Washington, D.C.

Sen. Merkley accuses Nielsen of perjury

A senator requested that the FBI open a perjury investigation into Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, accusing her of lying about the Trump administration’s family separation policy during sworn testimony to Congress. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., released a previously undisclosed memo on Thursday from high-level officials at the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice in 2017 that outlined policy options to deal with illegal immigration. The second item on the list is a policy to “separate family units.” During testimony in front of Congress in December Nielsen said, “We’ve never had a policy for family separation.”

FTC may impose big fine on Facebook

U.S. regulators have met to discuss imposing a record-setting fine against Facebook for violating a legally binding agreement with the government to protect the privacy of its users’ personal data, according to three people familiar with the deliberations. The fine under consideration at the Federal Trade Commission would mark the first major punishment levied against Facebook in the United States since reports emerged in March that Cambridge Analytica accessed personal information on about 87 million Facebook users. The penalty is expected to be much larger than the $22.5 million fine the agency imposed on Google in 2012. That fine set a record for the greatest penalty for violating an agreement with the FTC to improve its privacy practices.

Mexico

Gas pipeline explodes, killing at least 20

A gas pipeline in the state of Hidalgo exploded Friday night, killing at least 20 people in a blast authorities said was caused by an illegal tap used to steal fuel. Omar Fayad, the governor of Hidalgo, said that more than 70 others were injured in the explosion in Tlahuelilpan, a town about 80 miles north of Mexico City. The country has been plagued by fuel thefts, and Fayad called on Mexicans “not to be accomplices.” Mexico is in the midst of a gas crisis, with shortages in and around the capital, long lines at stations around the country and criminal gangs siphoning gasoline to resell it.

Zimbabwe

Internet shut down amid violent protests

Zimbabwe imposed a “total internet shutdown” for most of Friday in what critics called an attempt to hide growing reports of a violent crackdown on protests against a dramatic fuel price increase. Gasoline in the country is now the world’s most expensive, and since Monday Zimbabweans have heeded a call shared on social media to stay home in protest.

News services