Is Marine Le Pen’s Russian cash pipeline drying up? – France 24 – Wonder how much they lent to Trump?

The Eurosceptic, anti-immigrant party had heaved a sigh of relief in September 2014, when it secured a €9 million loan from Russian lender First Czech-Russian Bank (FCRB).The decision to take out the loan, even as the rest of Europe was slapping sanctions on Moscow over its actions in Ukraine, kicked up a storm in France, where it was widely seen as evidence of Le Pen’s growing coziness with the Kremlin.The FN is France’s only party to have hailed Russia’s annexation of Crimea. It regularly praises Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “patriot” and a bulwark for traditional European values.But then the Russian bank went bust last year, and Le Pen lost a financial lifeline.According to Russian and French media reports, the Moscow-based Deposit Insurance Agency (SVA), which administers FCRB’s assets and debts, has now started legal proceedings to get the money back.

Source: Is Marine Le Pen’s Russian cash pipeline drying up? – France 24

Arrests over death threats to Israeli judges who convicted soldier | News | DW.COM | 05.01.2017

The two people arrested on Thursday were accused of inciting violence on social media against three military judges who had found Sergeant Elor Azaria guilty of manslaughter a day earlier.Police said on Thursday that social media comments by a man arrested in Jerusalem and a woman in the southern town of Kiryat Gat constituted “incitement to violence” against the judges. Several Facebook accounts have been set up in support of Azaria.The 20-year-old Azaria shot dead an incapacitated Palestinian man last March, following an incident during which two Palestinians stabbed one of his fellow Israeli soldiers. Azaria now faces up to 20 years in jailThe victim, 21-year-old Abd Elfatah Ashareef, had already been disarmed of his knife when the shooting occurred in Hebron in the occupied West Bank. The other assailant had earlier been shot dead by troops.

Source: Arrests over death threats to Israeli judges who convicted soldier | News | DW.COM | 05.01.2017

Donald Trump – the darling of Iran′s hardliners | Middle East | DW.COM | 05.01.2017

US President-elect Donald Trump has threatened to overturn the nuclear agreement with Iran, putting the government in Tehran under pressure. Iran’s hardliners are rejoicing, but the country’s civil society is concerned.

Source: Donald Trump – the darling of Iran′s hardliners | Middle East | DW.COM | 05.01.2017

In Break With Precedent, Obama Envoys Are Denied Extensions Past Inauguration Day – The New York Times

 

President-elect Donald J. Trump’s transition staff has issued a blanket edict requiring politically appointed ambassadors to leave their overseas posts by Inauguration Day, according to several American diplomats familiar with the plan, breaking with decades of precedent by declining to provide even the briefest of grace periods.The mandate — issued “without exceptions,” according to a terse State Department cable sent on Dec. 23, diplomats who saw it said — threatens to leave the United States without Senate-confirmed envoys for months in critical nations like Germany, Canada and Britain. In the past, administrations of both parties have often granted extensions on a case-by-case basis to allow a handful of ambassadors, particularly those with school-age children, to remain in place for weeks or months.Mr. Trump, by contrast, has taken a hard line against leaving any of President Obama’s political appointees in place as he prepares to take office on Jan. 20 with a mission of dismantling many of his predecessor’s signature foreign and domestic policy achievements. “Political” ambassadors, many of them major donors who are nominated by virtue of close ties with the president, almost always leave at the end of his term; ambassadors who are career diplomats often remain in their posts.A senior Trump transition official said there was no ill will in the move, describing it as a simple matter of ensuring that Mr. Obama’s overseas appointees leave the government on schedule, just as thousands of political aides at the White House and in federal agencies must do. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity about internal deliberations, said the ambassadors should not be surprised about being held to a hard end date.

Denmark struggles to come to grips with its slave past – The Local

“We know the truth even if we would rather not know it. Very few schoolchildren hear about Danish ships that sailed 120,000 slaves from Danish forts in Africa. How 50,000 of them ended in the Danish West Indies. How one in ten slaves died on the journey and were thrown overboard. Or how the rest of the slaves toiled on plantations or were sold off,” the editorial continued.

Source: Denmark struggles to come to grips with its slave past – The Local

Catholic Church in Argentina: Archbishop blames murder of women on “disappearance of marriage” | In English | EL PAÍS – Crap for brains knows no boundaries!

The recent spate of highly publicized murders of women in Argentina is due to the decline of matrimony, an institution that has become a “provisional bond,” according to the Archbishop of La Plata, Héctor Aguer, one of the most conservative members of the Roman Catholic Church in the South American country.

Source: Catholic Church in Argentina: Archbishop blames murder of women on “disappearance of marriage” | In English | EL PAÍS

Man told to take citizenship test despite living entire life (32 years) in UK | Politics | The Guardian

A man born in London to German parents has been told he cannot get a British passport unless he takes a UK citizenship test because he cannot prove his mother was legally in the country when she gave birth.Dom Wolf, 32, said he felt betrayed by the country in which he was born and has written to Theresa May in the hope she can intervene.Wolf’s parents came to Britain in 1974 with his mother working for the University of London as a lecturer and his father being self-employed. He has been told by authorities he needs to provide proof they were here legally, even though they were entitled to live and work in Britain under EU law.

Source: Man told to take citizenship test despite living entire life in UK | Politics | The Guardian

Bikram ‘Yoga’ Choudhury – Convicted Sexual Molester Ordered to Give Up his Empire – Has Gone Missing. Along With All his Luxury Cars – The Ladies FingerThe Ladies Finger

You’d know Bikram Choudhury anywhere from his trademark black speedos and million dollar Rolex watch. He wears these while teaching ‘hot yoga’, his invented style of yoga which involve 90-minute workouts in heated rooms. He created the brand behind ‘Bikram yoga’ in the 1970s, inspired by the concept of Japanese saunas. But on January 1st Choudhury lost a lawsuit against his former lawyer, Minakshi Jaffa-Bodden, and a Los Angeles court has ordered him to hand over his entire ‘empire’– comprising 700 certified Bikram yoga centres around the world and 43 luxury cars – to her.Jaffa-Bodden, who joined Choudhury’s legal team in 2011, accused the yoga guru of sexually assaulting students and making sexual advances on her in 2013. The same year, she was removed from the team after refusing to cover up his sexual assault history. When she decided to take Choudhury to court, she was met with threats from both Choudhury and his wife. In January 2016, she was rewarded with $6.4 million in the form of punitive damages, and she recently revealed the extent of his sordid antics: according to her, he used to perch on a throne and get women to massage him – under orange towels – on his lap.

Source: Bikram ‘Yoga’ Choudhury – Convicted Sexual Molester Ordered to Give Up his Empire – Has Gone Missing. Along With All his Luxury Cars – The Ladies FingerThe Ladies Finger

H7N9 activity intensifies in China with 16 more cases | CIDRAP

Increasing H7N9 activity comes amid the lead-up to the Lunar New Year holiday, which comes with a travel surge and an increase in live-poultry transport and sales. Lunar New Year falls on Jan 28, and 2017 is the year of the rooster.H7N9 is endemic in Chinese poultry, and the MMWR report said tests on poultry samples by China’s agriculture ministry since April 2013 have found 233 positive samples from 16 provinces, all but 1 from live-poultry markets.Live-market closures were one of the key steps that slowed H7N9’s earlier waves, and three cities in Jiangsu province—Suzhou, Wuxi, and Changzhou—recently suspended live-poultry sales.New cases in 3 provincesGuangdong province health officials said in a monthly communicable disease report that 14 H7N9 cases were detected in December, 7 of them fatal, according to a report translated and posted by FluTrackers, an infectious disease news message board. The report didn’t give any epidemiologic details, but 1 of the cases is thought to be an illness first reported in early December.

Source: H7N9 activity intensifies in China with 16 more cases | CIDRAP

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