A woman in Glendale, California opened an Amazon box she was expecting but was surprised by the contents: numerous bottles of narcotics like oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine, along with an invoice from the Drug Enforcement Administration. From KABC-TV:
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"Let me be clear, this package was not sent by DEA and these drugs were never in DEA custody," said Bill Bodner, special agent in charge in Los Angeles.
Bodner says a pharmacy in New York was disposing the drugs through a Texas pharmaceutical company, a process that needs to be approved by the government, which is why the DEA form was included.
But he suspects something went wrong in the delivery end.
"Likely, they used a third-party shipper to ship this package and somehow the shipping labels were switched at this third-party shipper," Bodner said.
Amazon says it will deploy an artificial intelligence surveillance system in warehouses that tells workers if they are too close to colleagues, as the coronavirus pandemic rages on and workers are placed at risk. Read the rest
The European Union is expected to formally file charges against Amazon.com for harvesting data from third-party sellers, and using that information to compete against those sellers on the sales platform. Read the rest
At least 10 local TV stations ran a "news" report written and produced by Amazon, reports The Courier-News. The video was provided by Amazon, and only one station disclosed that the "reporter" was an Amazon spokesman. The report, as you have perhaps guessed, praises Amazon effusively.
While most TV news professionals have scoffed at the idea of running Amazon-provided content as news, at least 10 stations across the country ran some form of the package on their news broadcasts. The package—you can view the script Amazon provided to news stations here—was produced by Amazon spokesperson Todd Walker. Only one station, Toledo ABC affiliate WTVG, acknowledged that Walker was an Amazon employee, not a news reporter.
Bad as it is, TV (and especially radio) news has always been like this. They're studios, not newsrooms. They get content from newswires, parent companies, any old source that has it nicely packaged. When I was a smalltown reporter, you'd hear the newspaper rustling as they read it on air.
It's true that it's getting worse, perhaps because of consolidation: Watch countless American news anchors mindlessly intone the same propaganda script
UPDATE: Amazon's Alyssa Bronikowski emailed a statement, reproduced below:
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Statement – “We welcome reporters into our buildings and it’s misleading to suggest otherwise. This type of video was created to share an inside look into the health and safety measures we’ve rolled out in our buildings and was intended for reporters who for a variety of reasons weren’t able to come tour one of our sites themselves.”
'We want to avoid the $400 bottle of Purell for sale right after an emergency goes into effect'
Amazon.com is facing an antitrust investigation.
The House Judiciary Committee on Friday informed Jeff Bezos he needs to agree to testify at a hearing on Amazon's alleged misuse of third-party seller data, or the CEO faces a potential subpoena if he declines. Read the rest
• Amazon's new Chinese thermal spycam vendor was blacklisted by U.S. over allegations it helped China detain and monitor Uighurs and other Muslim minorities Read the rest
UPDATE: An AWS spokesperson responds to the IG's decision —-
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This report doesn’t tell us much. It says nothing about the merits of the award, which we know are highly questionable based on the Judge’s recent statements and the government’s request to go back and take corrective action. And, it’s clear that this report couldn’t assess political interference because several DoD witnesses were instructed by the White House not to answer the IG’s questions about communications between the White House and DoD officials. The White House’s refusal to cooperate with the IG’s investigation is yet another blatant attempt to avoid a meaningful and transparent review of the JEDI contract award.
Amazon.com is in touch with CEOs of two companies that produce coronavirus tests about plans to screen workers to reduce the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks at its warehouses, Reuters reports, citing leaked internal meeting notes. Read the rest
Amazon will delay its annual marketing and money-making Prime Day due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read the rest
Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau says the country has signed an agreement with Amazon.com for the distribution of critical emergency medical supplies such as masks, face shields, gowns, ventilators, and test kits in the COVID-19 crisis. Read the rest
After weeks of workers' complaints they are at risk because of lack of coronavirus protections, Amazon says it will deploy face masks and temperature checks for workers by next week.
The company says it will provide protective gear to staff at all its U.S. and European warehouses, in addition to all Whole Foods stores, by early next week. Read the rest
On March 17, Amazon employees complained that not enough safety precautions were in place to protect them from COVID-19. Cut to a week later, and Amazon employees from ten different warehouses in the United States have now tested positive with the coronavirus. Read the rest
Four senators, including Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, have written a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to ask what measures are being taken to protect warehouse workers from COVID-19. The coronavirus outbreak that causes this deadly disease has now infected more than 20,000 people throughout America. Read the rest
A person who works at Amazon.com's corporate headquarters in Seattle, Washington, has tested positive for COVID-19, said the company. Read the rest
Amazon.com has banned the sale of over a million products in the last few weeks for inaccurate coronavirus health claims, the company told Reuters on Thursday. Read the rest
There is very little evidence that Ring reduces crime. Hundreds of police departments have signed agreements with Amazon-owned Ring to obtain access to the home surveillance camera footage. Interviews with many of them, in 8 different states, show little to no evidence that Ring actually deters criminal activity. Read the rest