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Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg agrees to closed-door talks with MEPs

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Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to meet European Parliament members behind closed-doors to answer questions in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a top official said on Wednesday.

Senior lawmakers have “agreed that Mark Zuckerberg should come to clarify issues related to the use of personal data in a meeting with representatives of the European Parliament,” the parliament’s leader Antonio Tajani said in a statement.

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The meeting would take place “as soon as possible, hopefully already next week,” Tajani said.

The closed-door meeting with the parliament’s most senior deputies will anger European lawmakers who were hoping to give Zuckerberg a grilling similar to his 10-hour interrogation in US Congress last month.

“I will not attend the meeting with Mr Zuckerberg if it’s held behind closed doors. It must be a public hearing – why not a Facebook Live?” influential Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt wrote on Twitter.

Zuckerberg is also confirmed to visit French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on May 23, along with other tech leaders, according to the French presidency.

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Tajani had invited Zuckerberg, saying the 2.7 million EU citizens affected by the data sharing scandal deserved a full explanation.

In a statement Facebook said it welcomed the chance to meet MEPs and “appreciate the opportunity for dialogue, to listen to their views and show the steps we are taking to better protect people’s privacy”.

The visit comes as the EU is introducing tough new data protection rules later this month, which Facebook has said it will comply with.

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Facebook admitted earlier this month that up to 87 million users may have had their data hijacked by British consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked for US President Donald Trump during his 2016 campaign.

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into effect on May 25, aims to give users more control over how their personal information is stored and used online, with big fines for firms that break the rules.

Zuckerberg, who has repeatedly apologised for the massive data breach, told the US Congress in April that the more stringent EU rules could serve as a rough model globally.

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“Facebook users deserve a proper answer to what has happened to their data. We will continue to defend their rights,” said MEP Manfred Weber of Germany, one of the parliament group leaders that will meet Zuckerberg.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Russia and China blast US missile test

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Russia and China warned Tuesday that a new US missile test had heightened military tensions and risked sparking an arms race, weeks after Washington ripped up a Cold War-era weapons pact with Moscow.

The US and Russia ditched the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty this month after accusing each other of violating the accord.

Washington said the agreement also tied its hands in dealing with other powers such as China.

The US Department of Defense announced on Monday it had tested a type of ground-launched missile that was banned under the 1987 INF agreement, which limited the use of nuclear and conventional medium-range weapons.

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Leaked audio shows oil lobbyist bragging about success in criminalizing pipeline protests

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"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Derrick Morgan of American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers

As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.

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Trump’s latest attempt to smear Scaramucci dunked in mockery

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At least one White House or campaign staffer apparently helped President Donald Trump attack his short-lived communications director Anthony Scaramucci -- and he was met with mockery.

The president tweeted out a supercut video late Monday of Scaramucci defending Trump before his recent public disavowal, and attacked his former staffer as a "dope" who's seeking fame.

Nobody ever heard of this dope until he met me. He only lasted 11 days! pic.twitter.com/RzX3zjXzga

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019

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