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Spanish leaders' homes protected

Spanish police will erect barriers around politicians' residences to shield them from protests over the growing number of home evictions and calling for changes to mortgage laws.

The Interior Ministry said it ordered police to keep demonstrators at a distance after protests outside the houses of senior members of the governing People's Party, including the Madrid home of Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria. Last year, foreclosure cases opened by the courts increased 18pc from 2011 to nearly 92,000 as the country suffered its second recession in five years and one in four workers was unemployed.

Chinese hacker ring discovered

US cybersecurity researchers have uncovered a Chinese hacking ring that they said broke into the servers of dozens of online video-gaming companies and stole valuable source code over a four-year period.

Kaspersky Lab warned that an organisation it christened "Winnti" had infiltrated the servers of at least 35 game developers and publishers, mostly in East Asia including South Korea, but also in Germany, the United States, Japan, China, Russia, Brazil, Peru and Belarus.

Google near to settling probe

Google has formally submitted a package of concessions to European Union competition regulators in a strong signal that the world's number one search engine may be able to settle a two-year antitrust investigation without a fine.

Google first offered proposals at the end of January following a spate of complaints from rivals such as Microsoft that triggered the European Commission's investigation in November 2010. But the company, which has a market share of over 80pc in Europe's internet-search market according to research firm comScore, has now made a formal offer after fine-tuning its proposals following discussions with the EU antitrust authority.

Wall Street banks criticised by SEC

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) told five big Wall Street banks last year to improve disclosures about structured notes that are mostly sold to retail investors, and criticised use of the term "principal protected" in marketing materials.

SEC staff said that using the term "principal protected" for structured notes should also come with disclosures about risk. The regulator sent letters to the banks commenting on marketing and pricing.

Irish Independent