Tehran calm after protests
Calm returned to central Tehran yesterday, a day after it was rocked by unprecedented protests over Iran’s plunging currency, but all money-changers and most shops were closed, witnesses said. On Wednesday, hundreds of police and security personnel flooded central Tehran, closing the exchange bureaux and arresting unlicensed money-changers. The police action was part of efforts by authorities to halt the dive of the rial, which is at an all-time low against the US dollar. In the past week the currency has shed about 40 percent of its value, sharply accelerating a slide that has gone on throughout this year as Western sanctions have worsened Iran’s underlying economic problems.
Lynas’ plant license on hold
A court kept on hold the license granted to Lynas Corp Ltd’s controversial rare earth plant by delaying until Wednesday next week a decision on whether it will consider judicial reviews to permanently block production. The Australian company said that the Kuantan High Court’s decision leaves the temporary operating license suspended until Wednesday, extending a one-week halt that expired yesterday. The rare earth plant — the biggest outside China — has been ready to fire up since early May, but the company has been embroiled in environmental and safety disputes with local residents since construction began two years ago.
Hershey makes cocoa vow
Candy maker Hershey is vowing to use only certified cocoa for all of its chocolate products by 2020 and accelerate programs to help eliminate child labor in the cocoa-producing regions of West Africa. The central Pennsylvania company said on Wednesday its plan to use certified cocoa — which is produced according to certain social, economic and environmental standards — should “significantly expand” the global supply of such cocoa, especially from West Africa, which produces about 70 percent of the world’s cocoa. Currently, certified cocoa accounts for less than 5 percent of the world’s cocoa supply, Hershey said.
McDonald’s turns to coffee
McDonald’s Corp has filed a trademark using its name for ground and whole-bean coffee, the US Patent and Trademark Office said. The registration was made last month and the Wall Street Journal says it signals the quintessential US fast food chain could be considering selling packaged coffee in grocery stores.
Facebook tests paid posts
Facebook has begun testing a new feature that would allow users to increase the visibility of their posts for a fee, in what appears to be a new bid to add more profitability to the social network. The option will be made available to users with fewer than 5,000 friends and subscribers, Facebook said. The company did not specify the price of the new service, but said the testing began in New Zealand in May.
Motorola buys Viewdle
Cellphone maker Motorola said on Wednesday it had purchased facial recognition firm Viewdle for an undisclosed amount. The Silicon Valley-based Viewdle produces applications for photo management, gaming, networking and marketing, and has operations in Europe and South America. Motorola was purchased by Internet giant Google for US$12.5 billion last year.