AWS’s Neptune graph database is now generally available

AWS today announced that its Neptune graph database, which made its debut during the platform’s annual re:Invent conference last Novemberr, is now generally available. The launch of Neptune was one of the dozens of announcements the company made during its annual developer event, so you can be forgiven if you missed it.

Neptune supports graph APIs for both TinkerPop Gremlin and SPARQL, making it compatible with a wide variety of applications. AWS notes that it built the service to recover from failures within 30 seconds and promises 99.99 percent availability.

“As the world has become more connected, applications that navigate large, connected datasets are increasingly more critical for customers,” said Raju Gulabani, Vice President, Databases, Analytics, and Machine Learning at AWS. “We are delighted to give customers a high-performance graph database service that enables developers to query billions of relationships in milliseconds using standard APIs, making it easy to build and run applications that work with highly connected data sets.”

Standard use cases for Neptune are social networking applications, recommendation engines, fraud detection tools, and networking applications that need to map the complex topology of an enterprise’s infrastructure.

Neptune already has a couple of high-profile users, including Samsung, AstraZeneca, Intuit, Siemens, Person, Thomson Reuters and Amazon’s own Alexa team. “Amazon Neptune is a key part of the toolkit we use to continually expand Alexa’s knowledge graph for our tens of millions of Alexa customers—it’s just Day 1 and we’re excited to continue our work with the AWS team to deliver even better experiences for our customers,” said David Hardcastle, Director of Amazon Alexa in today’s announcement.

The service is now available in AWS’s US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), and EU (Ireland) regions, with others coming online in the future.

Fed proposes changes to rule limiting risky trading on Wall Street

The Fed proposed to ease the Volcker Rule, which bars banks from high-risk activity for their own profit with depositors’ money

The Federal Reserve is proposing to ease a rule aimed at defusing the kind of risk-taking on Wall Street that helped trigger the 2008 financial meltdown.

The Fed under new leadership on Wednesday unveiled proposed changes to the Volcker Rule, which bars banks’ risky trading bets for their own profit with depositors’ money. The high-risk activity is known as proprietary trading.

Related: US Congress passes partial Dodd-Frank rollback in move to deregulate banking

Related: Four in 10 Americans can’t cover a $400 emergency expense, Fed finds

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Harvey Weinstein Indicted on Rape and Sex Act Charges

Harvey Weinstein was indicted Wednesday on rape and criminal sex act charges, furthering the first criminal case to arise from a slate of sexual misconduct allegations against the former movie mogul.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said the indictment brings Weinstein “another step closer to accountability” for alleged attacks on two women in New York.

Weinstein’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said he would “vigorously defend” against the indictment and ask a court to dismiss it. He called the allegations “unsupported” and reiterated that Weinstein strongly denies them.

The indictment came hours after Weinstein’s lawyer said the film producer would decline to testify before the grand jury because there wasn’t enough time to prepare him and “political pressure” made an indictment unavoidable.

“Regardless of how compelling Mr. Weinstein’s personal testimony might be, an indictment was inevitable due to the unfair political pressure being placed on Cy Vance to secure a conviction of Mr. Weinstein,” the statement said.

Weinstein, 66, learned of the specific charges and the accusers’ identities only after turning himself in Friday, according to his lawyers. Brafman said that with a deadline set for Wednesday afternoon for Weinstein to testify or not, prosecutors denied his request for more time.

Vance said the Weinstein camp’s “recent assault on the integrity of the survivors and the legal process is predictable.”

“We are confident that when the jury hears the evidence, it will reject these attacks out of hand,” Vance said in a statement.

Weinstein was charged Friday with raping one woman and committing a criminal sex act by compelling oral sex from another. A grand jury continued hearing evidence in the case, as it had been doing for weeks.

Defendants have the right to testify in a grand jury’s secret proceedings but often don’t, for various reasons.

Freed on $1 million bail and electronic monitoring, he is due back in court July 30, though that date may now be moved up in light of the indictment.

Beyond the two women involved in the case, dozens more women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to assault in various locales.

He has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex, and Brafman said Tuesday that Weinstein was “confident he’s going to clear his name” in the New York prosecution.

Brafman called the rape allegation “absurd,” saying that the accuser and Weinstein had a decade-long, consensual sexual relationship that began before and continued after the alleged 2013 attack.

The woman, who hasn’t been identified publicly, told investigators that Weinstein confined her in a hotel room and raped her.

The other accuser in the case, former actress Lucia Evans, has gone public with her account of Weinstein forcing her to perform oral sex at his office in 2004. The Associated Press does not identify alleged victims of sexual assaults unless they come forward publicly.

Vance, a Democrat, came under public pressure from women’s groups to prosecute Weinstein after declining to do so in 2015, when an Italian model went to police to say Weinstein had groped her during a meeting.

Police set up a sting in which the woman recorded herself confronting Weinstein and him apologizing for his conduct. But Vance decided there wasn’t enough evidence to bring charges.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, also a Democrat, ordered the state attorney general to investigate how Vance handled that matter.

Spain’s smaller parties to sway no-confidence vote in prime minister

MADRID (Reuters) – Smaller political parties hold the key to the survival of conservative Mariano Rajoy as Spain’s prime minister after centrist group Ciudadanos refused to support a motion of no-confidence in parliament due on Friday.

Wall Street rebounds as Italy worries ease; energy shares soar

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks ended higher on Wednesday, and the S&P 500 and Dow registered their biggest daily percentage gains since May 4, on signs of easing political turmoil in Italy and as a surge in oil prices boosted energy stocks.

Film producer Harvey Weinstein indicted for rape: Manhattan prosecutor

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Movie producer Harvey Weinstein has been indicted on charges of rape in the first and third degrees, and criminal sexual act in the first degree, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement on Wednesday.

Cohen attorney assails Stormy Daniels’ lawyer; judge sets deadline for document review

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A lawyer for U.S. President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, on Wednesday accused adult film actress Stormy Daniels’ lawyer of leaking Cohen’s bank records to the press, calling it a “drive-by shooting of my client’s rights.”