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  1. A gang of cybercriminals stole $45m (£29m) by hacking into a database of prepaid debit cards and draining cash machines around the world, US prosecutors say.

    Seven people have been charged in New York over the heist, which allegedly stretched across 26 countries.

    An eighth suspect is thought to have been murdered in April.

    The network used fake cards to target banks in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, court documents said.

    Prosecutors said law enforcement agencies in Japan, Canada, the UK, Romania and 12 other countries were involved in the investigation.

    Arrests had been made in other countries, they said, although details were not released.

    "The defendants and their co-conspirators participated in a massive 21st Century bank heist that reached across the internet and stretched around the globe," Loretta Lynch, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.

     

     

     

     

    The BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones explains how the hackers got the cash

    "In the place of guns and masks, this cybercrime organisation used laptops and the internet."

    Members of the scheme allegedly hacked computer systems to steal data on prepaid debit cards. The cards are pre-loaded with funds rather than being linked to a bank account or a line of credit.

    They cancelled withdrawal limits and distributed information to accomplices referred to as "cashers" around the world.

    The cashers then loaded other magnetic stripe cards, such as gift cards or old hotel keys, with the stolen data and used them to withdraw huge sums.

    The first alleged raid took place at the Rakbank in the UAE in December. Criminals were able to conduct 4,500 transactions worth $5m across about 20 countries.

    Prosecutors believe the group broke into the Bank of Muscat based in Oman in February. In the space of 10 hours, casher cells withdrew $40m from ATMs.

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  2. A British Olympic sailor has died after a Swedish catamaran capsized during a training session for the America's Cup in San Francisco Bay.

    Andrew "Bart" Simpson - a double Olympic medallist - was one of an 11-man crew on board the Artemis Racing catamaran, the team website said.

    It said Mr Simpson, 36, from Sherborne in Dorset, was trapped under the boat and efforts to revive him failed.

    Artemis is a Swedish team due to take part in the America's Cup.

    Artemis Racing said: "It is with immense sadness that Artemis Racing confirms the tragic death of crewmember Andrew 'Bart' Simpson today in San Francisco."

    At a news conference by the Bay, Artemis chief executive Paul Cayard said it was a "tragic day" for the crew.

    "We have a lot to deal with in the next few days in terms of assuring everybody's wellbeing," Mr Cayard said, as he offered his thoughts and prayers to Mr Simpson's wife and family.

     

    Mr Simpson represented Great Britain at two Olympic Games, sailing in the Star class alongside Iain Percy, his Artemis team boss.

    The pair took gold at the Beijing 2008 Games and were close at London 2012 to topping the podium once more, only to claim silver in the medal race.

    Before last summer's Olympics, Mr Simpson admitted that winning the America's Cup was his biggest goal.

    John Derbyshire, performance director of the UK's Royal Yachting Association (RYA), described Simpson as an inspiration to others.

    "We're devastated by the news from San Francisco today," he said.

    "Andrew is someone I've worked closely with since the age of 16. He was a great talent and a key figure in our World Class Programme over many years culminating in his well-deserved Olympic success.

    "He was a huge inspiration to others, both within the British Sailing Team and across the nation and our deepest sympathies go out to his family at this terrible time."

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