Fair Labor Association Inspecting Foxconn, Yahoo Partners With Qatar For Arabic Content, Samsung Announces Galaxy Tab 2

Breaking news from your editors at Fast Company, with updates all day.


Fair Labor Association Inspects Foxconn Factories. Apple has asked the Fair Labor Association to conduct a round of audits on several suppliers including Foxconn in China. Fair Labor officials will interview employees and visit factory sites to check on working conditions in the area. As Apple noted in a press release, “suppliers have pledged full cooperation with the FLA, offering unrestricted access to their operations.” —NS


–Updated 10:50 a.m. EST

Yahoo And Qatar Government Sign Content Creation Deal. Struggling Internet company Yahoo is teaming up with ictQATAR, the emirate’s official telecom regulator, to embark on a massive Arabic-language content creation project. ictQATAR will help develop digital content, multiplatform applications, and digital advertising for Yahoo’s Middle Eastern market. In comparison to other Yahoo operations, Middle Eastern affiliate Yahoo Maktoob saw massively increased growth in 2011. Although closely linked to the royal family, ictQATAR has no relation to Al Jazeera, the emirate’s best-known media export. —NU

Updated 10:25 a.m. EST

Apple’s Share Price Tops $500. For the first time, Apple’s share price has risen over $500. As well as clearly establishing it as the number one firm, above Exxon Mobil, it means a single share in the technology firm now costs you more than the entry-level iPad does. –KE

–Updated 10:00 a.m. EST

Samsung Announces Galaxy Tab 2. Samsung’s just announced a new tablet, the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0). It’s Samsung’s first tablet to run Google’s latest OS, Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich, right away. Outfitted thus, it’s set to compete in just the sweet spot the Kindle Fire occupies. A deal-breaker could be the price, which Samsung has yet to announce.–NS


–Updated 8:00 a.m. EST

European Rocket Vega Takes Flight. European-made satellite launcher rocket Vega completed her first flight today. It’s an important step for Europe, whose member countries now have more control over certain space-based operations. Vega is designed to carry satellites under 2.5 tonnes, which, the BBC points out, are increasingly important these days. —NS

–Updated 7:35 a.m. EST

Google Defends Google Wallet. After two security hacks on its Google Wallet application were demonstrated last week, Google has responded, saying (as we did) that their NFC system is still safer than credit card payments. —NS

RIM To Double India Sales Presence. RIM is being bruised daily by falling sales across the globe, and perhaps to recover, the company making big plans to grow in India. The company intends to expand its existing presence in 80 cities to 160 cities, and is also planning product launches and the release of their new OS 10 in the country this year. Nokia, who like RIM is lagging on the innovation front, is planning a similar line of attack with big hopes riding on its new line of feature phones. —NS


–Updated 7:15 a.m. EST

Google Updates YouTube App For Google TV. Google has announced an update to the YouTube app for Google TV, due to show up ready to download from the Android Market in the next few days. New features include a discover feature which lets you browse through channels. That’s consistent with the channels feature Google introduced in their early December YouTube redesign, a step toward a unified YouTube experience on Google TV and the web. —NS

Apple Expands Patent Fight To Include Galaxy Nexus. Apple is extending their legal attack on Samsung over patent infringement issues, and the Galaxy Nexus and its Ice Cream Sandwich Android OS are the focus of this new round. The contested features on the phone which Apple considers iOS-y include a slide-to-unlock image and a voice search feature. —NS


Hackers Breach Microsoft India Online Store. India’s Microsoft online store was hacked by a Chinese group calling themselves the Chinese EvilShadow team. The group made off with the usernames and passwords of store customers, which were stored as plain text. The site, the Verge points out, is maintained and operated by Quasar Media, appointed by Microsoft. —NS

–Updated 6:15 a.m. EST

[Image: Flickr user dailylifeofmojo]

Friday’s Fast Feed: Amazon Gets Green Light From India Govt, Iran Blocks Gmail, Google, All SSL Sites, Twitter Partners With Satellite Providers For Tweets By Text, and more!