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Report: Google planning to offer Wi-Fi access and equipment to small businesses

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(Reuters) – Google Inc plans to offer Wi-Fi network hardware and software at a discount to small and medium-sized businesses, tech blog The Information reported on Wednesday, citing a confidential document it accessed and a person who was briefed on the project.

Google would provide commercial-grade Wi-Fi access equipment at a steep discount and Web-based software for businesses to manage the Wi-Fi network from anywhere, the blog report said, but it did not provide specific pricing details.

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Google may require Wi-Fi users to “sign in” to their Google account, allowing the company to gather more information about them and target advertising to them.

Google also plans to share some data with the business owners to help them learn about their customer habits, although it was not clear what the Internet giant might be willing to share, the blog said.

The offering, which is aimed at millions of businesses such as restaurants, doctors’ offices and gyms, could be unveiled as soon as this summer, it said.

(Reporting by Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore; Editing by Ken Wills)

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

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McConnell blocked by his own party from calling impeachment witnesses Trump wants for Senate trial: report

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According to a report from the New York Times, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is finding his hands tied by members of his own party who are skeptical over the appropriateness of calling some the witnesses Donald Trump  -- and a few of his House Republican enablers  -- want to appear.

As the Times notes, "While Democrats who control the House are focused on a swift impeachment vote by year’s end, the White House is almost entirely consumed by the trial that would follow in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Mr. Trump’s team believes he would have the chance to defend himself and where Democrats would almost certainly fall short of the two-thirds vote they would need to remove him from office."

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Ted Cruz hammered as ‘Putin’s stooge’ after humiliating himself on NBC to push Kremlin propaganda

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In a column for the Washington Post, conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin in publically shamed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for his conversion from Cold War Russia critic to unabashed "Putin stooge" after his performance on "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

Speaking with NBC host Chuck Todd on Sunday, Cruz attempted to push what has been described as Kremlin propaganda, asserting that "there is evidence of Ukraine interference in our election because an op-ed was written criticizing Trump’s campaign rhetoric about Ukraine." 

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Chinese diplomats unleashed to pummel the reeling Trump administration: report

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According to a report from Politico, Chinese diplomats have been unleashed, as well as urged, to attack Donald Trump's administration and the U.S. in general via social media like Twitter -- turning the president's favorite social media platform back on him.

"The tactic comes as China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has reportedly urged his diplomats to adopt a 'fighting spirit,' which has led to Chinese diplomat Lijian Zhao to describe "America as 'unjust, 'inhumane' and 'hypocritical.' He’s gone so far as to slam neighborhood segregation in Washington, D.C., and assert that 'racial discrimination, gun violence, violent law enforcement are chronic diseases deeply rooted in U.S. society," Politico reports.

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