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Amazon cops $500k fine for for hiding internal COVID cases

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Major online retailer, Amazon has been fined for concealing COVID cases

Amazon has been ordered to pay a fine of $500,000 for hiding the number of COVID-19 cases at its California workplaces from employees.

The penalty, imposed under California’s new “right to know” law was handed out following a complaint that was lodged against the company.

The online retailer has agreed to pay the penalty and says it will improve the way it manages COVID notifications. The company has been forced to institute better ways of tracking positive infections, which include informing all warehouse workers of the “exact number of new COVID-19 cases in their workplaces” within 24 hours.

The fine comes after a complaint was made to authorities by a staff member.

California attorney general Rob Bonta stated that “as our nation continues to battle the pandemic, it is absolutely critical that businesses do their part to protect workers now — and especially during this holiday season.

“Californians have a right to know about potential exposures to the coronavirus to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”

California’s COVID “right to know” (AB 685) legislation:

Under the law, employers are required to alert workers who were potentially exposed to COVID-19 within one day, and must also report COVID-19 case numbers to local health agencies within 48 hours if they “meet the definition of a COVID-19 outbreak.”

Amazon has been continuously criticised for treatment of its workers throughout the COVID pandemic.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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Why Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport will cap passenger departures

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Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is capping the number of departures until next year

The airport says airlines “are not happy about it” but ultimately had no choice.

It follows a string of airport chaos over the busy summer period in The Netherlands and Europe more broadly.

Caps are expected to extend through the end of March. But authorities will review the situation again towards the end of this year.

The aviation business continues to be plagued by labor shortages on the back of the pandemic.

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Food delivery drone crashes into powerlines

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Thousands of people have been left without power after a food delivery drone crashed into powerlines

Power was restored after 45 minutes after the drone made a pre-cautionary landing.

‘Wing’ is the company behind the incident who use drones for their food delivery services.

A spokesperson for Energex, the company who supplies power to the 300-affected homes says drones can be dangerous.

It’s believed these instances are very rare and the meal was still hot when emergency crews arrived at the scene.

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Huge win for millions caught up in Optus data breach

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Major news for those impacted by the Optus data incident, with authorities working around the clock to get to the bottom of the saga

Is this a sigh of relief for Optus customers?

It is a major win for those who have been impacted by the massive Optus data breach.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has confirmed the telco giant will cover the costs of replacing affected customers’ passports, a move he has labeled as entirely appropriate.

The hacker released the personal details of more than 10,000 people on an online forum, before removing the post.

This is evidently a costly move for Optus, but one which many Australians have been calling for.

On the other side of the coin, it will also be a massive undertaking for the nation’s passport office which has been slammed recently as Aussies head back overseas post-Covid.

This comes as the Australian Federal Police launches an operation to support the data breach victims.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough says affected customers will receive “multi-layered protection from identity crime and financial fraud”.

As the investigation continues, Australian authorities will also be leaning on their international counterparts for assistance, including America’s FBI.

It’s a massive operation and one that many Australians and indeed people right around the world are watching closely.

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