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Former Coca-Cola engineer charged with stealing secrets for a Chinese firm

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A former senior engineer at Coca-Cola was indicted Thursday in Tennessee for stealing trade secrets worth an estimated $120 million to give to a Chinese company, the Justice Department announced.

US national You Xiaorong allegedly stole technology for valuable BPA-free packaging jointly owned by several companies, including a former “Atlanta-based” employer that was unnamed in the indictment.

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A spokeswoman for Coca-Cola, whose headquarters is in Atlanta, declined to comment on the case but confirmed that You previously worked for the company.

“Because this is a pending legal matter, it would not be appropriate for us to comment further,” she said.

According to the indictment, You conspired with Chinese national Liu Xiangchen and an unnamed relative of Liu to steal formulations for food packing coatings that are free of the widely-used bisphenol-A chemical, which scientists have discovered in recent years is harmful to human health.

Alternatives to BPA are scarce and highly valuable in the food packing industry.

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Liu wanted the technology for his company, which was planning to develop production lines for BPA-free packing, according to the indictment.

In exchange, he offered You a job and also promised to help her win one of China’s highest awards for research and innovation, the “Thousand Talents” award.

The prestigious prize honors Chinese who return from study and work abroad bringing back with them technology that will advance China’s economy.

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US intelligence officials say the program also aims to encourage Chinese abroad to steal technology to bring to China.

You “is accused of an egregious, premeditated theft and transfer of trade secrets worth more than $100 million for the purpose of setting up a Chinese company that would compete with the American companies from which the trade secrets were stolen,” said J. Douglas Overbey, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

“Unfortunately, China continues to use its national programs, like the ‘Thousand Talents,’ to solicit and reward the theft of our nation’s trade secrets and intellectual property.”

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Bill de Blasio learned of federal investigation — and suspended his 2020 bid the next day: report

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday that he was ending his campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

There may have been more to the timing than previously reported.

"Federal election officials asked Mayor de Blasio for more information about his presidential campaign fundraising after he used a state political action committee to pay for expenses related to the bid – seemingly against the law," the New York Daily News reported Friday. "The Federal Election Commission demanded that de Blasio 2020 clarify a debt the campaign owed his NY Fairness PAC in a letter Thursday – the day before Hizzoner dropped out of the race."

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White House Counsel busted working to keep whistleblower report from Congress: report

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President Donald Trump's White House counsel has reportedly been personally involved in keeping Congress from reviewing a whistleblowing report involving Ukraine.

"The revelation that Trump pushed Zelensky to pursue the Biden probe, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, represents the most detailed account so far of the president’s conduct that prompted a U.S. intelligence official to file a whistleblower action against the president," The Washington Post reported Friday. "The disclosure comes amid new details about the White House’s role in preventing Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire from complying with Congressional demands for the material in the complaint."

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Watch Ex-CIA official break down the ‘three crimes’ Trump committed if Ukraine scandal is true

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President Donald Trump could be charged with committing three federal crimes if the whistleblower reports involving the White House seeking campaign interference from Ukraine are correct.

MSNBC "Deadline: White House" anchor Nicolle Wallace interviewed Jeremy Bash on Friday -- and worried about the safety of the whistleblower.

"The stakes could not be any higher, the risk to his career -- or her career -- and reputation and perhaps legal standing could not be any higher for this whistleblower. That's why we’re glad to be joined by national security analyst, former chief of staff of the CIA and Department of Defense, someone I wanted to talk to about this story all week, Jeremy Bash," Wallace said.

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