Government

FILE PHOTO: Peru's former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is seen at a court, after his arrest as part of an investigation into money laundering, in Lima
FILE PHOTO: Peru’s former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is seen at a court, after his arrest as part of an investigation into money laundering, in Lima, Peru April 16, 2019. Picture taken April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo

April 19, 2019

LIMA (Reuters) – A Peruvian judge on Friday ordered former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to spend up to three years in jail while prosecutors prepare corruption charges against him for allegedly taking bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.

The decision comes just two days after another former Peruvian president, Alan Garcia, committed suicide to avoid arrest in connection with Odebrecht, a Brazilian firm that has laid waste to Peru’s established political class as it has implicated officials and political leaders in alleged bribery schemes.

Kuczynski, an 80-year-old former Wall Street banker who once held U.S. citizenship, denies wrongdoing. Kuczynski did not attend the hearing before Judge Jorge Chavez on Friday because he was receiving treatment for heart problems in a local clinic.

After Garcia killed himself on Wednesday, Kuczynski’s attorney asked prosecutor Jose Domingo Perez to consider putting Kuczynski under house arrest instead of pre-trial detention as planned. But Perez said Kuczynski’s health problems could be treated without problem in jail, and Judge Chavez approved his request to hold Kuczynski in jail for 36 months before trial.

The ruling came as Garcia was being buried and will likely further fuel criticism that the Odebrecht probe has become too aggressive and that prosecutors and judges were abusing the use of so-called “preventive prison,” or pre-trial detention.

Under Peruvian law, criminal suspects can be held in jail before trial for up to three years if prosecutors show evidence that they would likely be convicted and would probably try to flee or obstruct the investigation unless detained.

Peru’s four most recent presidents and the leader of the opposition have been ordered to pre-trial detention in connection with Odebrecht since the company admitted in late 2016 that it paid some $30 million in bribes to Peruvian politicians, part of a sophisticated bribery system its former executives detailed to authorities abroad.

Prosecutors in the Odebrecht probe say they need preventive prison to keep wealthy and powerful suspects from evading justice as they gather evidence in the country’s biggest graft investigation. But critics, including the chief justice of Peru’s Constitutional Tribunal, Ernesto Blume, say it is being used excessively in response to anger at widespread corruption.

Kuczynski, who was president a little over a year ago, has said he has cooperated fully with investigators, even declining to file an appeal when they barred him from leaving the country shortly after resigning in March of 2018.

As president, Kuczynski initially denied having any link to Odebrecht. But he eventually acknowledged his consulting company advised Odebrecht on financing for projects that it had won while he was a cabinet minister in the government of former President Alejandro Toledo.

Toledo is fighting extradition from the United States after a judge ordered him jailed before a trial over allegations he took a $20 million bribe Odebrecht.

Another former president, Ollanta Humala, spent nine months in pre-trial detention in connection with Odebrecht before he was released on appeal.

(Reporting By Mitra Taj)

Source: OANN

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Source: InfoWars

Friends and family carry the coffin with the remains of Peru's former President Alan Garcia during the last of three days of national mourning declared by President Martin Vizcarra, in Lima
Friends and family carry the coffin with the remains of Peru’s former President Alan Garcia, who killed himself this week, during the last of three days of national mourning declared by President Martin Vizcarra, in Lima, Peru April 19, 2019. REUTERS/Janine Costa

April 19, 2019

By Marco Aquino

LIMA (Reuters) – Peruvian ex-president Alan Garcia wrote in an alleged suicide note read by family members at a wake on Friday that he had killed himself in order to avoid humiliation at the hands of his political enemies.

Garcia shot himself in the head earlier this week as police arrived at his door to arrest him in connection with alleged bribes from Brazilian builder Odebrecht, in the most dramatic turn yet in Latin America’s largest graft scandal. Before his suicide, Garcia had repeatedly brushed off allegations of corruption as a political hit.

One of Garcia´s daughters read the apparent suicide note at a wake held by his APRA political party, which twice helped usher Garcia to the presidency.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the authenticity of the letter, nor the time at which it was written.

“I will not be humiliated,” read Luciana Garcia, citing a note left by her father before his suicide. “I have seen others paraded around in handcuffs, living a miserable existence, but Alan Garcia has no need to suffer these injustices.”

“For this reason, I leave to my children the dignity of my decisions; to my friends, my pride, and to my enemies, my cadaver as a sign of my contempt for them.”

The note underscores the deep political rift that continues to plague the Odebrecht investigation in Peru and elsewhere in Latin America.

Peruvian prosecutors investigating the Brazilian builder said they had gathered sufficient evidence to hold Garcia in pre-trial detention while they prepared charges against him. Garcia maintained his innocence until the end, calling the probe politically motivated.

“In this time of rumors and hatred, believed by the majority…I have seen how these procedures are used to humiliate and not to seek the truth,” Garcia wrote in the letter read before thousands of his friends and allies at the wake.

President Martin Vizcarra, whose administration has overseen the probe, had offered Garcia´s family a state funeral with honors, typical of that received by former presidents.

The Garcia family declined Vizcarra´s offer, preferring instead a private event with the ex-president´s friends and allies.

Garcia´s suicide is likely to drive a wedge between Vizcarra´s government and the right-leaning opposition in Peru´s Congress, many of whom were allied with the ex-president.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino, writing by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro speaks during inauguration ceremony of the new Education Minister Abraham Weintraub at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia
FILE PHOTO: Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro speaks at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File Photo

April 19, 2019

By Marcela Ayres

BRASÍLIA (Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s resistance to the privatization of the national postal office has been broken, a senior government source told Reuters on Friday asking for anonymity because the matter remains private.

This change of stance has allowed the economic team to consider ways to sell the state-owned company, the source said, referring to Empresa Brasileira de Correios e Telégrafos.

The rationale is that a private owner would modernize services and more quickly respond to changes in the marketplace such as responding to growing demand from e-commerce firms.

The national postal service did not immediately respond to a comment request.

Economy Minister Paulo Guedes told Globonews TV this week it would be “a very big leap” for the government to privatize oil major Petroleo Brasileiro SA, which was at the center of an epic corruption scandal in Brazil.

Instead, Guedes said, the president would consider the sale of another key state-owned company. That company, according to the source, is the national postal office.

Ostensibly, Guedes has insisted that the federal government should reduce the size of the state to cut public debt, making companies and the economy more efficient. He has also pointed out that excessive state control over businesses opens up the door to corruption.

(Reporting by Marcela Ayres; Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Supporters of Congolese exiled opposition leader Moise Katumbi gather to watch his address via a video link in Kinshasa
FILE PHOTO: Supporters of Congolese exiled opposition leader Moise Katumbi gather to watch his address via a video link in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo June 9, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Nyemba

April 19, 2019

KINSHASA (Reuters) – An appeals court has overturned a conviction of exiled Congolese opposition leader Moise Katumbi for real estate fraud, ruling that the trial court had been pressured by former President Joseph Kabila’s government, Katumbi’s lawyer said on Friday.

Katumbi, the former governor of Democratic Republic of Congo’s copper-mining Katanga region, was sentenced in absentia to three years in prison in June 2016, shortly after defecting from Kabila’s ruling party and announcing he would run for president later that year.

He had fled Congo the previous month in the face of separate charges that he had hired mercenaries and was plotting against the government.

Katumbi denied all the charges, which he said were aimed at keeping him from running to replace Kabila, who was due to step down in December 2016 after 16 years in power. Kabila denied that.

His government ultimately delayed the election by two years before he finally stepped down this January, replaced by opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi, who was declared the winner of a Dec. 30 vote.

The appeals court’s ruling, issued on Wednesday, accepted the claims of one of the trial judges, Chantal Ramazani, that the verdict had been issued under duress by the government.

Ramazani went into hiding after making the accusations.

Katumbi’s lawyer, Joseph Mukendi, told Reuters on Friday that Katumbi could return to Congo now to defend himself in the mercenaries case, which has not yet been tried.

Katumbi was blocked from re-entering the country last year to file his candidacy for the presidential election — a race polls showed him leading. He ended up backing opposition leader Martin Fayulu instead.

Fayulu finished second to Tshisekedi, although multiple sources told Reuters the results were rigged in favor of Tshisekedi, who was seen by Kabila as less of a threat to the outgoing administration’s interests.

Kabila and Tshisekedi’s camps deny the vote was rigged.

(Reporting By Stanis Bujakera and Fiston Mahamba; writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Source: OANN

Protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who many nations have recognized as the country’s rightful interim ruler, greets his supporters during a protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela, April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

April 19, 2019

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on Friday called on supporters to take to the streets on May 1 for what he called “the largest march in the history” of the South American country to keep the pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to leave power.

Guaido, the head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly who in January invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency on the basis that Maduro’s 2018 re-election was illegitimate, reiterated his call for the country’s armed forces to take his side in the three-month power struggle.

“They will need to listen to the people saying: enough,” Guaido told a crowd gathered at a plaza in eastern Caracas, setting the date for the march for May 1, International Workers’ Day.

“We call on all the people to join in the largest march in the history of Venezuela to demand the end to the usurpation so this tragedy can end.”

Guaido has been recognized by the United States and most Western nations as the South American country’s rightful leader. The oil-rich country is in a sixth year of recession, marked by hyperinflation and shortages of basic goods that have prompted more than three million to emigrate.

Maduro calls Guaido a U.S. puppet seeking to oust him in a coup and blames the country’s economic woes on a U.S.-led “economic war.” His ruling socialist party has frequently responded to Guaido’s calls for protests over the past few months with simultaneous marches of their own.

Guaido did not specify the final destination of the May 1 demonstration. But some in attendance on Friday called out suggestions that they march on the Miraflores presidential palace.

“He is not alone,” said Ileidi Vargas, a 58-year-old retired teacher who attended the opposition rally on Friday. “Each day we are moving forward, and there is no turning back. It might not happen tomorrow, but it will be soon.”

Despite Guaido’s offers of amnesty to members of the military who facilitate a transition, Maduro remains in control of the armed forces and the day-to-day functions of government.

(Reporting by Mayela Armas and Deisy Buitrago; Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

Source: OANN

Watergate journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein Friday said they have concerns after the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, with Woodward saying the document points to a crisis in President Donald Trump’s administration and Bernstein seeing it as evidence of a coverup.

“The government can’t pause and take months to thrash it out, Woodward told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I believe from reporting that there is a governing crisis in the Trump administration.”

With North Korea, the Chinese trade and tariff debate, and the immigration questions, the “Trump administration really just doesn’t work [as] all the people who have more experience are gone,” Woodward added. “I worry about a crisis.”

And if that happens, Trump doesn’t “have a strategy on any of these issues, and he does not now have a team that can work together, said Woodward.

The campaign ” knew and happily welcomed” Russia’s aid, he added, which means the continuing threat of Russian interference is “very real.”

Meanwhile, Bernstein told CNN’s “New Day” that he believes the report shows that there is “no question that this has been a vast presidential coverup” and Congress must be able to see all the facts in the document “without  the kind of muddled water” that Attorney General William Barr provided with his descriptions.

“The cover-up is in the 10 or 11 areas that the special prosecutor laid out as possible or likely obstructions of justice,” he added. “When you add it all up you get a picture in which the two parts of the report fuse together and it is a picture of an administration and a presidency and a campaign that crosses boundaries such as we have never seen with the possible exception of Watergate.”

Source: NewsMax Politics

FILE PHOTO: Jason Greenblatt, U.S. President Trump's Middle East envoy, arrives to visit Kibbutz Nahal Oz, just outside the Gaza Strip
FILE PHOTO: Jason Greenblatt (C), U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy, arrives to visit Kibbutz Nahal Oz, just outside the Gaza Strip, in southern Israel August 30, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

April 19, 2019

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan will not involve giving land from Egypt’s Sinai peninsula to the Palestinians, an American envoy said on Friday.

Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s Middle East envoy, apparently sought to deny reports on social media that the long-awaited plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would involve extending Gaza into the northern Sinai along Egypt’s Mediterranean coast.

“Hearing reports our plan includes the concept that we will give a portion of Sinai (which is Egypt’s) to Gaza. False!”, Greenblatt, one of the architects of the proposal, tweeted on Friday.

The American plan is expected to be unveiled once Israel’s newly re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forms a government coalition and after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends in June.

Trump’s senior advisor Jared Kushner said on Wednesday the plan would require compromise by all parties, a source familiar with his remarks said.

It is unclear whether the plan will propose outright the creation of a Palestinian state, the Palestinians’ core demand.

The Palestinians have long sought to set up a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East War, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The last round of U.S.-broke‮‮re‬‬d peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2014.

(Reporting by Rami Ayyub; Editing by Frances Kerry)

Source: OANN

Shocking video is being filmed at America’s southern border on a daily basis as civilian patriots captured footage of a 70-bus caravan and a “lookout” drone Thursday night.

Infowars has covered the group, United Constitutional Patriots (UCP), multiple times this week after they caught a group of over 300 illegals Tuesday night and another group of more than 90 on Wednesday.

The group is now under fire by MSM, the New Mexico government and the New Mexico ACLU over their work.

Patriot border patroller Conservative Anthony has captured footage of over 70 buses arriving at the border and a “lookout” drone used by smugglers.

At the 26:45 timestamp in the following video, a drone can be seen monitoring the border to ensure the illegals safe entry into the U.S. as they try to avoid Border Patrol or citizen patrols.

“Lookout” drones are frequently used to assist smugglers who sneak illegal immigrants into the country.

At the 26:30 timestamp, the next video shows what is reported to be a caravan of over 70 buses arriving into Anapra, Mexico in the middle of the night.

Anthony will join The War Room Friday at 4:30 P.M. CST for an exclusive interview where he’ll discuss the latest footage he’s captured and what life is like patrolling the southern border.

United Constitutional Patriots vow to patrol the border until President Trump’s wall is built.

Source: InfoWars

Rep. Pete King said Friday he thinks the lengthy investigation into President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian collusion was the result of a “coordinated effort,” to implicate the president’s campaign of collusion, and now, the investigation should shift to the origins of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

“This was a coordinated effort by certain people at the top levels of the government,” including former FBI Director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe, and “that should be investigated,” the New York Republican told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”

He said the probe was launched “on the flimsiest of evidence” and there was no evidence at all to justify it.

“Being on the Intelligence Committee, I heard almost all of the witnesses Bob Mueller would have heard, and they were under oath,” King said. “I never saw any evidence at all whatsoever of collusion.”

He said he’d be saying the same thing whether the president was “Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders or anybody else.”

King added he fears that there will be a continued investigation about Trump, but he’d rather resolve it.

“This is going to be used as an 18-month investigation of President Trump,” he said. “I went through all of those instances of supposed obstruction of justice, and to me, people on the Mueller staff who couldn’t get Donald Trump on any criminal (charges), just allow this investigation to go forward. I don’t see any reason why this couldn’t be wrapped up in a matter of months.”

Source: NewsMax Politics


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