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A member of Huawei's reception staff enters a building used for high profile customer visits in Shenzhen, China. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Huawei employees have helped African governments spy on political opponents in at least 2 instances not disclosed to the public, the Wall Street Journal reports.

What they found: In 2018, Huawei engineers working in Uganda used spyware developed by an Israeli company to infiltrate opposition leader Bobi Wine's WhatsApp, reportedly at the request of a Ugandan cyber-surveillance unit. In Zambia, Huawei technicians "helped the government access the phones and Facebook pages of a team of opposition bloggers running a pro-opposition news site," WSJ reports.

  • WSJ identified the Huawei engineers in Uganda by name after reviewing internal police documents.
  • WSJ spoke with senior security officials in Zambia that identified 2 Huawei technicians by name. Those technicians were reportedly based "in a cyber-surveillance unit in the offices of Zambia’s telecom regulator."

The big picture: The U.S. has repeatedly accused Huawei of acting as an espionage arm of the Chinese government and urged countries not to do business with the company. However, WSJ's investigation "didn’t turn up evidence of spying by or on behalf of Beijing in Africa. Nor did it find that Huawei executives in China knew of, directed or approved the activities described."

The other side: A Huawei spokesman told WSJ in a written statement that the company has “never been engaged in ‘hacking’ activities" and "Huawei rejects completely these unfounded and inaccurate allegations against our business operations.”

Go deeper: Google limits Huawei's access to Android code

Go deeper

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New or expanded climate initiatives are popping up at several universities, a sign of the topic's rising prominence and recognition of the threats and opportunities it creates.

Why it matters: Climate and clean energy initiatives at colleges and universities are nothing new, but it shows expanded an campus focus as the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, and the world is nowhere near the steep emissions cuts that scientists say are needed to hold future warming in check.

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Thursday's deluge of Big Tech earnings reports showed one thing pretty clearly: COVID-19 may be bad in all sorts of ways, but it's not slowing down the largest tech companies. If anything, it's helping some companies, like Amazon and Apple.

Yes, but: With the pandemic once again worsening in the U.S. and Europe, it's not clear how long the tech industry's winning streak can last.

Texas early voting surpasses 2016's total turnout

Early voting in Austin earlier this month. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Texas' early and mail-in voting totals for the 2020 election have surpassed the state's total voter turnout in 2016, with 9,009,850 ballots already cast compared to 8,969,226 in the last presidential cycle.

Why it matters: The state's 38 Electoral College votes are in play — and could deliver a knockout blow for Joe Biden over President Trump — despite the fact that it hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976.