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News: The Ascott seeks to double in size over next five years

The Ascott is ramping up its expansion with a target to double its portfolio to 160,000 units globally by 2023. Hot on the heels of its recent signing of nine management contracts in China, Ascott has clinched contracts to manage another four properties with 1,200 units in new cities such as Malacca in Malaysia and Davao in the Philippines while deepening its presence in Guangzhou in China and Cebu in the Philippines. Kevin Goh, Ascott chief executive, said: “With the global economic upswing and international travel arrivals hitting a new…

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UK PM seeks 'safe and ethical' artificial intelligence

The prime minister is to say she wants the UK to lead the world in deciding how artificial intelligence can be deployed in a safe and ethical manner. Theresa May will say at the World Economic Forum in Davos that a new advisory body, previously announced in the Autumn Budget, will co-ordinate efforts with other countries. In addition, she will confirm that the UK will join the Davos forum’s own council on artificial intelligence. But others may have stronger claims. Earlier this week, Google picked France as the base for…

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UK seeks future cyber-security stars

A £20m initiative to get schoolchildren interested in cyber-security has been launched by the UK government. The Cyber Discovery programme is aimed at 15 to 18-year-olds and involves online and offline challenges themed around battling hackers. It is one of several programmes trying to build interest in security work and help fill a looming skills gap. One industry expert said a broad strategy would be needed to address the widening gap. Hacker clubs The free Cyber Discovery programme aims to “encourage the best young minds into cyber-security”, said Karen Bradley,…

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FBI seeks to unlock Texas shooter's iPhone

Apple has offered to help the FBI unlock the phone of Devin Kelley. The former soldier shot dead 26 people and wounded 20 more at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, in Texas, on Sunday and was later found dead in his vehicle, some miles away. The FBI then released a statement saying his smartphone had been sent to its central crime lab, in Virginia, as local police could not unlock it. And Apple has now said it “immediately” offered to help. The company said it worked with law…

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Kevin Spacey seeks treatment as more stars face harassment claims

Kevin Spacey has said he is seeking treatment after facing allegations of sexual misconduct from a string of men. A representative for the actor said he “is taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment”. They did not give any information about what kind of treatment he wants. He is one of several Hollywood figures who have been accused of sexual misconduct. Dustin Hoffman has issued an apology while director Brett Ratner has been accused by six women. A lawyer for Ratner, the director of the Rush Hour films…

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News: trivago Hotel Relations seeks to bolster independent hotels

trivago has launched trivago Hotel Relations, a new wholly-owned subsidiary that will foster strong direct relationships with independent hotels. The company will focus on empowering hoteliers around the world to be more competitive online and to drive more direct bookings through their hotel websites. “With this step we are accelerating our ability to scale an exceptionally skilled international salesforce and build stronger ties with hoteliers. “It enables us to work even closer with hoteliers and better support them in making their direct marketing successful,” said Johannes Thomas, managing director and…

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