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Jun 17, 2015

Swiss FIFA inquiry investigates 53 suspicious bank transactions

BERNE (Reuters) – Swiss prosecutors investigating corruption at global soccer body FIFA have identified 53 suspicious bank transactions, the attorney general said on Wednesday, stressing that a complex investigation may take a long time to unfold.

Michael Lauber told journalists he would not rule out interviewing FIFA President Sepp Blatter and General Secretary Jerome Valcke, although Switzerland had so far targetted no individuals in the scandal that has rocked international soccer.

Jun 17, 2015

Swiss prosecutor says seized nine terabytes of FIFA evidence

BERNE (Reuters) – Switzerland’s attorney general said on Wednesday his office had seized around nine terabytes of data as part of a sweeping investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption at world soccer’s governing body FIFA.

Michael Lauber told journalists he would not rule out interviewing FIFA President Sepp Blatter and General Secretary Jerome Valcke, though no individuals were being targeted at the moment.

Jun 8, 2015

Obama vows to boost U.S. cyber defenses amid signs of China hacking

KRUEN, Germany/WASHINGTON, June 8 (Reuters) – President
Barack Obama vowed on Monday that the United States would
aggressively bolster its cyber defenses, as U.S. officials said
the probe into a massive breach of federal government networks
has yielded growing signs of a direct Chinese role.

Obama stopped short of pointing the finger at Beijing for
the recent cyber attack, which threatens to overshadow broader
annual U.S.-China talks in Washington this month at a time when
tensions are already high over Beijing’s pursuit of territorial
claims in the South China Sea.

Jun 3, 2015

FBI extends FIFA scrutiny to World Cup host bids of Russia, Qatar

NEW YORK/ZURICH, June 3 (Reuters) – The FBI’s investigation of bribery and corruption at FIFA includes scrutiny of how soccer’s governing body awarded World Cup hosting rights to Russia and Qatar, a U.S. law enforcement official said.

Russia and Qatar have denied wrongdoing in the conduct of their bids for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, which were not the subject of charges announced by U.S. prosecutors a week ago against FIFA officials that stunned world soccer.

Jun 3, 2015

FBI probe includes 2018, 2022 World Cup host awards -U.S. official

NEW YORK, June 3 (Reuters) – The FBI’s investigation of soccer governing body FIFA includes scrutiny of how the organization awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 competition to Qatar, a U.S. law enforcement official said on Wednesday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the review of those awards would be part of a probe that is looking beyond the allegations in an indictment of FIFA officials announced in the United States a week ago.

Jun 3, 2015

FBI to investigate Russia, Qatar World Cup bids

NEW YORK/ZURICH (Reuters) – The FBI’s investigation of alleged corruption at FIFA includes scrutiny of how soccer’s governing body awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 competition to Qatar, a U.S. law enforcement official said.

The review would be part of a probe that goes beyond the allegations of bribery in a U.S. indictment of FIFA officials announced a week ago, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.

Jun 2, 2015

U.S. lawmakers warn proposed changes could doom spy bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – High-ranking members of the U.S. House of Representatives warned the Senate on Monday that proposed changes to the USA Freedom Act, a bill reforming domestic surveillance, were unlikely to pass the House and might doom the contentious spy program.

The renewed tension between the two houses came a day after the Senate failed to pass legislation extending the legal authority for U.S. spy agencies’ collection of American’s phone records in time to keep the program from expiring.

May 30, 2015

Rollback of U.S. spy powers would mark post-9/11 watershed

WASHINGTON, May 30 (Reuters) – At 3:59 p.m. EDT on Sunday,
the National Security Agency and telecommunications companies
will begin mothballing a once-secret system that collected
Americans’ bulk telephone records, shutting down computers and
sealing off warehouses of digital data.

If the U.S. Congress fails to act, key provisions of the USA
Patriot Act will lapse in a watershed moment in the post-Sept.
11, 2001, era. Intrusive government powers, created and wielded
in the name of preventing another mass-casualty terrorist
attack, would be at least partly scaled back, proponents and
critics of the surveillance say.

May 29, 2015

Soccer body CONCACAF casts out executives implicated in bribe scheme

WASHINGTON, May 28 (Reuters) – The organization that governs soccer in North and Central America on Thursday announced it had dismissed its president and was placing on leave a top executive who matched the description of a “co-conspirator” in a U.S. corruption sweep against global soccer officials.

The Confederation of North, Central American and the Caribbean Football Association (CONCACAF) said it had “provisionally dismissed” its president Jeffrey Webb, who was among 14 top global soccer and sports marketing executives named as defendants by the U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday.

May 22, 2015

Clinton emails show concern about image after Benghazi

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top aides to former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fretted over how she would be portrayed after the 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, emails released on Friday showed.

The emails from Clinton’s personal email account made public by the State Department do not appear to contain any revelations that could badly damage her bid for the presidency in 2016 or provide fodder for Republicans who accuse her of being negligent before the Benghazi attacks.