France, Germany push for EU funding for technology start-ups

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France and Germany are pushing for an EU-wide initiative to fund innovation and research in tech start-up projects across the bloc so that Europe can compete more effectively against the likes of China and the United States. FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 12, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File PhotoEurope has long been seen as a laggard in developing new technologies compared with the United States, which has a strong venture capital industry funding Silicon Valley start-ups. The more risk-averse…

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Customers angry after National Australia Bank hit by technology outage

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – National Australia Bank on Saturday suffered what it described as a “nationwide outage” to some of its technology systems, leaving customers unable to access banking services or withdraw money. FILE PHOTO: A National Australia Bank (NAB) logo is pictured on an automated teller machine (ATM) in central Sydney September 12, 2014. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo Customers took to social media to vent their frustrations, with some saying they were left unable to pay for groceries or refuel their cars. “Loyal member for 15 years and you leave me…

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Tesla seeks to dismiss securities fraud lawsuit: U.S. court document

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Tesla Inc on Friday asked a court to dismiss a securities fraud lawsuit by shareholders who said the electric vehicle maker gave false public statements about the progress of producing its new Model 3 sedan. A Tesla dealership is seen in West Drayton, just outside London, Britain, February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay In a filing in federal court in San Francisco, Tesla said that its statements about the challenges the company faced with Model 3 were “frank and in plain language,” including repeated disclosures by Chief…

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Tesla agrees to settle class action over Autopilot billed as 'safer'

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Tesla Inc on Thursday reached an agreement to settle a class action lawsuit with buyers of its Model S and Model X cars who alleged that the company’s assisted-driving Autopilot system was “essentially unusable and demonstrably dangerous.” FILE PHOTO: A Tesla Model S car is seen in a showroom in Santa Monica, California, U.S., January 4, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy NicholsonThe lawsuit said Tesla misrepresented on its website that the cars came with capabilities designed to make highway driving “safer.” The Tesla owners said they paid an extra…

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Exclusive: Total's Saft plans over 200 million euros investment in next generation battery

PARIS (Reuters) – French battery maker Saft, a unit of oil and gas major Total said on Friday it plans to invest over 200 million euros ($233 million) in a next generation European battery alliance project. FILE PHOTO: Company logo of Saft Groupe, battery specialists, is pictured at the entrance of their plant in Poitiers, France, October 5, 2017. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File PhotoSaft formed the alliance with European partners Siemens, Solvay and Manz in February to research, develop and build a new generation solid-state battery to compete with Asian and U.S.…

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Merkel calls for Germany and China to regear relations for digital era

SHENZHEN (Reuters) – Berlin and Beijing must revamp their relationship to adapt to digital changes, said Angela Merkel, who has made the issue a top priority of her fourth term as German Chancellor. German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits iCarbonX, a start up company focusing on combining genomics with other health factors to create a digitalized form of life, in Shenzhen, China May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby YipGermany lags behind other industrialized countries and Merkel said during a visit to China she hoped the two countries would sign a memorandum of understanding…

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EU privacy law enters into force, activist takes aim

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – New European privacy regulations went into effect on Friday that will force companies to be more attentive to how they handle customer data. The ramifications were visible from day one, with major U.S.-media outlets including the LA Times and Chicago Tribune were forced to shutter their websites in parts of Europe. People in the bloc have been bombarded with dozens of emails asking for their consent to keep processing their data, and a privacy activist wasted no time in taking action against U.S. tech giants for allegedly…

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Kenya moves to regulate fintech-fuelled lending craze

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya built a reputation as a pioneer of financial inclusion through its early adoption of a mobile money system that enables people to transfer cash and make payments on cellphones without a bank account. Branch app, an online financial micro lending platform is seen on a mobile phone in this photo illustration taken May 23, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/IllustrationNow, a proliferation of lenders are using the same technology to extend credit to the banked and unbanked alike, saddling borrowers with high interest rates and leaving regulators scrambling to…

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South Africa investigates $80 million bitcoin scam

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African authorities are investigating an alleged cryptocurrency scam that defrauded investors of 1 billion rand ($80 million) with promises of huge returns that never materialized, police said on Friday. FILE PHOTO: Representation of the Bitcoin virtual currency standing on the PC motherboard is seen in this illustration picture, February 3, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File PhotoThe fraud investigation involves a company named BTC Global, which told clients they would earn 2 percent per day, 14 percent a week and 50 percent in a month, the police said. A…

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China to use cornerstones to help Alibaba, Xiaomi list in mainland: sources

HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) – China plans to use cornerstone investors to help its overseas-listed tech giants such as Alibaba and Xiaomi [IPO-XMGP.HK] to sell shares at home, on worries the size of the deals could overwhelm mainland markets, three sources said. FILE PHOTO: A sign of Alibaba Group is seen during the fourth World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, December 3, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song/File PhotoThis departure from norm by China, where equity offerings are typically sold without such strategic investors, comes at a time when the country is…

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