This week, the Ukrainian government was forced to strike a peace deal with the opposition after protests turned deadly, claiming 77 lives in the country's capital, Kiev. In business news, Facebook continues to expand its hold on the technology market by buying messaging app WhatsApp for a staggering $19 billion.
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Peace Deal Follows After Week Of Violence In Ukraine
The Ukrainian government and opposition leaders signed a peace deal on Friday after violence erupted in Kiev, claiming victims and outraging the international community.
President Viktor Yanukovich agreed to give up his seat in office and hold early elections. The Ukrainian parliament also voted to release former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Yanukovich’s political rival who was imprisoned in 2011 under questionable political circumstances.
The deal has also temporarily put an end to the violence that rocked Kiev this week. 77 people were confirmed dead after police clashed with protestors and turned Kiev into a war zone.
Many protestors were shot dead by snipers stationed in buildings near Kiev’s Independence Square.
The ongoing political crisis in Ukraine has further widened the rift between the U.S. and Russia. Russian President Vladmir Putin has backed Yanukovich since he ran for office, but the current peace deal will curtail Russia’s influence over the Ukraine.
Facebook Acquires WhatsApp In $19 Billion Deal
This week, Facebook bought smartphone messaging service WhatsApp for a staggering $19 billion dollars, an acquisition that allows Facebook to dominate phone and web messaging.
“No one in the history of the world has done anything like that,” said Zuckerberg in reference to Facebook’s now immense hold on the instant messaging market.
WhatsApp is currently the world’s most popular messaging service, with Facebook’s Messenger app in second.
The app is especially popular with people who often travels overseas, as it allows users to connect via their mobile phone numbers but send messages over Internet broadband. As a result, users avoid the texting fees that quickly mount on their phone bills every month.
Facebook previously bought Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion. WhatsApp founder Jan Koum will now join Facebook’s board of directors.