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Hitachi, UK says no decision taken on British nuclear project

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A logo of Japan's high-tech giant Hitachi at an exhibition in Tokyo on October 29, 2013. Hitachi announced its group net profit rose 8.8 percent in the first half of the fiscal year, from a year earlier to 32.77 billion yen as the weaker yen and cost-cutting. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO        (Photo credit should read YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO | AFP | Getty Images

A logo of Japan’s high-tech giant Hitachi at an exhibition in Tokyo on October 29, 2013. Hitachi announced its group net profit rose 8.8 percent in the first half of the fiscal year, from a year earlier to 32.77 billion yen as the weaker yen and cost-cutting. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO (Photo credit should read YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)

Japan’s Nikkei business daily reported that Hitachi had decided to freeze the project, although it also reported that the board had yet to vote to make it a formal decision.

A spokeswoman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said talks with Hitachi were continuing.

“On Hitachi, the negotiations on that are ongoing and those are obviously commercially sensitive so I can’t comment,” the government spokeswoman told reporters when asked about the reports.

May met Japanese Prime minister Shinzo Abe this week in London. He told her Japan did not want to see a disorderly Brexit when Britain leaves the European Union in March.

Hitachi said in Friday’s statement that it had been assessing the project “including its potential suspension and related financial impact.”

“Should any matter arise which needs to be disclosed Hitachi will announce information in a timely manner,” Hitachi said.

Nikkei reported that Hitachi had decided to freeze the project, leading to a special loss of 200 billion to 300 billion yen ($1.9 billion to $2.8 billion) for the year ending in March. Hitachi’s board would vote on the suspension at a meeting next week, it reported without citing its sources.

In Friday’s statement, Hitachi said: “These articles aren’t based on Hitachi’s decision or disclosed information.”

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Mueller report: Global media reaction

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The Mueller report has also caught the attention of continental Europe, a region with its own conflicted relationship with Trump following threats from the president to impose import tariffs on European cars.

France’s Le Figaro noted that the Mueller report “clears” Trump and that while the White House “triumphs” at the findings, the Democrats “wince,” Le Monde newspaper also said that the Mueller findings “reinforce Trump in upcoming battles.”

Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper noted that while the report said there was “no proof (of collusion) the president is not absolved” while Germany’s public broadcaster Deutsche Welle noted on its website that the report actually gives “no respite” for Trump as other investigations into his administration and his business dealings will “continue unabated.”

Daniel Friedrich Sturm, Die Welt’s U.S. correspondent, wrote that “Sunday was a great day for the American president,” and that the Mueller findings were “perhaps Trump’s greatest triumph in the battle for power since his electoral victory two-and-a-half years ago.” However, he noted that although the White House had downplayed the question of whether Trump had obstructed the investigation, “that will not be the last word” on the subject.

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Protesters in Germany say new EU law will enable online censorship

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BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 23: Protesters rally against proposed upload filters that they claim will restrict Internet freedom on March 23, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)

Michele Tantussi | Getty Images News | Getty Images

BERLIN, GERMANY – MARCH 23: Protesters rally against proposed upload filters that they claim will restrict Internet freedom on March 23, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets across Germany last weekend to challenge a new European Union copyright law set to be passed this week.

The protesters, marching under the slogan “Save your Internet,” fear the EU Copyright Directive, which aims to modernize copyright rules for the digital era, could lead to online censorship and restrict freedom of speech.

AP, citing local German media, said 40,000 people marched in protest of the law in Munich on Saturday. Other protests in Hamburg, Dusseldorf and Berlin included more than one thousand attendees according to the events’ Facebook pages.

European lawmakers are scheduled to vote on the final text of the directive Tuesday.

The news rules aim to protect artists, publishers and news outlets by putting limitations on big tech companies that distribute content. One controversial proposal would give news publications the ability to negotiate commercial licenses with platforms like Google News in order to post their articles.

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Russia responds to the Mueller investigation summary

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Russian lawmakers welcomed the findings of an investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, saying the report vindicates Kremlin denials of collusion with President Donald Trump‘s administration.

Mueller found no evidence of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia in the 2016 election, according to a summary of the special counsel’s key findings made public on Sunday by Attorney General William Barr.

In a letter to key members of Congress, the top Justice Department official said Mueller wrote that the report “does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

“So, Mueller’s long-awaited report proved what was known in Russia from the very beginning: There was no collusion between Trump and any of his team with the Kremlin,” Konstantin Kosachev, a senator in Russia’s upper house of Parliament, said in a Facebook post on Monday.

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