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US Government says Google tried to restrict the Media Coverage of a Gender Discrimination Case

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London, May 23, 2017: Google tried to restrict the media coverage of a gender discrimination case brought by the US government alleging that the company had violated federal laws when it did not provide employees’ salary history and contact information as part of an audit, a media report has revealed.

The company tried to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the US Department of Labor, claiming that a government attorney may have violated ethics rules after he/she did an interview with the Guardian.

Referring to the court documents, the newspaper on Monday said Google unsuccessfully argued that a judge should dismiss a lawsuit filed by the US Department of Labor (DoL).

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The DoL had accused Google of systematically underpaying women and the court battle centre on the company’s refusal to hand over salary data the government has requested to which Google replied by saying that the data request was overly broad and violates its workers’ privacy.

The report observed that the motion for dismissal of the case shows Google’s aggressive efforts to end the case.

Critics said it appeared that Google was attempting to limit media scrutiny with unusual tactics that raise free press concerns and seem to contradict the corporation’s public claims that it is committed to transparency and accountability in its efforts to promote equal pay.

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It was also reported that Google tried to restrict press access during a hearing last month.

“Following a private meeting with the judge about the Guardian’s reporting, Google’s attorney requested that the proceeding be closed to the media before continuing, but a DoL attorney objected and the judge sided with the government,” the report said.

Google has repeatedly claimed that it has eliminated its gender pay gap globally with innovative compensation models. (IANS)

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North Korea may soon be able to hit US with Nuclear Missiles ; Could a war break out soon?

Pyongyang's deputy envoy to the United Nations, Kim In Ryong, warned Monday that war could break out at any moment.

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CIA Director Mike Pompeo speaks during the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) National Security Summit in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)(VOA)

Washington, October 20, 2017 : North Korea is likely just months away from being capable of striking the United States with a nuclear missile, according to two top U.S. officials.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo told a forum in Washington on Thursday he is “deeply worried” about the advancing threat from North Korea and the possibility it could spark a nuclear arms race across East Asia.

“We ought to behave as if we are on the cusp of them achieving that objective,” Pompeo said when asked about Pyongyang’s pursuit of missile technology that could launch a warhead to targets in the U.S.

“They are so far along in that it’s now a matter of thinking about how do you stop the final step?” he added.

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National security adviser H.R. McMaster speaks during the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) National Security Summit in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)(VOA)

McMaster: We’re running out of time

U.S. National Security Adviser, Gen. H.R. McMaster said later on Thursday that Washington was racing to resolve the situation, short of using military force.

“We’re not out of time but we’re running out of time,” McMaster said, speaking at the same event. “Accept and deter is unacceptable.”

The comments by Pompeo and McMaster come as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have been steadily rising following Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test last month, it’s sixth overall, and repeated tests of what intelligence officials have assessed to be both intermediate and long range ballistic missiles.

But despite warning that North Korea is just months away from being able to target the U.S., the CIA’s Pompeo cautioned there are still questions about just how “robust” the North Korea nuclear threat has become, and whether Pyongyang will be able to deliver multiple nuclear warheads to nuclear targets.

“There’s always a risk. Intelligence is imperfect,” Pompeo said, adding there is evidence Pyongyang may be getting help from Iran, citing “deep conventional weapons ties as between the two countries.”

He also warned that each North Korean test makes an arms race ever more likely.

“You watch as North Korea grows ever closer to having its capability perfected, you can imagine others in the region also thinking that they well may need that capability,” he said.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while answering questions at a meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi, Russia (VOA)

Putin suggests force won’t work against North Korea

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned against the use of force to eliminate the North Korean nuclear threat, suggesting it would not work.

“Talks about a preventative, disarming strike — and we hear both hints and open threats — this is very dangerous,” Putin said during a speaking engagement in Sochi.

“Who knows what and where is hidden in North Korea? And whether all of it can be destroyed with one strike, I doubt it,” he said. “I’m almost sure it is impossible.”

North Korean officials have also repeatedly warned the U.S. against any provocations.

Pyongyang’s deputy envoy to the United Nations, Kim In Ryong, warned Monday that war could break out at any moment.

Other North Korean officials have accused the U.S. of making preparations for war, citing the presence of the USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, conducting exercises to the east of the Korean Peninsula.

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More Than 5 Million Users Have Now Downloaded Google’s Digital Payment App ‘Tez’

"Tez" app works in partnership with four Banks -- Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and State Bank of India -- to facilitate the processing of payments across over 50 UPI-enabled banks

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Within 24 hours of 'Tez' being launched, Google saw nearly 1.8 crore gross merchandise volume (GMV) done with over four lakh active users. pixabay

New Delhi, October 11, 2017 : Google’s digital payment app ‘Tez’ that was launched in India on September 18 has been downloaded five million times on Play Store.

Within 24 hours of ‘Tez’ being launched, Google saw nearly 1.8 crore gross merchandise volume (GMV) done with over four lakh active users.

Built on the Indian government-supported Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Tez allows users, free of charge, to make small or big payments straight from their bank accounts.

According to the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), the number of transactions on UPI has crossed three crore in September.

Also read A Step Towards Digital India- Google Launches Digital Payment App ‘Tez’ in India

The number of transactions on UPI platform increased to 3.07 crore in September as against 1.66 crore in August — an increase of 85.32 per cent.

Of the 3.07 crore transactions, BHIM’s share was 76.03 lakh — a market share of nearly 24.7 per cent.

“Tez” app works in partnership with four Banks — Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and State Bank of India — to facilitate the processing of payments across over 50 UPI-enabled banks.

The app was built for India, working on the vast majority of the country’s smartphones and is available in English and seven Indian languages — Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. (IANS)

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Chinese internet service providers started blocking access to WhatsApp.

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Whatsapp messaging platform
Image: IANS

San Francisco, Sep 26 (IANS) Instant messaging service WhatsApp has been largely blocked in China, the media reported.

The Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), a global observation network for detecting censorship, surveillance and traffic manipulation, suggested on Monday night that Chinese internet service providers started blocking access to WhatsApp on September 23, reports CNN.

Public reports on Twitter indicated that WhatsApp, which is owned by the US-based social media giant Facebook, became inaccessible for some people on September 19.

Over the last few months, there were a number of WhatsApp disruptions in China.

However, WhatsApp has not made an official announcement on the development.

China has already blocked access to a number of internet companies, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google.

Some people access these services through virtual private networks (VPN), or with tools that disguise internet traffic to circumvent censorship. But the Chinese government has launched a crack down on VPNs this year.

According to Timothy Heath, senior international defence research analyst at the RAND Corporation, the Chinese government does not like that WhatsApp uses strong encryption.

“The government wants to monitor internet communications, and therefore it’s trying to steer its people to use technology that can be accessed and monitored by the government,” Heath told CNN.

Earlier this month, WeChat, a popular chat service in China, notified users of its policies to comply with government requests for information. (ians)