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Facebook Faces a $5B FTC Fine, the Largest Ever in Tech

At $5 billion, the fine the FTC is about to levy on Facebook is by far the largest it's given to a technology company, easily eclipsing the second largest, $22 million for Google in 2012.

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Report: 2-Month Idlib Campaign Nets Little for Syria's Assad

Two months of intensive airstrikes by Syrian government forces and their Russian allies, coupled with a fierce ground assault on rebel-controlled Idlib province, have killed hundreds of people and caused massive displacement while achieving little to no gain for President Bashar Assad.

Despite the heavy bombardment, Assad's troops have been unable to make any significant advances against al-Qaida-linked militants and other jihadi groups who dominate Idlib province, the last significant area held by opposition forces. Militant attacks have killed an average of more than a dozen soldiers and allied militiamen a day in recent weeks.

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Iran Demands Britain Release Oil Tanker Seized off Gibraltar

Iran is demanding the British navy release an oil tanker seized last week off Gibraltar, accusing London of playing a "dangerous game."

Friday's comments from the Iranian Foreign Ministry come a day after police in Gibraltar, a British overseas territory on the southern tip of Spain, said they arrested the captain and chief officer of the supertanker suspected of breaching European Union sanctions by carrying a shipment of Iranian crude oil to Syria.

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'Miss us?' Twitter Hit with Hour-Long Outage

"Miss us?" Twitter tweeted from its official account as the Great Twitter Outage wound down.

We did, apparently.

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Hizbullah Slams 'Spiteful' Sanctions as 'Continued Assault on Lebanon'

Hizbullah's parliamentary bloc said Thursday that U.S. sanctions targeting two of the group's members in the Lebanese parliament are spiteful and won't force a change in their ideology or views.

The U.S. Treasury Department said it is targeting two Hizbullah lawmakers and a security official suspected of using their positions to further the aims of the militant group and Tehran's "malign activities."

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Aoun Regrets U.S. Hizbullah Sanctions, Hariri Says Won't Affect Parliament, Govt.

President Michel Aoun decried on Wednesday new U.S. sanctions targeting two Hizbullah lawmakers, as Prime Minister Saad Hariri sought to reassure the public that the fragile economy won't be affected.

Aoun said the U.S. decision to target lawmakers was regrettable, adding that his government will pursue the matter with American officials.

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Berri Deplores US Sanctions Against Hizbullah MPs

Parliament speaker Nabih Berri deplored on Wednesday the fresh US sanctions targeting two Hizbullah lawmakers saying "they are an aggression against the whole country."

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Rising Iran Politician Has Intelligence Ties

Iran's first government minister born after its 1979 Islamic Revolution is a carefully manicured, charming internet engineer who posts Instagram pictures of his weekends with his family and spends 30 minutes a day reading letters from his constituents.

He also used to work for the Intelligence Ministry.

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Trump Gives Warm Welcome to Qatar amid Persian Gulf Disputes

President Donald Trump gave a warm White House welcome Tuesday to the leader of Qatar amid a bitter rift between the tiny, energy-rich nation and its fellow American allies in the Persian Gulf and rising tensions with Iran.

Trump clasped hands with the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and called him a friend while recognizing the country's extensive military partnership with the U.S. and billions of dollars in purchases from American companies.

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Macron's Top Adviser in Tehran in Bid to Save Nuclear Deal

French President Emmanuel Macron's top diplomatic adviser is spending two days in Tehran as part of an urgent bid to deescalate rising tensions with Iran over its unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.

An Elysee Palace official said that adviser Emmanuel Bonne left for Tehran on Tuesday, seeking ways to restart dialogue. The official wasn't authorized to speak publicly on the matter and asked for anonymity.

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