving staff "physical and mental activities, wellness exercises, and healthy eating support".

Amazon offers to help with US vaccine delivery

The letter, penned by the firm's chief executive Dave Clark, said that the e-commerce giant stood "ready to assist you in this effort".

Amazon has come in for criticism about its handling of the pandemic, with some staff claiming conditions in its warehouses were not safe.

But it is also asking for vaccines for its workers to be prioritised.

EU reveals plan to regulate Big Tech

Fresh restrictions are also planned to govern their use of customers' data, and to prevent the firms ranking their own services above competitors' in search results and app stores.

The measures are intended to overhaul how the EU regulates digital markets.

Large fines and break-ups are threatened for non-compliance.

It is proposed that if companies refuse to obey, they could be forced to hand over up to 10% of their European turnover.

Amazon unveils flying Ring security drone and Luna games service

It is designed to activate only when residents are out, works indoors, and is limited to one floor of a building.

The firm also unveiled an online games-streaming service and a voice-activated screen that swivels about.

But one campaign group described the drone camera as Amazon's "most chilling home surveillance product" yet.

"It's difficult to imagine why Amazon thinks anyone wants flying internet cameras linked up to a data-gathering company in the privacy of their own home," said Silkie Carlo from Big Brother Watch.

Trump knocked down rankings, Bezos remains on top Forbes rich list

The aggregate wealth of the Forbes 400 list rose to a record $3.2 trillion, as the richest Americans continued to do well even though the pandemic has devastated the economy, which is short about 11 million jobs compared to where it was in February.

Amazon launches online pharmacy in India

Amazon Pharmacy will make its debut in Bangalore and it may be trialled in other Indian cities.

The move comes as the online drugs business has been given a major boost during the coronavirus pandemic.

This year US technology giants have invested billions of dollars in the Indian economy.

The Amazon Pharmacy service offers prescription, over-the-counter and traditional Ayurveda medication as well as basic health devices.