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Phone data cut after Somali militant threat

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Residents in parts of Somalia under militant control say at least one cellular telephone company has shut down data services in response to a threat from al-Qaida-linked extremists.

Al-Shabab gave phone companies until Friday to close down data services over fears the U.S. can tap into data and target militants.

Liban Farah, a resident in an al-Shabab-controlled area, said militants started searching phones on Saturday to see if they are receiving data. Farah said offenders are being jailed.

Several residents who insisted on anonymity for fear of reprisal attacks said Hormuud shut down its data service. It’s not clear if a second, smaller company did the same.

People can make calls and send text messages but cannot receive email or access the Internet.

Data is still available in government-held areas.



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Sen. Maria Cantwell says governments should not be on the hook for coal mine cleanups

UPDATED: 12:25 p.m.

WASHINGTON – Congress should end a practice that puts the federal government and states at risk of paying for expensive coal mine cleanups when mining companies go bankrupt, according to a new finding by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. The GAO, an investigative arm of Congress, is recommending that lawmakers eliminate the ability of coal mine owners to self-certify their financial wealth, known as “self-bonding.” The controversial process lets owners avoid putting up collateral or getting third-party surety bonds – a requirement of companies in every other energy sector.