Exclusive: COVID-19 pushes Poland to accelerate exit from ailing coal – sources

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland, the European Union’s biggest hard coal producer, is considering closing at least three mines in coming months as the coronavirus pandemic forces it to accelerate its exit from the sector, according to sources familiar with the matter.

FILE PHOTO: General view of Wujek Coal Mine is seen during sunset in Katowice, Poland October 16, 2108. REUTERS/Kacper Pempe

Poland, the only EU member to refuse to pledge to become climate neutral by 2050, has long had a close relationship with coal, which has historically been a pillar of its economy. However the sector has often been loss-making in recent years, even as the state has sought to financially prop it up.

The closures being looked at by the government include the Wujek mine, three industry sources told Reuters, declining to be named. Wujek was the site of one of the bloodiest protests during communist rule and is

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Exclusive: U.S. small business program handed out virus aid to many borrowers twice

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A technical snafu in a U.S. government system caused many small businesses to receive loans twice or more under a federal aid program to help businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly a dozen people with knowledge of the matter said.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza look on during a signing ceremony for the “Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act,” approving additional coronavirus disease (COVID-19) relief for the U.S. economy and hospitals treating people sickened by the pandemic, in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The money mistakenly handed out could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars that the government and lenders – which made the loans – have been trying to identify and recover in recent weeks,

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Exclusive: Mexican broadcaster Televisa to launch mobile phone service, challenging Slim

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican broadcaster Televisa said on Sunday it will start offering mobile phone service, a bid to challenge billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil, which has long dominated the country’s telecommunications market.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of broadcaster Televisa is pictured at its offices in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez/File Photo

Rather than building infrastructure, Televisa will operate as a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, and begin by offering service to existing customers of its cable and home internet packages, sold under its Izzi brand. The broadcaster will rent space on Mexico’s wholesale telecom network, operated by Altan Redes.

Televisa originally planned to roll out the service in September, Izzi Chief Executive Salvi Folch said in an interview. But as cases of the coronavirus began climbing, executives sensed the economic turmoil stemming from the virus would create more demand for low-price phone packages

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Exclusive: Zoom plans to roll out strong encryption for paying customers

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Video conferencing provider Zoom (ZM.O) plans to strengthen encryption of video calls hosted by paying clients and institutions such as schools, but not by users of its free consumer accounts, a company official said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Small toy figures are seen in front of diplayed Zoom logo in this illustration taken March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

The company, whose business has boomed with the coronavirus pandemic, discussed the move on a call with civil liberties groups and child-sex abuse fighters on Thursday, and Zoom security consultant Alex Stamos confirmed it on Friday.

In an interview, Stamos said the plan was subject to change and it was not yet clear which, if any, nonprofits or other users, such as political dissidents, might qualify for accounts allowing more secure video meetings.

He added that a combination of technological, safety and business factors went into

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