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February 18, 2019 | Via BBC

Australian Political Parties Hit by ‘state actor’ Hack, PM Says

Australia’s main political parties and parliament were hit by a “malicious intrusion” on their computer networks, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. The cyber-attack revealed two weeks ago was carried out by a “sophisticated state actor”, he said. But he added there was “no evidence of any electoral interference”. The nation will hold an election within months. The Australian government has faced a number of cyber-attacks in recent years, some of which have been attributed in local media to nations such as China.

February 18, 2019 | Via BBC

Saudi Arabia Signs $20bn in Deals with Pakistan

Saudi Arabia has pledged investment deals worth $20bn with Pakistan which is seeking to bolster its fragile economy. The deals include funding for an $8bn oil refinery in the city of Gwadar. It comes as part of a high-profile Asian tour by the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Prime Minister Imran Khan has been seeking help from friendly countries in order to cut the size of the bailout package his country is likely to need from the International Monetary Fund, under very strict conditions.

February 18, 2019 | Via Al Jazeera

Seven Killed in Kashmir Gun Battle Days After Deadly Attack

At least seven people, including two armed rebels and four Indian army soldiers, have been killed in an ongoing gun battle in India-administered Kashmir. The gun battle on Monday in Pinglan village of Pulwama district comes days after 42 Indian security personnel were killed in a suicide blast – the worst such attack in 30 years of Kashmir conflict, which has raised fears of confrontation with archenemy Pakistan.

February 18, 2019 | Via The Guardian

ISIS Briton Shamima Begum Pleads to Return to UK After Giving Birth

A teenager who traveled to Syria to join Islamic State has called on people in the UK to have sympathy for her, the day after giving birth to a boy in a refugee camp. Shamima Begum, 19, who left the UK with two school friends in 2015, spoke to the Times while heavily pregnant earlier this week from the al-Hawl refugee camp in north-eastern Syria. She said she was desperate to come back to the UK. Begum married Yago Riedijk, 27, a Dutch convert to Islam, 10 days after arriving in the city of Raqqa in 2015. She had two children, both of whom died.

February 18, 2019 | Via CNBC

Facebook is a ‘digital gangster’ That Urgently Needs More Regulation, UK Lawmakers Say

Facebook “intentionally and knowingly” violated U.K. data privacy and anti-competition laws and urgently needs to be regulated and investigated, a scathing new report by British lawmakers said. The final report issued Monday by the U.K.’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee concluded an 18-month investigation into Facebook and other social media companies for their role in spreading “fake news” and disinformation. “Companies like Facebook should not be allowed to behave like ‘digital gangsters’ in the online world, considering themselves to be ahead of and beyond the law,” the report said.

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