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Putin May Shut Borders; Odesa Drone Strikes


Moscow’s troops in the past day have continued rocket and aviation strikes against military and civilian targets in Ukraine, focusing on taking the entire Donetsk region and holding occupied territories. Russian forces are also shelling with tanks, mortars and barrel artillery, Ukraine’s General Staff said. Responsibility for Putin’s partial mobilization “appears to be divided and complex, possibly contributing to confusion, disorganization, and violations of [Defense Minister Sergei] Shoigu’s commitments regarding exemptions,” the Institute for the Study of War said in a report. 





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NASA Delays Artemis I Moon Launch Again on Tropical Storm Risk


During the test, two hydrogen leaks emerged as engineers fueled the SLS rocket, as well as other technical issues. While one of the leaks eventually abated after some troubleshooting, the second leak that cropped up later in the test would have prevented a launch if NASA had hoped to fly that day. 





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RBI Interest Rate Decision, Global Trends To Drive Markets This Week: Analysts


“We expect volatility to remain high as we have important events like MPC’s monetary policy review meet and monthly derivatives expiry scheduled during the week. Besides, the prevailing pressure in the global indices would continue to weigh on the sentiment,” said Ajit Mishra, VP – Research, Religare Broking Ltd.





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In Dozens of Lawsuits Parents Blame Meta, TikTok for Hooking Kids


A 16-year-old girl in Utah becomes so obsessed with her body image after getting hooked on Instagram that she develops anorexia and bulimia. A boy from Michigan goes from watching YouTube videos for several hours a day at age 9 to binging all night on TikTok and Snapchat, then ends up sharing a nude photo of himself on Snapchat with a stranger who circulates it widely online. A Connecticut girl struggles for more than two years with an extreme addiction to Instagram and Snapchat before she succumbs to severe sleep deprivation and depression and takes her own life—at age 11. Under the platforms’ terms of use, she shouldn’t even have had accounts before she turned 13.

These children and others like them are the face of a novel effort to use litigation to pin responsibility for the alleged dangers of social media on the companies that run the most popular platforms. More than 70 lawsuits have been filed this year against Meta, Snap, ByteDance’s TikTok, and Google centering on claims from adolescents and young adults who say they’ve suffered anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and sleeplessness as a result of their addiction to social media. In at least seven cases, the plaintiffs are the parents of children who’ve died by suicide. The suits make claims of product liability that are new to social media but have echoes of past campaigns against tobacco companies and automobile manufacturers.

The idea that social media companies shoulder responsibility for the potential damage their products cause to young people came to the fore late in 2021 when former Meta Platforms Inc. employee Frances Haugen came forward with documents about its internal operations. Among Haugen’s allegations was a claim that the company was knowingly preying on vulnerable young people to boost profits. Haugen revealed an internal study at Meta-owned Instagram that found evidence that many adolescent girls using the photo-sharing app were suffering from depression and anxiety around body-image issues.

At the least, the new legal front presents a public-relations challenge for already-embattled tech companies. Their defense relies on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the 26-year-old federal statute giving internet companies broad immunity from claims over harmful content posted by users. The law has so effectively shielded them from legal claims that voices on both the political left and right have called for its reform. For good measure, the companies also cite their constitutional free-speech rights as publishers to control their content. It may be months before a federal judge rules on whether to let the litigation proceed.

“All sorts of services may be ‘addictive’ in the habit-forming sense—from television to video games to shopping for clothes—but the law does not impose liability simply for creating an activity which some may do too much, even where, as here, it allegedly results in tragedy,” Snap Inc. argued in a court filing seeking dismissal of the case filed by the 11-year-old girl’s mother.

The lawsuits are crafted to get around Section 230 by focusing on the algorithms the companies use to curate and deliver content rather than the content itself. Jen King, a research fellow at Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence who studies algorithmic manipulation, says there’s been little clinical research into social media addiction. The legal approach may be novel enough, she says, that “it has a greater chance of success, especially after Frances Haugen’s whistleblower leak.”

Spokespeople for Snap and Meta’s Instagram declined to comment on pending litigation. But they said in emails the companies are working to protect their youngest users, including by offering resources on mental health topics and improving safeguards to stop the spread of harmful content. Representatives for TikTok and ByteDance didn’t respond to a request for comment. A Google spokesperson said it’s “invested heavily in creating safe experiences for children,” and cited parents’ ability to limit screen time or access to certain content.

In a rare product liability case that survived a fight over Section 230, a federal appeals court in California ruled last year that a lawsuit could proceed over a Snapchat filter that recorded real-time speed and allegedly encouraged reckless driving by teens, resulting in a fatal accident. But Meta has argued in a court filing that the ruling on the speed filter isn’t relevant to the case of the 11-year-old girl, because the “danger” to drivers in the Snap case was the speed filter itself, not any content created by its users.

Eric Goldman, a Santa Clara University law professor who’s written extensively about Section 230, agrees that the rationale put forth in the Meta case is weak. “If anything, the argument that the algorithms are to blame really highlights what the plaintiffs are suing about is third-party content,” he says. Beyond that, Goldman says it’ll be difficult to prove that social media use alone is to blame for health issues in today’s “complex society,” in which kids are exposed to all kinds of influences.

Another hurdle for plaintiffs will be establishing that the algorithms that decide what content social media users see should be treated just like other defective “products,” which typically include tangible consumer goods, says Adam Zimmerman, a law professor at Loyola Marymount University. Even if the algorithms do qualify as products, platform users might be barred in some states from suing for “pure emotional harm” if they’ve suffered no physical injury, he adds.

In the most extreme cases, though, the harm has been more than emotional. Janet Majewski, whose 14-year-old daughter, Emily, killed herself, sued TikTok, as well as ByteDance, Snap, and Meta in August, saying the companies are to blame for excessive screen time that took Emily down a dangerous path.

Majewski, who lives in Grovetown, Ga., recalls checking Emily’s phone a week before her death but says she didn’t see anything concerning. “As parents, we’re not seeing what they’re seeing,” Majewski says, explaining how children and teens absorb social media differently than adults. The companies’ goal “is to get as much time from these kids on their product, but there’s no safeguards,” she says. “They need to change what they’re feeding these children—change the algorithm so it doesn’t take them into these dark places.”





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Galaxy Surfactants – Uncertainty Prevails Over Demand: Nirmal Bang


BQ Prime’s special research section collates quality and in-depth equity and economy research reports from across India’s top brokerages, asset managers and research agencies. These reports offer BQ Prime’s subscribers an opportunity to expand their understanding of companies, sectors and the economy. 

We recently interacted with the management of Galaxy Surfactants Ltd. to understand the demand environment across geographies and get an update on supply-related challenges.

While the supply situation has improved QoQ, it is still not back to pre-Covid levels. On the other hand, demand pressure across key geographies is the key concern from the short term perspective.

Galaxy Surfactants has not lost any market share as the volume pressure has been seen across industry. Structurally, we continue to like this space considering the long runway for growth in Oleochemicals, and the company’s strong client relationships and incremental focus on specialty products.

However, considering the near term uncertainties in demand and on the supply side, we see limited upside from one-year standpoint.

Click on the attachment to read the full report:

DISCLAIMER

This report is authored by an external party. BQ Prime does not vouch for the accuracy of its contents nor is responsible for them in any way. The contents of this section do not constitute investment advice. For that you must always consult an expert based on your individual needs. The views expressed in the report are that of the author entity and do not represent the views of BQ Prime.

Users have no license to copy, modify, or distribute the content without permission of the Original Owner.





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RBI’s MPC Preview – Expect To Hike Rates By 35 Bps; May Indicate Near Neutral Rates: Nirmal Bang


BQ Prime’s special research section collates quality and in-depth equity and economy research reports from across India’s top brokerages, asset managers and research agencies. These reports offer BQ Prime’s subscribers an opportunity to expand their understanding of companies, sectors and the economy. 

We expect the Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee to increase the repo rate by 35 basis points at its meeting on September 30. 

The Fed continuing to raise rates, domestic consumer price index inflation still hovering ~7% and high-frequency indicators continuing to signal steady growth momentum will support sustained rate hikes by the RBI.

With the repo rate expected to be ~5.75% and tightening domestic liquidity already beginning to put pressure on short-term rates, we expect the RBI to drop the line ‘focused on withdrawal of accommodation’.

It may also indicate ‘near neutral’ rates and opt for state-based guidance. However, the RBI will keep its options open given the aggressive stance adopted by the Fed.

In our view, persistently tight liquidity will not be consistent with the current stance of the RBI and hence it is likely to indicate its willingness to support liquidity through open market operations purchases, as and when the need arises.

Click on the attachment to read the full report:

DISCLAIMER

This report is authored by an external party. BQ Prime does not vouch for the accuracy of its contents nor is responsible for them in any way. The contents of this section do not constitute investment advice. For that you must always consult an expert based on your individual needs. The views expressed in the report are that of the author entity and do not represent the views of BQ Prime.

Users have no license to copy, modify, or distribute the content without permission of the Original Owner.





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