U.S. states are turning to a private Irish company to help stop the spread of COVID

Before the coronavirus pandemic, NearForm, an enterprise software company headquartered in the tiny southeastern Irish seaside town of Tramore, helped some of the most recognizable brands in the world—from Uber to Condé Nast—make quick digital transformations.

When COVID-19 hit and the Irish government needed a technology company with a reputation for being quick and nimble to build a contact tracing app in March, NearForm jumped at the chance to help.

The company’s software engineers, who were all used to working remotely even before the pandemic, created COVID Tracker, a decentralized app that keeps users anonymous but alerts them if they’ve crossed paths with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus in the past two weeks. With a 35% adoption rate, it has been such a success story in Ireland that versions are now being used in four U.S. states, with many more expressing interest. 

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A fortuitously-timed acquisition moved this Fortune 500 fintech’s strategy ‘years ahead’ during COVID

Plenty of businesses have seen the pandemic decimate their prospects as entire industries shut down, or customers pare back. But a lucky few have seen the opposite: a strategy that was already underway before the pandemic now looks brilliant because of it.

Such is the case with Fidelity National Information Services (FIS),the Jacksonville-based finch company which is ranked No. 303 on the Fortune 500. For most of its 52-year history, FIS focused on financial products and services.

Early last spring, FIS had decided to branch out, acquiring Worldpay, a company that processes some 40 million transactions a year, for $43 billion. “By the time the pandemic hit we really had the heavy lifting on the integration [of Worldpay] complete,” Gary Norcross, CEO of FIS, recently told Fortune. “We’ve seen huge growth in our digital channels. We took advantage of a number of things in the market.”

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India to expand economic partnership with Chile as part of Indo-Pacific vision

The JCM with Chile was a significant development, being the first institutionalized dialogue between the two countries at the level of Foreign Ministers. Chile is a member of Pacific Alliance comprising Chile; Peru; Colombia and Mexico. The Pacific Alliance seeks closer ties with India and the Alliance can be an anchor for India in one geographical part of the Indo-Pacific region.

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Air Canada CEO Rovinescu departing after great success, but amid uncertainty for airlines

Air Canada on Friday said chief executive Calin Rovinescu will retire in February, following a long-term stint at the top that started with him turning the company around after the global financial crisis, but likely ending with the coronavirus pandemic continuing to hammer airlines. Read More

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Twitter backtracks and allows users to share New York Post story about Bidens

Twitter on Friday reversed its controversial editorial decision to block users from sharing an unverified New York Post story that purports to show emails related to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his son.

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Amazon’s activist employees are sowing the seeds of unionization

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At Amazon, employee activism is morphing into something more like old-fashioned union organizing.

Employee activism has been a growing trend in recent years, new and notable because workers have been speaking out against their employers on issues unrelated to pay, benefits, or working conditions. Employees of Google, Microsoft and Amazon walked out to support the Global Climate Strike in September 2019, with Amazon employees specifically opposing the company’s climate-related policies; more than 8,000 workers signed a letter to CEO Jeff Bezos demanding that Amazon cut its carbon emissions and take other steps to reduce use of fossil fuels. The day before the walkout, Bezos announced that Amazon would be carbon neutral by 2040, but the protesting employees said that target wasn’t aggressive enough.

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China denies 'coercive' diplomacy with Canada, urges release of Huawei executive

Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, a Chinese citizen, was arrested in Vancouver in late 2018 on a bank fraud warrant issued by U.S. authorities. Meng has said she is innocent and is fighting extradition in a Canadian court. Shortly after Meng’s arrest, Beijing detained two Canadians on national security charges and halted imports of canola seed.

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