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Chris Wray sworn in as FBI director




Washington, Aug 3, 2017: Christopher Wray was sworn in as FBI director, taking the helm of the agency after its previous director, James Comey, was abruptly fired by President Donald Trump in May, the media reported.

“It is the honour of a lifetime to serve as director,” Wray said in a statement after he was sworn in on Wednesday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“I long ago grew to know and admire the Federal Bureau of Investigation from my earliest days as a line prosecutor to my years as assistant attorney general.

“I am excited, humbled, and grateful, therefore, to have this chance to work side-by-side again with these fine professionals for the good of the country and the cause of justice,” Politico news quoted Wray as saying.

After the swearing in, Sessions said: “As a former federal prosecutor and head of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Criminal Division, Chris Wray has successfully prosecuted terrorists, drug kingpins, and white-collar criminals and earned the respect of his colleagues at DOJ as well as bipartisan support from the Senate.”

Wray, a veteran of George W. Bush’s Justice Department, was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday, in a 92-to-5 vote.

During his confirmation hearing, Wray repeatedly pledged to act independently of the White House.

He assured lawmakers that he had not taken an oath of loyalty to Trump, as Comey has alleged the President asked of him, and said he would adhere to the law and the Constitution.

It was only the second time in history that a US Senator voted against a nominee for FBI director. The five “no” votes were Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Ed Markey, Jeff Merkley, Elizabeth Warren and Ron Wyden, reports CNN.

Comey, who was confirmed in 2013, received the only other opposing vote in history — Senator Rand Paul voted no after raising questions about how the agency was using surveillance drones on American soil.


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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