Around Thomson Reuters

The future of the auto industry: A Thomson Reuters point of view

New Audi A4 2.0 T quattro, Audi e-tron Quattro and Audi S4 are presented during the media day at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt

Every day, Thomson Reuters touches millions of automobile aficionados around the world, including people who design vehicles, regulate their safety, invest in automakers, provide tax advice to them, sue and defend manufacturers and suppliers, and, in the case of the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show which is currently underway, marvel at the sleek lines, speed and agility of the concept cars that offer unique and wonderful views of a future of which we all want to be a part.

What goes into bringing these provocative new cars to market? The concept car is someone’s best guess at a future, yet we’re now looking at one involving cars that are not driven by people and are connected to our personal network, as well as the Internet of Things. Apple, Google, Tesla, Uber and other technology giants are emerging players in the space.

Auto manufacturing is a global industry with a sprawling web of workflows, labor forces and international supply chains. There is steep competition in every class of vehicles so the need to innovate and differentiate is high. Moreover, the auto industry is highly regulated in areas such as safety, emissions, fuel economy and dealership networks. With stakes so high – including the lives and livelihoods of people – safety issues alone can cost millions of dollars in the form of new regulatory hurdles and class-action litigation. (more…)

Thomson Reuters at the Open Data Science “Science Against Slavery” Hackathon

Millions of forced laborers around the world generate an estimated $150 billion a year in profits for those who exploit them, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Two-thirds of this comes from commercial sexual exploitation and the other third from forced labor exploitation.

Thomson Reuters is deeply committed to confronting this problem of human trafficking, by providing our customers with vast amounts of data that can be used to help identify business partners that are potentially involved with illicit activities. Our World-Check product exposes risks that human networks hide and, we have recently partnered with two of the world’s premier anti-slavery organizations to turn the power of data analytics onto corrupt labor brokers and people traffickers.

Recent legislation pressures companies to avoid any association with forced labor. For example, beginning in October 2015, the Modern Slavery Act in the UK requires companies to confirm that steps have been taken to ensure that slavery/human trafficking are not part of the business or its supply chain. As part of our commitment against human trafficking and forced labor, five members of our Data Innovation Lab (Henry Chong, Dave Reed, Brian Romer, Joe Rothermich and Brian Ulicny) and two technology associates (Amit Shavit and Wendy Tay) based in Manhattan participated in the “Science Against Slavery” Hackathon organized by Open Data Science on Saturday, August 29th. The event was held at Impact Hub NYC, a “coworking space…for driving positive environmental and social change”. There were about 30 participants in the all-day Hackathon, ranging from undergraduate students at Brown, Northeastern, and NYU, to a cell biologist post-doc at Yale, a data scientist from Macy’s, a game theorist from Pitt, and several others.

After a late start, organizer Eric Schles gave a presentation on how women wind up being trafficked, due mostly to economic or social factors beyond their control. He sketched out how the digital traces of their trafficking online are used to bring cases against their exploiters, often only after they are hospitalized or police respond to domestic disturbance calls. Eric was, until very recently, an analyst in the Human Trafficking Response Unit of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, focusing mostly on supply-side traces. His focus was on building automated tools for law enforcement, to gather and prepare information leading to the conviction and prosecution of sex traffickers on both the supply and the demand side. Eric’s GitHub repository of code for scraping and analyzing escort ads from sites like — one of the more notorious Craigslist-like sites for escort ads — provided a starting point for the Hackathon. (more…)

Arbitrator to decide class arbitration question in reimbursement action

From Westlaw Journal Employment:  An arbitrator, rather than a court, must decide if security guards can proceed with class-wide arbitration of their claims for reimbursement against their employer, under an agreement governed by American Arbitration Association rules, a California appeals court has ruled.

The dispute resolution agreement between the guards and their employer, Universal Protection Service, says it is governed by AAA rules, which call for an arbitrator to “determine as a threshold matter … whether the applicable arbitration clause permits the arbitration to proceed on behalf of … a class,” the 3rd District Court of Appeal said.

(WestlawNext users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.) (more…)

Court approves NLRB’s expedited union election rule

From Westlaw Journal Employment:  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups failed to show that the National Labor Relations Board’s recent final rule aimed at expediting the union election process is unconstitutional and violates federal labor law, a federal judge has ruled.

The groups’ “broad” and “dramatic” statements about the NLRB’s rule were “predicated on mischaracterizations of what the final rule actually provides,” U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the District of Columbia said.

(WestlawNext users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.)


Ex-Hershey workers signed valid age discrimination waivers, California federal judge finds

From Westlaw Journal Employment:  A San Francisco federal judge has dismissed most age discrimination claims from a 2012 collective action against Hershey Co., finding the plaintiffs waived such claims as part of their severance package.
U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer of the Northern District of California largely granted the chocolate company’s motion for summary sevejudgment, rejecting the plaintiffs’ argument that the waivers were invalid because they had been terminated as part of a group rather than individually.

(WestlawNext users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.) (more…)

Top 10 Berkshire Hathaway deals, investment – Graphic of the day

Warren Buffett is making the biggest acquisition of his career as Berkshire Hathaway has agreed to buy Precision Castparts, valuing the maker of aerospace and other parts at $32.3 billion. Today’s graphic lists 10 of Berkshire Hathaway’s biggest takeovers/investments in the company’s history.

berkshire hathaway

Would you like infographics like this on your website, blog or other social media? Contact us and visit our Reuters Agency blog for insights and discussions on the changing media industry.


IA BRIEF: The state of adviser social media compliance in the U.S.

IA BRIEF: The state of adviser social media compliance in the U.S.

In the past year compliance professionals have been preoccupied with preventing cybercrime, and rightfully so, with recent high-profile cyber attacks and increased regulatory attention. However, the compliance implications of social media in the financial services sector remain an evolving trend as well, with high importance. A recent investment adviser survey offers a glimpse at the state of the current adviser programs while exposing new risks.

The survey , currently in its 10th year, was conducted by the U.S. Investment Adviser Association, ACA Compliance Group and OMAM. The highest percentage of firms surveyed were established firms with 6-25 years in the business and having assets under management ranging between $1-10 billion. (more…)

Exchange Magazine: The Art of Data

exchange magazine

In the latest issue of Thomson Reuters Exchange, we’re celebrating data, the core of our business and the lifeblood of the industry. While our focus is typically on the science of data – collecting, curating, cleaning, managing and disseminating data – we know there is also an art to making data useful, powerful and insightful. Enjoy our featured articles below or download Exchange for free on your iPhone®, iPad® or Android™ tablet device.

Data journalism

Telling Bigger Picture Stories with Big Data

Maurice Tamman, head of Reuters data and computational journalism team, explains how the journalism profession is changing as data proliferates and computing power increases. (more…)

When the spies came in from the cold

Regular readers of my blog will know that, from time to time, I like to highlight the careers of women who – in a culture very different from today – bucked the trend, ignored barriers and created for themselves a place in Reuters history. Annette von Broecker, who retired in 1994 as Reuters editor in Germany, was one of those women.

Five years ago, Reuters Security Correspondent, William Maclean (today Gulf Bureau Chief), looked back at von Broecker’s first scoop – in 1962 – during the height of the Cold War era. Annette von Broecker was, in her own words, a 19-year-old blonde when Reuters hired her as an editorial assistant in West Berlin in October 1959.

Annette von Broecker

Annette von Broecker at work in the Reuters Berlin office with bureau chief Alfred Kluehs (L) a few weeks after her 1962 scoop.

She would probably never have become a journalist had it not been for a story that unfolded before her eyes at a time when history was being made; “and, of course, because my mother desperately wanted to get me out of the house,” she recounted later. There was drama aplenty in the Berlin spy swap which she witnessed one chilly February morning in 1962, amid a wind that “seemed to blow straight from the North Pole.”

In a Reuters publication, Frontlines: snapshots of history (2001), von Broecker credited her scoop to a lucky guess. After Berlin bureau chief Alfred Kluehs had sent two correspondents to Checkpoint Charlie to staff both sides of the border crossing between the divided city, she stared at a big map that was hanging on the wall behind the boss’s desk.

“He sat with his back to it. My eyes wandered about. I looked at all the coloured pins that Alfred had stuck on the map to mark important sites, such as border crossings. They stopped suddenly, in the southwest corner of Berlin. There was a border. There was a bridge. It spanned the River Havel and connected the American sector of Berlin with the East German town of Potsdam. That was where the Western allies used to have their military liaison missions, which were attached to the Soviet headquarters in East Germany. Only Allied military personnel were allowed to cross the Glienicker Bridge, an elegant iron structure in two sets of concave bows across the Havel, some 150 yards wide. (more…)

What is diversity?

Chang Wang

This post is by Chang Wang, Chief Research and Academic Officer at Thomson Reuters. He was recently recognized as a 2015 Diversity in Business honoree by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

From my heavy accent people can surely tell that I was originally from an exotic part of the world: I was born and raised in Beijing where I spent the first 28 years of my life: from K-12 to college, work, and graduate school at Peking University. I was confident I had an identity and – that identity had little to do with diversity. That identity evaporated when I became a graduate student at the University of Illinois and later a law student at the University of Minnesota Law School, where I became the member of a minority group and was forced to write, reason, and argue in another language.

“In which language do you dream?” A Swiss law student at the University of Bern asked me. She speaks four languages, so does every student in the class I teach at the University, some even more. “Don’t kill insects. They might be your relatives in the past lives.” a Tibetan monk told me. Buddhists believe in reincarnation. Therefore, you should demonstrate a reverence for all sentient beings.

Not until the second year of law school did I begin to dream in English… and swear in English; not until I began to listen to Mozart did I realize that some people hear musical notes, rather than words; not until I saw Kandinsky did I discover that fine artists “think” in colour and shapes. Not until I had my own first dog did I truly share the joy, sadness, and pain an animal experienced emotionally; and not until I settled in Minnesota did I realized that we all live in parallel universes – separated by language, history, time, and space – and yet we are all so similar. Diversity to me is seeing commonalities among different races, genders; and classes, and seeing differences and divergence among same race, gender, and class.