Mars Opportunity Rover Ends Nearly 15 Years of Discovery

The Mars Opportunity Rover landed on the Red Planet’s surface in 2004 for a 90-day mission of exploration. More than 14 years later, NASA has finally closed the book on this tiny rover that wandered across Mars sending back troves of information. VOA’s Kevin Enochs reports.

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Report: Facebook, FTC Discuss Multibillion Dollar Fine

A report says Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission are negotiating a “multibillion dollar” fine for the social network’s privacy lapses.

The Washington Post said Thursday that the fine would be the largest ever imposed on a tech company. Citing unnamed sources, it also said the two sides have not yet agreed on an exact amount. 

Facebook has had several high-profile privacy lapses in the past couple of years. The FTC has been looking into the Cambridge Analytica scandal since last March. The data mining firm accessed the data of some 87 million Facebook users without their consent. 

At issue is whether Facebook is in violation of a 2011 agreement with the FTC promising to protect user privacy. Facebook and the FTC declined to comment.

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Report: Facebook, FTC Discuss Multibillion Dollar Fine

A report says Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission are negotiating a “multibillion dollar” fine for the social network’s privacy lapses.

The Washington Post said Thursday that the fine would be the largest ever imposed on a tech company. Citing unnamed sources, it also said the two sides have not yet agreed on an exact amount. 

Facebook has had several high-profile privacy lapses in the past couple of years. The FTC has been looking into the Cambridge Analytica scandal since last March. The data mining firm accessed the data of some 87 million Facebook users without their consent. 

At issue is whether Facebook is in violation of a 2011 agreement with the FTC promising to protect user privacy. Facebook and the FTC declined to comment.

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Report: Facebook, FTC Discuss Multibillion Dollar’ Fine

A report says Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission are negotiating a “multibillion dollar” fine for the social network’s privacy lapses.

The Washington Post said Thursday that the fine would be the largest ever imposed on a tech company. Citing unnamed sources, it also said the two sides have not yet agreed on an exact amount. 

Facebook has had several high-profile privacy lapses in the past couple of years. The FTC has been looking into the Cambridge Analytica scandal since last March. The data mining firm accessed the data of some 87 million Facebook users without their consent. 

At issue is whether Facebook is in violation of a 2011 agreement with the FTC promising to protect user privacy. Facebook and the FTC declined to comment.

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‘Fintech’ Could Help Mexicans Abroad Send Money Home

Mexico’s new government is trying to slash the cost of sending cash home for Mexican families living abroad and is hoping competition from “fintechs” (financial technology) will encourage banks and services like Western Union to reduce commissions and improve exchange rates.

Deputy Finance Minister Arturo Herrera said the government did not plan to place new regulations on the flow of remittances, one of the country’s largest sources of foreign currency and a lifeline for millions of poor families.

Sending remittances

However, the former World Bank executive envisaged that the increasing use of money transfer apps would help bring down the cost of sending remittances. Currently, the commission charged and the foreign exchange rates imposed together take a bite out of each remittance of 8 percent on average. Herrera said that should be brought down to 5 percent.

“That is to say, the cost of transactions must come down by about 40 percent. That is something the fintechs are probably in a better position to do than traditional actors such as banks,” Herrera told Reuters in an interview earlier this week. 

“Their great advantage is that they can operate in a more efficient and direct way and at lower costs, which should lead to lower commissions,” Herrera said.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office on Dec. 1, has made fighting poverty and inequality a centerpiece of his administration. Herrera said bringing down the cost for financial services like remittances would help many of the nation’s neediest.

Banking costs are a sensitive issue in Mexico. When Lopez Obrador’s ruling MORENA party introduced a bill last year to limit banking fees it triggered a selloff in the stock market. Lopez Obrador distanced himself from the bill.

Calm investors

Other changes were better received, with credit ratings agency Fitch saying a bill introduced by Lopez Obrador to loosen restrictions on pension fund managers could lead to better returns and payouts for beneficiaries.

Lopez Obrador has also tried to calm investors’ nerves by saying there would be no modifications to the legal framework relating to economic, financial and fiscal matters in the first three years of his tenure.

The government says 24 million Mexicans live in the United States, by far the largest source of money sent home. Mexicans sent a record $33.5 billion in remittances in 2018, a 10.5 percent jump from a year earlier, Mexican central bank data show.

Mexico is already home to 75 startups that specialize in payments and remittances, data from fintech platform Finnovista show, while remittance apps like Remitly and Xoom have been gaining popularity.

Herrera said banks and Western Union would have to make their services cheaper to compete with money transfer apps. He did not say how quickly that would happen.

“I wish we could make it happen immediately,” he said.

No comment from Western Union

Western Union and its closest rival Moneygram did not respond to requests for comment. The Mexican Banking Association declined to comment on the topic.

Turning to fintechs for change is part of a broader strategy aimed at decreasing the use of the cash in Mexico, Herrera said. He said the Finance Ministry planned to reveal additional measures at the annual Banking Convention in March.

Ninety percent of transactions in Mexico are made in cash, in a system that he said is inefficient and expensive and creates ample opportunities for corruption and money laundering.

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На форумі у Варшаві Клімкін закликав протидіяти кіберзагрозам Росії

До тісної співпраці для протидії викликам і гібридним загрозам, які створює Росія для демократичного світу, закликав 14 лютого міністр закордонних справ України Павло Клімкін. Як повідомляє сайт МЗС України, про це Клімкін заявив, виступаючи на міністерській конференції з питань безпеки на Близькому Сході, що відбулася 13–14 лютого у Варшаві.

На цьому ж форумі в ексклюзивному коментарі Радіо Свобода держсекретар США Майк Помпео заявив, що міжнародна коаліція, яка протистоїть створюваним Іраном небезпекам, є міцною. Відповідаючи на запитання на полях форуму у Варшаві, він наголосив, що коаліцію, яка чинить тиск на Іран, було створено для встановлення миру та стабільності на Близькому Сході.

Польща і США виступили співорганізаторами конференції, в якій взяли участь президент Польщі Анджей Дуда, віце-президент США Майкл Пенс, прем’єр-міністр Ізраїлю Біньямін Нетаньягу, керівники зовнішньополітичних відомств близько 30 держав світу, в тому числі і український міністр Павло Клімкін.

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CБУ обіцяє перевірити заяву Мангера про причетність генерала Доценка до вбивства Гандзюк

Служба безпеки України обіцяє перевірити заяву голови Херсонської обласної ради Владислава Мангера про причетність генерала спецслужби Данила Доценка до вбивства активістки Катерини Гандзюк. Водночас в СБУ заявляють, що підозрюваний в організації вбивства Мангер намагається цією заявою дискредитувати спецслужбу.

Як ідеться в повідомленні СБУ у Facebook, під час досудового розслідування не було отримано жодних даних про причетність до злочину щодо Гандзюк будь-якого співробітника СБУ. Сам Мангер із заявою про вчинення злочину щодо Гандзюк Доценком не звертався, відзначають у спецслужбі.

«Твердження Мангера, які він нічим не обґрунтував, є його наміром дискредитувати Службу безпеки України, слідчі якої здійснюють досудове розслідування у кримінальному провадженні за фактом умисного вбивства Гандзюк», – вказано в повідомленні СБУ.

Голова Херсонської облради Владислав Мангер заявив на суді в Києві 13 лютого, що вбивство активістки Катерини Гандзюк замовив генерал СБУ Данило Доценко.

«Доценко не раз заявляв мені особисто, що ненавидить «Батьківщину» і нашого лідера Юлію Тимошенко. І зробить все для знищення партії в регіоні… На мою думку, Доценко ініціював напад на Гандзюк для дискредитації «Батьківщини», – зазначив Мангер і додав, що після цієї заяви боїться за своє життя.

Суд обирає Мангеру запобіжний захід. Прокурори вимагають арештувати його до 3 березня без можливості вийти під заставу.

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