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Eva Kaili corruption scandal comes to light



The EU parliament will reconvene this week, but without its executive Vice President who’s been stripped of her duties – as a new corruption scandal with ties to Qatar has come to light.

The EU parliament will reconvene this week, but without its executive Vice President – stripped of her duties – as a new corruption scandal with ties to Qatar has come to light.

A Belgian judge charged four people over the weekend, who are alleged to be taking funds from Qatar.

Authorities seized €600,000 cash – and issued a statement saying they suspect that people with close ties to European political parties were paid large sums of money or offered substantial gifts to influence Parliament’s decisions.

Belgian authorities have not named the suspects, but the European parliament vice-president Eva Kaili has been stripped of her duties in the parliament and of her party membership in the Greek socialist party Pasok.

Last month she went on the record, defending Qatar’s human rights record and saying the nation was a frontrunner in labour rights.

Qatari officials are moving to distance themselves. They have rejected accusations of misconduct. And said any association of the Qatari government with the reported claims is baseless and misinformed.

Belgian authorities have called this a “major investigation”, with 17 house searches over the weekend.

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Texas man breaks ice off trampoline net



Texas cold snap sees temperatures plummet

How’s this for cold?

Twitter user Brett Hillier has shared a video from his property in Texas, showing ice on the net of his trampoline cracking.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area has been blanketed with snow, with hazardous conditions expected to continue until at least Thursday.

Authorities have responded to hundreds of accident-related calls, with the ice storm wreaking havoc on roads.

The freezing conditions are making making roads slick, sending cars sliding as residents are told to stay home.

Schools across Mississippi and Tennessee have also been shut. #trending #featured

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Kamala Harris demands Congress pass George Floyd Act



U.S. vice President Kamala Harris has implored Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act

While at the funeral of Tyre Nichols, who was beaten and died at the hands of five Memphis police officers – Harris implored for the right thing to be done.

“As vice-president of the United States, we demand that Congress pass the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act. Joe Biden will sign it,” Harris made the call to action while at the congregation in Memphis.

The Memphis Police Department fired five of the officers involved in the attack, who also are Black.

Prosecutors then charged them last week with second-degree murder, assault, kidnapping, official misconduct and oppression.

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Meta stocks soar in ‘Year of Efficiency’



Meta Platforms has announced a better-than-expected sales quarter, as well as a USD$40 billion stock buyback.

The parent of Instagram and Facebook cut its cost outlook for 2023 by $5 billion, and projected first-quarter sales that could beat Wall Street estimates.

Meta stock surged nearly 19% in after-hours trade.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg described the focus on efficiency as part of the natural evolution of the company, calling it a “phase change” for an organisation that once lived by the motto “move fast and break things.”

“We just grew so quickly for like the first 18 years,” Zuckerberg said in a conference call. “It’s very hard to really crank on efficiency while you’re growing that quickly. I just think we’re in a different environment now.”

The cost cuts reflect Meta’s updated plans for lower data centre construction expenses this year.

In November, the company cut more than 11,000 jobs in response, a precursor to the tens of thousands of layoffs in the tech industry that followed.

“Our management theme for 2023 is the ‘Year of Efficiency’ and we are focused on becoming a stronger and more nimble organisation,” Zuckerberg said in a statement.

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