Sunday, November 13, 2016
Japan growth faster than expected; Colombian government, Farc in new peace deal; Facebook turns job portal
1 Japan growth faster than expected (BBC) Japan's economy expanded at a faster-than-expected rate between July and September, due to higher exports. Gross domestic product rose at an annualised rate of 2.2% in the three months to September, the third straight quarter that the economy expanded.
Japanese firms have relied on overseas sales to make up for lacklustre domestic demand. There are concerns a Donald Trump US presidency will hurt Japan if anti-free trade rhetoric became a reality.
But since the election result, the yen has fallen against the dollar. That makes Japanese goods cheaper abroad, which is good news for the country's exporters.
The latest official data showed the world's third-largest economy expanded by 0.5% compared with the three months to June - better than the forecast of 0.2% growth. However, analysts said this pace could not be sustained for as long as the economy relied on exports.
2 Colombian government, Farc reach new peace deal (Sibylla Brozinsky in The Guardian) A new peace deal reached between the Colombian government and leftist Farc guerrillas aims to broaden support after voters last month narrowly rejected an original accord to end more than 50 years of conflict.
Government and rebel negotiators announced in Havana that they had agreed on a host of modifications to the original deal, taking into account objections from different sectors of society that campaigned against it, led by former rightwing president Álvaro Uribe.
Colombian voters rejected that deal in a plebiscite on 2 October, sending negotiators back to the drawing board. Although the text of the new agreement was not immediately published, the president, Juan Manuel Santos, laid out certain changes in a televised speech. Some are little more than clarifications of the often-vague language of the text.
Under the new agreement, Farc commits to declare and hand over all their assets, which will be used for reparations to victims of the conflict, a provision not included in the first accord and demanded by leaders of the no vote.
Many Colombians who rejected the deal said they did so because they wanted to see guerrillas behind bars for the thousands of kidnappings and killings they were responsible for. The new agreement does not include jail time for former rebels but better defines the kinds of alternative punishment they will face under a special tribunal that will prosecute war crimes, according to Santos.
3 Applying for a job on Facebook (Emily Price in San Francisco Chronicle) The next time you apply for a job, you might submit your application through Facebook. A Facebook representative confirmed that it’s currently experimenting with a number of recruiting features within the site, including giving companies the ability to accept job applications via their official company page.
If implemented, it could put the social network in direct competition with LinkedIn, and give businesses even more of a reason to drive traffic to their Facebook Pages. Job postings on Facebook would include everything you might typically expect to find in a job ad, including salary information, title, and whether the position is full or part-time.
An “Apply Now” button also allows job seekers to apply for positions they’re interested in directly from the social network, and businesses will receive those applications through Facebook Messenger. Applications will be partially filled out using information from the Facebook user’s public profile, so if you’re firing off a few apps you’ll be able to do so fairly quickly.
Beyond creating an easy way for people to apply to jobs, Facebook could make it easier for career seekers to locate available positions. Recruiters will be able to promote job openings just like any other post on Facebook, potentially reaching more prospective applicants than they might through LinkedIn, which has significantly fewer users.