NewsBytes Briefing: Jeff Bezos is now worth $200bn, and more
In the updates since last night, Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world, became richer than ever. Amazon's stock increased by 2%, making him the world's first-ever person to be worth more than $200 billion. Currently, his net worth is about $205 billion, nearly $89 billion more than that of Bill Gates, the second-richest on the list. Here are other developments.
TikTok CEO resigns as ban looms over company
In another news, TikTok's Chief Executive Officer Kevin Mayer has resigned from the ByteDance-owned video company amid concerns of a ban in the US. Reportedly, General Manager Vanessa Pappas will take his place on an interim basis. Currently, ByteDance has a 90-day window to divest all TikTok US assets to an American company. It is, however, challenging the executive order in the court.
Here's what Mayer said in a letter announcing his resignation
"As the political environment has sharply changed, I have done significant reflection on what the corporate structural changes will require, and what it means for the global role I signed up for. Against this backdrop, I have decided to leave the company."
Facebook did not act on militia group before Kenosha shooting
Following the brutal killing of two Kenosha protesters by a 17-year-old teen, Facebook has come under increased scrutiny. Multiple users have reported that prior to the incident they tried raising alarms over a militia group, Kenosha Guard, that asked members to take up arms against protesters. However, Facebook chose not to act on it, claiming the group was not in violation of its policies.
What Facebook says on the matter?
Facebook has defended itself, saying that there is "no evidence" that the teen involved in the shooting was one of the members of the militia group that issued the call for arms against the protesters. The group was removed on Wednesday, after the shooting.
SpaceX to launch a Moon lander in 2022
Elon Musk's SpaceX will launch a Moon lander in 2022, only not its own. The spacefaring company has secured a contract to act as a launch partner and deliver Masten Space System's XL-1 lunar lander to the south pole of the Moon. The contraption will carry NASA payloads onboard, including scientific instruments and cargo from commercial passengers.
Other important developments to note
Among other things, Sony opened registrations to receive the invite to pre-order the all-new PlayStation 5. Then, Alibaba is said to have put its plans to invest in Indian companies on hold in light of the political turmoil between India and China. Separately, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved Carlyle Group's 25% stake acquisition in Airtel's 'Nxtra' data center business.
Finally, some COVID-19-related updates
On Wednesday, India reported a record single-day spike of over 75,000 new coronavirus infections, taking the total tally of cases to over 33 lakh. The death toll surpassed 60,000. As for the vaccine, Serum Institute is progressing with Phase-2/3 trials of Covishield in India, while Moderna's shot is said to be generating an immune response in both older adults as well as youngsters.