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Poland charges two including Huawei manager with spying for China | Poland News

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Poland has charged a Chinese manager at tech giant Huawei and a Polish national involved in cyber business with espionage on behalf of China.

Polish state television on Friday reported that two men, arrested on Tuesday, were charged by Poland’s Internal Security Agency.

Polish security agents also searched the offices of Huawei and Orange, Poland’s leading communications provider, where the Pole had recently worked, seizing documents and electronic data.

The homes of both men were also searched, according to TVP, the state broadcaster.






WATCH: Canadian court releases Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou on bail (02:18)

The development came as a US dispute with China over a ban on Huawei is spilling over to Europe, the company’s biggest foreign market, where some countries are also starting to shun its network systems over data security concerns.

Some European governments and telecom companies are following the US lead in questioning whether using Huawei for vital infrastructure for mobile networks could leave them exposed to snooping by the Chinese government.

Maciej Wasik, deputy head of Poland’s special service, said the operation that resulted in the arrest of the two suspects had been underway for a long time and was planned with care.

He said “both carried out espionage activities against Poland”.

Polish state TV identified the Chinese man as Weijing W, saying he was a director in Poland at Huawei. Also going by the Polish first name Stanislaw, the Chinese man had previously worked at the Chinese consulate.

The broadcaster identified the Pole as Piotr D, and said he was a high-ranking employee at the Internal Security Agency until 2011, where he served as deputy director in the department of information security.

TVP said the men have not pleaded guilty and are refusing to give testimony in the case.

If convicted, they could face up to 10 years in prison. Under Polish law, their last names cannot be published ahead of trial.

Huawei issued a statement from its Chinese headquarters that said it was aware of the situation and looking into it.

“We have no comment for the time being. Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries where it operates, and we require every employee to abide by the laws and regulations in the countries where they are based,” it continued.

Geopolitical tensions over Huawei intensified after its chief financial officer, who is the daughter of founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested December 1 in Canada in connection with US accusations that the company violated restrictions on sales of American technology to Iran.

Huawei has been blocked in the US since 2012, when a House Intelligence Committee report found it was a security risk and recommended that the government and private companies stop buying its network equipment.

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Ottawa families give mixed reviews for online schooling

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So, how’s it going with online school? Families reached by CBC Ottawa seem to have mixed reviews. 

Masuma Khan is a mother of two. Her seven-year-old, Hana Wyndham in Grade 2, is attending French immersion virtual school. Masuma is grateful it’s an option, but can’t help notice a lot of down time.

“There’s a lot of, ‘are you on mute?’ In terms of the amount of learning that’s actually happening, it does seem to be not that high,” said Masuma.

Parents who kept their children at home this fall are in the minority, but they still form a significant chunk of families in Ottawa.

In the city’s largest school board, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), about 27 per cent of elementary students and 22 per cent of high school students chose online learning. The Ottawa Catholic School Board says roughly a quarter of its students are online.

For Masuma, the decision to keep her daughter home was complex: extended family members are immunocompromised and she worried the in-person learning environment would be unpleasant because of precautions. She also felt her daughter might benefit from being supported at home.

“She doesn’t necessarily enjoy school. I also found out during the pandemic that she was being bullied [last year],” said Masuma. “So I thought, why not try from home?”

To help her daughter socialize face-to-face with other kids, Masuma enrolled Hana in Baxter Forest School, an alternative education program where kids spend most of their time outside, one day a week. Hana also attends virtual Arabic classes two days a week after school. 

Masuma’s husband and Hana share the living room work space, and Masuma admits he does the lion’s share of helping their daughter stay on task. There is a possibility that he’ll be required to return to his office in the new year.

“When he goes back to work … it’s probably going to be a little bit more difficult.”

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No school closures after Christmas holiday break, says Ontario education minister

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Ontario elementary and secondary schools will not close for an extended winter break, says Education Minister Stephen Lecce.

Closures aren’t needed given Ontario’s “strong safety protocols, low levels of (COVID-19) transmission and safety within our schools,” Lecce announced Wednesday afternoon. He said he had consulted with Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams and the province’s public health measures advisory table.

That ended speculation about school buildings remaining closed in January for a period of time after the Christmas break.

Earlier in the week, Lecce told reporters the government was considering having students spend “some period out of class” in January, perhaps switching to online learning.

In a statement, Lecce said that even though rates of community transmission of COVID-19 are increasing, “schools have been remarkably successful at minimizing outbreaks to ensure that our kids stay safe and learning in their classrooms.”

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Windy start to the week in Ottawa

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OTTAWA — It’s a blustery Monday in the capital with wind gusts of up to 50 km/hour expected throughout the day.

Environment Canada is forecasting a high of 4 C with a 60 per cent chance of showers or flurries before the wind dies down later this evening.

There’s a chance of flurries on Tuesday as well with a high of -1 C. The overnight low will dip to an unseasonal -9 C.  

Wednesday’s high will be just -5 C with lots of sunshine.

Seasonal temperatures return for the rest of the week..

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