News 

Russia passes bill making it illegal to disparage the state online

“Valery Gartung of the Just Russia faction also criticized the legislation, saying its vagueness will open the way for selective interpretation” writes Associated Press for marketwatch.com. MOSCOW (AP) — Russian lawmakers passed legislation Thursday that imposes restrictions on online media and criminalizes anyone who insults the state.It also endorsed a separate bill that will block anyone publishing “fake news” online, that is perceived to threaten public health and security. Source: marketwatch.com

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Brain behind abortion survivor bill blames Sasse for sparing Dems

“Sasse, a first-term senator, reintroduced Born-Alive legislation in both the 114th and 115th Congresses” reports washingtonexaminer.com. Although the legislation failed, Republicans have used it to portray Democrats as extreme on the issue of abortion.He envisioned the legislation as a vehicle for Congress to establish its right to regulate abortion — beginning with protecting infants who survive abortion and slowly asserting its right to legislate overall abortion. Source: washingtonexaminer.com

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Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., introduced legislation Tuesday to require the federal government to offer paid family leave, noting that it is the nation’s largest employer.

“Maloney’s legislation, the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act, or FEPLA, would allow paid leave for all caregiving needs, not just parental leave” reports washingtonexaminer.com. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., introduced legislation Tuesday to require the federal government to offer paid family leave, noting that it is the nation’s largest employer.Hoyer said that he hopes President Trump will consider backing the legislation, given that his daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump has made paid family leave a priority. Source: washingtonexaminer.com

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News Stocks 

Politicians suggest that public pension plans divest

“The most recent effort to engage public pension plans in social investing came in legislation sponsored by Sen” writes Alicia H for marketwatch.com. Public pension funds are particularly ill-suited vehicles for social investing.The immediate criticism of the legislation centered on the issue of free speech, but my concern is that politicians are once again using public pension funds to accomplish policy goals.Second, while restricting investments for any single cause would have little impact on the returns of public pension funds, it is the first step down a slippery slope. Source: marketwatch.com

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Crypto News 

Russia to Introduce Special Crypto Regulations for ‘Russian Offshores’

“In the meantime, Russian Minister of Justice Alexander Konovalov reportedly claimed that it is too early to formalize crypto-related legislation” writes Ana Alexandre for cointelegraph.com. The instructions require the legislation to include a regulatory framework for digital financial assets, as well as attract greater financial resources based on digital technologies.The new set of measures in respect to the development of “Russian offshores” will affect digital assets, major Russian news agency TASS reported on Mar. 1. Both the constitution and current financial system legislation in Russia “categorically prohibit” using cryptocurrencies as a…

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Facebook has been targeting politicians to lobby against data privacy laws: Report

“Social media giant, Facebook, has been trying to influence politicians across parts of the world into joining its lobbying campaign against data privacy laws” reports firstpost.com. Facebook even threatened to withhold investment from countries unless they promised to support or passed Facebook-friendly laws.The documents which have cropped up after a court case against Facebook by app developer Six4Three in California, reveals that the Facebook CFO considered the GDPR legislation a “critical” threat to the company. Source: firstpost.com

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Signature Democratic political reform package comes with price tag of at least $2.5 billion

“The actual cost would come from separate legislation to fund programs authorized by the bill” reports washingtonexaminer.com. A campaign, elections, and ethics reform package that Democrats hope to make a signature achievement of their majority in the House of Representatives this Congress will come with a price tag of close to $2.5 billion.That estimate comes from a report issued Friday by the Congressional Budget Office, the official budgetary scorekeeper of Congress. Source: washingtonexaminer.com

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Thailand passes internet security law decried as ‘cyber martial law’

“The law allows the National Cybersecurity Committee (NCSC) to summon individuals for questioning and enter private property without court orders in case of actual or anticipated “serious cyber threats.”” writes Midwest Communications Inc for 95kqds.com. Internet freedom activists have called the legislation a “cyber martial law,” as it encompasses all procedures from everyday encounters of slow internet connections to nationwide attacks on critical infrastructure.Civil liberties advocates, internet companies and business groups have protested the legislation, saying it would sacrifice privacy and the rule of law, and warning compliance burdens could…

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Crypto News 

Russian President Putin Orders Government to Adopt Crypto Regulation by July 2019

“Recently, Russian financial outlet Rambler reported that the Russian State Duma plans to review and adopt new cryptocurrency regulations in March” writes Helen Partz for cointelegraph.com. As such, Russia’s crypto regulation bill was sent back to the first reading stage in December 2018.The President has required the Council of the Federation of Russia and the lower house the Federal Assembly of Russia (Russian State Duma) to adopt the regulation during the spring session of 2019.Specifically, the document requires the adoption of federal legislation that aims to develop the digital economy,…

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