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Brazil’s Temer denies corruption charges



Michel Temer
File Photo

Brasilia, May 18: Brazilian President Michel Temer has denied participation in any bribery scheme related to the meat industry, a media report said.

Earlier on Wednesday, O Globo daily published a story detailing how Temer was reportedly caught on tape talking to Joesley Batista, director of meatpacking giant JBS instructing him on a deal, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the report, in the conversation, Batista tells Temer he was paying a hefty monthly bribe to jailed former head of the House of Representatives Eduardo Cunha in exchange for Cunha’s silence.

Temer then instructs Batista to “keep paying.”

Batista delivered the evidence to the prosecution office and confirmed his testimony to a member of the Supreme Court.

In an official statement, Temer admitted to meeting Batista, but said he never tried to buy Cunha’s silence.

“President Michel Temer has never requested payments to obtain the silence of former Representative Eduardo Cunha. He did not take part or authorise any actions aimed at preventing the former Representative from turning state evidence or collaborating with the court,” said the statement.

Before releasing the statement, Temer met with some members of his cabinet.

The news that Temer might have been compromised in tape was the latest episode of the Brazilian political drama.

The Federal Police have been investigating a major corruption scheme in the government and in contracts with private companies for the past three years.

In 2016, President Dilma Rousseff was impeached, due to the combined efforts of Temer and Cunha.



Israel opens probe into Facebook after data scandal



Cambridge Analytica data scandal

JERUSALEM: Israeli authorities said Thursday (Mar 22) they had launched an investigation into Facebook’s activities following a scandal over the hijacking of personal data from millions of the social network’s users.

Israel’s privacy protection agency “informed Facebook” of the probe after revelations over data transfers from the tech giant to consultant Cambridge Analytica, the agency said.

It said it was also looking into “the possibility of other infringements of the privacy law regarding Israelis”, it said in a statement released by the justice ministry.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper has reported that Israeli hackers offered material to Cambridge Analytica.

But an Israeli justice ministry spokeswoman said the probe did not involve hackers, focusing rather on whether Israeli users’ rights were violated.

Under Israel’s privacy law, personal data may only be used with consent and for the purpose for which it was handed over, the privacy protection agency said.


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Middle East

Loud explosion heard outside busy hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu

Explosion hits busy road outside popular hotel in central Mogadishu.



Somalia Car Bombing

MOGADISHU: 16 people killed and 20 injured in a bomb attack at the entrance of  Wehliye hotel in Mogadishu. Most of the casualties are auto rickshaw drivers and passengers, according to witnesses.

The death toll is expected to rise.

The attacked was claimed by al-Shabab, Reuters news agency reported, citing the armed group’s military operation spokesman.

Al-Shabab, which is fighting to overthrow Somalia’s internationally recognised government, is frequently carrying out attacks in and around the capital.

More to follow.

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Twitter’s chief information security officer quits




San Francisco, March 22: As tech companies reel under mounting pressure to prevent their platforms from data breach and fake news, Twitter’s Chief Information Security Officer Michael Coates has decided to quit.

In a tweet on Thursday, Coates who joined Twitter in 2015 announced his departure from the micro-blogging website.

“Twitter has been an amazing ride, but as I mentioned internally a few weeks back, my time is coming to an end. I’m confident to leave the program with an amazing security team,” Coates tweeted.

According to The Verge, Coates’ interim replacement is Joseph Camilleri, a senior manager for information security and risk.

Coates’ departure comes soon after reports surfaced that Facebook’s Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos is planning to leave the company by August.

Facebook is facing the heat after Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting company, was accused of harvesting data of up to 50 million Facebook users without permission and using the data to help politicians, including US President Donald Trump and the Brexit campaign.

Meanwhile, Michael Zalewski, Director of Information Security Engineering at Google, has also announced his departure from that company after 11 years.


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