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Tobacco use in India down from 34.6% of adult population to 28.6%

The prevalence of tobacco use has gone down by six percentage points from 34.6 per cent of the country's adult population in 2009-10 to 28.6 per cent in 2016-17, a global survey has claimed.
The second Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS-2) report pegged that the number of tobacco users in India had gone down by 81 lakh.
Tobacco use among the young population (aged between 15 and 24 years) reduced from 18.4 per cent in GATS-1 to 12.4 per cent in GATS-2.

India, 67 nations sign pact to check tax evasion by MNCs

India and 67 countries have put in place an agreement to plug loopholes in existing laws that allowed companies to evade taxes by artificially shifting their place of business.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley signed the multilateral convention, an outcome of the OECD/G20 Project to tackle base erosion and profit shifting. BEPS is resorted to by MNCs through tax planning strategies by exploiting gaps and mismatches in tax rules.

Apple makes iPhone screen fixes easier

Hey Siri, where can I get my cracked iPhone screen fixed? Apple Inc customers will soon have more choices as the company looks to reduce long wait times for iPhone repairs at its retail stores.
By the end of 2017, Apple will to put its proprietary machines for mending cracked iPhone glass in about 400 authorised third-party repair centers in 25 countries, company executives told Reuters.

After privatisation proposal, AI fleet expansion plans on hold

Air India's plans to expand its fleet with new aircraft seems to have hit an air pocket following the NITI Aayog's proposal to the PMO its total privatisation which made the national carrier's future course uncertain.
Decisions earlier approved by the airline's board of directors regarding acquisition of newer versions of aircraft are currently "on hold" and tenders for procurement of new planes have been deferred till there is a clarity, an airline source said.

Sony's PlayStation VR headset sales top 1 million units

Sony Corp has sold more than one million units of its virtual reality (VR) headset globally, the Asia chief of the Japanese firm's gaming unit said on Wednesday, as a relatively low price helps push the product into an early lead.

Sales of the PlayStation VR headset, released in October, have "exceeded our expectations," Atsushi Morita, president of Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Asia, said in an interview.

"We are boosting production and a supply shortage should be solved accordingly," Morita told Reuters.

Sony's PlayStation VR headset sales top 1 million units

Sony Corp has sold more than one million units of its virtual reality (VR) headset globally, the Asia chief of the Japanese firm's gaming unit said on Wednesday, as a relatively low price helps push the product into an early lead.

Sales of the PlayStation VR headset, released in October, have "exceeded our expectations," Atsushi Morita, president of Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Asia, said in an interview.

"We are boosting production and a supply shortage should be solved accordingly," Morita told Reuters.

Flipkart announces hackathon to deal with B'luru traffic woes

E-commerce major Flipkart today announced a hackathon to crowdsource "innovative", "implementable" solutions from the tech community and concerned citizens, that could help ease the city's perennial traffic problem.
Termed "Gridlock Hackathon," the initiative marks the start of the "Month of Innovation" at Flipkart, a part of its 10th year anniversary celebrations, the company said.

RCom rejects rating downgrades by Moody's, Fitch

Telecom operator Reliance Communications today rejected credit rating cuts by Moody's and Fitch as the agencies' views apply only on its USD 300 million bonds, which are being serviced regularly. The company said that in May 2015, it had issued 6.5 per cent coupon bearing USD bonds, maturing in ovember 2020, for an aggregate amount of USD 300 million.
"These bonds constitute about 4 per cent of the total debt of the company. The bonds have always been serviced regularly on the due dates and are fully current in servicing, as on date...

Apple widens home-tech empire

Apple Inc’s first major new pro­duct for two years, the HomePod spe­aker, marks the biggest effort yet from the technology company to use its Siri digital assistant to keep customers wedded to a growing palette of products and services.
The smart speaker works by talking to an updated Siri that better understands music-related requests, Apple said during its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California.

Indian firms witnessed 37% drop in H-1B visas in 2016

The drop in US visas started even before Donald Trump became US president. Even as the new US administration sought restrictions in H-1B visa lottery to push hard its avowed policy of ‘Buy American; Hire American,’ a study by a US-based policy research group has revealed that Indian companies had witnessed a 37 per cent drop in their new H-1B visa approvals in 2016 itself, when compared to those approved in 2015.

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