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Humongous $5 billion penalty to be levied on Facebook for privacy and data protection lapses: report

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US regulators have approved a $5 billion penalty to be levied on Facebook to settle a probe into the social network’s privacy and data protection lapses, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The newspaper said the Federal Trade Commission approved the settlement in a 3-2 vote, with the two Democratic members of the consumer protection agency dissenting.

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According to the report, the deal still needs approval from the Justice Department before it is finalized.

Facebook did not immediately respond to an AFP query on the agreement.

The settlement would be in line with Facebook’s estimate earlier this year when it set aside $3 billion to $5 billion for legal settlements on “user data practices.”

The FTC announced last year it reopened its investigation into a 2011 privacy settlement with Facebook after revelations that personal data on tens of millions of users was hijacked by the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, working on the Donald Trump campaign in 2016.

Facebook has also faced questions about whether it improperly shared user data with business partners in violation of the earlier settlement.

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The leading social network with more than two billion users worldwide has also been facing inquiries on privacy from authorities in US states and regulators around the world.


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Trump claims not to ‘know’ Gordon Sondland very well — but the evidence suggests otherwise

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President Donald Trump attempted to distance himself Wednesday from his hand-selected European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland. At the same time, Trump claimed that Sondland’s stunning testimony, which alleged that the president had ordered a “quid pro quo” with Ukraine, in fact, vindicated him.

“Was there a ‘quid pro quo’?” Sondland said in his testimony to the House Intelligence Committee Wednesday. "The answer is ‘yes.’”

Sondland further claimed that “everyone was in the loop” and all actions were “directed” by the president.

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Seth Meyers can’t stop laughing at Devin Nunes: ‘It’s like murdering someone and calling their ghost to testify’

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"Late Night" comedian Seth Meyers summed up the day of hearings by saying it was devastating to President Donald Trump. If you don't believe him, he showed the humiliating clip of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) who looked dejected.

"Wow, look at his face!" Meyers said. "He looks like he just walked in on his parents having sex -- with someone else's parents. There's only two explanations for that face, either he just heard lengthy testimony detailing a criminal scheme so shocking to bring down the presidency of Donald Trump. Or he sharted, and he's trying to remember how far away his back-up pants are."

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The Republicans’ impeachment lawyer made 2 huge mistakes in questioning Gordon Sondland

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Ambassador Gordon Sondland delivered complex and convoluted impeachment testimony on Wednesday about his involvement in President Donald Trump’s Ukraine scandal. He gave detailed evidence recounting the president and the rest of the administration’s involvement in his effort to get Ukraine to launch investigations of Trump’s political opponents — including by leveraging a potential White House meeting and a hold on military aid.

But he also, to the Republicans’ delight, left some ambiguity about how much Trump had been involved in the effort to leverage the aid, saying that he had “presumed” Ukraine’s announcement of the investigations would release the hold. And he noted that, in one phone call the president — as the scheme was slowly being uncovered — Trump angrily denied there was a quid pro quo.

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