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There's a Chinese TV show that can make even the biggest multinationals quake. State television's annual "name-and-shame" consumer-protection show once again delivered blows to household brands over perceived abuses, uncovered with hidden cameras and reporters disguised as shoppers. This year, the broadcast wiped a combined $265 million off two Japanese firms' market value, gave Nike a black eye for alleged false advertising and left many others trembling. It's a reflection of the growing clout of China’s 1.4 billion consumers. —Kristine Servando
Samsung's new S8 to adopt facial recognition for payments. The Galaxy S8, due to be unveiled later this month, will blend fingerprint, iris and facial detection to verify users accessing mobile services including Samsung Pay, according to sources.
The Federal Reserve’s policy decision sent shock waves through financial markets, even though the move to increase was widely expected. It wasn't the much-touted hike itself that sent the dollar tumbling and equities rallying, but Fed officials’ forecast that rates would rise three times this year— in line with its December outlook. Some investors had thought policy makers could make four increases.
Dutch voters turn out in droves to defeat populist surge. Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s Liberals easily beat off an election challenge by the anti-Islam Freedom Party of Geert Wilders. The result suggests that the nationalist sentiment that prompted the U.K.’s Brexit vote and won Donald Trump the White House will struggle to secure as big a foothold in Europe's core.
A Chinese selfie app just minted its second billionaire. The co-founder and CEO of Meitu, Wu Xinhong, saw his net worth rise to $1.1 billion after the app developer's stock posted its longest winning streak since its December debut. He joins co-founder and chairman Cai Wensheng in the world's billionaires' club. The company became a household name in China by tapping a generation’s growing desire to enhance their photos for posting online, from clearing skin to lengthening limbs.
Duterte's war on drugs resumes. The Philippine leader suspended anti-narcotics operations in January after rogue officers were implicated in a foreign businessman's murder. But the hiatus is over and the death toll is rising again. The renewed campaign, called "Project Double Barrel, Reloaded," will be "less bloody, if not bloodless," police say. But barely a week after restarting raids, police said law enforcers have killed 27 drug suspects.
The secret life of a hacker. When Karim Baratov said on Facebook he’d paid off a mortgage and driven a BMW 7 series at his high school in Canada, classmates thought he had rich parents. Prosecutors, however, say the money may have come instead from hacking, including carrying out work for Russia’s top spy agency, according to charges filed Wednesday. Baratov is one of four people indicted for allegedly hacking Yahoo accounts for the Russian government.
The most important event on the global watch-fair calendar. Excited for Baselworld? You should be if these seven stunning watches are anything to go by. They give a taste of the kind of innovation expected at the biggest watch expo of 2017.
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