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India takes down Cambridge Analytica site

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NEW DELHI — With the row over Cambridge Analytica snowballing into a major political slugfest, the website of Ovleno Business Intelligence (OBI), the Indian affiliate of UK-based Cambridge Analytica (CA) firm at the center of the Facebook data breach row, was suspended on Wednesday night following

Cambridge Analytica, a political data-mining firm, has been accused of stealing data from 50 million Facebook users and used it to manipulate elections.

The British data analytics firm uses predictive analytics and behavioural sciences to map trends based on user data, thus influencing voters.

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Founded in 2013, the firm’s parent company Strategic Communications Laboratories tied up with Ovleno, an Indian firm, to provide services like ‘political campaign management’.

It had also worked with Donald Trump during his US Presidential election campaign in 2016.

Before it was taken down, Ovleno’s site had a page listing the BJP, the Congress and the JD(U) among its clients. But both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and main opposition Congress deny links with SCL India but have accused one another of utilising the services of the company.

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Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wins presidency

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MALE — Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has beaten incumbent Abdulla Yameen according to provisional results, the country’s Elections Commission says.

Results released by the Elections Commission showed Mr Solih securing 133,808 votes (58.3 percent) compared to the 95,526 for incumbent Abdulla Yameen. The voter turnout was over 88 per cent out of the 262,000-strong electorate.

The Maldives government has acknowledged the opposition’s victory after the vote on Sunday, a surprise defeat for President Abdulla Yameen who was widely expected to win.

There were no other candidates.

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Mr Solih had the backing of a united opposition trying to oust Mr Yameen, but struggled for visibility with the electorate, with local media fearful of falling afoul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.

“I call on Yameen to respect the will of the people and bring about a peaceful, smooth transfer of power,” Solih said on television, shortly after interim results from the country’s election commission.

“We have won this election with a comfortable majority,” Solih said.

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