Thursday, 22 March 2018

Russia, US for peaceful political settlement on Korean Peninsula

The interests of Moscow and Washington with regard to North Korea are similar, although there are differences in tactics, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday. “There may be some disagreements on the methodology and tactics,” TASS quoted him as saying. “The strategic goal is the same, it cannot be different – we are all interested in denuclearization and peaceful political settlement on the Korean Peninsula,” Peskov said. Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump held a telephone conversation on Tuesday, during which they discussed, among other issues, the situation on the Korean peninsula and noted the importance of reducing tension by peaceful means.

African Union for FTA 44 nations has signed

African Union for FTA 44 nations has signed on the agreement for  having free trade but Nigeria and South Africa, did not sign up.
African leaders approve the biggest free trade agreementsince the establishment of the World Trade Organisatio
President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised to consult with labour and business in South Africa, before signing the AfricanContinental Free Trade Area agreement 📷Presidency
African leaders agreed on Wednesday to form a $3 trillion continental free-trade zone encompassing 1.2 billion people.
However, its two biggest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, did not sign up, Reuters reports.
The African Union started talks in 2015 to establish a 55-nation bloc that would be the biggest in the world by member states. The aim is to increase intra-regional trade, which sits at a measly 15 percent of Africa’s total commerce. Rwandan President Paul Kagame, host of an AU summit in Kigali, declared the meeting a success after 44 African nations signed up to establish the free trade bloc within 18 months.

Macron to address US Congress

French President Emmanuel Macron will address the US Congress during a visit to Washington next month, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives said Wednesday. “France is not only our oldest ally, but one of our strongest,” AFP quoted Paul Ryan as saying. “I look forward to welcoming President Macron to the US Capitol to address a joint meeting of Congress on April 25.” Ryan described the invitation as a special opportunity “to build on the historic relationship between our countries, and to reaffirm our commitment to defeating terror both domestically and around the world.”President Donald Trump will host Macron at the White House on April 24, as the French leader kicks off his two-day state visit.

EU: Big tech-cos pay more taxes

European Union on Wednesday unveiled plans to make big tech companies pay more taxes. The move could, if endorsed, hit online US firms like Google and Facebook, AP reported. The European Commission says that digital companies must pay their fair share, adding that EU member countries should be able to tax firms that make profits on their territory even if they aren’t physically present. It would concern any country where a firm’s annual revenue exceeds $8.6 million, or which has more than 100,000 users or more than 3,000 digital service business contracts in a tax year. The commission estimates that up to 150 companies could be affected, around half of them from the US.

Peru’s president offers to resign

Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has submitted his resignation to Congress. The move comes as his center-right administration faces an impeachment vote on Thursday. Kuczynski denies allegations of corruption, and promised an orderly, constitutional transition of power. Congress may accept his resignation or proceed with its plan for a vote to force him from office.

Mark Zuckerberg :Facebook’s security force would be doubled.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg cited, acknowledged a breach of trust over the Cambridge Analytica scandal but failed to apologize. Lessons have been learned, he said, pledging to do better in future. Further he admitted Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan’s 2013 personality quiz, which mined data on some 300,000 Facebook users and their contacts, saying Facebook changed its data use rules in 2014, in response to this.
In 2015 Facebook banned Kogan’s app after learning from Britain’s Guardian newspaper that he had sold data on to Cambridge Analytica (CA), the London-based political strategy firm which worked for a string of US politicians’ election campaigns, including that of President Donald Trump.
The firm certified that it had deleted that data, in response to demands from Facebook, but last week the Guardian and Britain’s Channel 4 News alleged that that had not been done. Channel 4 covertly filmed CA CEO Alexander Nix boasting of fixing elections around the world, using prostitutes and blackmail to control politicians. He has since been suspended by the firm.
Zuckerberg claimed Facebook had already had most of the security measures needed to prevent a repeat of the data breach in place for years. Zuckerberg eventually uttered the s-word in an interview with CNN on Wednesday evening. “This was a major breach of trust, and I’m really sorry that this happened,” he said.
CEO also said Facebook would testify before Congress on the scandal, but did not commit to appearing in person. “What we try to do is send the person at Facebook who will have the most knowledge,” he said. “If that’s me, then I am happy to go.”
Zuckerberg said he was willing to consider outside regulation of Facebook, within limits. “I’m not sure we shouldn’t be regulated,” he said. “There are things like ad transparency regulation that I would love to see.”
He told the New York Times Facebook’s security force would be doubled. “We’ll have more than 20,000 people working on security and community operations by the end of the year, I think we have about 15,000 now.”
Media agencies

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