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EU unveils cybercrime unit in bid to turn criminal tide BRUSSELS: In a bid to seize the initiative from increasingly sophisticated online criminals, the European Union unveiled a new cybercrime centre Wednesday.   Criminal gangs are using new technology to steal identities, empty bank accounts or profit from child sex abuse, and only a centralised system can combat them, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said.   A new European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) opening in the Hague alongside Europol on Friday "will give a strong boost to the EU's capacity to fight cybercrime and defend an internet that is free, open and secure," Malmstroem said.   "Cybercriminals are smart and quick in using new technologies for criminal purposes; the EC3 will help us become even smarter and quicker to help prevent and fight their crimes," she added.   The new centre is meant to scale up the response to a growing threat that recognises no boundaries, said Troels Oerting, who heads EC3.   "Our lives are led online," Oerting said, ...

Ukraine leader nominates close ally as new central bank head KIEV: Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich nominated a close ally as central bank governor on Wednesday, an appointment that should clear the way for the indebted country to hold loan talks with the IMF.   The move to promote central bank Deputy Chairman Ihor Sorkin needs parliament's approval. Yanukovich's Party of the Regions and traditional allies, the communists, have a thin parliamentary majority so should be in a position to win a vote, probably later this week.   Sorkin's appointment ...
German bishops quarrel with experts over sex abuse probe BERLIN: Germany's Roman Catholic Church said on Wednesday it had severed ties with criminologists commissioned to research sexual abuse by clergy in a row over the right to publish their findings.   The Church announced in July 2011 it would open its archives, which date back to the end of World War II, to shed light on abuse claims, tasking the northern Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony to analyse evidence.   But "mutual trust" between the Bishops' Conference ...
Italian elections eough complicated LONDON: Italy's general election will take place on Feb. 24-25. Voters will elect 945 members of parliament, who then approve a new government.   That much is certain. Almost everything else is up in the air. Breakingviews asks the questions, and does its best to answer them clearly. Warning: in Italy, nothing is simple.   Yields on Italian sovereign debt have fallen to pre-crisis levels. Do the elections really matter to investors?   While yields are no longer dangerously high, political ...
Hollande spurns appeal to save death row elephants  LYON: French President Francois Hollande will not intervene in the case of two ailing zoo elephants whose death sentence led Brigitte Bardot to threaten to go into exile in Russia, his office said Wednesday.   The two elephants named Baby and Nepal face being put down because they have been diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) and deemed a threat to the health of other animals and visitors to the zoo in the eastern city of Lyon.   Gilbert Edelstein, the ...
GRENOBLE: Investigators probing the murder of a British-Iraqi family in the French Alps have found no link with a Swiss gunman who killed three women last week, a prosecutor said on Tuesday.   "In light of the facts and the killer's explanations, there does not seem to be any link between the two cases," Annecy prosecutor Eric Maillaud told AFP.   "Exchanges have taken place, but there is now no reason to go further," he said.   French investigators had asked ...
Poland probes artist WARSAW: Polish prosecutors have launched an investigation into a Swedish artist's claims he used the ashes of Holocaust victims in his artwork, an official said on Tuesday.   The artist, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, claims he stole ashes from a crematorium at Nazi Germany's Majdanek concentration camp in Poland in 1989 then used them in one of his paintings by mixing them with water.   "The prosecution opened an investigation into this matter Monday," said Beata Syk-Jankowska, a spokeswoman ...


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