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Pandora will ditch mined diamonds



They say diamonds are forever, but not for Pandora.

The world’s biggest jeweller Pandora will no longer sell mined diamonds, citing increasing demand for ethical and sustainable products.

Increasing demand for sustainable and ethically sourced diamonds

Pandora will switch to laboratory-made diamonds amid growing environmental and ethical concerns.

“It’s the right thing to do,” Pandora’s chief executive Alexander Lacik told the BBC.

“We want to become a low-carbon business… I’m leaving this earth one day, I hope I can leave it in a better shape.”

Pandora chief executive Alexander Lacik

Pandora also committed to pull back from using newly mined gold and silver by 2025. This is also the same year they expect to achieve carbon neutrality and switch to recycled metals.

The company recently updated their responsible sourcing policy, which includes their commitment to have a zero tolerance policy on:

  • Forced labour including child labour
  • Using falsified records to dodge audits
  • Corruption and bribery
  • Environmental threats
  • Threats to worker’s health
pandora lab grown diamonds
Pandora will also transition to recycled metals by 2025.

Man-made diamonds take a fraction of the cost and time to produce, says Pandora

Pandora says its lab-created diamonds have the same chemical and physical characteristics as mined diamonds.

The lab-grown diamonds will still be graded by cut, color, clarity and carat.

The diamonds only take weeks to produce, as opposed to natural diamonds which take centuries.

Stephen Morisseau is a spokesman for the Gemological Institute of America, a nonprofit that developed the international diamond-grading system.

“Natural and laboratory-grown diamonds are both diamonds. While they are not identical, they have essentially the same physical, optical chemical properties.”

Stephen Morisseau, Gemological Institute of America

Pandora’s plans for global growth

This follows Pandora’s push for global growth and an increasing desire to cater to young buyers.

Young buyers are more likely to factor in environmental and human rights concerns when choosing products, including diamonds.

Pandora says they also plan to branch out into watches and bags. They’ve reported a strong first-quarter operating profit, thanks to online sales.

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. 


Russia defaults on foreign debt for the first time in a century



Russia has failed to pay out its overseas debt for the first time in over 100 years

The country missed its Sunday deadline due to challenges in transferring the payments to international creditors.

Moscow has the funds to make the 100 million dollar payment but sanctions have complicated the process.

The country is unhappy with the situation with the finance minister calling the situation “a farce”.

The last time that Russia defaulted on its foreign debt was in 1918 when leader Vladimir Lenin did not pay out debts on behalf of the Russian Empire.

Russia has been hit with sanctions by a number of countries in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

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Instagram introduces new process to crack down on underage users



The majority of social media platforms have an age limit of 13 years old, but how is this really being regulated?

Instagram is exploring new ways for teenagers to verify their age and comply with platform rules.

The gram is turning to video selfies to crack down on minors editing their date of birth to make them appear over 18.

The Meta-owned app is testing video selfies with facial analysis software as a new age-verification method.

For a U.S. teen who wants to join insta, they will need to upload ID, ask three adult users to vouch for them or take a video selfie.

Meta says it hopes the new methods will ensure teens have an “age-appropriate experience” on the content sharing app.

Video selfies have become a popular way for digital platforms – such as online banking apps – to verify users’ age or identity.

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U.S. firms to pay staff travel expenses for abortions



Major companies have reassured staff that if they require an abortion, they will cover their travel expenses

Disney, JP Morgan, Amazon and Meta are among the companies to announce similar moves for women.

This comes as millions of US women face restricted access after a landmark ruling by the US Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion.

A growing number of companies have confirmed they will cover travel costs through their health insurance plans for employees who leave their home state to get an abortion.

Disney employs around 80,000 people at its resort in Florida, where the governor has already signed into law a ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which is scheduled to take effect on 1 July.

Banking giant JP Morgan and another leading US investment bank, Goldman Sachs, also said it would cover travel expenses for employees.

Social media company Meta said it intended to reimburse travel expenses where permitted by law.

Other companies which have indicated they will take similar steps include Vogue publisher, jeans brand Levi and ride hailing companies Lyft and Uber.

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