EU IMPOSES $1.3 BILLION FINE ON META, ORDERS TO STOP SENDING DATA TO U.S.
London : The EU slapped Meta with a record $1. 3 billion (€1. 2 billion) privacy fine on Monday and ordered it to stop transferring users personal information across the Atlantic by October, the latest salvo in a decade-long case sparked by US cybersnooping fears.
Meta, which had previously warned that services for its users in Europe could be cut off, vowed to appeal and ask courts to put the decision on hold. The firm said “there’s no disruption to Facebook in Europe”. The decision applies to user data like names, email and IP addresses, messages, viewing history, geolocation data and other information that Meta — and other tech giants like Google —use for targeted online ads.
“This decision is flawed,unjustified and sets a dangerous precedent for the countless other companies transferring data between the EU and US,” Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, and chief legal officer Jennifer Newstead said. It’s yet another twist in a legal battle that began in 2013 when Austrian lawyer and privacy activist Max Schrems filed a complaint about Facebook’s handling of his data following former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden’s revelations of electronic surveillance by US security agencies. That included the disclosure that Facebook gave the agencies access to the personal data of Europeans.
MILITARY COURT TRIALS OF CIVILIANS CHALLENGED IN PAKISTAN
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday moved the Supreme Court (SC) against trying civilians in military courts, calling the decision a "clear violation" of the constitutional guarantees of due process and fair trial.
"Such trials are highly deprecated internationally and widely considered as falling short of providing fair trial," the petition stated.
It stated, "They constitute a violation of Pakistan’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which has been ratified by the country.”
It added, “Trial of thousands of workers of a political party (or a political leader) through such courts is unheard of in the history of this country.
“The workers and supporters now sought to be tried through military courts are not part of any terrorist organisation and pose no threat to national security. Thus, it is contrary to the Constitution to try civilian protesters thorough military courts.”
The party also challenged the deployment of the armed forces under Article 245 of the Constitution in Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
The petition filed by PTI Additional Secretary General Omar Ayub Khan stated that the scope of Article 245 of the Constitution was limited in nature, and also limited to circumstances where the civil power of the state may be overwhelmed for any reason.
The petition added that the federal government’s requisition of the armed forces in order to quell and repress their political opponents purely to disable them from exercising their constitutional rights was a gross violation of Article 17 of the Constitution.
U.S. SIGNS SECURITY PACT WITH PAPUA NEW GUINEA AMID COMPETITION WITH CHINA
The U.S. signed a new security pact with Papua New Guinea on Monday as it competes with China for influence in the Pacific.
Papua New Guinea’s location just north of Australia makes it strategically significant. It was the site of fierce battles during World War II, and with a population of nearly 10 million people, it’s the most populous Pacific Island nation.
The State Department said the new agreement provides a framework to help improve security cooperation, enhance the capacity of Papua New Guinea’s defence force and increase regional stability.
“The work that we’re doing together to try to shape the future could not be more important, could not be more timely,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters.
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape said the pact is mutually beneficial and “secures our national interests”.
But the agreement sparked student protests in the second-largest city, Lae. And many in the Pacific are concerned about the increasing militarisation of the region.
BEIJING SUMMONS ENVOY OF G7 HOST JAPAN FOR ‘ANTI-CHINA’ MEET, SLAMS UK FOR SUNAK REMARK
China vice-foreign minister Sun Weidong summoned the Japanese ambassador to register protests over “hype around Chinarelated issues at the G7 summit in Hiroshima over the weekend, a ministry statement late on Sunday said. State-backed Chinese mouthpiece Global Times called the G7 an “anti-China workshop” on Monday.Separately, China’s embassy in Britain urged London to stop slandering China, after UK PM Rishi Sunak said Beijing represents the world's greatest challenge to security and prosperity.
US DEBT CEILING TALKS DESCRIBED AS PRODUCTIVE BUT NO DEAL YET
US President Joe Biden and top Republican Kevin McCarthy have called their latest talks on the debt ceiling productive but no deal has yet been reached.
"I believe we can get a deal done," House Speaker McCarthy told reporters.
While acknowledging areas of disagreement, Mr Biden said "default is off the table".
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has reiterated that the US will likely default on its debt as early as 1 June.
The debt ceiling is a spending limit set by Congress which determines how much money the government can borrow.
Failure to raise it beyond the current cap of roughly $31.4tn (£25.2tn) by June could result in the US defaulting on its debt.
That would mean the government could not borrow any more money or pay all of its bills. It would also threaten to wreak havoc on the global economy, affecting prices and mortgage rates in other countries.
The president ended his trip to Japan for the G7 summit early and returned to the US on Sunday to address the deadlock over US debt.
In a statement issued after his meeting with the House speaker, Mr Biden said: "Default is off the table, and the only way to move forward is in good faith toward a bipartisan agreement."
3RD-PLACED PREZ POLL CANDIDATE BACKS ERDOGAN FOR TURKIYE RUNOFF
Ankara : The third-placed contender in the Turkish presidential elections formally endorsed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday for the second-round runoff vote to be held on May 28. The nationalist presidential candidate Sinan Ogan, 55, has emerged as a potential kingmaker after neither Erdogan nor his main challenger, opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, secured the majority needed for a first-round victory on May 14.
“I declare that we will support Mr Erdogan, the candidate of the People’s Alliance, in the second round of the elections,” Ogan said, referring to the Erdogan-led alliance that includes nationalist and Islamist parties. “We believe our decision will be the right decision for our country and nation,” he stated. Ogan, a former academic who was backed by a far-right anti-migrant party, won 5. 17% in the May 14 vote and could hold the key to victory in the runoff now that he’s out of the race. Erdogan got 49. 5% of the votes in the first round — just short of the majority needed for an outright victory — compared to Kilicdaroglu’s 44. 9%.
IRAN PREZ REPLACES LONGTIME SECURITY CHIEF AFTER ‘SPY’ FALLOUT, HIJAB PROTEST
Dubai : Iran’s president on Monday appointed a new official to take over the post of secretary of the country’s Supreme National Security Council, replacing the longtime powerful official Ali Shamkhani after becoming implicated in a recent spy scandal.
President Ebrahim Raisi issued a decree replacing Shamkhani who has faced persistent corruption allegations — which he denied — as well as scrutiny because of close ties with a British-Iranian man hanged on spying charges earlier this year in Iran. Shamkhani was a key player in negotiations with the West over Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
The decreeoffered no explanation for the change. His replacement, a Revolutionary Guard figure, will take over as Iran faces continued economic pressure from Western curbs, challenges following monthslong protests over the death of Mahsa Amini — who died while in custody of Iran’s morality police.
BRAZIL’S LULA IS ‘UPSET’ AT NOT BEING ABLE TO MEET ZELENSKY
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Monday he was “upset” he and Volodymyr Zelensky did not meet at the G-7 summit, adding his Ukrainian counterpart seemed uninterested in negotiating peace with Russia.
Mr. Zelensky had sought a one-on-one meeting with Lula, who has faced accusations of being soft on Russia over its invasion.
Both leaders said scheduling conflicts had prevented them from meeting — which Mr. Zelensky quipped had likely left his Brazilian counterpart “disappointed”.
“I wasn’t disappointed. I was upset, because I’d like to meet him and discuss the matter,” Lula said.