In this file:


·         Whole Foods workers denounce Amazon ties to ICE

·         #JewsAgainstICE protest Amazon's role in 'profiting off cruelty,' dozens arrested

·         Whole Foods CEO on life with Amazon: ‘It’s like a marriage – I love them 98% of time’


·         Amazon's Transportation Ambitions

·         Amazon Nears Deal for Up to 10% of India’s Second-Largest Retailer



Whole Foods workers denounce Amazon ties to ICE


By Emily Birnbaum, The Hill



A group of anonymous Whole Foods workers on Monday denounced their parent company Amazon's ties to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).


The letter from Whole Foods workers is the latest activist push from within Amazon, where workers have been protesting their employer's opaque relationship with ICE and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for more than a year.


The bulk of the criticism has revolved around Amazon's cloud-computing support for Palantir, the data analytics company that helps ICE track and target immigrants.


Whole Worker — the protest group of Whole Foods employees — is calling for Amazon to "cease all business with Palantir and any other company involved in the continued oppression of marginalized groups."


"Palantir provides software that helps ICE in the deportation of undocumented people," the group wrote. "Undocumented people must be welcomed with compassion and treated like the political and economic asylum seekers they are."


A coalition of immigration groups have concluded that Amazon's cloud computing arm, Amazon Web Services, supports multiple immigration-related databases for the government.


For months, protesters from within and outside of the company have called on Amazon to cut all ties to ICE and DHS more broadly, pointing out programs like Palantir have helped facilitate the Trump administration's punitive immigration policies.


Activists disrupted an Amazon Web Services conference in New York City last month over the concerns and police arrested dozens of protesters during an action at an Amazon store in Manhattan on Sunday.


Reports have also indicated Amazon tried to sell its embattled facial recognition technology, Rekognition, to ICE officials last year, setting off a wave of protests over whether the sensitive technology should land in the hands of immigration officials.


Amazon did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment.


Tech workers have increasingly mobilized...


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#JewsAgainstICE protest Amazon's role in 'profiting off cruelty,' dozens arrested


By Christopher Carbone | Fox News

Aug 12, 2019


Dozens of members of Jewish community groups protesting Amazon's cloud computing contracts and other work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement were arrested at an Amazon Books store in New York on Sunday.


Up to 1,000 demonstrators shut down the Amazon Books store in midtown Manhattan to demand the tech giant stop providing services to ICE and to read aloud the words of detained immigrant families -- as well as to read from Eicha, known as the Book of Lamentations in the Hebrew Bible.


The demonstration was held on Tisha B'Av, which is a traditional day of mourning atrocities in Judaism, as a way to "mourn the lives Amazon has helped ICE destroy," according to Jews for Racial & Economic Justice. More than two dozen immigrants have died in ICE custody during the Trump administration, according to Human Rights Watch.


According to accounts posted online by the organizations, which included Jews for Racial & Economic Justice and Make the Road New York, about 40 protestors were arrested by the New York Police Department.


Accounts posted to Twitter by the community organizations that used the hashtags #NeverAgainIsNow and #JewsAgainstICE show members marching to the location, occupying the store, sitting and praying and singing songs in Hebrew...


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Whole Foods CEO on life with Amazon: ‘It’s like a marriage – I love them 98% of time’


Jade Scipioni, CNBC

Aug 12 2019


It’s been a little more than two years since Amazon bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in June of 2017.


The deal has been Amazon’s biggest bet yet: In addition to expanding the online retailer’s brick-and-mortar footprint, it has also helped Amazon in its efforts to dominate the $700 billion grocery industry.


In an interview with CNBC Make It, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey says the past two years under Amazon have been similar to his 29-year marriage to his wife, Deborah.


“Do I absolutely love everything about my wife? The answer is that I love about 98%,” he says. “There are little things that I wish were different, but you can’t really change people.”


“Amazon is like a marriage,” he says. “Do we love absolutely everything about Amazon? No. We probably love 98%.”


Mackey’s attitude seems to have changed: He was initially forced into selling Whole Foods by activist investor Jana Partners, and a year ago Mackey made headlines after Business Insider obtained leaked audio of him describing early scuffles with Amazon at a company town hall.


“I’m sure that Amazon has probably gotten more disagreement from me than any other single person, and possibly more than everyone else combined,” Mackey said, according to Business Insider.


“I have done this for 40 years, I am financially secure, I love Whole Foods,” he continued. “I ultimately am not afraid to get fired so — not that I think they are going to fire me — but I’m not afraid of it, so that gives me a position of strength to speak truth to power when it’s necessary to do so, and I’ve done it many, many times.”


But despite any conflict, Mackey, a college dropout who started Whole Foods almost 39 years ago, tells CNBC Make It his feelings towards Amazon’s team remain the same as when they first met during merger talks in 2017...





Amazon's Transportation Ambitions

Here's how Amazon is taking on the transportation industry.


MyWallSt Staff

via The Motley Fool - Aug 12, 2019


By focusing on both innovation and customer satisfaction, (NASDAQ:AMZN) has become the tech giant that we see today. Now, it's using both of these principles to expand into the transportation space -- and competitors should be worried.


Amazon is beefing up its own transportation infrastructure


There are numerous ways in which Amazon is expanding its transportation arsenal. In 2016, Amazon launched Amazon Air, a cargo airline that will transport parcels across the U.S. As of June 2018, Amazon Air had 33 cargo planes. The company has announced, however, that by 2021, it will open its main "Air Hub" in Kentucky, increasing its number of cargo planes to 70 and creating over 2,000 jobs in the area.


Another key sector in which Amazon is trying to gain market share is in the auto industry. While it's not building cars, it is partnering with companies such as Volkswagen and Ford to provide cloud infrastructure. Volkswagen is currently using Amazon Web Services to connect its 122 plants and 30,000 supplier factories, while Ford is partnering with Amazon and Autonomic (now owned by Ford), to create a cloud platform for the transportation industry. And in addition to now offering Alexa Auto, Amazon is working with companies such as BMW and Audi for a fully integrated Alexa experience.


Beyond these traditional forms of transportation, Amazon is allocating a lot of resources toward new and innovative methods of shipping. Between December 2016 and May 2019, Amazon acquired 210 transport-related patents, whereas competitors Apple and Alphabet, only amassed 105 and 140 respectively. Amazon has also given $2 billion in funding to high-profile start-ups such as Rivian Automotive, the developer of electric trucks, and Aurora, a self-driving systems developer.


Along with these patents and investments, Amazon has acquired technology companies to expand its transportation ecosystem. Among these acquisitions is Dispatch, a robotics company that has developed an autonomous delivery robot. This robot, known as Scout, is currently used to deliver parcels to Amazon customers in Snohomish County, Washington.


In the past, Amazon has tried to gain market share in the food courier industry. Amazon Restaurants, a food delivery service, was launched in the U.S. in 2015 and expanded into London in 2016. Due to competition from companies such as Deliveroo, Uber Eats, and Grubhub, this segment of Amazon was closed in 2019. Amazon are not giving up yet, however, after investing $575 million dollars in Deliveroo. While it's not apparent how Amazon will use this new relationship, one option is integration with Prime memberships.


Why is Amazon investing in transportation? ...


How will this impact other companies? ...


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Amazon Nears Deal for Up to 10% of India’s Second-Largest Retailer


    Indian supermarket firm seeks 20 billion rupees for shares

    U.S. giant gears up for fight with Walmart, Reliance in India


By Saritha Rai, Ari Altstedter, and P R Sanjai, Bloomberg

August 13, 2019 Inc. is in late-stage talks to acquire as much as 10% of India’s Future Retail Ltd., people familiar with the negotiations said, as the U.S. company moves to bolster its brick-and-mortar presence in one of the world’s fastest-growing retail markets.


India’s No. 2 retailer by turnover, Future is seeking a valuation of about 20 billion rupees ($281 million) from Amazon for the stake, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private. The sale is likely to be routed through a holding company, they said, and will give Amazon the option to buy more shares from Kishore Biyani, Future Retail’s founder and chairman.


The deal with the Mumbai-based company, which operates its flagship “Big Bazaar” grocery store chain, will give Amazon more exposure to the business after it bought Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion in 2017 and secured a foothold in the U.S. food retailing segment. The proposed investment in Future Retail offers some parallels, enabling Amazon to tap into India’s rising demand for household products and home-delivered fresh produce and vegetables.


Discussions are yet to be finalized, and the deal could still falter or be delayed. Representatives for parent company Future Group and Amazon in India said they don’t comment on market speculation.


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