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Facebook’s Daylong Malfunction Is a Reminder of the Internet’s Fragility

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook said on Thursday that it had repaired a technical error that led to long lapses in service at its various properties, including Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.The interruption lasted nearly 24 hours on some of the services and was the longest in Facebook’s recent history. It was an eye-opening reminder that even the most powerful internet companies, employing the best computer scientists and cutting-edge technology, can still be crippled by human error.“All of the big web companies have multiple lines of defense, but sometimes a coding mistake made by one engineer can make its way onto many thousands of computers and cause major errors,”…

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Boeing 737 MAX jets could be grounded for weeks as black box probe to start on Ethiopia crash

WASHINGTON/PARIS (Reuters) - Boeing Co’s 737 MAX 8 and 9 planes will be grounded for weeks if not longer until a software upgrade can be tested and installed, U.S. lawmakers said on Thursday, as officials in France prepare to begin analyzing the black boxes from a jet that crashed in Ethiopia. Boeing said on Thursday it was pausing deliveries of its flagship 737 MAX aircraft following the grounding. Investigators in France will be seeking clues into Sunday’s deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash after take-off from Addis Ababa killed 157 people from 35 nations in the second such calamity involving Boeing’s plane since October. Possible links between the accidents…

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Trump vows ‘VETO!’ after bipartisan U.S. Senate rebuke on wall

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Thursday rebuked President Donald Trump by voting to end his border emergency declaration, as 12 Republicans joined Democrats to deliver a second blow in as many days to the president, who quickly pledged a veto. The 59-41 vote was a bipartisan repudiation of Trump’s decision to circumvent Congress and take money already designated for other programs and redirect it to pay for his U.S.-Mexico border wall, which he promised to build during his 2016 campaign. In the first two years of his term, the Republican-led Congress mostly accommodated Trump, which spared him from having to use his veto pen. With…

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Hundreds surrender in last Islamic State enclave as SDF advance

BAGHOUZ, Syria (Reuters) - Islamic State militants along with women and children surrendered in the hundreds to U.S.-backed forces in eastern Syria on Thursday as the jihadists lost ground in their last shred of territory. A child cries in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria, March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Issam AbdallahMany of the men were limping as they crossed out of the Baghouz enclave along a dirt path over a rocky hill, with weeping children and fully veiled women, dragging suitcases and backpacks behind them. Some men trudged along on crutches with bandages wrapped around their legs. Women hoisted children onto their shoulders to get…

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Democrat Beto O’Rourke barnstorms Iowa after jumping into presidential race

BURLINGTON, Iowa (Reuters) - Beto O’Rourke made his debut as a Democratic presidential candidate on Thursday, betting his optimistic economic message, liberal immigration policies and fame gained in a failed bid for the U.S. Senate last year will net him the party’s 2020 nomination. The former U.S congressman from El Paso, Texas, who announced his White House run by video on social media, immediately kicked off a three-day campaign swing through Iowa, which hosts the nation’s first nominating contest in less than a year and is critical to his chances. “The challenges have never been greater, or more severe, or more critical or more defining for our…

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U.S. considers sanctions to restrict Visa, Mastercard in Venezuela: official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is considering imposing financial sanctions that could prohibit Visa Inc , Mastercard Inc and other financial institutions from processing transactions in Venezuela, a senior Trump administration official said on Thursday. FILE PHOTO: Security staff stand next to a Visa logo at Murtala Muhammed International Airport before the arrival of the Nigerian Women’s Bobsled Team, in Lagos, Nigeria, as part of preparations ahead of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Afolabi SotundeThe move, which has not been finalized, would represent another step in tightening the financial noose on the government of President Nicolas Maduro and his supporters. The sanctions…

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Four dead, hundreds detained after Venezuela blackout: rights groups

CARACAS (Reuters) - Four people were killed and at least 300 were detained in association with protests and looting that took place during Venezuela’s nationwide blackout, rights groups said on Thursday. People wave the national flag from their windows during a protest against President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, Venezuela, March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins The OPEC nation suffered its worst blackout in history last week following technical problems that the government of President Nicolas Maduro called an act of U.S.-backed sabotage but critics dismissed as the result of incompetence. Rights groups Provea and the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict said via Twitter that three people…

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British lawmakers overwhelmingly back Brexit delay

LONDON (Reuters) - British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to seek a delay in Britain’s exit from the European Union, setting the stage for Prime Minister Theresa May to renew efforts to get her divorce deal approved by parliament next week. Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Peter NichollsLawmakers approved by 412 votes to 202 a motion setting out the option to ask the EU for a short delay if parliament can agree on a Brexit deal by March 20 — or a longer delay if no deal can be agreed in time. The vote makes it…

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S&P 500 eases amid U.S.-China trade uncertainty

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 slipped on Thursday, snapping a three-day streak of gains, as uncertainty over when a trade deal between the United States and China would be reached left investors on edge. U.S. President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that discussions with China to end a months-long trade war are progressing quickly, though Trump said he could not say whether a final deal would be reached. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping had been expected to hold a summit in Florida this month, but no date has been set. A person familiar with the matter told Reuters there…

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EU must increase pressure on Britain over Brexit: EU’s Verhofstadt

BERLIN (Reuters) - The European Union must increase pressure on Britain to move forward on its exit from the bloc, the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator told German television on Thursday, after British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to seek a delay. Liberal party leader Guy Verfhofstadt expressed frustration about what he called repeated negative votes by British lawmakers, and said the EU could only agree to a short delay if parliament made clear what exactly it would support. “We have to increase the pressure,” he said. “How many votes have there been, and every time it’s a negative majority, a majority against something. The time has come where we…

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