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Red Metal Rally Keeps Mining Sector in the Green By Investing.com

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© Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith

Investing.com — The broader market may be exhausted after the rally of the last few days, but mining stocks show no sign of slowing down, fired by hopes that the China-U.S. trade truce will finally put a bottom under Chinese demand for key industrial commodities.

Glencore (LON:) and Antofagasta (LON:) were both among the biggest gainers in the U.K. in early Tuesday trading in London, rising 2.3% and 2.5% respectively, and not only because the continued weakness in sterling is inflating the value of their dollar earnings.

The pair are among the world’s largest producers of copper, the metal that historically shows a reliable correlation to global industrial activity. , conspicuously, has been on a tear since the start of December, rising 9% in just over a month at the prospect of peace breaking out between the world’s two largest economies.

Copper futures for delivery on the London Metals Exchange hit $6,298.50 a ton on Tuesday, their highest since May 2019. Antofagasta (LON:), a purer play on than the more diversified Glencore (LON:), is meanwhile at its highest since April.

Glencore’s rebound in the last month has been more modest, held back by a welter of legal investigations in the U.K., U.S. and Brazil. The company’s stock hit a three-year low in November on news that the – often toothless – U.K. Serious Fraud Office was investigating suspicions of bribery by the company, its employees, agents and associated persons. Glencore (LON:) said it will cooperate with the inquiry.

Tuesday’s outperformance is more notable for coming on the day that Blackrock (NYSE:), the world’s biggest portfolio investor, said it will attach greater importance to sustainability and climate risks in its investment decisions in future. The mining sector is vulnerable to such concerns given the energy intensity of its business and the emissions generated by refining the raw materials it extracts.

Some of the biggest U.K.-listed miners have already seen the writing on the wall: Rio Tinto (LON:) has already sold its thermal coal assets, citing its contribution to climate change, while BHP Group (LON:) has announced plans to exit the business. Glencore (LON:), by contrast, has only said it won’t increase coal production, while Anglo American (LON:) has yet to commit to a date to exit the business.

By 5 AM ET (1000 GMT), the benchmark had overcome some early weakness to trade 0.2% higher at 419.02. The German was also up 0.2% while the French was flat.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



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Iraqi security forces clash with hundreds of protesters in central Baghdad By Reuters

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BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi security forces firing teargas and live bullets clashed with hundreds of protesters in central Baghdad on Sunday, a Reuters witness and security sources said, following a push to clear out a sit-in camp in the heart of the capital.

At least 14 protesters were injured, the security and medical sources said.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



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Facebook content moderators required to sign PTSD forms

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Content moderators working at a European facility for Facebook have been required to sign a form explicitly acknowledging that their job could cause post-traumatic stress disorder, according to documentation and employee confirmation obtained by the Financial Times.

The facility, which is operated by global professional services company Accenture, hosts roughly 400 content moderators who trawl through hundreds of disturbing images and videos — ranging from bestiality and child abuse to hate speech, self-harm and terrorism — across Facebook and Instagram every day.

The moderators’ jobs entail making granular decisions about why each image or video is objectionable. One employee at the facility, who asked not to be named, said that people working there “cry every day”, and that many “take sick leave for mental health issues, sometimes three or six months”.

Accenture runs at least three content moderation sites for Facebook in Europe, including in Warsaw, Lisbon and Dublin, where workplace safety rules are some of the most stringent in the world and include protections for mental health.

The document was distributed to all moderators at the European facility in early January via email, asking them to sign it immediately. It stated: “I understand the content I will be reviewing may be disturbing. It is possible that reviewing such content may impact my mental health, and it could even lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).”

The two-page form also outlines Accenture’s WeCare programme, which provides employees with access to “wellness coaches” from whom they can receive mental health support. The company says, however, that “the wellness coach is not a medical doctor and cannot diagnose or treat mental disorders”.

Facebook is facing lawsuits in California brought by two former moderators, and a slew of personal injury claims in Ireland, where its international headquarters are based, brought by a dozen Facebook content moderators who have all experienced severe mental health conditions, ranging from panic attacks to PTSD.

A similar document was also provided by Accenture to workers at a YouTube content moderation facility in Austin, Texas, according to the Verge.

“Now we see it in black and white: Big Tech knows full well that content moderation causes PTSD in its workers,” said Cori Crider, director of Foxglove, a UK-based litigation non-profit organisation that is assisting with investigation, strategy and campaigning in one of the Irish cases.

“The question is, when are Google and Facebook going to clean up their unsafe factory floor? Pushing responsibility on to the individual worker, as this document tries to do, won’t cut it. It’s on them to make their workplace safe.”

A spokesperson for Accenture said: “Although targeted at new joiners, the document was also reissued to existing personnel, but there are no consequences for not signing the updated document.

“We regularly update the information we give our people to ensure that they have a clear understanding of the work they do — and of the . . . wellness program and comprehensive support services we provide.”

Facebook said it did not review or approve forms like the one Accenture had sent and was not aware that its content moderators were being asked to sign it. It did say, however, that it required its partners to offer extensive psychological support to its moderators on an ongoing basis.

“Facebook themselves were part of an industry group called the Technology Coalition that proposed standards for protecting moderators’ mental health years ago — in 2015,” Ms Crider added. “But they didn’t follow those standards. So these companies are going to be hard pressed to say senior management weren’t aware of the problem.”

According to an employee who signed one of these acknowledgment forms, every moderator at the facility was emailed a link and asked to sign immediately. The employee said they had seen multiple instances of severe mental health conditions among their colleagues, and had also been diagnosed with depression themselves, something they believed was exacerbated by their working conditions. However, they had never previously been asked to sign a form acknowledging the potential for damage to their health.

“When I started to work there, I thought graphic violence and sexual and animal abuse would be the hardest part of this job for me, and I think they were,” said the moderator. “But if you work on hate speech six hours a day, five days a week, it gets to you. I’m a cis white heterosexual male, so I can’t imagine how it affects the people that represent minorities.”

The moderator explained that it was not just the content that caused severe mental health problems among employees, but also that Accenture’s running of the facility contributed to the overall stress levels.

“I would stress . . . that the employment conditions are a factor in the high rate of mental health problems in our workplace,” the person said. “When I started, we had five possible decisions to make; now there are more than 250 possible combinations of labels. The content policies are changing every two weeks.”

Employees are expected to hit quality scores of 98 per cent, which means their decisions on why a piece of content is egregious have to match that of their quality reviewer in almost every instance.

Every few minutes, a notification with quality scores pops up on an employee’s screen, showing them how many mistakes they have made. Their scores determine if their short-term contracts are terminated or extended. “The anticipation of the quality score is what is very stressful for me, and for most of us,” the person said.

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Russell Simmons Documentary Premieres Amid Controversy

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Ziering and Dick, who have spent the past decade revealing sexual assault in the military (“The Invisible War”) and on college campuses (“The Hunting Ground”), begin tracking Dixon in the wake of the #MeToo movement, after an explosive column by the screenwriter Jenny Lumet alleging abuse against Simmons. Dixon’s claims are similar, and the film focuses on her as she grapples with her fears about how the black community will respond.

She also admits to idolizing Simmons when he first hired her: “Russell Simmons was who I wanted to be,” she says in the film. “I couldn’t have scripted it better.”

Recalling Anita Hill’s claims against Clarence Thomas when he was nominated for the Supreme Court, and Desiree Washington’s accusations against Mike Tyson, Dixon agonizes over whether she wants to go public, fearing that she is up against a force much larger than herself. “I’m never going to be that person,” she says in the film. “The black community is going to hate my guts.”

The documentary also discusses the culture at the time: misogyny in the music business, both in specifics when it came to hip-hop, and in general terms, pointing out that the rap genre didn’t invent the use of degrading images of women in its music videos. #MeToo founder Tarana Burke is also a frequent voice, adding commentary about black women’s place in the movement, and their feelings of alienation. “Black women feel like they have to support black men,” she said.

The movie returns to the Simmons case and other women’s stories: Abrams, a former model who had a relationship with him, tells her abuse story and the aftermath, when she tried to kill herself. “I’m a failure, a chew toy for men of power,” she says in the documentary. Hines, from the all-female hip-hop group Mercedes Ladies, also tells her story, agonizing over its consequences.

The film concludes with a tearful meeting between Abrams, Dixon and Lumet. The three join together for a survivor’s reunion, part commiseration over their shared experiences, part celebration of their recovery.

“I wish I could have come forward earlier,” Lumet says regretfully. “He could have left everyone else alone.”

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