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Chelsea apologizes to abused former player

English soccer club Chelsea issued a public apology to former striker Gary Johnson on Saturday for the sexual abuse he suffered as a young player and said it had been wrong to insist on a confidentiality clause when paying him compensation. Johnson, 57, said on Friday that he had been abused by former Chelsea chief scout Eddie Heath in the 1970s, receiving 50,000 pounds from the club in settlement in 2015. Chelsea added that an external review would establish whether they carried out a proper investigation when the allegations first surfaced.
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Chelsea apologises to abused former player

English soccer club Chelsea issued a public apology to former striker Gary Johnson on Saturday for the sexual abuse he suffered as a young player and said it had been wrong to insist on a confidentiality clause when paying him compensation. Johnson, 57, said on Friday that he had been abused by former Chelsea chief scout Eddie Heath in the 1970s, receiving 50,000 pounds from the club in settlement in 2015. Chelsea added that an external review would establish whether they carried out a proper investigation when the allegations first surfaced.
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Yurts, cleats, coats: Dakota protesters dig in for brutal winter

A veteran stands in front of homemade shields in Oceti Sakowin camp as "water protectors" continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S.CANNON BALL, N.D. (Reuters) - In North Dakota, winter is most definitely coming.



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Obama bars China's Fujian from buying Aixtron's U.S. business

The headquarters of German chip equipment maker Aixtron SE is pictured in HerzogenrathBy Matthias Inverardi and Diane Bartz FRANKFURT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama blocked a Chinese investment fund from acquiring the U.S. business of German semiconductor equipment maker Aixtron because the deal posed a risk to American national security, the Treasury Department said on Friday. Obama's executive order barring China's Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund (FGC) from completing the acquisition of a German company with American assets was one of few such instances in which a U.S. president has blocked a transaction due to national security concerns.



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U.S. presidential commission issues recommendations on cyber security

Man poses in front of on a display showing the word 'cyber' in binary code, in this picture illustration taken in ZenicaThe U.S. government and the private sector must cooperate to improve the security of digital networks, a U.S. presidential commission on cyber security recommended in a wide-ranging report issued on Friday. The commission created by President Barack Obama earlier this year also recommended that the president and Congress accelerate the pace at which technology is updated in the federal sector and that the president appoint an ambassador for cyber security for efforts abroad. Obama said in a statement after meeting the commission's head, his former national security adviser Tom Donilon, on Friday that his administration strongly supported the commission's "thoughtful and pragmatic" recommendations.



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Russia says foreign spies plan cyber attack on banking system

A hand is silhouetted in front of a computer screen in this picture illustration taken in BerlinBy Christian Lowe and Natalia Zinets MOSCOW/KIEV (Reuters) - Russia said on Friday it had uncovered a plot by foreign spy agencies to sow chaos in Russia's banking system via a coordinated wave of cyber attacks and fake social media reports about banks going bust. Russia's domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB), said that the servers to be used in the alleged cyber attack were located in the Netherlands and registered to a Ukrainian web hosting company called BlazingFast.



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Draft law gives Chinese police control of online discussion on disasters

China's county-level police will be able to censor internet coverage of natural and man-made disasters, according to a revised draft of the country's policing law that the Chinese Public Security Bureau released late on Thursday. China reports a high rate of accidents and natural disasters every year due its vast geography and its relatively low public safety and building standards. Incidents are often met with an outpouring of public grief and anger that the authorities seek to contain using internet controls and state-media coverage focusing on successful relief work.
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Twitter changes product head for third time in a year

File photo of the Twitter logo displayed on a screen on the floor of the NYSE"Yes! Keith and team are joining Twitter to help lead and strengthen our service!," Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted on Thursday. Jeff Seibert, who was recently head of product, stepped down from in June after being in the role for about five months. Kevin Weil, who now heads Facebook Inc's Instagram product division, was with Twitter for more than five years and was vice-president of product development before Seibert.



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Shamoon virus returns in Saudi computer attacks after four-year hiatus

Shamoon, the destructive computer virus that four years ago crippled tens of thousands of computers at Middle Eastern energy companies, was used two weeks ago to attack computers in Saudi Arabia, according to several U.S. cyber security firms. CrowdStrike, FireEye Inc, Intel Corp's McAfee security unit, Palo Alto Networks Inc and Symantec Corp warned of the attacks, though they did not name any victims.
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Twitter signs Philippines ad deal for NBA livestream shows

The Twitter logo is shown at its corporate headquarters in San FranciscoTwitter Inc has signed a major livestreaming deal with its first Asian partner, Globe Telecom Inc of the Philippines, for its two exclusive U.S. National Basketball Association shows, the companies said on Thursday. Globe will advertise on Twitter's livestream of "The Starters" and "The Warmups" to the telecom provider's digital audiences, they said in a statement. The shows, produced by Time Warner Inc's Turner Sports, will air only on Twitter throughout the basketball league's season from late October through June.



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CFTC failed to verify brokers have proper cyber policies: watchdog

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission failed to verify whether futures and swaps brokerage firms have adequate policies to help ward off cyber attacks, an internal CFTC audit found. The audit was completed in October by Brown & Company CPAS and Management Consultants PLLC at the request of the CFTC's inspector general. It found that the CFTC, in conducting cyber security examinations of the firms, did not employ a "risk-based approach" to "independently test results of the cybersecurity assessments" it did.
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Worldwide cyber-crime network hit in coordinated raids

A logo of the Cybercrime Intelligence Unit of Germany's Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) Federal Crime Office is pictured during a media day in WiesbadenOne of the world's biggest networks of hijacked computers, which is suspected of being used to attack online banking customers, has been taken down following police swoops in 10 countries, German police said on Thursday. In an internationally coordinated campaign, authorities carried out the raids on Wednesday, seized servers and website domains and arrested suspected leaders of a criminal organization, said police and prosecutors in northern Germany. Officials said they had seized 39 servers and several hundred thousand domains, depriving criminals of control of more than 50,000 computers in Germany alone.



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Vigils, campaigns mark World AIDS Day

People light candles to mark World AIDS day in Quezon city, Metro Manila, Philippines(Reuters) - From awareness campaigns to candle-lit vigils, people around the globe are marking World AIDS Day on Thursday. Each year, people across countries gather on Dec. 1 to promote awareness about the fight against HIV/AIDS and remember those who lost their lives. The hashtag #WorldAIDSDay trended on Twitter as users posted messages and pictures of red ribbons supporters wear to mark the occasion, as well as of people around the world lighting candles for commemoration events. According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), some 36. ...



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Selena Gomez becomes Instagram's most-followed celebrity

Selena Gomez accepts the award for favorite female pop/rock artist at the 2016 American Music Awards in Los AngelesSelena Gomez overtook Taylor Swift as the most-followed celebrity on Instagram, as two of pop's leading women once again dominated the social networking site in 2016. In Instagram's annual rankings released Thursday, Gomez was the most-followed celebrity with 103 million followers, while Swift was second with 93.9 million. Ariana Grande and Beyonce came in third and fourth with 89.6 million and 88.9 million followers respectively, while reality TV star Kim Kardashian took fifth place with 88.2 million followers.



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Flipkart's fashion unit Myntra bets on artificial intelligence to drive growth

The logo of India's largest online marketplace Flipkart is seen on a building in BengaluruBy Sankalp Phartiyal and Tanvi Mehta MUMBAI/BENGALURU (Reuters) - Fashion portal Myntra, part of India's top e-commerce group Flipkart, aims to use smart technology such as artificial intelligence to enhance consumer experience as it looks to drive growth and turn profitable in the next fiscal year. India's e-commerce market is forecast to grow to $188 billion in a decade as more and more of its 1.2 billion people log on to smartphones and PCs in the world's fastest-growing internet services market. Players such as Flipkart and Myntra took a page out of Amazon's playbook to offer cash-burning discounts when they launched in 2007 but are now increasingly tailoring their products and experiences to capture a burgeoning Indian market.



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EU proposes simplifying VAT rules to boost online trade

The European Union flag is seen flying in the British overseas territory of GibraltarBy Philip Blenkinsop BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission proposed simplifying value-added sales tax (VAT) requirements for online retailers on Thursday, the final piece in a series of measures to boost Internet commerce across the European Union. "We are delivering on our promises to unlock e-commerce in Europe ... Now we simplify VAT rules: the last piece in the puzzle," said Andrus Ansip, the Commission's vice president for digital affairs. Currently, online traders of goods have to register for VAT in each of the EU countries to which they sell goods, a significant barrier given it can cost about 8,000 euros ($8,500) to comply per country.



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Facebook COO Sandberg donates $100 million to donor advised fund

Sandberg COO of Facebook attends a session during the annual meeting 2016 of the WEF in Davos(Reuters) - Facebook Inc Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has donated more than $100 million to the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Fund. Sandberg's donation to her donor advised fund comprised 880,000 of Class "A" shares of Facebook, according to a regulatory filing on Wednesday. In December 2015, Zuckerberg made one of the largest pledges in history when he and his wife said they would donate 99 percent of their company shares to charity.



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U.S. tech startup Comma.ai giving away self-driving car software

George Hotz founder of San Francisco startup Comma.ai drives a vehicle with aftermarket self-driving device being developed in San FranciscoBy Heather Somerville SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Comma.ai, the tech startup that recently pulled the plug on its device to give cars limited self-driving capabilities after being reprimanded by U.S. regulators, has opened up its software secrets to the masses. On Wednesday, Comma.ai announced on its website that it had open sourced the software code and robotics research platform for the driver-assistance system the company had planned to start selling at the end of the year, before the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compelled it to change course. The open-source project may allow Comma.ai founder and well-known hacker George Hotz to deploy his technology without butting up against regulators.



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Cloud storage provider Box's loss smaller than expected

(Reuters) - Cloud storage provider Box Inc reported a smaller-than-expected loss as its efforts to attract customers paid off. Strong sales execution and increased adoption of newer products helped results, Chief Financial Officer Dylan Smith said in a statement on Wednesday. Box, whose customers include General Electric Co , AstraZeneca Plc and Symantec Corp , has been investing heavily to beef up its cloud technology and is focusing on expanding outside the United States.
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Azerbaijan criminalizes defamation of the president online

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev waves during a meeting with Pope Francis at the Presidential Palace in GanjlikAzerbaijan's parliament on Wednesday made online defamation of the president a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment. With almost all traditional media strictly controlled by the government, social media networks have become outlets for people to voice criticism in a country where the economy has suffered from the global slump in oil prices and a depreciating currency. Azerbaijan criminalized defamation over the internet three years ago, meaning many people now use aliases and covert accounts, but the existing law made no separate mention of the president.



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Crowd-sourced maps for natural disasters boosted by new algorithm

By Chris Arsenault RIO DE JANEIRO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Humanitarian workers delivering aid to regions hit by natural disasters might find it a little easier to reach people most in need of help following new advances in crowd-sourced mapping technology, researchers said on Wednesday. Traditional maps often do not give rescue workers the information they need when disasters strike, such as which buildings and bridges have been destroyed. To make the mapping process more efficient, researchers at the University of California and the University of Tennessee created a new algorithm that indicates which areas need detailed mapping first after a disaster.
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FBI to gain expanded hacking powers as Senate effort to block fails

The word 'password' is pictured on a computer screen in this picture illustration taken in BerlinBy Dustin Volz WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A last-ditch effort in the Senate to block or delay rule changes that would expand the U.S. government's hacking powers failed Wednesday, despite concerns the changes would jeopardize the privacy rights of innocent Americans and risk possible abuse by the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump. Democratic Senator Ron Wyden attempted three times to delay the changes, which will take effect on Thursday and allow U.S. judges will be able to issue search warrants that give the FBI the authority to remotely access computers in any jurisdiction, potentially even overseas. Magistrate judges can currently only order searches within the jurisdiction of their court, which is typically limited to a few counties.



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Reddit to crack down on abuse after CEO is targeted

Reddit mascots are displayed at the company's headquarters in San Francisco(Reuters) - Social media website Reddit Inc, known for its commitment to free speech, will crack down on online harassment by banning or suspending users who target others, starting with those who have directed abuse at Chief Executive Steve Huffman. Huffman said in an interview with Reuters that Reddit's content policy prohibits harassment, but that it had not been adequately enforced. "Right now we are in an interesting position where my inbox is full of them, it's easy to start with me." As well as combing through Huffman's inbox, Reddit will monitor user reports, add greater filtering capacity, and take a more proactive role in policing its platform rather than relying on community moderators.



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Text young Kenyan women about sex to boost HIV testing: experts

By Kieran Guilbert DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Texting young women in Kenya with regular information about sex, contraception, and sexually transmitted diseases could encourage more to get tested for HIV in a country where stigma surrounding the virus is rife, researchers said on Wednesday. Some 600 female college students in Kenya received monthly text message surveys about their sexual behavior, and half were also sent weekly messages about HIV prevention, for a recent study by medical researchers and mobile research firm mSurvey. Two-thirds of the 300 women who were sent the weekly texts said they got tested for HIV within six months of the study, while among those who received the monthly surveys, only half reported going to be tested for the virus, the study found.
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Curbs on extremist online content threaten free speech: report

The Global Network Initiative said companies should not be pressured by governments to change their terms of service, and demands to restrict content due to public safety concerns need to be consistent with existing legal frameworks. Members of the group, which began developing its recommendations in July 2015, include Microsoft Corp, Alphabet Inc's Google, Facebook Inc, LinkedIn Corp and Yahoo! Inc, and civil society groups and academics. The report came as governments around the world are pushing companies to do more to stop digital proselytizing on the internet by Islamic jihadists and other extremist groups.
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Deutsche Telekom attack part of global campaign on routers

A man passes a screen showing a visualisation of the internet on Telekom exhibition stand at CeBIT trade fair in HannoverBy Eric Auchard FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A cyber attack that infected nearly 1 million routers used to access Deutsche Telekom internet service was part of a campaign targeting web-connected devices around the globe, the German government and security researchers said on Tuesday. The revelation from the German Office for Information Security, or BSI, stoked fears of an increase in cyber attacks that disrupt internet service by exploiting common vulnerabilities in widely used routers, webcams, digital video recorders and other web-connected devices. Security researchers said the infections spread to countries including Brazil, Britain and Ireland using a technique similar to one that stopped millions of people in the United States and Europe from reaching websites including PayPal Holdings Inc , Twitter Inc and Spotify on Oct. 21.



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Facebook users can now play Pac-Man on Messenger app

A man poses with a magnifier in front of a Facebook logo on display in this illustration taken in Sarajevo(Reuters) - For users hooked on to Facebook's Messenger app, it's game on. The social network on Tuesday rolled out a feature that allows users to play hugely popular games such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders, the company's latest attempt to get users spend more time on its messaging app. Facebook made Messenger a standalone app in 2014, a move that initially irked many users.



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Philippine bank and Bangladesh play blame game over missing millions

A security guard stands guard outside a branch of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) in Paranaque city, Metro ManilaBy Karen Lema MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine lender RCBC and a Bangladeshi minister traded blame on Tuesday over liability for tens of millions of dollars that were looted from a New York bank and then went missing in Manila after one of the biggest bank frauds ever. Unknown cyber criminals tried to steal nearly $1 billion from Bangladesh Bank in February and managed to make off with $81 million via an account at the New York Federal Reserve. The lawyer for RCBC, or Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC), said that her client had no reason to compensate Bangladesh Bank, saying that the lender was "negligent" because the initial security breach was its own fault.



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Spy chief adds to warnings of Russian cyber attacks on Germany

The President of the German Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) Kahl gives speech at the 60th anniversary of the founding of the BND in BerlinBy Caroline Copley BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's spy chief has warned that Russian hackers are pelting his country with disinformation that could undermine the democratic process, echoing concerns already voiced by his domestic intelligence counterpart. Bruno Kahl, the new head of Germany's BND foreign intelligence service, compared the campaign in an interview published on Tuesday to misleading reports on social media before Donald Trump's election as United States president. The interview appeared in Munich's Sueddeutsche Zeitung as German officials puzzled over the source of a major disruption on Monday of internet traffic on Deutsche Telekom, the country's largest telecoms operator.



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Ant Financial chief apologizes following backlash over explicit social network groups

A logo of Ant Financial is displayed at the Ant Financial event in Hong KongThe head of Ant Financial Services Group, the payment affiliate of Alibaba Holdings Ltd, apologized on Tuesday following backlash from Chinese netizens over a social feature in the company's payment app that critics say enabled a sexually explicit dating service. In an internal letter reviewed by Reuters, Chairwoman Lucy Peng said the company had removed a group within the Alipay app's new social feature "circles", including a group called "schoolyard diary" which drew intense fire from Chinese users after its launch on Nov. 24. "These past two days have the most difficult since I had joined Alipay 7 years ago," said Peng, who apologized to users and promised to clamp down on illicit content on the platform.



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UK regulator goes to Europe to force reform at BT Openreach

A phone box stands in snow in NewhavenBritain's telecoms regulator will go to the European Commission to try to force BT to legally separate Openreach, the division that supplies broadband to millions of homes and businesses, in a major reform aimed at spurring investment in the country's aging network. The regulator, which despite Britain's vote to leave the European Union still needs European Commission support to force through change at Openreach, wants BT Openreach to plow more money into upgrading its copper networks to fiber to catch up some European rivals and the likes of South Korea and Japan. Ofcom's decision to up the ante follows the failure to reach a voluntary deal after more than a year of talks.



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Liechtenstein bank's Chinese parent says no money losses in hacker attack

Valartis Bank, a Liechtenstein lender, was targeted by a hacker but account statement data was not obtained and no money losses have been identified so far, the Chinese parent of the bank said on Tuesday. Citychamp Watch & Jewellery Group Ltd, which bought a majority stake in the bank from Swiss-listed Valartis Group this year, said in a statement that an investigation by the bank and authorities had confirmed that the core system of bank had not been affected. "The attacker did not obtain details of the account statement or asset data," Chief Financial Officer Fong Chi Wah said in the statement.
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AT&T unveils DirecTV Now streaming service ahead of November 30 launch

An AT&T sign is seen outside a branch in Rolling MeadowsAT&T Inc, the largest U.S. TV provider, took the wraps off its new DirecTV Now streaming service on Monday, two days before it enters the online video service market to win subscribers who shun pay-television subscriptions. DirecTV Now will launch at prices ranging from $35 a month for over 60 channels to $70 for over 120 channels, AT&T said. AT&T announced the subscription video service in March, promising on-demand and live programing from many networks over the Internet, similar to Sling TV and PlayStation Vue.



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Young Syrian girl sends harrowing tweets of being bombed in Aleppo

A seven-year-old Syrian girl, whose depictions of daily life in Aleppo have gained a large Twitter following, has sent harrowing messages describing the bombardment of her house as government forces advance on rebel-held parts of the city. Rowling has re-tweeted Bana's latest messages.
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Italy's Yoox Net-A-Porter enters Middle East online luxury venture

Yoox Net-A-Porter Group placard is seen in BolognaBy Alexander Cornwell DUBAI (Reuters) - Italian online fashion retailer Yoox Net-A-Porter Group (YNAP) and Dubai-based billionaire Mohamed Alabbar said on Monday they will form a 130 million euro ($139 million) luxury retail business in the Middle East. The Arab world's youthful population and improving Internet access -- the UAE and Saudi Arabia, for example, have smartphone penetration rates above 70 percent -- mean the region is well placed to capture the growing popularity of e-commerce. YNAP said it will hold 60 percent of the joint venture while Symphony Investments, an entity controlled by Alabbar, will own the rest.



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Fearing tighter U.S. visa regime, Indian IT firms rush to hire, acquire

An employee speaks on a mobile phone as she eats her lunch at the cafeteria in the Infosys campus in BengaluruBy Sankalp Phartiyal and Euan Rocha BENGALURU (Reuters) - Anticipating a more protectionist U.S. technology visa program under a Donald Trump administration, India's $150 billion IT services sector will speed up acquisitions in the United States and recruit more heavily from college campuses there. Indian companies including Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys and Wipro have long used H1-B skilled worker visas to fly computer engineers to the U.S., their largest overseas market, temporarily to service clients.



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Blackmailers target customers of hacked Liechtenstein bank: paper

ZURICH/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Customers of a Chinese-owned Liechtenstein bank are being told by unknown blackmailers they must pay a portion of their savings or face having account details sent to finance authorities and the media, a German newspaper reported on Sunday. Those targeted have accounts at Valartis Bank Liechtenstein, located in the tiny Alpine principality sandwiched between Austria and Switzerland, Bild am Sonntag reported. ...
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Malaysian political cartoonist Zunar arrested under sedition law

Malaysian political cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, or Zunar as he is popularly known, was arrested on Saturday under the country's Sedition Act for cartoons that allegedly insulted Prime Minister Najib Razak. 54-year-old Zunar would be held for a day to facilitate investigations, state news agency Bernama reported. Other than the Sedition Act, the cartoonist will also be probed under penal code for humiliating a person with intention, Bernama reported.
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EU to propose simpler VAT rules to boost e-commerce

The European Union flag is seen flying in the British overseas territory of GibraltarThe European Commission will propose next week simplified rules on value-added sales tax (VAT) on goods and services traded from one country to another within the European Union to boost e-commerce. As part of its digital single market strategy, the Commission has made a series of proposals to make parcel delivery more affordable, protect consumers when they buy online and limit "geo-blocking", the practice of barring consumers in one country from buying from a provider in a different country. An EU official said on Friday that VAT was the "last piece in the puzzle" on e-commerce.



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Hackers attack EU executive but no data breach: spokesman

A magnifying glass is held in front of the word 'password' on a computer screen in this picture illustration taken in BerlinHackers attacked the European Commission's computers on Thursday, flooding the EU executive's servers with digital service requests, but while connection speeds were affected, there was no data breach, the Commission said. "Yesterday afternoon the Commission was targeted by an attempt to saturate our internet connection," Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told a news briefing on Friday. "The commission took effective counter-measures and there was no interruption of service, although connection speeds were affected for a while, there was no data breach," he said.



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