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Brave Indian-origin Shopkeeper in UK fights off Robber with Vodka Bottle and a Chair

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London, May 9, 2017: A brave Indian-origin shopkeeper and his teenage son in the UK fought off an knife-wielding robber using a bottle of vodka and a chair.

Dramatic CCTV footage shared by shopkeeper Anil Velji with police showed a man lunging towards him wielding a knife in a convenience store in Oldham, Greater Manchester, only for Velji to fight back.

The 40-year-old attempted to fend off his attacker with the spirit bottle before falling to the ground, the Daily Mail reported on Monday.

He kicked the robber from the floor as he continued to come towards him, and managed to pick up a chair behind the shop counter and fight back.

Quickly the man retreated and fled the scene, with Velji giving chase with a piece of wood.

The incident happened on April 23 at the Premier Convenience on Manchester Street.

Velji said that the man had entered the store a few minutes earlier and had been “eyeing up” the spirits.

He said: “I asked him what he was interested in, he told me he didn’t have enough money for the expensive stuff and kept looking.”

“I kept serving customers as he did, he was waiting for them to leave and the shop to be empty. I picked up a bottle of vodka for him and turned around to put it in the till, I heard a noise behind me and the man had pulled out a knife and was coming at me behind the counter.”

“My 16-year-old son was right there with me. I tried to hit him with the bottle of vodka and tripped over, I kicked him from the ground and then picked up a chair behind the counter and defended myself with it. I hit the panic button and the man ran off.”

The police reached the store within a minute of his hitting the button but it was too late, the robber had fled, according to the report.

Neither Velji or his son were injured, except for a few bruises.

Velji said: “My son was in shock and couldn’t sleep for a few days. We’ve only been here five months and nothing like this has ever happened before.”

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police confirmed they were aware of the incident and the video and appealed for information. (IANS)

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Facebook, Zuckerberg Criticized For Allegedly Undermining Democratic Institutions

Legal documents reviewed by Reuters show how the investigation by British lawmakers has led them to seize documents relating to Facebook.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election and data privacy. VOA

Facebook came under fire on Tuesday from lawmakers from several countries who accused the firm of undermining democratic institutions and lambasted chief executive Mark Zuckerberg for not answering questions on the matter.

Facebook is being investigated by lawmakers in Britain after consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, obtained the personal data of 87 million Facebook users from a researcher, drawing attention to the use of data analytics in politics.

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The nameplate of political consultancy, Cambridge Analytica, is seen in central London, Britain. VOA

Concerns over the social media giant’s practices, the role of political adverts and possible interference in the 2016 Brexit vote and U.S. elections are among the topics being investigated by British and European regulators.

While Facebook says it complies with EU data protection laws, a special hearing of lawmakers from several countries around the world in London criticized Zuckerberg for declining to appear himself to answer questions on the topic.

“We’ve never seen anything quite like Facebook, where, while we were playing on our phones and apps, our democratic institutions… seem to have been upended by frat-boy billionaires from California,” Canadian lawmaker Charlie Angus said.

“So Mr. Zuckerberg’s decision not to appear here at Westminster [Britain’s parliament] to me speaks volumes.”

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Avaaz campaigners hold a banner in front of 100 cardboard cutouts of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington. VOA

Documents

Richard Allan, the vice president of policy solutions at Facebook who appeared in Zuckerberg’s stead, admitted Facebook had made mistakes but said it had accepted the need to comply with data rules.

“I’m not going to disagree with you that we’ve damaged public trust through some of the actions we’ve taken,” Allan told the hearing.

Facebook has faced a barrage of criticism from users and lawmakers after it said last year that Russian agents used its platform to spread disinformation before and after the 2016 U.S. presidential election, an accusation Moscow denies.

Allan repeatedly declined to give an example of a person or app banned from Facebook for misuse of data, aside from the GSR app which gathered data in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Also Read: Social Media Laws Should Be Tightened: Germany

Legal documents reviewed by Reuters show how the investigation by British lawmakers has led them to seize documents relating to Facebook from app developer Six4Three, which is in a legal dispute with Facebook.

Damian Collins, chair of the culture committee which convened the hearing, said he would not release those documents on Tuesday as he was not in a position to do so, although he has said previously the committee has the legal power to. (VOA)