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U.S. says Toyota to pay $1.2 billion over safety issues

ToyotaToyota Motor Corp will pay a record $1.2 billion to resolve a criminal investigation into its handling of consumer complaints over safety issues, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday.

Toyota admitted it misled American consumers by concealing and making deceptive statements about two safety issues, each of which caused a type of unintended acceleration, the Justice Department said.

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IBM denies assisting NSA in spying on customers

IBMInternational Business Machines Corporation assured its enterprise clients that it has not provided client data to the NSA and will challenge any such requests.

Robert Weber, IBM’s senior vice president for legal and regulatory affairs, wrote a blog post in response to customer questions about the security of their data and how the company would react in response to government requests for bulk data.

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Arkansas abortion ban struck down by judge

Arkansas judge strikes down abortion banA federal judge on Friday struck down an Arkansas law that would ban most abortions starting at 12 weeks of pregnancy, one of the most restrictive such statutes enacted in the United States, declaring the measure unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright ruled that the law "impermissibly infringes a woman's Fourteenth Amendment right to elect to terminate a pregnancy before viability" of the fetus, as established by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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This time it’s real: U.S. ready to give up control over key internet functions

icannThe key contract that the U.S. government controls for the internet’s naming system is actually the Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA) contract, which includes managing the root zone. That contract is awarded by the U.S.’ National Telecommunications and Information Administration to ICANN.

Signing the Affirmation of Commitments gave the U.S. government a way to say it was relinquishing control of the internet without actually doing it. It bought it time.

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You Might Pay A Lot More Than $95 For Skipping Health Insurance

Skipping life insurance2014 is the first year most Americans will have to either have health insurance or face a tax penalty.

But most people who are of the penalty think it's pretty small, at least for this first year. And that could turn into an expensive mistake.

"I'd say the vast majority of people I've dealt with really believe that the penalty is only $95, if they know about it at all," says Brian Haile, senior vice president for health policy at . "And when people find out, they're stunned. It's much, much higher than they would expect."

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Snowden calls for 'accountability' in surveillance chat

SnowdenFormer National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden says the NSA is "setting fire to the future of the Internet" with surveillance practices he first revealed last year.

During a chat at the SXSW festival Monday, Snowden addressed the NSA's tactics, discussed in an investigative series by The Guardian last summer.

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British al-Qaida turncoat to testify in trial of Bin Laden's son-in-law

UK turncoat to testifyA British man who plotted to shoe-bomb a plane for al-Qaida will on Monday begin a series of appearances as a star witness for the US government, testifying from London against Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law and propagandist.

Saajid Badat, who became a valuable turncoat after being jailed in 2005, is due to be beamed via video link into the Manhattan courtroom a few blocks from Ground Zero where Suleiman Abu Ghaith is on trial for conspiring to kill Americans and giving support to the jihadist network.

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