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Facebook to add 1,000 jobs in Ireland in 2019

Facebook is to hire an additional 1,000 people in Ireland over the course of 2019.

The extra roles will be created across 60 teams, including the social media giants’ engineering, safety, legal, policy, marketing and sales teams.

The roles will based on its Ballsbridge campus which was previously home to AIB.

The expansion will bring the total number of people employed across its centres in Cork, Dublin and Meath to 5,000.

The announcement was made in Dublin today by the company’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, while she attended Facebook’s Gather event in Croke Park.

More than 500 small and medium businesses from Ireland and across the EMEA region attended the event.

Speaking on one of Facebook’s priorities in 2019 to earn users’ trust, Ms Sandberg said: “Facebook is a very different company to what it was in 2016 or even a year ago”.

She detailed the steps the company has taken, and will be taking, in key priority areas including “the safety and security of Facebook’s users; the commitment to cracking down on fake accounts and false news; strengthening defences against election interference; and being even more transparent in how it operates and makes decisions, to make itself more publicly accountable”.

Meanwhile, Head of Facebook Ireland, Gareth Lambe, admitted today that the company is concerned about the current housing crisis gripping the country.

However, he says it is not something which has stunted Facebook’s growth, and insists he has faith in how the government is tackling the problem.

“We’re concerned, of course; to date, it hasn’t been a blocker for us hiring, we have over 4,000 people here in Ireland and announcing another 1,000 today is a big investment,” he said.

POP OUT We support all the government’s initiatives, we think they’re doing all the right things around planning, reform and cost benchmarking and all the infrastructure reform that we’re doing.

“We think that will release this glut in a few years, we see it being not as bad in a few years,” he said.

It was also announced today that Facebook would triple its investment in online safety programmes run by the National Anti-Bullying Centre (ABC) and SpunOut.ie, bringing the total investment to €1m.

The funding will go towards research and an online training program for teachers and parents of secondary school students.

An online safety resource for teenagers will also be created in partnership with SpunOut.ie.

Kim Jong PHOTO

North Korea’s economy may not survive another year, defector says

North Korea is so weak its economy might not last long under tough United Nations sanctions, a high-ranking defector said Monday in his first public speaking engagement in the U.S.

The former insider’s view of dictator Kim Jong Un’s oppressive regime comes just as North Korea’s deputy U.N. ambassador stepped up the tough talk. “Nuclear war may break out any moment,” Kim In Ryong said Monday.

But North Korea may just be bluffing.

“I don’t know if North Korea will survive a year [under] sanctions. Many people will die,” said Ri Jong Ho, a former senior North Korean economic official. He was speaking through a translator at the Asia Society in New York.

“There is not enough to eat there” and the sanctions have “completely blocked” trade, he said, forcing the government to send tens of thousands of laborers overseas. Ordinary North Korean households have no electricity, he added, while the capital city only gets three to four hours a day.

Ri was last posted in Dalian, China, where he helped run Office 39, a secret organization responsible for obtaining cash for the ruling Kim family. Ri also won the highest civilian honor in the dictatorship. But after a series of purges, he defected with his family in late 2014 and now lives in the greater Washington, D.C. area.

The defector painted his birth country as one in dire straits. China, North Korea’s largest trade partner, is “very upset” with the rogue state for not reforming its economy and instead “begging” its giant neighbor for food, Ri said. On the other hand, Ri said, North Korean leaders met with Russian President Vladimir Putin but diplomacy “was not as easy as it might have been thought.”

Kim is also offended that he has never met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xi also once chose to visit the southern part of the peninsula before the north.

During a 2014 meeting with North Korean officials, Kim Jong Un called Xi a “son of a b—-” and the Chinese “sons of b——,” Ri said, adding that there is fear China will “betray” North Korea.

As a result, building a relationship with the United States is the rogue state’s primary focus.

Ri likened Kim’s war of words with President Donald Trump to a “child and adult dispute.”

The dictator thinks help from the U.S. will enable him to solidify his leadership, just as North Koreans generally think alliance with the U.S. helped South Korea prosper, Ri said. “North Korea is very fearful of South Korea.”

To address its insecurities, North Korea fires missile after missile. Invariably, the world worries about the pariah state’s growing nuclear threat and China repeatedly calls for dialogue. Ri, however, said he sees the solution as more than simply gathering together for talks.

When negotiating, the parties need to know what they want, which is far from the case here due to lack of understanding on both sides, Ri said. In order to successfully turn the situation around, foreign diplomats need to understand what is in Kim Jong Un’s head and “change what he thinks.”