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Apple fined one million euros in France over apps




A French court ordered Apple to pay one million euros ($1.06 million) for imposing unfair conditions on app developers and to bring its practices in line with new EU regulations.

The ruling stems from a case launched in 2017 by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who accused the US tech giant of imposing prices on French startups who want to sell their apps on the company’s platform.

The complaint also said that Apple took data from developers and could unilaterally modify contracts.

According to the ruling, seen by AFP, the Paris commercial court considered there was a “significant disequilibrium” and “considerable legal and economic insecurity” due to the impossibility of developers to renegotiate the terms of their contract or contest a suspension of their app.

However, the court rejected five of 11 complaints, including on the requirement to exclusively use Apple’s payment system or the 30 percent commission, which the judge said was not excessive and was common in both in physical and online commerce.

The court did not order modifications in certain contested clauses, but did point Apple to the EU’s news digital market regulations which will force the company to modify its contracts throughout Europe to the benefit of app developers.

Apple told AFP that it would examine the ruling in detail and would continue to support developers while offering a safe platform for consumers.

“Apple believes in dynamic and competitive markets where innovation can blossom,” the company said.

Google, which was targeted by a similar complaint, was ordered in March to pay a penalty of two million euros and modify seven contractual clauses.

Under pressure to justify the commissions they impose on developers worldwide, the two US tech titans cut them in half for small developers and introduced more flexibility in setting app prices.

The new EU regulations could also force Apple to allow the use of alternatives to its App Store to buy apps, as well as alternative payment systems.

Source: AFP

World News

11 found dead, 12 missing after Indonesia’s Marapi volcano erupts




Marapi volcano

At least 11 climbers were found dead in Indonesia on Monday following the eruption of the Mount Marapi volcano in West Sumatra, according to a rescue official. Meanwhile, the search for the 12 missing climbers was temporarily suspended due to safety concerns.

According to Jodi Haryawan, a spokesman for the search and rescue team, three survivors and the remains of the 11 climbers — among the 75 people in the region at the time of Sunday’s eruption — were discovered on Monday. The 2,891-meter (9,485-foot)-tall volcano erupted on Sunday, shooting ash up to 3 kilometers into the sky.

Following the eruption, authorities issued a second-highest level alert and restricted residents from within 3km of a crater due to a massive cloud of volcanic ash and ash-covered cars and roads. A small eruption on Monday prompted the search to be suspended, Jodi said.

“It’s too dangerous if we continue searching now,” he said. There were 49 climbers evacuated from the area earlier Monday and many were being treated for burns, he said. Mount Marapi is one of the most active volcanoes on Sumatra Island and its most deadly eruption was in April 1979, when 60 people died, Reuters reported.

This year, it erupted between January and February and was spewing ash around 75 metres-1,000 meters from the peak. Indonesia sits on the Pacific’s so-called “Ring of Fire” and has 127 active volcanoes, according to the volcanology agency.

Source: SABC

In other news – Photos: A look into radio presenter Khutso Theledi’s lobola negotiations

What a wedding celebration weekend for some well-known South African media personalities.

A look into radio presenter Khutso Theledi's lobola negotiations

Congratulatory messages were the order of the day as multi-award-winning Radio presenter Khutso Theledi and gospel singer. Read more

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World News

WHO board to hold emergency meeting on Gaza health situation





The World Health Organisation’s executive board will hold a rare emergency session on December 10 to discuss the health crisis in Gaza and the West Bank, with the Palestinian envoy seeking more medical aid and access for foreign healthcare workers. The WHO confirmed on Monday it had received a request from15 countries to hold the session, which will be convened by Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in consultation with the Qatari chair.

The Palestinian ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Ibrahim Khraishi, said the meeting would focus mostly on Gaza, engulfed by war between its Hamas rulers and Israel, but also cover attacks on the health sector in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

“We want to empower the WHO and call for the Israeli side not to target the medical sector. We want to allow for fresh medical supplies,” he told Reuters, adding that his diplomatic mission was drafting a motion to be reviewed by the board. “One idea is to send more doctors in from around the world,” he added, saying many countries had offered.

The “Occupied Palestinian Territory” is a WHO observer rather than a member state but has influence in the organisation through supporters.

Israel said the session was an example of the “double standards and disproportionate attention towards Israel in the multilateral arena”. Only a fraction of Gaza’s hospitals remain operational due to Israeli bombings and a lack of fuel, and those that are still functioning are increasingly overwhelmed by a new wave of wounded arriving.

Source: SABC

In other news – David Beckham embarks on new humanitarian campaign

David Beckham has lent his voice to support the fight against malaria for many years through his role on the Malaria No More UK Leadership Council.

The football star recently shared the Change the Story campaign video from Zero Malaria on his Instagram to raise further awareness. As a founding council member since 2009, Beckham is dedicated to elevating the issue through his platform. Read more

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