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FBI was ‘persistent’ about getting information in Huawei CFO’s extradition case, court hears

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was “very persistent” in seeking information from border agents after Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou’s arrest two years ago, a Canadian border official testified in court on Tuesday….

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VANCOUVER (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was “very persistent” in seeking information from border agents after Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou’s arrest two years ago, a Canadian border official testified in court on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves her home to attend a court hearing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada December 7, 2020. REUTERS/Jennifer Gauthier

Nicole Goodman, a chief at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in charge of agents investigating Meng the day she was detained, told the court that an Ottawa-based legal attache for the FBI reached out repeatedly asking for Meng’s travel history in Canada and other private information after she was taken into custody by the Canadian federal police on a U.S. warrant for bank fraud.

Goodman told the court she did not have the authority to share the requested information and was concerned that someone else within the CBSA who was not familiar with the case might share the information without authorization.

“I would never be releasing information to the FBI at my level,” she said.

Meng’s lawyers have argued that U.S. and Canadian authorities illegally coordinated during the investigation and arrest. In particular they claim that Canadian border agents intentionally gave identifying details about Meng’s electronic devices – including passcodes – to Canadian police.

They further allege that Canadian police shared those details with the FBI.

Prosecutors are trying to establish that Meng’s arrest by the Canadian federal police and the investigation by border officials were above board.

Meng, 48, is facing charges of bank fraud in the United States for allegedly misleading HSBC Holdings PLC about Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s business dealings in Iran, causing the bank to break U.S. sanctions.

She has said she is innocent and is fighting the extradition from under house arrest in Vancouver.

Goodman testified that she discovered the CBSA may have accidentally shared passcodes with police during a debrief meeting after Meng’s arrest. CBSA has previously testified that the passcodes to Meng’s electronic devices were shared with the Canadian federal police in error.

Goodman said when the topic of information sharing came up, agent Scott Kirkland went pale and looked distressed.

“I remember it vividly,” she said. “I wanted to know, what’s wrong here, Scott?”

Goodman learned that Kirkland had written passcodes on a piece of paper, and he did not know whether the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) took it or not at that time, she testified.

She believed the passcode sharing was “100 percent accidental.”

Earlier on Tuesday RCMP Sergeant Ross Lundie, who was serving as the force’s airport liaison when Meng was arrested, told the court that he recalled overhearing one of his RCMP colleagues discussing passcodes, potentially to Meng’s devices, with a Canadian border agent.

But he said he did not realize the potential significance of the conversation on the day of Meng’s arrest.

“At that time I had no idea why there would be passwords to phones … obtained by anybody,” he said. “I should have asked for clarity.”

The witness testimony this week has generated more attention after news last week that U.S. prosecutors are discussing a deal with lawyers for Meng to resolve criminal charges against her, signaling a potential end to a case that has strained ties between the United States, China and Canada.

Meng’s arrest caused a chill in diplomatic relations between Ottawa and Beijing. Shortly after Meng was detained, China arrested two Canadian men, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who now face spying charges.

On Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the release of the two Canadians was his “top priority,” while declining to comment on the talks to release Meng.

Meng’s case is scheduled to wrap up in April 2021.

Reporting by Sarah Berman in Vancouver; Additional reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Stephen Coates

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Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-huawei-tech-canada/fbi-was-persistent-about-getting-information-in-huawei-cfos-extradition-case-court-hears-idUSKBN28I1ER

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Reuters

Chinese social media platforms to “rectify” financial self-media accounts

China’s top social media platforms, Wechat, Douyin, Sina Weibo and Kuaishou, said on Saturday they would begin to rectify irregular practices of “self-media” accounts that publish financial information, reported state media Global Times.

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WeChat app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

SHANGHAI, Aug 28 (Reuters) – China’s top social media platforms, Wechat, Douyin, Sina Weibo and Kuaishou, said on Saturday they would begin to rectify irregular practices of “self-media” accounts that publish financial information, reported state media Global Times.

This follows an announcement by China’s cyberspace regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), that it would look into accounts that have repeatedly released financial news illegally, distorted economic policy interpretation, badmouthed financial markets, spread rumours and disrupted network communications.

The term “self-media” is mostly used on Chinese social media to describe independently operated accounts that produce original content but are not officially registered with the authorities.

Wechat said in a statement on Saturday that from now until Oct. 26, it would investigate and shut down financial self-media accounts that “badmouth the financial market” and “blackmail and spread rumors.”

Sina Weibo, Douyin and Kuaishou also released similar statements on Saturday, reported the Global Times, with Sina Weibo and Kuaishou adding that they would severely crack down on accounts that violate the rules.

The announcements come amid a recent crackdown by Beijing on the tech sector, with the latest regulations targeting “chaotic” celebrity fan culture and algorithms that technology companies use to drive their business. read more

China is also framing rules to ban internet companies whose data poses potential security risks from listing outside the country, including in the United States. read more

Reporting by Emily Chow. Editing by Gerry Doyle

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The term “self-media” is mostly used on Chinese social media to describe independently operated accounts that produce original content but are not officially registered with the authorities.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/world/china/chinese-social-media-platforms-rectify-financial-self-media-accounts-2021-08-28/

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Reuters

Death toll rises to 77 from Turkey floods, 47 reported missing

The death toll from flash floods that swept through several towns in Turkish Black Sea provinces last week has risen to 77 people and emergency workers are continuing to search for 47 who are missing, authorities said on Monday.

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A damaged vehicle and a partially collapsed building are seen following the flash floods that swept through towns in the Turkish Black Sea region, in the town of Ilisi, in Kastamonu province, Turkey, August 15, 2021. REUTERS/Mehmet Emin Caliskan

ISTANBUL, Aug 16 (Reuters) – The death toll from flash floods that swept through several towns in Turkish Black Sea provinces last week has risen to 77 people and emergency workers are continuing to search for 47 who are missing, authorities said on Monday.

The floods last week brought chaos as torrents of water tossed dozens of cars and heaps of debris along streets, destroyed buildings and bridges, closed roads and damaged electricity infrastructure.

Sixty-two people died as a result of floods in Kastamonu province. Another 14 people died in Sinop and one in Bartin, the Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) said.

Forty-seven people were reported missing in Kastamonu and Sinop, it said, adding that seven others were receiving treatment in hospital.

Drone footage showed massive damage in the town of Bozkurt in Kastamonu province, where rescue teams searched demolished buildings at the weekend.

More than 2,000 people were evacuated from affected areas, some with the help of helicopters and boats, AFAD said, adding that more than 8,500 personnel were involved in the emergency response efforts.

Weather forecasters warned of further flooding due to expected heavy rainfall on Monday in Black Sea provinces to the east of the regions affected last week.

Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Dominic Evans and Rosalba O’Brien

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Drone footage showed massive damage in the town of Bozkurt in Kastamonu province, where rescue teams searched demolished buildings at the weekend.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/death-toll-rises-70-turkey-floods-47-reported-missing-2021-08-16/

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Chipmaker TSMC says too early to say on Germany expansion

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) (2330.TW) said on Monday that it was too early to say whether it will build factories in Germany and that talks were in early stages, as the EU seeks to reduce chip imports amid a supply shortage.

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The logo of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) is pictured at its headquarters, in Hsinchu, Taiwan, Jan. 19, 2021. REUTERS/Ann Wang

TAIPEI, July 26 (Reuters) – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) (2330.TW) said on Monday that it was too early to say whether it will build factories in Germany and that talks were in early stages, as the EU seeks to reduce chip imports amid a supply shortage.

The European Commission had held discussions with global chip giants, including Intel (INTC.O) and TSMC, as the EU seeks to boost semiconductor production and shield itself from shocks in the global supply chain. read more

Taiwan and TSMC, the world’s largest contract chip manufacturer, have become central in efforts to resolve the pandemic-induced chip shortage that has forced automakers to cut production and hurt manufacturers of smartphones, laptops and even appliances.

“We are currently doing reviews on Germany seriously, but it’s still in very early stages,” TSMC chairman Mark Liu told an annual shareholder meeting when asked about building chip fabrication plants in the EU country.

“We continue to communicate with our major clients in Germany to see whether this is most important and effective for our clients,” he said. “It’s too early to say.”

TSMC signalled in July plans to build new factories in the United States and Japan amid concern over the concentration of chipmaking capability in Taiwan, which produces most of the world’s most advanced chips and is geographically close to political rival China. read more

On TSMC’s $12 billion factory in the U.S. state of Arizona, Liu said the expansion would support client demand, especially in infrastructure and national security.

“Clients are the backing of our global expansion. We will move very cautiously,” Liu said, adding that the company’s customers would help share costs of overseas operations.

TSMC announced this year plans to invest $100 billion over the next three years to increase capacity, riding on what it called a “multiple years of growth opportunities”, as the COVID-19 pandemic and new technologies drove global demand for advanced chips.

Reporting By Yimou Lee. Editing by Gerry Doyle

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Taiwan and TSMC, the world’s largest contract chip manufacturer, have become central in efforts to resolve the pandemic-induced chip shortage that has forced automakers to cut production and hurt manufacturers of smartphones, laptops and even appliances.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/technology/chipmaker-tsmc-says-too-early-say-germany-expansion-2021-07-26/

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