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Amazon asks employees to delete TikTok as US, Australia consider blocking app over ‘security risk’

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American tech giant, Amazon has asked its employees to delete video app TikTok from their cellphones, citing “security risks”.

TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, is an app known for quirky short videos.

The app has been under scrutiny as a potential national security threat because of its ties to China.

In the email to its employees, Amazon officials said that staff must delete the app from any devices that “access Amazon email.”

Employees had to remove the app by Friday to remain able to obtain mobile access to their Amazon email, the note said.

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Amazon workers are still allowed to view TikTok from their laptop browser, the company added.

TikTok’s popularity exploded due to the coronavirus pandemic, drawing in users looking to escape the boredom of quarantine.

The app has been downloaded more than 2 billion times, according to research firm Sensor Tower, with 623 million coming during the first half of this year.

India is its largest market, followed by Brazil and the US. (TikTok isn’t available in China, where ByteDance distributes a domestic version called Douyin.)

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Now, TikTok’s growth is under fire because governments are concerned the Chinese government might have sway over the app.

Citing national security concerns, India banned TikTok last week. The US and Australia are also considering blocking the app.

US government is worried China could use the video app to spy on its citizens.

In an interview with Fox News aired on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that users who downloaded the app are putting “private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

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Late on Monday, TikTok also said it would withdraw from stores in Hong Kong, where a new national security law from China was enacted.

The company said it would make it inoperable to users there within a few days. TikTok has also said that managers outside China call the shots on key aspects of its business, including rules about data.

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Cat arrested, detained for smuggling heroin, escapes from prison

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A cat arrested and detained for allegedly smuggling heroin, memory chip and SIM cards into Sri Lanka has reportedly escaped from the country’s high-security prison.

According to reports on Monday, the cat was nabbed by jail intelligence officials on Saturday at the high-security Welikada Prison.

Reports said nearly two grams of heroin, two SIM cards and a memory chip were found in a small plastic bag tied around the cat’s neck.

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But it escaped on Sunday from a prison room where it was kept, the Aruna newspaper said.

There was no immediate comment from prison authorities.

The prison had reported an increase in incidents of people throwing small packets of drugs, cell phones and phone chargers over the walls in recent weeks.

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Sri Lanka is battling a major drug problem with some anti-narcotics detectives also implicated in selling confiscated drugs.

Police last week seized an eagle allegedly used by drug traffickers to distribute narcotics in a suburb of Colombo.

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Nigerian ladies stranded in Saudi Arabia cry out for help (Video)

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Some Nigerian ladies stranded in Saudi Arabia have called on the Nigerian government to come to their rescue.

In a video that was posted on the internet by one of the ladies, who spoke on behalf of the others, she said they have been stranded since the completion of their various contracts in the country.

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The lady pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state, to assist them in returning home.

She said:

Please on behalf of all the ladies working in Saudi Arabia, our governor Seyi Makinde, President Muhammadu Buhari, please we need your help. We have completed our contract. Please come to our rescue. We are just stranded here. We are weak. We can’t continue with this. Please help us. We need your help. Please. To all the prominent people in Nigeria, please we need your help. We want to go back to Nigeria. Please do something.”

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EFCC secures final forfeiture of N827.6m from NDDC contractors

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured the final forfeiture of N827, 679,098.32 from Flank Power Resources Limited and GMFD Ventures Limited, both of whom are firms linked to contractors with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, ordered the forfeiture.

The forfeiture followed an affidavit deposed to by an EFCC investigator in which the Commission prayed the court for the forfeiture of the sum to the Federal Government of Nigeria, being proceeds of unlawful activity, traced to some contractors’ accounts with Zenith Bank.

A breakdown of the recovery shows that N616, 679, 098.32  was recovered from Flank Power Resources Limited, while N211 million was recovered from GMFD Ventures Limited.

The EFCC said it discovered that between 2018 and 2019, Flank Power Resources Limited received the funds from the NDDC, through its account number:1015642852 , while GMFD received through account number: 1014657819 both of which are domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc for desilting contracts which aside being inflated, were not executed, but diverted and laundered.

The sum of N616, 679, 098.32 recovered from Flank Power Resources Limited was facilitated through 62 Zenith Bank drafts in favour of the EFCC Recovered Funds Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, while the N211million from GMFD came through 22 Zenith Bank drafts in favour of the same account.

EFCC had earlier secured the interim forfeiture of the money on June 8, 2020.

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