Voice of America: Samsung Delays Launch of Folding Galaxy Smartphone

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Samsung said Monday it was delaying the launch of its folding smartphone after trouble with handsets sent to reviewers.

Some reviewers who got their hands on the Galaxy Fold early reported problems with screens breaking.

Samsung said it decided to put off this week’s planned release of the Fold after some reviews “showed us how the device needs further improvements.”

The South Korean consumer electronics giant planned to announce a new release date for the Galaxy Fold in the coming weeks.

Initial analysis of reported problems with Galaxy Fold screens showed they could be “associated with impact on the top and bottom exposed areas of the hinge,” Samsung said.

There was also an instance where unspecified “substances” were found inside a Galaxy Fold smartphone with a troubled display, according to the company.

“We will take measures to strengthen the display protection,” Samsung said.

“We will also enhance the guidance on care and use of the display including the protective layer.”

A handful of U.S.-based reporters were given the flagship Galaxy Fold phones, priced at $1,980, ahead of the model’s official release, and they reported screen issues within days of using the devices.

Samsung spent nearly eight years developing the Galaxy Fold, which is part of the leading smartphone maker’s strategy to propel growth with groundbreaking gadgets.

The company essentially gave reviewers a “beta product” without enough information, such as not to peel off a protective coating meant to be permanent, according to independent technology analyst Rob Enderle.

“It was all avoidable for a company the size of Samsung,” Enderle said.

The failure of a “halo product” meant to showcase innovation and quality could tarnish the brand and send buyers to rivals.

“If a halo product fails, people don’t trust that you build quality stuff,” Enderle said.

“It can do incredible damage. And Huawei is moving up like a rocket, so this could be good for Huawei.”

Surviving life

Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi told AFP that a Galaxy Fold she reviewed worked fine, performing even in sometimes messy situations that arise in everyday life.

She wondered if some problems with smartphones reviewed were due to dust, moisture or other material getting into handsets through small openings at the tops and bottoms of hinges.

“If stuff gets in there, it can make its way under the screen,” Milanesi said.

“There seems to be a kind of real-life test that maybe didn’t occur.”

Testing folding phones in a lab is a much different scenario than challenging them “in the wild” where they need to endure pockets, handbags, greasy food, spilled coffee and more, the analyst noted.

Samsung may also need to do more to convey how folding screens warrant more careful handling than stiff displays that have been improved over generations of smartphones.

Milanesi did not expect a slight delay in the launch of the Galaxy Fold to be a major setback for Samsung, saying that the model was unlikely to be a big driver of sales given its price and that services or apps are still being adapted to the new type of smartphone.

Samsung smartphones tuned to work with super-speedy fifth-generation telecommunications networks are more important to the company’s bottom line on the near horizon, according to the analyst.

“It is still early days for 5G, but that is the product that is going to make a difference for Samsung this year,” Milanesi said.

Samsung is the world’s biggest smartphone maker, and earlier this month launched the 5G version of its top-end Galaxy S10 device.

Adding to Samsung woes

Despite the recent announcements about its new high-end devices, Samsung has warned of a more than 60 percent plunge in first-quarter operating profit in the face of weakening markets.

The firm is also no stranger to device issues.

Its reputation suffered a major blow after a damaging worldwide recall of its Galaxy Note 7 devices over exploding batteries in 2016, which cost the firm billions of dollars and shattered its global brand image.

Samsung originally planned to release the Galaxy Fold as scheduled on April 26.

While Samsung’s device was not the first folding handset, the smartphone giant was expected to help spark demand and potentially revive a sector that has been struggling for new innovations.

Other folding devices have been introduced by startup Royole and by Chinese-based Huawei.

Samsung Electronics is the flagship subsidiary of Samsung Group, by far the biggest of the family-controlled conglomerates that dominate business in the world’s 11th-largest economy, and it is crucial to South Korea’s economic health.

The company has enjoyed record profits in recent years despite a series of setbacks, including the jailing of its de facto chief.

Voice of America


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“Russia Ukraine” – Google News: The Real Russia. Today. Next steps for Ukraine’s president-elect, a Russian senator explains the drawbacks to civil rights, and the ethical mess of censoring anti-Putin graffiti – Meduza

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The Real Russia. Today. Next steps for Ukraine’s president-elect, a Russian senator explains the drawbacks to civil rights, and the ethical mess of censoring anti-Putin graffiti  Meduza

Nearly three in four voters just made Volodymyr Zelenskiy the next president of Ukraine. So what’s next? The view from headquarters: How Zelenskiy’s and …

“Russia Ukraine” – Google News


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“Оппозиция в России” – Google News: The Real Russia. Today. Next steps for Ukraine’s president-elect, a Russian senator explains the drawbacks to civil rights, and the ethical mess of censoring anti-Putin graffiti – Meduza

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The Real Russia. Today. Next steps for Ukraine’s president-elect, a Russian senator explains the drawbacks to civil rights, and the ethical mess of censoring anti-Putin graffiti  Meduza

Nearly three in four voters just made Volodymyr Zelenskiy the next president of Ukraine. So what’s next? The view from headquarters: How Zelenskiy’s and …

“Оппозиция в России” – Google News


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“Opposition in Russia” – Google News: The Real Russia. Today. Next steps for Ukraine’s president-elect, a Russian senator explains the drawbacks to civil rights, and the ethical mess of censoring anti-Putin graffiti – Meduza

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The Real Russia. Today. Next steps for Ukraine’s president-elect, a Russian senator explains the drawbacks to civil rights, and the ethical mess of censoring anti-Putin graffiti  Meduza

Nearly three in four voters just made Volodymyr Zelenskiy the next president of Ukraine. So what’s next? The view from headquarters: How Zelenskiy’s and …

“Opposition in Russia” – Google News


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“Turkey and Russia” – Google News: Syrian regime, rebels exchange prisoners – Middle East Monitor – Middle East Monitor

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Syrian regime, rebels exchange prisoners – Middle East Monitor  Middle East Monitor

The Syrian regime and rebels exchanged prisoners on Monday where nine people from each side were released, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported.

“Turkey and Russia” – Google News


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Putin and Putinism – News Review: North Korea’s Kim to meet Putin at crucial diplomatic moment – The Public’s Radio

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North Korea’s Kim to meet Putin at crucial diplomatic moment  The Public’s Radio

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea confirmed Tuesday that leader Kim Jong Un will soon visit Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin in a summit …

Putin and Putinism – News Review


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Sputnik International – Breaking News & Analysis – Radio, Photos, Videos, Infographics: Russia’s Korsar Drone Flight Model to Be Showcased at Intl Forum Army-2019

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The first public demonstration of a complex of Russia’s Korsar drone flight model and its target loads will take place at the International Military-Technical Forum Army-2019, an informed source told Sputnik.

Sputnik International – Breaking News & Analysis – Radio, Photos, Videos, Infographics


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“Right Cause party” – Google News: NextDecade Receives EPC Bid Packages for Rio Grande LNG Project from Bechtel and Fluor – Associated Press

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NextDecade Receives EPC Bid Packages for Rio Grande LNG Project from Bechtel and Fluor  Associated Press

Press release *content* from Business Wire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

“Right Cause party” – Google News


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Вести.Ru: Гол Овечкина не спас “Вашингтон” от поражения “Каролине”

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В американском городе Роли завершилась шестая игра серии плей-офф Кубка Стэнли между местным клубом “Каролина Харрикейнз” и “Вашингтон Кэпиталз”. Хозяева льда победили действующего обладателя трофея со счетом 5:2. В составе “столичных” одну из шайб забросил капитан команды Александр Овечкин.

Вести.Ru


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Вести.Ru: ФРГ планирует привлечь Россию к защите климата и мировых благ

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Министр экономического сотрудничества и развития ФРГ Герхард Мюллер отметил важную роль России в вопросе “защиты мировых благ”, а также обеспечении продовольственной безопасности.

Вести.Ru


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“Оппозиция в России” – Google News: ‘Operation Blackout is underway’: Russia blames US for Venezuela power crisis – The Guardian

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‘Operation Blackout is underway’: Russia blames US for Venezuela power crisis  The Guardian

Deputy defence minister says US using a ‘broad range of techniques’ in bid to oust president Nicolás Maduro.

“Оппозиция в России” – Google News


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“Opposition in Russia” – Google News: ‘Operation Blackout is underway’: Russia blames US for Venezuela power crisis – The Guardian

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‘Operation Blackout is underway’: Russia blames US for Venezuela power crisis  The Guardian

Deputy defence minister says US using a ‘broad range of techniques’ in bid to oust president Nicolás Maduro.

“Opposition in Russia” – Google News


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Lenta.ru : Новости: Индия и США попытались предупредить Шри-Ланку о терактах и потерпели провал

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Разведывательные организации США и Индии предупреждали Шри-Ланку о готовящихся терактах. Об этом сообщил министр здравоохранения и по совместительству представитель правительства страны Раджита Сенаратне. По его словам, первое предупреждение поступило по линии спецслужб 4 апреля.

Lenta.ru : Новости


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Voice of America: Trump Threatens Crackdown on High Visa Overstay Countries

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The Trump administration is considering suspending or limiting entry to the U.S. for individuals from countries with high rates of short-term visa overstays — a proposal vaguely reminiscent of the controversial travel bans President Donald Trump pursued during his first year in office.

In a memo signed Monday, Trump directs officials to examine new ways to minimize the number of people overstaying their business and tourist visas as part of a renewed focus on immigration as the 2020 campaign kicks into high gear.

And it says the administration is considering developing “admission bonds” — people entering the country would pay a fee that would be reimbursed when they leave — in an effort to improve compliance.

“We have laws that need to be followed to keep Americans safe and to protect the integrity of a system where, right now, there are millions of people who are waiting in line to come to America to seek the American Dream,” Trump said in a statement.

 

More people are in the U.S. because they overstay visas than because they cross the border illegally, according to the nonpartisan Center for Migration Studies. Some of the countries with high overstay rates include Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Liberia, the Solomon Islands, Benin and Burkina Faso. Officials say 20 countries have rates over 10 percent.

The memo gives the secretaries of state and homeland security 120 days to come up with recommendations, including potentially limiting how long visas last.

The idea of restricting travel from high overstay countries is part of a long list of proposals being tossed around by officials as they try to appease a president who has been seething over the influx of migrants at the border as he tries to make good on his 2016 campaign promises and energize his base going into 2020.

The ideas have ranged from the extreme —including Trump’s threat to completely shut down the southern border and resume the widely denounced practice of separating children from parents — to more subtle tweaks to the legal immigration system.

Plans are also in the works to have border patrol agents, instead of asylum officers, conduct initial interviews to determine whether migrants seeking asylum have a “credible fear” of returning to their homelands. And the administration has been weighing targeting the remittance payments people living in the country illegally send home to their families and moving forward with plans to punish immigrants in the country legally for using public benefits, such as food stamps.

Voice of America


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Voice of America: Spanish General Election Candidates Clash over Catalonia

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The main candidates in Spain’s general election on Monday clashed over how to handle Catalonia’s independence drive, accusing each other of lying in a tense television debate that left questions open on what coalition deals could be struck.

Spain’s parliamentary election on April 28, one of the country’s most divisive since its return to democracy in the late 1970s, is being fought more on emotional and identity issues, such as Catalonia’s botched independence bid than on the economy.

No clear winner

None of the four candidates emerged as a clear winner from the late-night debate during which all except the anti-austerity Pablo Iglesias appeared quite tense, trading barbs and accusing the others of lying, being out of touch with reality and not doing enough to handle corruption cases within their respective parties.

Pablo Casado, of the conservative People’s Party, and Albert Rivera, from the center-right Ciudadanos, repeatedly accused outgoing Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, the election front-runner, of working against the country’s interest.

“The unity of Spain is at risk because of the Socialist government of Pedro Sanchez … those who want to break Spain apart have Sanchez as their favorite candidate,” said the right-wing Casado.

“Do we want the future of Spain to remain in the hands of those who want to liquidate Spain?,” the center-right Rivera said in the late-night televised debate.

Rivera also kept pointing to a picture of Sanchez meeting with Catalonia separatist leader Quim Torra, which he put on his podium for much of the debate.

Shockwaves

The October 2017 independence referendum in Catalonia — declared illegal by Spanish courts, but followed by a short-lived declaration of independence — has sent shockwaves through Spanish politics, which are weighing on Sunday’s vote.

Sanchez, who became prime minister in June of last year and has been more open to dialogue with Catalan separatists than his conservative predecessor Mariano Rajoy, responded by saying he was in favor of dialogue, but was opposed to independence for the region located in the country’s northeast.

He said several times throughout the debate that his two right-of-center opponents, who both accused him of lying, might need “a truth detector to see if they tell any truth.”

Sanchez’s Socialists are seen as ahead in opinion polls, but without enough seats to rule on their own. The same polls show they will likely need more than the support of the anti-austerity Podemos to rule, and may need the support of nationalist parties, including those from Catalonia.

What coalition deal?

The polls show it will be even harder for the three right-wing parties to win enough seats to rule.

But the number of undecided voters is so high that all possible outcomes are within the margin of error and could still change on Sunday, pollsters say, all the more so because of how hard it is to predict how many seats the upstart far-right Vox party will get.

Opinion polls show a possible coalition deal would be between the Socialists and Ciudadanos, but Rivera has repeatedly ruled it out and did so again on Monday.

Sanchez, however, did not respond when Podemos leader Iglesias repeatedly asked him if he was ruling out a deal with Ciudadanos, indirectly keeping the door open to such an option.

Vox isn’t invited 

Vox was not invited to the debate and was not mentioned by name by any of the candidates, with only Sanchez mentioning its leader Santiago Abascal by name, to try and rally left-wing voters against the possibility of seeing a right-wing government backed by the far right.

Vox is forecast to be the far-right party to get seats in the national parliament in nearly four decades, marking a watershed in the country’s modern democratic history.

Another TV debate among the same four candidates will follow on Tuesday, giving them another chance to differentiate themselves ahead of the election.

Voice of America


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Putin and Putinism – News Review: North Korea’s Kim to meet Putin at crucial diplomatic moment – MyChamplainValley.com FOX44 & ABC22

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North Korea’s Kim to meet Putin at crucial diplomatic moment  MyChamplainValley.com FOX44 & ABC22

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea confirmed Tuesday that leader Kim Jong Un will soon visit Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin in a summit that …

Putin and Putinism – News Review


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