Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman denies sending hit squad to Canada

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has rejected allegations that he sent a hit squad to kill an exiled Saudi former intelligence officer. In a lawsuit filed in a US court, Saad al-Jabri has claimed that the assassination attempt took place in Canada, where he fled three years ago. He says Mohammed bin Salman wanted him dead because he knew too much. The crown prince – regarded as Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler said Mr Jabri was trying to conceal his own crimes, he pointed out that he is immune from prosecution as a head of state, serving foreign leaders are … Continue reading Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman denies sending hit squad to Canada

Nasa SpaceX launch: Astronaut crew heads to orbit

Four astronauts, three from the US and one from Japan have launched from Florida on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS), the crew rode to orbit in a rocket and capsule provided by the SpaceX company. It’s only the second time the firm has supplied the service. The US space agency Nasa has said it is now entering a new era in which routine astronaut journeys to low-Earth orbit are being conducted by commercial providers. The four individuals making their way up to the ISS are the Americans Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and the highly … Continue reading Nasa SpaceX launch: Astronaut crew heads to orbit

Veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk dies, aged 74

Veteran journalist Robert Fisk, who for decades covered events in the Middle East and elsewhere as a foreign correspondent for the British newspaper The Independent, has died after suffering a suspected stroke at his Dublin home, Fisk became unwell on Friday and was admitted to St Vincent’s hospital where he died a short time later, the Irish Times reported on Sunday, he was 74. The Independent paid tribute to a journalist who was “renowned for his courage in questioning official narratives” and publishing “frequently brilliant prose”. “Fearless, uncompromising, determined and utterly committed to uncovering the truth and reality at all … Continue reading Veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk dies, aged 74

Australia now require proficiency in English language for ‘partner visas’

Australia will require foreign partners of existing residents to pass an English language test before gaining a permanent visa, its government says, the controversial immigration requirement, if approved by parliament, would apply from mid-2021, it would also force the partners of applicants to prove a level of English proficiency. Critics have called the change “discriminatory”, but the government says it will build “social cohesion”. We will require an applicant and a sponsor to have met functional level English or to have at least made reasonable efforts to learn English, Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said. In recent years, Australia’s conservative government … Continue reading Australia now require proficiency in English language for ‘partner visas’

Qatar loosens restrictions on foreign property ownership

Qatar is renewing efforts to make real estate more attractive to expatriate residents, foreign investors and real estate funds, a new law will add to the limited number of locations where non-Qataris can buy real estate outright, according to a statement on Tuesday. The country will also implement a two-tiered residency program that rewards large investors with government-provided services. Qatar has been grappling with excess supply following a construction boom tied to the 2022 soccer World Cup, and property prices have slumped 26% since the start of 2016. Consulting firm ValuStrat estimates an oversupply of residential property reached 80,000 units … Continue reading Qatar loosens restrictions on foreign property ownership

Huawei CFO Meng back in Canadian court fighting U.S. extradition

Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou will be back in a Canadian courtroom on Monday as her lawyers resume their fight to block the United States’ efforts to extradite her. Meng, 48, was arrested in December 2018 on a warrant from the United States charging her with bank fraud for misleading HSBC about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran and causing the bank to break U.S. sanction law. Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves her home to attend a court hearing in Vancouver Huawei lawyers will argue that the U.S. extradition request was flawed because it omitted key evidence … Continue reading Huawei CFO Meng back in Canadian court fighting U.S. extradition

Sir Harold Evans: Crusading editor who exposed Thalidomide impact dies aged 92

Former Sunday Times editor Sir Harold Evans has died at the age of 92. The British-American journalist, who led an investigation into the drug Thalidomide, died of heart failure in New York, his wife Tina Brown said. His 70-year career also saw him work as a magazine founder, book publisher, author and – at the time of his death – Reuters’ editor-at-large. Sir Harold was editor of the Sunday Times for 14 years and oversaw many campaigns in that time. He then went on to become the founding editor of Conde Nast Traveller magazine and later president of the publishing … Continue reading Sir Harold Evans: Crusading editor who exposed Thalidomide impact dies aged 92

FinCEN Files: UK bank may have moved money linked to terror activity

In what can only be described as the height of hypocrisy a British bank moved money that may have been linked to terrorist financing, leaked documents show. Standard Chartered Bank processed almost $12m (£9.4m) in payments for Jordan’s Arab Bank from 2014 to 2016. In 2016, Standard Chartered filed a report alerting authorities to more than 900 transactions that it suspected might have been for “illicit activities under the guise of charity. The report raised concerns about “possible terrorist financing. The payments were reviewed after a US jury in 2014 found Arab Bank had knowingly provided banking services to the … Continue reading FinCEN Files: UK bank may have moved money linked to terror activity

Geo Politics

France to ‘reinforce’ military presence in eastern Mediterranean Move comes as Greece-Turkey tensions rise after Ankara sends ship to prospect for oil and gas in disputed waters. Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, has urged Turkey to halt oil and gas exploration in disputed waters in the eastern Mediterranean and pledged to “temporarily reinforce” French military presence in the area. In a statement on Wednesday, Macron’s office said the French leader voiced concern over “unilateral” exploration by Turkey in a call with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. It added that prospecting should “cease in order to allow a peaceful dialogue” … Continue reading Geo Politics