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Slavyansk (Ukraine) (AFP) - Russia issued a blunt warning Wednesday it would respond if its interests are attacked in Ukraine, as pro-Kremlin rebels in the restive east of the country braced for a new military offensive by Kiev. The threat by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, recalling the 2008 war with Georgia over South Ossetia, came as US troops were headed to region in a show of force after Washington again warned Moscow of new sanctions over the escalating crisis.
The Ukrainian town councilor whose apparent torture and murder helped to prompt a new government offensive in the east was mobbed by a hostile, pro-Russian crowd before he disappeared, a video of the incident shows. The footage from Thursday on local news site gorlovka.ua shows angry scenes outside the town hall of Horlivka, between the separatist flashpoint cities of Donetsk and Slaviansk, as councilor Volodymyr Rybak is manhandled by several men, among them a masked man in camouflage, while other people hurl abuse. Ukraine's Interior Ministry said he was seen being bundled into a car by masked men in camouflage later that day. His body was found on Saturday near Slaviansk.
By Anthony Boadle BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's Senate unanimously approved groundbreaking legislation on Tuesday that guarantees equal access to the Internet and protects the privacy of Brazilian users in the wake of U.S. spying revelations. President Dilma Rousseff, who was the target of U.S. espionage according to documents leaked by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden, plans to sign the bill into law. The legislation, dubbed Brazil's "Internet Constitution," has been hailed by experts, such as the British physicist and World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, for balancing the rights and duties of users, governments and corporations while ensuring the Internet continues to be an open and decentralized network. To guarantee passage of the bill, Rousseff´s government had to drop a contentious provision that would have forced global Internet companies to store data on their Brazilian users on data center servers inside the country.
New York police Tuesday were eating extra helpings of humble pie after asking people to post images of themselves and NYPD officers on Twitter -- only to face a deluge of pictures of alleged police brutality. "Do you have a photo w/ a member of the NYPD? It may be featured on our Facebook," the department posted on its NYPD News Twitter feed, hoping to fuel a feel-good, low-cost public relations campaign.
(Reuters) - JetBlue Airways Corp pilots voted by a wide margin on Tuesday to join the Air Line Pilots Association union, sending the budget carrier's stock price down on concerns the move would raise the airline's costs. About 71 percent of the pilots eligible to vote in the month-long election backed ALPA. JetBlue has about 2,600 pilots and 96 percent were eligible to vote. The vote marked the first successful union drive by a group of workers at JetBlue.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court justices appeared unsure on Tuesday whether to rule against online TV startup Aereo Inc in a major copyright case, with several raising concerns about how a ruling in favor of broadcast networks could affect increasingly popular cloud computing services. Aereo, backed by media mogul Barry Diller, could be forced to shut down if the high court rules for the four major television broadcasters, who say the service violates copyright law. (Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)
By Esteban Israel and Anthony Boadle SAO PAULO/BRASILIA (Reuters) - A global conference in Brazil on the future of the Internet in the wake of U.S. spying revelations might be much less anti-American than first thought after Washington said it was willing to loosen its control over the Web. Bowing to the demands of Brazil and other nations following revelations last year of its massive electronic surveillance of Internet users, the United States has agreed to relinquish oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned of Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit group based in California that assigns Internet domain names or addresses. "The focus has changed from a political reaction to the NSA allegations to one of more constructive criticism and talk about the future of the Internet," said William Beer, a cyber security expert based in Sao Paulo.
South Africa's government corruption watchdog is looking into an allegation that the ruling ANC party handed out state-paid mattresses in election campaigns ahead of general polls on May 7, a spokesman said Tuesday. Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is planning a meeting with the country's social security agency after a complaint from new opposition party AgangSA. "AgangSA complained that mattresses were distributed in Valhalla in Cape Town allegedly as part of the ruling party's election campaign," her spokesman Oupa Segalwe told AFP.
By Marina Lopes NEW YORK (Reuters) - AT&T Inc said Tuesday it would partner with The Chernin Group media holding company to invest $500 million in a joint venture for web-based video services, making it the latest company aiming to tap the growing consumer demand for online video. The move follows announcements by Verizon Communications, Disney and Dish Network Corp which have plans to roll out video products outside a traditional TV subscription. Chernin Group, former News Corp president Peter Chernin's holding company, produces films and TV shows, and has a stake in Crunchyroll, a subscription and video-on-demand service. "AT&T's massive reach on those platforms across mobile and broadband and their commitment to the online video space make them the perfect fit for this venture with us," Chernin said.
After several months of rumors and reports of setbacks due to local regulations, plans to launch in France and Germany were indirectly confirmed by a Netflix executive. On an investor's call regarding Netflix's quarterly financial results, the company's Chief Content Officer and Vice President Ted Sarandos was questioned by JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth on whether Netflix would consider launching in new markets, "for example, France and Germany," if the company did not have the rights to all of its original content there. "And we will also have shows that we are premiering in France and Germany and other markets around Europe that we won't necessarily have in the United States." Rumors suggest that Netflix could arrive in the two countries as soon as this fall.
(Reuters) - Netflix Inc's planned price hikes will allow it to spend more to produce more original content that will help it attract more customers globally, analysts said, as many of them raised their price targets on the stock. Netflix's shares rose more than 9 percent in early trading on Tuesday after the company unveiled plans to increase prices and reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit. At least seven brokerages raised their price targets on the stock. Raymond James and Cantor Fitzgerald upgraded the stock to their equivalent of a "buy" rating, citing strong growth prospects from international markets.
(This story changes Mandalah description in the 30th paragraph, company name in the 31st paragraph) By Sophie Knight TOKYO (Reuters) - In June 2011, when customers of now-bankrupt bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox agitated for proof that the Tokyo-based firm was still solvent after a hacking attack, CEO Mark Karpeles turned to the comedy science fiction novel "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy". During an online chat, Karpeles moved the equivalent of $170 million in bitcoin at today's market rates - the virtual equivalent of a bank manager flashing a wad of cash in a wallet to establish credit. The gesture - with a sly wink to the "geek" culture Karpeles believed he shared with many of his 50,000 customers at the time, including an interest in coding, Japanese manga comics and science fiction - succeeded. By moving 424,242 bitcoins, Karpeles, then 26, evoked the random number, 42, described as the "meaning of life" in Douglas Adams' sci-fi novel.
By Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Hacking for espionage purposes is sharply increasing, with groups or national governments from Eastern Europe playing a growing role, according to one of the most comprehensive annual studies of computer intrusions. Spying intrusions traced back to any country in 2013 were blamed on residents of China and other East Asian nations 49 percent of the time, but Eastern European countries, especially Russian-speaking nations, were the suspected launching site for 21 percent of breaches, Verizon Communications Inc's said in its annual Data Breach Investigations Report. Though the overall number of spying incidents studied tripled to 511 from total in the 2013 Verizon report, most of that increase is due to the addition of new data sources. Even looking at just the same contributors as before, however, espionage cases grew, said Verizon investigator Bryan Sartin.
By Lisa Richwine LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Video streaming service Netflix Inc said it intends to raise the monthly subscription price for new customers by $1 or $2 a month to help the company buy more movies and TV shows and improve service for its 48 million global subscribers. Investors welcomed the announcement by Netflix, which had suffered from a consumer exodus and stock plunge after it announced an unpopular price increase in July 2011. Chief Executive Reed Hastings said Netflix had improved its selection of TV shows and movies and added original series like critically acclaimed Kevin Spacey thriller "House of Cards." With added revenue from higher prices, "we will be able to license much more content and deliver it in very high quality video," Hastings said on a webcast. Netflix has "room to raise prices," FBN Securities analyst Shebly Seyrafi said, because "they're still seeing a lot of demand" for the service.