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Palestinians Give Cool Reception to US-Led, Economy Focused Peace Conference

Shtayyeh stressed the need for a political deal with Israel that resolves a number of longstanding issues

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Palestinians, US, Economy- Focused
FILE - Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh italks during an interview with The Associated Press, at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Apr. 16, 2019. VOA
 Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh cast doubt Monday on a U.S.-led conference set to be held in Bahrain next month focusing on what the White House says would be economic benefits for Palestinians if a peace deal can be reached with Israel.

Speaking at a Cabinet meeting, Shtayyeh stressed the need for a political deal with Israel that resolves a number of longstanding issues, including borders, none of which are on the agenda for the economic conference in Manama.

He said the current financial crisis Palestinians are dealing with is the result of what he called a “financial war” being waged against them, and that they will not give in to blackmail or trade their rights for money.

The White House has pledged to unveil a new Mideast peace plan in the coming weeks.

Palestinians, US, Economy- Focused
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh cast doubt Monday on a U.S.-led conference. Flickr

A senior White House official said Sunday the plan calls for substantial investments in the Gaza economy, but that investments there will require a “stable” cease-fire agreement to remain in place.

“There’s a tremendous amount of opportunity, the world is willing to step up and work on this,” the official said. “But that only happens if we can resolve some of the political issues. The two things go hand in hand. There is a real future that can be very exciting, but we have to work on these hard issues.”

Government, civil society and business leaders at the conference are expected to discuss potential economic investments in the region if a peace agreement is achieved.

In a statement, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the conference would “offer Palestinians exciting new opportunities to realize their full potential.”

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Bahrain Finance Minister Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa al-Khalifa said the conference underscored close ties with the United States and the two countries’ “strong and shared interest in creating thriving economic opportunities that benefit the region.” (VOA)

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US Government Begins Probe into Google Over its Labour Practices

"Four of our colleagues took a stand and organised for a better workplace. This is explicitly condoned in Google's Code of Conduct, which ends: 'And remember... don't be evil, and if you see something that you think isn't right -- speak up.' When they did, Google retaliated against them," the employee activist group wrote in the blog post

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Google Search Engine
Google Logo. Pixabay

The US government has launched a probe into Google over its labour practices following a complaint from four employees who have been fired by the tech giant.

The four workers who filed a lawsuit against the company last week, claimed they were fired from Google for engaging in legally protected labour organizing, reports CNN Business.

The National Labor Relations Board has begun a formal probe into the complaint.

The tech giant has been accused of “union busting” and retaliatory behaviour after it sacked four employees for allegedly violating the company’s data security policies.

In a statement, Google said it dismissed four individuals who were engaged in intentional and often repeated violations of its longstanding data security policies.

Google
US begins probe into Google’s labour practices. Pixabay

“No one has been dismissed for raising concerns or debating the company’s activities,” said the company on Monday.

Google is in the midst of controversy over its strained relationship with employees.

In an earlier blog post on Medium, an employee activist group, “Google Walkout for Real Change”, said that the company is illegally retaliating against prospective union organisers.

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“Four of our colleagues took a stand and organised for a better workplace. This is explicitly condoned in Google’s Code of Conduct, which ends: ‘And remember… don’t be evil, and if you see something that you think isn’t right — speak up.’ When they did, Google retaliated against them,” the employee activist group wrote in the blog post.

The new CEO of Alphabet Sundar Pichai faces extreme challenges as Google stares at several high-profile external probes into its alleged anti-trust market and data practices — from the US to the European Union regulators — including internal tensions with staff over discrimination at work and HR transparency. (IANS)