How female billionaire was sentenced to death for looting Vietnam’s bank of $44bn

VIETNAM – A Vietnamese billionaire, Truong My Lan, has been sentenced to death for looting one of the Vietnam’s largest banks over a period of 11 years. It was the most spectacular trial ever held in Vietnam, befitting one of the greatest bank frauds the world has ever seen. Truong My Lan was sentenced at the stately yellow portico of the colonial-era courthouse in Ho Chi Minh City. The 67-year-old Vietnamese property developer was sentenced to death on Thursday is one of very few women in Vietnam to be sentenced to death for a white collar crime. According to BBC, the decision is a reflection of the dizzying scale of the fraud. Truong My Lan was convicted of taking out $44 billion (£35 billion) in loans from the Saigon Commercial Bank. The verdict requires her to return $27 billion, a sum prosecutors said may never be retrieved. Some believe the death penalty is the court’s way of trying to encourage her to return some of the missing billions. The habitually secretive communist authorities were uncharacteristically forthright about this case, going …

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Obama Eulogises Dolores At 94, Says She Coined The Slogan ‘Yes, We Can’

By Chris Udochukwu Former American President, Barrack Obama has eulogised Dolores Huerta on the ocassion of her 94th burthday. Obama who took to his X account (formerly twitter) recalled that it was Dolores that came up with a pretty good slogan, “Si, se puede.” Yes, we can. He stated that as a young organizer, reading about @DoloresHuerta’s life and work showed him what was possible. According to Obama, “As one of America’s great labor and civil rights icons, Dolores has devoted her entire life to advocating for marginalized communities. Adding that she knows the power of community organizing, and through the Dolores Huerta Foundation, she continues to train and mentor new activists and organizers. Precise Post recalls that “Yes, we can was a recourring slogan in President Obama’s inauguaral speech when he was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America on 20th January 2009. Obama’s birthday wishes reads in full: Happy 94th birthday, Dolores! When I was a young organizer, reading about @DoloresHuerta’s life and work showed me what was possible. As one of America’s great labor …

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Pope visits families of Israeli hostages

Pope Francis on Monday met relatives of several Israelis taken hostage by Hamas in the October 7 attacks. The 87-year-old pontiff had previously met a group of relatives of hostages at the Vatican in November, the same day as meeting Palestinians who have family in Gaza. Members of five Israeli families had a private audience with Francis on Monday, showing him posters of loved ones who were taken, including Ariel and Kfir Bibas, aged four and one respectively. There were also relatives of hostages Tamir Nimrodi, 19, Guy Gilboa-Dalal, 22, Agam Berger, 19, and Omri Miran, 46. Berger’s cousin, Ashley Waxman, said afterwards that the meeting had been “very emotional” and “very powerful”. The pope “called Hamas evil, which they are… And, he was very clear that the hostages need to come home”, she told a press conference. Gilboa-Dalal’s mother, Meirav, said that since he was taken hostage at a music festival on October 7, “for me, there is no day and no night”. “My heart is broken. I can barely breathe. And I am paralysed with fear. Where is …

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CIA: Iran To Attack Israel In Next 48-Hours

By Chris Udochukwu The CIA has allegedly informed Israel that Iran will attack within the next 48 hours, in response to Israel’s bombing near Iran’s consulate in Syria that killed numerous high-ranking IRGC members. Iran is reportedly planning a combined attack with a swarm of drones and cruise missiles launched from Iran to strategic locations inside Israel. Source: Al Mayadeen

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Kenyan hospital set to dispose of hundreds of unclaimed bodies

Kenya’s largest referral hospital on Tuesday said it would dispose of more than 500 bodies, most of them children, that lay unclaimed. Families have up to seven days to identify and collect the 541 bodies at the Kenyatta National Hospital mortuary, it said in a notice on its website. “Failure to which the hospital will seek authority from the courts to dispose of them,” it said. More than three-quarters of the bodies are of children who died in the middle of last year. While most of the names and ages of the deceased were published, the identities of more than a dozen adults were unknown. Under Kenyan public health laws, no one is allowed to keep a body at a public mortuary for more than 10 days before burial. A penalty is accrued for extra days beyond the allocated period and failure to comply with the rules can attract a prison sentence of up to six months. Cases of unclaimed bodies are not uncommon in the East African nation where authorities say relatives are seldom aware of the deaths or …

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‘God have mercy’ – Reactions as pastor charges N1.7m to teach people how to perform miracles

A British-Zimbabwean cleric, Pastor Uebert Angel Mudzanire, has announced an online course where he would teach people how to perform miracles. The cleric, headquartered in the United Kingdon, is charging £999 for the course, an equivalent of N1.7 million. The announcement was made in a post via his Facebook account, The cleric urged people to register with £999, adding that slots for his class are filling up fast. He wrote with a flier attached, “Register now and learn how to perform signs, miracles and wonders, online, directly from prophet Uebert Angel. Places are filling fast.” The online course is scheduled to be held from April 1, 2024, to April 3, 2024. However, the pastor’s announcement has sent social media users into a frenzy as many criticized him for the initiative. It was gathered some of the reactions over the miracle courses. Daniel Blessed wrote, “People will now start paying and being taught how to perform miracles, signs and wonders, we are seeing a lot in this end time”. Vincent Dmaster wrote, “Is this not an example of Simon the sorcerer …

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Biden, Trump campaign across New York on Thursday

A monster fundraiser for one, a tribute to a fallen police officer for the other, President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump will be on the campaign trail in New York on Thursday. The 81-year-old Democrat Biden will take part in a fundraising evening alongside two of his predecessors, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. His campaign team has already announced a “historic” collection of more than $25 million. Late-night TV comic Stephen Colbert will host a debate between the three Democratic leaders. Singers Lizzo and Queen Latifah, among others, will perform at the event, to be held at Radio City Music Hall in midtown Manhattan in front of 5,000 people. The star-studded fundraiser is the first event of its kind to feature the three Democratic presidents. According to NBC News, guests can pay $100,000 for a photo with the trio. “The numbers don’t lie: today’s event is a massive show of force and a true reflection of the momentum to reelect the Biden-Harris ticket,” Jeffrey Katzenberg, the campaign’s chief fundraiser, said in a statement, referring to Vice President Kamala …

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Israel Using Starvation as a Weapon of War in Gaza – Palestine Envoy Alleges

Palestine Ambassador to Nigeria, Abdullah Shawesh has alleged that Israel is using starvation as a weapon of war in the ongoing siege on Gaza, insisting that the Israeli force is flagrantly provoking famine in the trouble Palestinian city. Shawesh in his weekly briefing of the ongoing siege on Gaza by Israeli force at the weekend in Abuja, said this war strategy by Israel is unacceptable and must be sanctioned. He said it had been reported that 100% of the population in Gaza is at severe levels of acute food insecurity, which is the first time an entire population has been so classified. He drew the attention of the world to the words of UN Secretary General António Guterres, who said that: “Palestinians in Gaza are enduring horrifying levels of hunger and suffering … This is the highest number of people facing catastrophic hunger ever recorded …anywhere, anytime” Shawesh also recalled the words of the UN human rights chief Volker Türk that “hunger, starvation and famine” were the result of Israel’s “extensive restrictions on the entry and distribution of humanitarian aid …

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Trump Promises To Release US Capitol Rioters If Reelected

On Monday, Donald Trump promised to release individuals imprisoned for their involvement in the 2021 assault on the US Capitol as a priority if he were to be reelected, referring to them as “hostages.” The individuals who participated in the riot, incited by the former president and driven by his baseless allegations of voter fraud, breached the heart of US democracy on January 6, 2021, in an attempt to impede the transition of power to Joe Biden. Around 1,358 defendants have been charged in the 38 months since then, according to the latest figures from the Justice Department released last week. About 500 have been sentenced to prison terms. Trump posted the comments on his Truth Social website, additionally promising to shut down the border with Mexico as part of his first acts if reelected, without providing details. “My first acts as your next President will be to Close the Border, DRILL, BABY, DRILL, and Free the January 6 Hostages being wrongfully imprisoned!” he wrote late Monday. Trump has made previous comments about his hypothetical first day in office, vowing …

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July 15 Poll: Again, Rwanda’s Ruling Party Picks Kagame As Presidential Flagbearer

By Ogechi Okorie Rwanda’s ruling party on Saturday picked President Paul Kagame as its candidate for the July election, teeing up a contest widely expected to return the longtime leader to office for a fourth seven-year term. The 66-year-old has ruled over the landlocked African nation for decades, winning the presidency in elections in 2003, 2010 and 2017 — with more than 90 percent of the vote. Kagame’s candidacy was unopposed during the Rwandan Patriotic Front Congress, which ended Saturday, the party said. Kagame said he had accepted the nomination but urged the ruling party to prepare for transition beyond him. “The burden of responsibility to lead our country can be equated to a shock absorber against the challenges we face daily. It requires the right mindset,” he said. “I accept this burden of responsibility, but with a call to get someone to relieve me of this responsibility.” Kagame’s only known challenger in the July polls is opposition Green Party leader Frank Habineza. The 47-year-old member of parliament secured only 0.45 percent of the ballot in the 2017 election, coming …

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‘You’re a disgrace’ – Putin’s ally, Medvedev attacks Biden

Dmitry Medvedev, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, on Friday described the United States President, Joe Biden, as a “mad” disgrace to the US. Medvedev said Biden had no right to compare himself to Franklin D. Roosevelt. Biden opened his State of the Union address on Thursday with a reference to a 1941 speech to Congress in which Roosevelt said the union faced an unprecedented turning point in history. Biden also accused Republican rival, Donald Trump of kowtowing to Russia, two weeks after calling Putin a “crazy SOB”. However, Putin’s ally wrote on X: “Even though Roosevelt was an infirm man in a wheelchair, he raised America from the Depression; Biden, on the other hand, is a mad, mentally disabled individual who set his mind on dragging humanity to hell. “Roosevelt together with allies including the U.S.S.R., was fighting for peace; yet, Biden is actively and persistently trying to start WWIII. “Roosevelt was fighting against fascists, but Biden is fighting for them,” Medvedev wrote in English. “He is the United States’ disgrace.” Medvedev, who cast himself as a liberal …

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Peru’s Prime Minister Otarola Resigns After Audio Tapes With Woman Leaks

In a breathtaking development, Peru’s Prime Minister Alberto Otárola has tendered his resignation amid allegations of leveraging his influence to assist a woman in securing lucrative government contracts. The scandal gained momentum when Peruvian TV broadcaster Panorama aired audio clips purportedly featuring conversations between Otárola and the woman in question, identified as Yaziré Pinedo, 25. The allegations suggest that Pinedo was awarded two contracts for work in the defence ministry in 2023, amounting to a total of 53,000 sol ($14,000). Otárola, 57, who served as Peru’s defence minister until the end of 2022 before being promoted with the inauguration of President Dina Boluarte, has vehemently denied any wrongdoing. In the audio recordings, Otárola is heard expressing affection for Pinedo and requesting her CV, contradicting his earlier assertion that their interaction was limited to a single meeting. Both parties claim that the recordings date back to 2021, predating Otárola’s cabinet minister appointment. President Boluarte, responding swiftly to the controversy, summoned Otárola back from an official visit to Canada, demanding his resignation. Otárola, in his resignation speech, accused individuals, including former Prime …

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Accept Ceasefire By Ramadan – Biden Urges Hamas

By Ogechi Okorie US President Joe Biden on Tuesday called on Hamas to accept a Gaza ceasefire deal by the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, while the Palestinian militant group warned talks for a truce and hostage release cannot go on “indefinitely”. As famine threatens Gazans, US and Jordanian planes again airdropped food aid into the besieged territory of 2.4 million people in a joint operation with Egypt and France. Bombing and fighting in the war sparked by the October 7 attack killed another 97 people in Gaza, said the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory, where Israel said its jets had struck 50 targets over the past day. In Cairo, US and Hamas envoys were meeting Egyptian and Qatari mediators in protracted negotiations to end the fighting and free hostages before Ramadan starts on March 10 or 11. Egypt’s Al-Qahera News, which is close to the country’s intelligence services, said the talks were “ongoing” and would continue for a fourth consecutive day on Wednesday. The parties in Egypt — so far excluding Israel — have discussed a plan for …

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Deadly Unrest As Armed Gang Attacks Haiti’s Police Academy

Bembela Ufomba Haiti’s police academy came under attack by an armed gang Tuesday as the tiny Caribbean nation fell into deeper isolation in the wake of an assault on the airport and a deadly prison breakout. The attack on the academy, where more than 800 cadets are training, was repelled after the arrival of reinforcements, said Lionel Lazarre of the Haitian police union. The latest violence followed the evacuation of thousands of residents from the capital Port-au-Prince, with the United Nations and Washington reiterating their concerns over the crisis. Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince has been heavily impacted by the violence, including an attempted assault late Monday in which a police station was set ablaze. On Tuesday the Dominican Republic, which shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with its troubled and impoverished neighbor, said it was halting all flights to Haiti. The Civil Aviation Board said in a statement that it was suspending “with immediate effect passenger and cargo air operations to and from the Republic of Haiti.” The armed groups controlling much of Haiti have wreaked havoc for …

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Nigeria Signs Multi-Sectoral Agreement With Qatar

By Ogechi Okorie Qatar. – President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and His Highness, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, on Sunday in Doha, witnessed the signing of historic agreements between both nations, opening a gateway for leveraging the potential of mutual cooperation in pivotal sectors of education, enterprise development, investment promotion, youth empowerment, mining, tourism, and sports. This was disclosed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, on Sunday. He said that before the signing ceremony at the Qatar Presidential Palace, President Tinubu assured his host of Nigeria’s preparedness to welcome investors into the country, noting the ongoing reforms that favour innovation, return on investments, and multiculturalism. “Our greatest strength is our people. Our strength lies in the capacity of Nigerian youths. They have energy, talent, and self-belief. They are quality partners for Qatari industry. They are educated and reliable, and they are proactively seeking to add value wherever they are. A few cannot give a bad name to the many. Nigerian youths are ready to be unleashed for …

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We are committed to revolutionizing investment promotion, report bribe seekers – Tinubu to Qatari investors

….Urges Quatari Investors to report bribe seekers to him directly By Ogechi Okorie President Bola Tinubu has said that under his watch, Nigeria is serious about revolutionizing investment promotion and has re-echoed his government’s resolve to fight corruption and create a good business environment, urging Qatari investors to report any Nigerian government official who asks for bribe. Tinubu said this at the Nigeria-Qatar Business and Investment Forum in Doha, on Sunday, promising that his government will deal decisively with any entrenched interests in the country that undermine investor confidence in the Nigerian economy. “I am here to give you the assurance that reforms are going on; forget about whatever you heard in the past. Whatever is the obstacle or problem that some of you might have experienced; it is in the past because there is no obstacle in the future,” Tinubu said “Do not offer a bribe to any of our people, and if it is requested or taken from you, report to us. You will have access to me. Nigeria will no longer be defined by the past, but …

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