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Google deals Huawei major blow by cutting Android licence | Science & Tech News

Google has dealt a major blow to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei by blocking the firm from using critical apps and services like Gmail and YouTube on its range of smartphones, according to reports.

Just like other major smartphone makers including Samsung and LG, Huawei relies on the Google-developed Android operating system to power its mobile devices.

But, amid a US crackdown on Chinese technology companies due to ongoing security concerns, Reuters and The Verge report that Google has suspended business with Huawei and in doing so hugely undermined its lineup of handsets, which are among the most critically-acclaimed and best-selling on the market.

Huawei has become one of the world's leading smartphone manufacturers

Huawei has become one of the world’s leading smartphone manufacturers

Existing products will no longer receive Android updates, which bring new features and security improvements, and future releases will lose access to the vital Google Play Store, through which users download new apps.

Huawei will instead be restricted to using a public version of the operating system called Android Open Source Project, which does not include standard Google apps like Gmail, Google Maps, Google Photos and YouTube.

Google headquarters office at Mountain View in California

Google says there are 2.5 billion active Android devices worldwide

Although Huawei smartphones are banned from the US, enormous sales figures in China and impressive growth in parts of Europe has seen the company overtake iPhone maker Apple in terms of market share.

The Verge reported earlier this month that Huawei was now only behind Samsung when it comes to global smartphone sales, with 59.1 million shipments in the first quarter of 2019.

Google is developing its services as more people use them on mobile

Future Huawei phones will no longer have access to YouTube

But the intervention from Google could cripple hopes of further expansion.

While a custom Huawei-built operating system would cause little issue in its home market, where most Google apps are banned anyway, it would likely be rejected by Western customers.

Google apps and services are a critical part of Android devices, and Huawei owners in Europe and the UK may now be forced to seek alternatives to what the Chinese company has to offer.

US diplomat’s fears over UK using Huawei

Huawei has not commented on the reports, but has continued to insist that its products pose no security threat.

Last week, its UK executive vice president Jeremy Thompson told Sky News it is willing to go the “extra mile” to reassure countries its technology is safe.

His comments came after Prime Minister Theresa May came in for criticism over a National Security Council decision to back the use of Huawei technology in “non-core” 5G network infrastructure in the UK.

That was despite a warning from the National Cyber Security Centre and the US government that the company could not be trusted.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump has targeted the telecommunications giant in a round of sanctions

Donald Trump has declared a “national emergency” over the perceived threat posed by Chinese companies and imposed severe sanctions on Huawei, with US companies barred from using telecommunications equipment made by firms deemed to pose a national security risk.

The US commerce department has also added Huawei and 70 affiliated companies to a blacklist banning it from acquiring components and technology from US firms without government approval.

Google has not responded directly to the reports, but said it was “complying with the order” issued by the US president and was “reviewing the implications”.

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Egypt authorities killed Morsi – President Erdogan alleges

Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Egypt authorities for the death of an ex-Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi.

Erdogan blamed Egypt authorities when delivering a televised speech in Istanbul on Wednesday, saying that Morsi was struggling on the floor in the courtroom for 20 minutes and nothing was done to save him.

“Morsi was killed, he did not die of natural causes.

“I will follow up on the process related to Morsi’s death and do whatever is needed for Egypt to be tried in international courts,” he said.

DAILYPOST recalls that former Egypt President, Morsi died in court.

Morsi was buried on Tuesday, as rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called for an independent probe into the causes of his death.

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‘Credible evidence’ Saudi crown prince responsible for Khashoggi murder – UN expert

A UN expert investigating the murder of Jamal Khashoggi says there is “credible evidence” suggesting Saudi Arabia’s crown prince is responsible for the killing.

Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, has recommended an investigation into the possible role of Mohammed bin Salman in the journalist’s death.

In a 101-page report into Mr Khashoggi’s murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October, Ms Callamard calls for the UN to “demand” a follow-up criminal investigation.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the Future Investment Initiative FII conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh on October 24, 2018. - The summit, nicknamed 'Davos in the desert', has been overshadowed by growing global outrage over the murder of a Saudi journalist inside the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia has denied Mohammed bin Salman was involved in Mr Khashoggi’s death

She noted the “extreme sensitivity” of considering the criminal responsibility of the crown prince, as well as Saud Alqahtani, a senior adviser to the Saudi royal court who has not been charged.

“No conclusion is made as to guilt,” she wrote of the two men.

“The only conclusion made is that there is credible evidence meriting further investigation.”

There was no immediate reaction from Saudi Arabia but the kingdom has regularly denied accusations that the prince was involved.

More from Jamal Khashoggi

Mr Khashoggi, a critic of the prince and a Washington Post columnist, was last seen at the Saudi consulate on 2 October where he was due to receive papers ahead of his wedding.

His body was dismembered and removed from the building, the Saudi prosecutor has said, and his remains have not been found.

Following a six-month investigation, Ms Callamard said it was her conclusion that Mr Khashoggi was “the victim of a deliberate, premeditated execution” and an “extrajudicial killing for which the state of Saudi Arabia is responsible under international human rights law”.

“There is credible evidence, warranting further investigation of high-level Saudi officials’ individual liability, including the crown prince’s,” she added.

“Indeed, this human rights inquiry has shown that there is sufficient credible evidence regarding the responsibility of the crown prince demanding further investigation.”

Salah Khashoggi, Jamal Khashoggi's son, meets Mohammed Bin Salman. Pic: Saudi Press Association

Jamal Khashoggi’s son Salah (left) met the crown prince after his father’s death

Ms Callamard said there was “no reason why sanctions should not be applied against the crown prince and his personal assets”.

She went to Turkey earlier this year with a team of forensic and legal experts and said she received evidence from Turkish authorities.

She said she obtained access to a recording of the killing and had received information about a “financial package” offered to Mr Khashoggi’s children.

Her report offers gruesome, nearly minute-by-minute accounting of the events surrounding the killing, and cites sounds of a buzzing saw that could have been used to dismember Mr Khashoggi’s body.

Jamal Khashoggi was killed after going into the consulate on 2 October

Mr Khashoggi’s remains have never been found

Ms Callamard said she received no response to her request to travel to Saudi Arabia.

Eleven people are on trial in Saudi Arabia over the murder in largely secret proceedings, and five could face the death penalty.

Ms Callamard named 15 suspects in the case, while the US State Department has publicly identified 16 people for their alleged roles in the killing.

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Polar bear wanders into a city hundreds of miles from its Arctic home | World News

An emaciated polar bear has wandered into a Russian industrial city in Siberia – hundreds of kilometres away from its natural Arctic habitat.

The visibly weak female bear lay despondently on the ground for hours in Norilsk in northern Siberia on Tuesday.

Its feet caked in mud, the bear occasionally rose to desperately sniff around for food on a garbage dump.

The weak bear lay on the ground despondently for hours

The weak bear lay on the ground despondently for hours

The polar bear is the first to be seen in the city in more than 40 years, according to local environmentalists.

Local wildlife expert Oleg Krashevsky, who filmed the polar bear close up, said it was unclear what had brought the animal to the city – far south of its normal hunting grounds.

The bear desperately searched for food on a garbage dump

The bear desperately searched for food on a garbage dump

He said the bear had watery eyes and could clearly not see well, and that local officials will now decide whether they can catch the animal and airlift it back to the north.

Emergency officials in the city of Norilsk warned residents about the bear.

The bear occasionally rose to sniff around the Siberian city

The bear occasionally rose to sniff around the Siberian city

Environmentalists say wild animals are suffering from the shrinking hunting environment and receding ice as the Arctic gets warmer due to global warming, prompting some to venture south in search of food.

Compared with the rest of the world, the Arctic is warming twice as fast.

It is unclear whether the bear will be airlifted back to its natural habitat

It is unclear whether the bear will be airlifted back to its natural habitat

State wildlife experts are expected to arrive in Norilsk on Wednesday to assess the bear’s condition.

Mr Kravesky said the bear might be too weak to be taken back to its natural habitat.

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