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Independent Group: Minor tremor or political earthquake?

Image copyright PA Are the tectonic plates of British politics moving with the formation of a new “centrist” group in Parliament – or are we experiencing a minor tremor? It’s too soon to say – but that won’t stop some MPs and commentators declaiming as though they were expert political seismologists. So let’s stand back and examine the landscape. A split is quite an easy thing to understand. Three Tory MPs join breakaway group Eighth MP quits Labour for Independent Group But currently there are fissures that run all the…

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Technology 

Microsoft expands political security service to 12 European countries

FILE PHOTO: General view of Microsoft’s logo at Microsoft Corporation headquarters at Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris, France, April 18, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp on Wednesday said it will offer its cyber security service AccountGuard to 12 new markets in Europe including Germany, France and Spain, to close security gaps and protect customers in political space from hacking. Microsoft had recently detected attacks, which occurred between September and December 2018, targeting employees of the German Council on Foreign Relations and European offices of The Aspen Institute and The…

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Technology 

Twitter launches political ad tracking tools in Europe ahead of key EU polls

FILE PHOTO: The Twitter logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 28, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Twitter on Tuesday rolled out tools in Europe which will make it easier for voters to identify political campaign ads tied to crucial European Parliament elections in May amidst fears of Russian disinformation campaigns and threats of regulatory action. Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook have come under pressure to do more to combat fake…

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Technology 

Australian political parties hit by ‘state actor’ hack, PM says

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Australia’s parliament was the subject of an attempted hack two weeks ago Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the country’s major political parties have been hit by a hack on their computer networks. The activity was carried out by a “sophisticated state actor”, Mr Morrison said. It was discovered following an investigation into a hacking attempt on Australia’s parliament two weeks ago. There was “no evidence of any electoral interference”, he said. The nation is due to hold an election within months. “During the…

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Brexit: Theresa May to meet Northern Ireland’s political parties

Image copyright Getty Images Theresa May will hold Brexit talks with Northern Ireland’s five main political parties at Stormont later. The PM is on a two-day visit to try to reassure people she can secure a Brexit deal that avoids the return of customs checkpoints on the Irish border. On Tuesday, she told business leaders she wanted changes to the controversial backstop plan to prevent this but indicated she did not seek to scrap it. Meanwhile, Irish PM Leo Varadkar will meet EU leaders in Brussels. The talks come before…

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Roger Stone: Trump ally, political strategist and Nixon fan

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Roger Stone started his career working for Richard Nixon, and keeps much of the memorabilia Roger Stone, a political strategist and long-time ally of President Donald Trump, has been arrested in Florida. The 66-year-old faces seven charges in connection with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. A political veteran, Mr Stone has worked with Republicans since the 1970s and bears a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back. But who is the self-described “dirty trickster”? His…

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Sports 

Wickremesinghe returns as Sri Lanka’s prime minister as political crisis nears end

COLOMBO (Reuters) – Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as Sri Lanka’s prime minister on Sunday, making a remarkable comeback weeks after being ousted by President Maithripala Sirisena under controversial circumstances. Ranil Wickremesinghe, ousted prime minister in October, takes his oath for the same post before Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena during his swearing-in ceremony in Colombo, Sri Lanka December 16, 2018. President Media Division/Handout via REUTERS Wickremesinghe’s reinstatement, which is expected to end a political crisis that began in late October when he was surprisingly sacked, is an embarrassment for…

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News Daily: France shooting and May’s political future

If you want to get this briefing by email, sign-up here Image copyright Getty Images Three killed in France shooting A gunman has killed three people in an attack near a Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg. The suspect, a 29-year-old man known to security services, is at large and believed to be injured. Twelve people were injured in the shooting, with six said to be in a serious condition. Grenades were found in a search of the flat in Strasbourg where the suspect lives. The European Parliament,…

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Technology 

Google chief denies political bias claims

Image caption Google collects “mountains” of data about users, said US politicians Google chief Sundar Pichai has faced accusations of political bias from US politicians. Mr Pichai was being quizzed by members of the House Judiciary Committee about the way his tech firm runs it business. Google was accused of having “programmed” bias against conservative views into its algorithms. Mr Pichai denied the accusation saying he had “issues” with studies that claimed to show the firm’s search results excluded right-wing views. Privacy protection Republican committee member Lamar Smith said conservative…

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Technology 

Canadian PM: no political interference in Huawei arrest decision

FILE PHOTO – Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during the Assembly of First Nations Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, December 4, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday said his government had no involvement in the arrest of a top executive from Chinese technology giant Huawei, who was detained at Vancouver airport. Trudeau said Ottawa had been given a few days’ advance notice about the plan to arrest Meng Wanzhou, who faces extradition to the United States. He declined to give…

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