Your Weekly Commercial Awareness Update – w/c 10th December 2018

Your Weekly Commercial Awareness Update – w/c 10th December 2018

Here are this week’s headlines, brought to you by our Student Commercial Awareness Team:

Terrorist Attack in Strasbourg Leaves Two Dead and Eleven Injured

Reported by Paige Waters

There has been a terrorist attack in Strasbourg in which at least two people have been killed and another eleven injured, some in a critical condition. The gunman is allegedly on the run.

One witness has spoke out and stated that he had fired a first volley of rounds near the market around 8pm then a second a few metres further on. Another witness has stated, “there were gunshots and people running everywhere. It lasted about 10 minutes.”

One of the victims was tried to be saved from staff and customers in a diner who used “napkins to try to stem the blood.” However, sadly the man died shortly afterwards.

France’s interior minister, Christophe Castaner said “the gunman has been identified.”

France remains on high alter following a wave of attacks commissioned or inspired by Islamic State militants in 2015 and 2016. This attack killed more than 200 people. The Christmas market is one of the most popular seasonal events therefore since the paris terrorist attacks in 2015 the even has been held under high security. The area is highly controlled with visitor backs being searched and cars banned from the area.

In 2016, a truck deliberately drove into the Christmas market in Berlin which killed 12 people and injured a massive 56 people. The man responsible was killed four days later in a shootout with police. 

Read more here.

Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to Pay for Blurred Lines’ Copyright

Reported by Jutha Cheewat

Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke have now received court order to pay approximately £3.9 millions to the copyright-owning family of Marvin Gaye. The Court found that the famous song “Blurred Lines” was very similar to that of “Got to Give It Up”.

The song came out in 2013 and then reached no.1 – it has generated at least $16.6 million, according to The Guardian.

The original sum was reduced, but both artists still have to pay as ordered. Having said that, they said that the judgment was controversial, and Williams argued for “Feel. Not infringement”.

Nevertheless, the media pointed out that in one of Thicke’s interviews, he said, “I was like, ‘Damn, we should make something like that, something with that groove.’ Then [Williams] started playing a little something and we literally wrote the song in about a half-hour and recorded it.”

The ratio was 2:1 for the judges. Jacqueline Nguyen was the dissenting judge who found that the songs “differed in melody, harmony and rhythm” and recognised that the verdict “strikes a devastating blow to future musicians and composers everywhere”. Since the song has been well known internationally, it may have a potential impact on the UK copyright law.

Read more here.

Legal Action Taken Against School’s Isolation Policy

Reported by Laura Clarke

The use of consequence rooms for hours at a time has drawn criticism from parents of students at Outwood Grange Academies Trust.

The disciplinary measure of isolation units for hours on end has led to the application of judicial review of Outwood Grange Academies Trust, and the 30 schools they run across the Yorkshire region.

The application, which has been made to the high court, has been done so on behalf of an unnamed male student, who spent 60 full days (a third of the academic year) confined in consequence rooms at his Yorkshire school.

When in the rooms, children are not allowed to ‘tap, chew, swing on their chairs, shout out, sigh, or any other unacceptable or disruptive behaviour.’

Lawyers are seeking to clarify whether the absence of teaching and the unlimited time in the isolation units is legal.

In a statement given to The Guardian, the trust said that its behaviour policy and practices ‘have been reviewed by Ofsted in over 20 inspections, leading to eight being judged outstanding, 11 good and one requires improvement.’

“Our staff go and work in some of the toughest schools in the country to support and care for children, and our schools have never been more popular with parents, with many currently full and being asked by local authorities to admit over their capacity.”

The mother of the student bringing the claim has said: “No child should have to go through what my son has been through. He is not an easy boy, but the effect of the isolations on him have been devastating. Last year, he spent almost a third of his time at school in the booths. That is not what education is about. This has to change.”

A department for Education spokesperson has commented, saying: “If a school chooses to use isolation rooms, pupils’ time in isolation should be no longer than necessary and the time used constructively.”

For more information, see here and here.

Apple opens new campus in Texas

Reported by Rui Ci Lee

Apple announced earlier this week that it will be opening a new campus in Austin, Texas. This move is in line with President Trump’s calls for American companies to produce more in the US and create more employment opportunities.

Investment in the new campus is worth $1bn. While Apple already has an existing site in Austin that employs 6,200 staff, the new campus will house 5,000 more technical support staff who will work on engineering, research and development, and sales. The move will also make Apple the biggest private employer in Austin. The Texan capital, which used to be the cheaper alternative to Silicone Valley for sourcing for hiring in the tech sector, is known for its expertise in computer chips and data centres. Other companies that have a base here include Dell, Amazon, Samsung, Facebook, Google, and IBM.

The opening in Austin is part of Apple’s plan to create 20,000 new jobs in the US by 2023. This is in turn spurred by political calls for American companies to focus on manufacturing domestically and creating more jobs in the country. For instance, under the recent American tax reforms, the corporate tax rate has been reduced from 35% to 21% and it now no longer applies to profits made overseas. Additionally, Trump had also previously threatened to impose tariffs on Apple products manufactured in China if the US-China trade negotiations do not go as planned.

Other companies have embarked on a similar move: Amazon has announced plans to build new campuses in New York and Washington DC. As for Apple, it will be opening more campuses in Seattle, San Diego, and Culver City.

See here, here, and here for more.


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