New online platform tracks corporate actions in tropical forests
By Chris Arsenault ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A group of large companies, mainly in the food sector, have promised to reduce their role in the destruction of the world's forests, and a new online portal launched on Wednesday aims to hold them to their word. Some of the biggest names in global food production, processing and retailing, including Cargill, McDonalds, Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Walmart are among the companies, with a combined market capitalization of nearly $4 trillion, pledging to tackle deforestation in their supply chains. The planet loses more than six million hectares of tropical rainforest a year - an area the size of Sri Lanka - a coalition of NGOs said in the report "Supply Change: Corporations, Commodities and Commitments that Count", released in tandem with the tracking portal. Land made available by felling tropical forests produces an estimated 70 percent of the world's soybeans and all of its palm oil, along with timber, cattle and other goods worth an estimated $98 billion in annual exports, the report said.

China clamps down on sexual content on WeChat

A man takes a photograph of a counter promoting WeChat displayed at a news conference in Hong KongChina's Internet regulator issued on Wednesday new guidelines prohibiting sexual and vulgar content on Tencent Holdings Ltd's popular messaging app, the latest step in the agency's perennial campaign to clean up China's Internet. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said sexually explicit pictures and text, including nude photos and erotic animation, and stories of "one-night stands, wife-swapping, sexual abuse and other harmful information" will be subject to punishment. Drug advertisements for illegal sexual enhancement products or sexually transmitted diseases are also banned, as are voyeuristic pictures and leaked media. WeChat, known as Weixin in China, is by far the country's most popular messaging app with 500 million users.



U.S. urges companies to do more to fight cyber crime

Illustration file picture shows a man typing on a computer keyboard in WarsawBy Huw Jones LONDON (Reuters) - Cyber crime is probably the biggest risk facing companies across the world, and they need to do more to help governments tackle the problem, U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin said on Wednesday. "Each of us must recognize this risk is perhaps the most pressing operational risk of our time," she told the CityWeek conference in London. Financial services firms were making substantial investments in reinforcing their resilience to cyber attacks but they needed to embed this resilience into their existing business units rather than grafting improvements on top of them, she said. Cyber threats undermined freedom of expression and hampered global economic recovery, and governments needed to ensure international legal principles that respect state sovereignty and human rights apply to conduct online as well as offline, Raskin said.



Beijing official says Chinese have no need for blocked websites

A picture illustration shows icons of WeChat and Weibo app in BeijingBy Ben Blanchard BEIJING (Reuters) - If Beijing is successful in its bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics then foreigners who attend will get uncensored Internet access, but this isn't an issue for Chinese who "don't like" sites like Facebook and Twitter, an official said on Wednesday. China keeps a tight rein on its Internet. The government has warned that social media, particularly foreign services, could be a destabilizing force for Chinese society or even affect the country's security. Popular foreign social media sites like Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook as well as Google Inc's main search engine and Gmail service are all inaccessible in China without specialized software to vault what is known as the "Great Firewall".



Moneysupermarket founder cancels 6.4 percent stake sale
The founder of British price comparison company Moneysupermarket.com, Simon Nixon, on Wednesday scrapped a plan to sell a stake of up to 6.4 percent in the company, less than a day after announcing it. A source had earlier told Reuters that Nixon was reducing offer to 4 percent of the company's share capital -- 22 million shares -- from the 35 million shares previously targeted, with a price range of between 268 pence and 270 pence. News of the cancellation sent shares in Moneysupermarket down 6.3 percent to 268.5 pence by 0850 GMT.

Delhi government asks federal ministry to block Uber, Ola apps

Photo illustration of logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone over a reserved lane for taxis in a street in MadridNew Delhi authorities on Wednesday asked India's federal information technology ministry to block the taxi-hailing apps of U.S.-based Uber and its local rival Ola in the city in a bid to enforce a ban on the companies' services. India in December ordered all unregistered web-based taxi companies to halt operations until they obtain an operating license after a driver contracted with Uber was accused of rape. The ban, however, has largely been ineffective and both Ola, backed by Japan's SoftBank Corp, and Uber have continued to operate in Delhi while their license applications are pending.



Airbnb wins bid to provide rooms for Rio 2016 Olympics: source
Online home-rental marketplace Airbnb Inc has won a bid to provide rooms for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, as the city scrambles to accommodate visiting fans and athletes, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters. The company, which has become one of Silicon Valley's most successful start-ups in the five years since it was founded by a trio of graduates, beat off competition from two other accommodation providers Hotel Urbano and Alugue Temporada.

Cricket-New Zealand still bubbling over semi-final performance
By Greg Stutchbury AUCKLAND, March 25 (Reuters) - Grant Elliott's towering six which propelled New Zealand into their first cricket World Cup final was still generating media buzz on Wednesday. The 36-year-old dispatched Dale Steyn's delivery over deep midwicket to take New Zealand to 299 for six on Tuesday, giving them a tense four-wicket victory over South Africa in the first semi-final at Eden Park. It ended a run of six defeats in semi-finals for New Zealand, who will play either Australia or India in Sunday's final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Reigning champions India meet four-times winners Australia in the second semi in Sydney on Thursday.

'Threat-sharing' cybersecurity bill introduced in U.S. House
By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Leaders of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee introduced legislation on Tuesday to make it easier for companies to share information about cybersecurity threats with the government, without the fear of being sued. Prompted in part by high-profile cyber attacks on corporations, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act has significant bipartisan support. Representative Devin Nunes, the intelligence panel's chairman, told reporters. The intelligence panel is due to vote on the legislation on Thursday.

Court tells Delhi gang rape lawyers to explain documentary remarks
By Suchitra Mohanty NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - India's top court on Tuesday called on two lawyers to explain comments made in a controversial BBC documentary on the gang rape and murder of a woman on a Delhi bus, after female advocates said the remarks were "inhumane" and "unjustifiable". The documentary "India's Daughter" was banned by the government earlier this month, when the home minister said remarks by Mukesh Singh - one of four men convicted for the December 2012 crime - in which he blamed the victim, were derogatory and an affront to the dignity of women. The remarks, widely broadcast before the ban was imposed, also prompted the Supreme Court Women Lawyers Association to seek action against the convicted men's defense lawyers, Ajai Pratap Singh and Manohar Lal Sharma, who were also interviewed in the documentary. In the petition, female lawyers urged the Supreme Court to ban the two men from the court premises and demanded they apologize for the "inhumane, scandalous, unjustifiable, biased, outrageous and ill-minded" remarks.

Clash of Clans maker Supercell doubles profit
By Jussi Rosendahl HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish mobile game maker Supercell tripled sales and doubled core profit last year on the back of hit titles Clash of Clans, Hay Day and Boom Beach, the company said on Tuesday. Chief Executive Ilkka Paananen said in the statement that the rapid growth was thanks to users' increased play of the company's existing games, which it updates regularly with extended story lines and features. Supercell has managed so far to avoid the fate of San Francisco-based Zynga and Finnish rival Rovio, which have both struggled to extend their franchises beyond initial hugely popular game titles. Founded in 2010, Supercell introduced its first games for mobile phones in 2011 and sold 51 percent of the business to Japanese technology and telecoms company SoftBank Corp in 2013 for about $1.5 billion.

Moneysupermarket.com founder to sell 6.4 percent stake in firm
The founder of financial services price comparison firm Moneysupermarket.com intends to sell up to 6.4 percent of the company's issued share capital, reducing his stake to about 10 percent. The sale of around 35 million shares in a placing could earn Simon Nixon, who founded the company in 1993, about 100 million pounds ($148.74 million), based on Moneysupermarket's closing share price of 286 pence on Tuesday.

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