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Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom says extradition fight has cost him $10 million

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Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, one of the world’s most wanted cyber fugitives, says his nearly three-year fight against extradition to the United States to face online piracy charges has left him broke.

Dotcom, the New Zealand resident who once flaunted a fleet of vintage cars, a fully staffed rented mansion and globe-trotting holidays, said that his wealth had evaporated due to mounting legal fees which had resulted in the departure of most of his legal team.

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The German national is due in a New Zealand court on Thursday, when he may be remanded in prison for allegedly breaching his bail conditions ahead of his extradition hearing, which has been pushed back to mid-2015.

Dotcom, who also goes by the name of Kim Schmitz, stands accused of massive copyright infringement related to the Megaupload file sharing site he founded in 2005.

“My legal team has recently resigned because I ran out of money after spending $10 million to try and defend myself,” Dotcom said on Tuesday, speaking via teleconference at a digital technology conference in London. “I’m officially broke right now.”

Set up in 2005, Megaupload accounted for around 4 percent of total traffic on the Internet in its heyday as users stored and shared files containing everything from wedding videos to Hollywood films.

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(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)


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‘I’ve heard enough’: Representative refuses to ask Lewandowski questions because it’s giving him ‘a platform’

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In a brief moment of the Corey Lewandowski hearing Tuesday, Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) refused to allow the top Trump advisor any more time to promote himself or his political campaign.

She probed whether President Donald Trump had ever promised to pardon Lewandowski, which he refused to answer.

"The president did indicate that he’s going to support your Senate campaign. Didn’t he?" Scanlon asked. But Lewandowski said he wasn't sure.

"Okay. Well, I just want to know for the record when Mr. Lewandowski asked for the committee to give him a little break an hour and a half, two hours ago, he took the time during that recess to launch his Senate campaign website with a tweet," she continued. "And I think that fact says an awful lot about the witness’ motivation to appear here today and I’ve heard enough. I yield back."

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Putin aims a weaponized barb at Trump over Saudi attack – and hits the mark

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Russian President Vladimir Putin joked this week about selling defense systems to Riyadh following weekend attacks on Saudi oil facilities. The gag was aimed at US President Donald Trump and it hit the mark with the precision of a guided weapon.

It was a masterful piece of trolling by the czar of trolls – a snide, disparaging jibe with an element of truth twisted into absurdity for maximum effect and laughs. At a joint press conference with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts in Ankara on Monday, Putin cast his bait into the volatile Persian Gulf region just days after devastating attacks on Saudi oil facilities exposed the limits of the Gulf kingdom’s expensive defense systems.

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Black carbon from air pollution found in placentas: study

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Black carbon particles typically emitted by vehicle exhaust and coal-fired power plants have been detected on the foetus-facing side of placentas, researchers said Tuesday.

The concentration of particles was highest in the placentas of women most exposed to airborn pollutants in their daily life, according to a study in Nature Communications.

"Our study provides compelling evidence for the presence of black carbon particles originating from air pollution in human placenta," the authors said.

The findings, they added, offer a "plausible explanation for the detrimental health effects of pollution from early life onwards."

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