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Apple to contribute to U.S. teen’s education for spotting FaceTime bug

FILE PHOTO: The new Apple iPhone Xs Max and iPhone X are seen on display at the Apple Store in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 21, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton(Reuters) - Apple Inc on Thursday rolled out software updates to iPhones to fix a privacy issue in its FaceTime video calling service, and said it would contribute toward the education of the Arizona teenager who discovered the problem. The software bug, which had let users hear audio from people who had not yet answered a video call, was discovered by a Tucson, Arizona high school student Grant Thompson, who with his mother Michele led Apple to turn off…

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Wall Street slides on renewed U.S.-China trade fears

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street stocks sank more than 1 percent on Thursday as worries that the United States and China would not be able to reach a trade deal intensified earlier concerns about slowing global economic growth. FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., January 28, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File PhotoPresident Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were unlikely to meet by an early March deadline set by the two countries for reaching a deal, two U.S. administration officials and a source familiar with the negotiations said. That news came after White House adviser…

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Acting U.S. attorney general balks at testifying under subpoena threat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrats on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Thursday prepared a subpoena to compel acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to testify on Friday, prompting Whitaker to say he will not appear unless the subpoena threat is lifted. The committee’s Democrats want to question Whitaker about his oversight of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and his communications with the White House related to the probe and the firing of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. But Whitaker, whom President Donald Trump chose to head the Justice Department after firing Sessions in November, said the possibility of a subpoena showed…

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Shares hit on weak Europe data, renewed U.S.-China worries

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks around the world pulled back sharply on Thursday on fears of a global growth slowdown spreading to Europe and renewed worries about any near-term resolution of U.S.-China trade tensions, while the U.S. dollar strengthened for a sixth session. FILE PHOTO - The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, January 30, 2019. REUTERS/StaffMSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 1.10 percent, on pace for its biggest one-day drop in more than a month as it receded from two-month highs reached earlier in the week. The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 1.49 percent, as…

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Virginia Democrats hunker down amid blackface, sex assault scandal

RICHMOND, Va. (Reuters) - Virginia’s highest-ranking Republican said on Thursday that he had never worn blackface, as the state’s Democratic governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general grappled with career-threatening race or sexual assault scandals. State House Speaker Kirk Cox, who is third in line to be governor, was asked by reporters whether anything in his past might disqualify him from taking over the governor’s office in the extraordinary circumstances of all three Democrats resigning. “I have never appeared in blackface,” Cox, 61, said. “As you know, I was a schoolteacher, and that’s abhorrent.” Both Governor Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring, who is second in line…

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U.S. sanctions strand Venezuelan oil cargoes on 21 tankers

(Reuters) - More than 20 tankers loaded with 9.6 million barrels of Venezuelan oil have anchored off the U.S. Gulf Coast in recent days. Some buyers had purchased the cargoes ahead of U.S. sanctions imposed last week, using the vessels as floating storage. Others weighed how to pay under new rules, according to traders, shippers and data from Refinitiv Eikon. While the sanctions have not affected flows to Asia, it is unclear what will happen with several other Venezuelan cargoes anchored off Europe and in the Caribbean, as well as others en route to countries including Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands. Some European customers of Venezuela’s state-run…

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EU-backed group calls for political solution to Venezuela crisis

MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) - European and Latin American leaders met on Thursday to seek a peaceful and political solution to Venezuela’s deepening crisis, while a U.S. admiral suggested socialist President Nicolas Maduro does not have the loyalty of many within his military. Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks to soldiers while he attends a military exercise in Maracaibo, Venezuela February 6, 2019. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS International pressure on Maduro to step down has intensified this week as a flood of EU members followed the U.S. move to recognise opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president of the economically shattered South American nation. Russia and China continue to back…

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Total says accounts blocked, evacuating staff from Venezuela

The logo of French oil giant Total is seen at La Defense business and financial district in Courbevoie, near Paris, France. May 16, 2018. REUTERS/Charles PlatiauPARIS (Reuters) - French oil group Total has evacuated its remaining staff from Venezuela and its bank accounts there have been blocked as a result of U.S. sanctions, the company’s chief executive said on Thursday. “The priority has been clearly the safety of all our people and everybody has been evacuated since last Monday,” Patrick Pouyanne, the CEO, told investors on the company’s earnings call, according to a Refinitiv Eikon transcript. According to Total’s website, the company had a staff of 50…

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Iran reveals missile, shows off underground factory

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran’s Revolutionary Guards inaugurated a surface-to-surface ballistic missile with a range of 1,000 km (621 miles), the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Thursday, ignoring demands Western demands that Tehran halt its missile program. Fars published pictures of an underground missile factory called “underground city”, saying the “Dezful” missile was a version of the Zolfaghar missile that has a 700 km range and a 450 kg (992 lb) warhead. Iran says it has missiles with the range of up to 2,000 km, which puts Israel and U.S. military bases in the region within reach. The EU has stepped up criticism of Iran’s ballistic missiles…

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Germany Restricts Facebook’s Data Gathering

Germany’s competition authority has ruled that Facebook cannot gather and combine personal data across platforms and websites unless users give permission, a decision that could have wide-ranging implications on the company’s ability to target advertising.“In future, Facebook will no longer be allowed to force its users to agree to the practically unrestricted collection and assigning of non-Facebook data to their Facebook user accounts,” Andreas Mundt, president of the Federal Cartel Office, said in a statement on Thursday.“The combination of data sources,” the cartel authority said, “substantially contributed to the fact that Facebook was able to build a unique database for each individual user and thus to gain…

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