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Authorities probe whether Samsung hired students to give HTC bad online reviews

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Taiwanese authorities said Monday they had launched an investigation into allegations that South Korean tech giant Samsung hired students to post malicious comments about local rival HTC online.

“The case was set up last week after we received complaints,” Fair Trade Commission spokesman Sun Lih-chyun told AFP.

He said the probe would look into allegations that Samsung engaged in false advertising and that if the allegations were upheld, Samsung and its local advertising agent could face a fine of up to Tw$25 million ($835,000).

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Complaints emerged this month, with Internet users alleging that Samsung, through its local agent, had hired students to write online articles attacking HTC and recommending Samsung cellphones, the United Evening News said.

When asked about the allegations, an official at Samsung Taiwan said the company had not been informed of the investigation by the Fair Trade Commission.

But in a statement on its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/SamsungTaiwan, Samsung Taiwan said it regretted “any inconvenience and confusion from the Internet event”.

“Samsung Taiwan has halted all Internet marketing such as posting articles on websites,” it said.

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Samsung was fined Tw$300,000 by the commission earlier this year for a misleading advertisement about the camera functions on Samsung’s Galaxy Y Duos GT-S6102, according to Taiwan’s state Central News Agency.

According to research firm IDC, Samsung held a 30.3 percent share of the global smartphone market in 2012, while Apple had 19.1 percent and HTC 4.6 percent.

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The Trump murder video is no joke: It’s an encouragement to ramp up the violence

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Donald Trump is not a “friendly fascist.” Unlike Ronald Reagan, the prototype for that concept, Trump does not pretend to be harmless. He does not offer up fake smiles and a cheerful nature, or display empathy and human concern for others, feigned or otherwise.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Donald Trump is direct, obvious and public in his threats against democracy, the Constitution and the rule of law. Trump and his movement are working to destroy America’s multiracial democracy through appeals to a mythic past that will “Make America Great Again.” In practice this means undoing all the social progress and democratic reforms of the last century or more and returning to a society where white people — rich white male Christians, in particular — are fully in control over all aspects of American society for all time.

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Fox & Friends hosts deflated after legal analyst shoots down latest GOP impeachment talking point

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The hosts of "Fox & Friends" on Thursday appeared disappointed when legal analyst Andrew Napolitano gave them unfortunate news about the White House's latest objections to House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

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Nancy Pelosi goes there: Trump’s White House ‘meltdown’ is a sign he’s cracking under pressure

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We’ve reached the season where faithful viewers are forced to quit the series. If this were a Tom Clancy novel, it wouldn’t be believable. Day 1,000 of the Trump presidency has jumped the shark.This article first appeared in Salon.

“I think now we have to pray,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters upon returning to Capitol Hill from the White House late Wednesday. Along with other Democratic leaders from Congress, Pelosi had earlier walked out of a White House meeting after what she described as "a very serious meltdown on the part of the president.”

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