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Africa's richest woman accused of corruption and siphoning off state assets

Top Stories - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 19:14

Africa’s richest woman has been accused of corruption and exploiting her own country’s natural resources, after thousands of documents detailing her business interests were leaked to the media. Isabel dos Santos, who resides in the UK and whose father was the president of Angola, faces allegations of exploiting family connections to secure deals on land, oil and diamonds. According to the documents, seen by BBC Panorama and the Guardian, she and her husband were allowed to buy up valuable state assets and siphon hundreds of millions of dollars out of Angola. Ms dos Santos, whose fortune is estimated at £2bn, says these claims are entirely false and that she is the victim of a witch-hunt led by the Angolan government. She  also wrote on Twitter that the leaked documents were “fake” and based on “false information.”     Ms dos Santos is already under investigation for corruption by the Angolan government, which has frozen her assets in the country. The documents were obtained by the Platform to Protect Whistle-blowers in Africa and then passed to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Anti-corruption campaigners responded by claiming that Ms dos Santos has been exploiting her own country for personal gain, with normal Angolan citizens the victims of her lavish lifestyle. "Every time she appears on the cover of some glossy magazine somewhere in the world, every time that she hosts one of her glamorous parties in the south of France, she is doing so by trampling on the aspirations of the citizens of Angola,” Andrew Feinstein, the head of Corruption Watch, told the BBC. In an interview with the BBC following the leak, Ms dos Santos said: “I regret that Angola has chosen this path, I think that we all stand a lot to lose. “Now, when you look at my track record and you see the work I have done and look at all the companies I have built, most certainly my companies are commercial companies.   “If you tell me, is there anything wrong for an Angolan person to have a business venture with a state company, I think there is nothing wrong.” She added that she was facing “prejudice” due to being the daughter of José Eduardo dos Santos, who served as President of Angola from 1979 to 2017. Ms dos Santos was educated in the UK and is married to Sindika Dokolo, a Congolese art collector and businessman.


China confirms 139 new cases of pneumonia over weekend, virus spreads to new cities

Top Stories - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 19:09

An outbreak of coronavirus in China is spreading to more cities, Chinese authorities reported on Monday, with 139 new cases found over the weekend, including a third death. The Daxing health commission in the capital Beijing said it had confirmed two cases of coronavirus, while the southern Guangdong province's health commission confirmed one case in Shenzhen. The new cases, the first inside China outside the central city of Wuhan where the virus was first reported, come as the country gears up for the Lunar New Year holidays later this week, when hundreds of millions of Chinese travel domestically and abroad.


More than 100 killed in Yemen missile, drone attack

Top Stories - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 18:35

More than 100 people were killed and dozens wounded in a missile and drone attack blamed on Huthi rebels in central Yemen, officials said Sunday. Saturday's strike follows months of relative calm in the war between the Iran-backed Huthis and Yemen's internationally recognised government, which is supported by a Saudi-led military coalition. The Huthis attacked a mosque in a military camp in the central province of Marib -- about 170 kilometres (105 miles) east of the capital Sanaa -- during evening prayers, military sources told AFP.


Germans are slamming Elon Musk's plans to clear 740 acres of forest for a $45.36 million Tesla factory

Top Stories - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 16:36

"I am not against Tesla," one activist said. "But it's about the site; in a forest area that is a protected wildlife zone. Is this necessary?"


'I Dare You to Mock Me.' Capt. 'Sully' Sullenberger Defends Joe Biden Against Attacks on His Speech in New York Times Op-Ed

Top Stories - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 16:22

Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger opened up about his past struggles with stuttering in defending Biden and his speech.


Trump's Russia adviser 'escorted from White House' amid investigation

Top Stories - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 16:06

President Trump's latest Russia expert has reportedly been escorted from the White House amid claims of a security-related investigation.


Report Warned of Threat to U.S. Troops in Germany: Newsweek

Top Stories - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 16:00

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. received intelligence about a potentially imminent attack being planned against military personnel stationed in Germany, Newsweek reported, citing a memo it saw.The 66th Military Intelligence Brigade received third party information stating that a possible attack could occur against soldiers at either Tower Barracks in Grafenwohr or Tower Barracks, Dulmen; the exact location, date and time of possible attack was unknown Information was marked unclassified and from a senior U.S. intelligence official “The source of information stated the attack would be carried out by an unknown Jordanian extremist currently located in Germany near an unknown military base,” the report saidU.S. Army Europe confirmed to Newsweek that a potential threat was identified and investigated last night “German and US officials were consulted and no imminent threat was found to exit”To view the source of this information click hereTo contact the reporter on this story: Nathan Crooks in Miami at ncrooks@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Sebastian Tong at stong41@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats declare open season on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg

Top Stories - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 15:50

Former Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used to be Facebook's friends. Things have changed.


Republican senator on Trump soliciting foreign interference: 'Things happen'

Top Stories - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 15:42

Republican Senator Richard Shelby defended an argument from President Trump’s legal team that soliciting foreign interference in an election is not an impeachable offense, saying, “things happen.”


Virginia on edge as pro-gun activists seethe over governor’s state of emergency

Top Stories - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 15:05

Moments after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam approached the podium at the state capitol building on Wednesday to announce that he was issuing a temporary state of emergency ahead of a gun rights rally on Monday in Richmond, the angry comments started pouring in. What started in November as a fight between rural Virginia gun owners and newly elected Democratic lawmakers seeking to propose gun control legislation has since been warped and amplified by extremist groups which, for different reasons, have sought to exploit real tensions around Virginia’s gun debate to advance their own agendas.


Argentines remember prosecutor killed while probing attack on Jews

Top Stories - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 14:49

Argentines paid tribute Saturday to a prosecutor on the fifth anniversary of his unsolved death while probing the bombing of a Jewish community center -- an attack in which he alleged a presidential cover-up to shield Iran in exchange for trade. Prosecutor Alberto Nisman led the probe of the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association headquarters, which left 85 dead and 300 wounded. In 2015, his body was found in his Buenos Aires apartment with a gunshot wound to the head, delivered at close range from a handgun found at his side.


SpaceX rocket explodes after liftoff as planned; Crew Dragon capsule escapes fireball

Top Stories - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 14:45

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on Sunday, ultimately sacrificing itself to a test.


Cult slayed pregnant woman and five of her children in Panama

Top Stories - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 14:14

A religious sect whose members believed to be “anointed by God” forced a pregnant woman and five of her children to walk through fire as part of a cult ritual, according to local residents.


Body of woman who was missing for almost 6 years found in car submerged in NJ river

Top Stories - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 14:10

Vanessa Smallwood of Maple Shade, N.J., was 46 at the time of her disappearance. She was identified in a statement from New Jersey State Police.


Mexican official eyes stronger ties with China after U.S. trade deal

Top Stories - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 13:25

Mexico should move to deepen its economic ties with China after U.S. congressional approval of a new North American trade deal, a senior Mexican official said late on Saturday. Jesus Seade, the deputy foreign minister for North America and Mexico's top trade negotiator, said that as the second year of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's six-year term got underway, boosting economic ties with China was vital.


El Chapo 701 craft lager coming soon thanks to drug lord's daughter

Top Stories - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 13:23

The mug shot of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, imprisoned leader of the ruthless Sinaloa Cartel, is not just for police blotters anymore.


Turkey Alone Cannot Save Its Allies in Libya's Civil War

Top Stories - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 13:00

Too little aid, too late.


Republicans ramp up calls for Hunter Biden to testify in impeachment trial

Top Stories - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 12:33

Cruz has argued that if witnesses will be allowed in the upcoming Senate impeachment trial, a rule of reciprocity should be implemented.


Former White House Chief Economic Advisor to Trump Says Tariffs 'Hurt the U.S.'

Top Stories - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 12:31

"I don't think the tariffs helped us get to any different outcome"


Illegal crossings plunge as US extends policy across border

Top Stories - Sun, 01/19/2020 - 12:24

Adolfo Cardenas smiles faintly at the memory of traveling with his 14-year-old son from Honduras to the U.S.-Mexico border in only nine days, riding buses and paying a smuggler $6,000 to ensure passage through highway checkpoints. Father and son walked about 10 minutes in Arizona's stifling June heat before surrendering to border agents. Instead of being released with paperwork to appear in immigration court in Dallas, where Cardenas hopes to live with a cousin, they were bused more than an hour to wait in the Mexican border city of Mexicali.


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