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British Government to launch a new one Pound Coin at the end of March and scrap the current one by October

The new 12-sided coin will be legal from March 28

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One pound coin. Wikimedia commons
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London, Jan 3, 2017: The British government will launch a new one pound coin at the end of March and scrap the current one by October. An announcement from the British Treasury on Sunday said the new 12-sided one pound coin would become legal tender on March 28 and the new coin would be produced by the Royal Mint in Wales, Xinhua news agency reported.

A total of 1.5 billion coins will be issued in the first minting.

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The new coin has been introduced to deter sophisticated counterfeiters who can now replicate the current coin, which has been in circulation for 30 years.

The new one pound has a distinctive 12-sided shape, recognisable even by touch and it is made of two metals, the outer ring is gold-coloured (nickel-brass) and the inner ring is silver-coloured (nickel-plated alloy).

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And if the coin is tilted it shows a latent image, like a hologram, which changes from a pound sign to the number one.

It will also feature the fifth coinage portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, the world’s longest-serving monarch who began her reign in 1952. (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)