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  1. #1031
    I can't breathe. ốc's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
    Dê su, người xứ Ngazareth:

    Cult leader who claims to be reincarnation of Jesus arrested in Russia

    Helicopters and armed officers stormed communities run by Sergei Torop, known to his followers as Vissarion, and arrested him and two of his aides. Russia’s investigative committee said it would charge him with organising an illegal religious organisation, alleging that the cult extorted money from followers and subjected them to emotional abuse.

    Torop, who lost his job as a traffic officer in 1989, claimed he experienced an “awakening” as the Soviet regime began to collapse. In 1991 he founded a movement now known as the Church of the Last Testament.

    Several thousand followers live in a series of remote hamlets in the Krasnoyarsk region in Siberia. Converts to the cult have included professionals from across Russia as well as pilgrims from abroad.

    “I am not God. And it is a mistake to see Jesus as God. But I am the living word of God the father. Everything that God wants to say, he says through me,” Vissarion told the Guardian in 2002.

    Russian media reported that in the original ideology of the cult, Vissarion claimed Jesus was watching over people from an orbit close to Earth, and the Virgin Mary was “running Russia”, but later he declared himself to be Jesus.

    His commune mixes a selection of rites drawn from Orthodox Christianity with environmental edicts and a series of other rules. Veganism is enforced and monetary exchange is banned inside the commune. Followers wear austere clothing and count years starting from 1961, the year of Vissarion’s birth, while Christmas has been replaced by a feast day on 14 January, his birthday.
    Vô thần còn hơn vô thần kinh.

  2. #1032
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    Sep 2011

    thiên sành xuất hiện.

  3. #1033
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    Sep 2011

    Often dubbed 'Europe's last dictator'

    Belarus: Protests in Minsk after Alexander Lukashenko sworn in in secret

    After weeks of protest surrounding the disputed August election, the inauguration was unexpectedly brought forward. But civilians in the capital reacted angrily to the development, taking to the streets once more.

    Belarus police fired tear gas at protesters in Minsk who took to the streets to demonstrate against President Alexander Lukashenko being sworn in for a sixth term on Wednesday.

    More than 150 people were arrested across Belarus, including in the capital city and in the southwestern city of Brest, according to Viasna rights group.

    The inauguration took place in secret and with no prior announcement; only government officials attended.

    During the ceremony, Lukashenko placed his right hand on the constitution and swore to "serve the people of the Republic of Belarus, respect and protect rights and freedoms of people and citizens."

    Calls for protest

    Following the inauguration ceremony, the Belarusian opposition called for an "immediate civil disobedience campaign."

    Pavel Latushko, an opposition politician, said the ceremony was like a secret meeting of "thieves."

    "Where are the jubilant citizens? Where is the diplomatic corps?" Latushko said.

    And it was not long before the people of Minsk reacted, taking to the streets to vent their frustration as police used water cannons to disperse demonstrators.

    Some wore cardboard crowns and chanted "Long live Belarus" as riot police in green uniforms arrested protesters, a handful of whom were injured in the clashes.

    Germany says proceedings illegitimate

    German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Wednesday that the ceremony in Minsk has "no legitimacy" and that Berlin does not recognize Lukashenko as the president.

    Seibert said that Germany supported activating sanctions against Belarusian officials as soon as possible, adding Berlin regrets that the EU's foreign ministers have yet to agree on moving forward. 

    A proposed list of some 40 Belarusian officials to be hit with travel bans and asset freezes has yet to be approved by all member states, with Cyprus being the last holdout.  

    Petras Austrevicius, standing rapporteur of the European Parliament on Belarus, welcomed the stance from Germany and said that Lukashenko's election opponent, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, was seen by many as the rightful president-elect.

    "I appreciate a clear statement from the German government that they are not going to recognize this fake inauguration," Austrevicius said. "Belarusian people in great majority see Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya as a president-elect. She is a president of the people. We have to support her as well as the Coordination Council in all their efforts to achieve early elections. Early elections are needed as much as ever before."

    Robert Biedron, Chair of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with Belarus, spoke out over the attempts to conceal the operation.

    "A winner of election, a leader that enjoys real support of the society would not need to hold his presidential inauguration in secret. This only shows how scared Lukashenko is. Just to be clear: for us this self-proclaimed presidency is meaningless," Biedron said.

    Often dubbed 'Europe's last dictator,' Lukashenko has been in power for over two decades

    Wednesday's ceremony would normally have been publicized in advance as a major state occasion. However, Lukashenko's disputed election victory on August 9 has unleashed weeks of mass protest across Belarus. 

    Lukashenko has been in power for 26 years. The opposition says the recent election was rigged. Much of the international community also rejected Lukashenko's claim that he won the election with 80% of the vote.

    jsi, wmr/msh (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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  4. #1034
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    Du lịch hồi hộp

    Eiffel Tower reopens after bomb scare in Paris

    The tourist landmark was forced to evacuate after a bomb threat, which police later said was a hoax. Visitors have since been allowed to re-enter.

    The Eiffel Tower was closed to visitors for two hours on Wednesday after a phone-in bomb threat turned out to be a hoax, police said.

    The Paris monument was searched, with no explosives found, a police spokeswoman said, meaning visitors could reenter the renowned structure around 2.25 p.m. local time (1225 GMT/UTC).

    Earlier, police cars and tape had surrounded the streets below the monument, and the bridge stretching across the Seine River to Trocadero Plaza had similar barricades put in place.

    The tower's operator confirmed the evacuation and several hundred people were seen leaving the building.

    The tower normally receives some 25,000 tourists on a daily basis, though that figure has dropped significantly in 2020 after the 131-year-old structure was closed for three months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Restrictions on global travel have also limited the number of tourists visiting the landmark this year.

    jsi/msh (AP, Reuters)

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  5. #1035
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    "Gian" thương bất phú

    FinCEN Files: Deutsche Bank tops list of suspicious transactions

    Leaked documents shed a light on Deutsche Bank's central role in facilitating financial transactions deemed suspicious. Many of these could have enabled the circumvention of sanctions on Iran and Russia.

    Germany's largest bank Deutsche Bank is no stranger to scandals. But the leaked FinCEN files suggest the bank was aware it was facilitating suspicious transactions amounting to over $1 trillion dollars, including for a period after it had promised to clean up its act.

    The FinCEN files are a huge cache of secret reports detailing suspicious financial activity, filed by banks to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the US Treasury Department (USTD).

    BuzzFeed News obtained the files and shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Over the past 16 months, 400 journalists from 88 countries have been investigating the documents.

    German bank reports over half of all suspicious activity

    Deutsche Bank accounts for 62% of all Suspicious Activities Reports (SARs) filed to FinCEN in the leaked documents.

    These SARs reflect the concerns of watchdogs within banks and are not necessarily evidence of any criminal conduct or wrongdoing. Financial institutions operating in the US are required to file these reports with the USTD, and failure to do so can result in penalties.

    Between 1999 and 2017, $2 trillion (€1.68 trillion) in transactions were flagged by financial institutions' internal compliance officers as suspicious. Reasons include possibly money laundering, sanctions violations or other criminal activities.

    Of these, $1.3 trillion (€1.09 trillion) worth of transactions passed through Deutsche Bank, which reported the activities to FinCEN.

    Deutsche Bank previously fined hundreds of millions

    This is not the first time Deutsche Bank has been implicated in suspicious money transfers. In 2015 it agreed to a $258 million fine for violating US sanctions.

    A probe by US and New York banking regulators found the bank had moved $10.9 billion (€9.2 billion) on behalf of Iranian, Libyan, Syrian, Burmese and Sudanese financial institutions sanctioned by the US between 1999 and 2006. The bank was accused of carrying out transactions for its customers using "non-transparent methods and practices" to disguise its actions.

    "Since then we have terminated all business with parties from the countries involved," a Deutsche Bank spokeswoman said at the time.

    Continued involvement in suspicious money transfers

    The FinCEN Files suggest that Deutsche Bank continued to move money for people and companies deemed suspicious, as indicated by SAR filings from the bank, after the big 2015 settlement.

    One case that stands out is that of Reza Zarrab, an Iranian-Turkish gold trader. He pleaded guilty in 2017 in a US federal court to helping Iran evade sanctions.

    Deutsche Bank's US affiliate, Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas (TCA), submitted an SAR about a company with close ties to Zarrab to FinCEN in March 2017. The report states that the company, Nadir Döviz, which is involved in the gold trade, had more than $28 million (€23 million) transferred in its name.

    Deutsche Bank TCA filed its SAR because Nadir Döviz was being investigated for its involvement in a money-laundering scheme. The document says the transactions occurred between March 2016 and February 2017.

    In its report, Deutsche Bank stated that the suspicious activities were intra-company payments dispersed between several Turkish banks. "This SAR is being filed because the transactions originated from a high-risk country [Turkey], there were multiple large, round dollar transactions, and no commercial purpose was identified through the transaction details," it reads.

    One of these suspicious transactions was for $1.5 million (€1.2 million) from Nadir Döviz in Turkey to Nadir Gold in Dubai on September 12, 2016. No reason was provided for the transfer.

    Bank says it 'learned from mistakes'

    Upon receiving a catalogue of detailed questions from ICIJ, a spokesman for Deutsche Bank said the information contained in the files is "not new information to us or our regulators" and that these issues date back to the years prior to 2016, adding that Deutsche Bank is "a different bank now."

    How much did Deutsche Bank know about transactions it facilitated?

    In his statement from September 9, the spokesman emphasized: "We acknowledged past weaknesses in our control environment, we apologized for this and accepted our respective fines. Most importantly: we learned from our mistakes, systematically tackled the issues and made changes to our business perimeter, our controls, and our personnel."

    The dates of the recorded Suspicious Activity Reports give rise to questions about how much Deutsche Bank knew about Döviz's connection to Zarrab and the Turkish trader's involvement in what turned out to be a gold for oil scheme to circumvent sanctions against Iran.

    Reza Zarrab's billion-dollar operation

    When Iranian banks were cut off from the global SWIFT transaction system, the country's companies could no longer use international banking transfers to receive payment for oil and gas exports.

    To get around the ban, Iran began collecting gold as payments instead. Reza Zarrab played a key role in this billion-dollar scheme to help Iran evade sanctions.

    Zarrab was first indicted and arrested in December 2013 in Turkey, as part of a larger corruption investigation aimed at ministers in the ruling AKP government. Among the charges directed at him were bribing ministers, money laundering and gold smuggling.

    According to a report by Turkish prosecutors at the time, Zarrab used Nadir Döviz for buying gold. Zarrab's bagman Adem Karahan later told Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, that he was a cash courier for money going from Dubai to Turkey and from Dubai to Iran.

    One of the companies he received money from was Nadir Gold LLC, a subsidiary of Nadir Döviz in Dubai. It is precisely these two companies that Deutsche Bank lists in its March 2017 Suspicious Activity Report to FinCen.

    At the time, the Erdogan administration refuted all allegations against Zarrab and likened the investigation to a coup attempt, purging and arresting the prosecutors who initiated it. After two and a half months in prison, Zarrab was released.

    In March 2016 Zarrab was arrested again, this time in the US while on route to Disney World with his family. US authorities accused him of money laundering, fraud and helping the Iranian government to evade the economic sanctions.

    He pleaded guilty and later testified as a protected star witness in a trial against a manager of Turkey's Halkbank.

    During this trial in November 2017, Zarrab claimed that Turkish government officials, including President Erdogan, had allowed Halkbank to create a complex web of shell companies and sham transactions in gold to help Iran get around US sanctions.

    Nadir Döviz and Deutsche Bank both declined to answer specific questions about their involvement with each other and with Reza Zarrab. But what is apparent is a pattern of Deutsche Bank connections with suspicious customers.

    One bank refused, Deutsche Bank moved

    The FinCEN Files reveal that Deutsche Bank also conducted transactions for an oil refinery in Turkmenistan, despite it being in possible violation of Iranian sanctions.

    Deutsche Bank's US affiliate filed two SARs in October 2014 and February 2015 related to these transactions.

    In these reports, Deutsche Bank states that "Turkmenbashi Oil Processing Complex is still involved in commercial activities restricted under EU sanctions," on the grounds that it exports liquid petroleum gas to Iran. Turkmenbashi Oil is the biggest oil and gas producer in Turkmenistan.

    According to the SARs filed by Deutsche Bank TCA, it facilitated transactions worth $168.5 million between April and September 2014 for Turkmenbashi Oil.

    It processed nearly $113 million in further transactions between September 2014 and January 2015.

    While Deutsche Bank TCA moved money for Turkmenbashi Oil, BNY Mellon, another bank that offers correspondence banking services in New York, refused to process transactions for the company around the same time.

    Russian oligarchs under sanctions

    The leaked SARs also suggest that Deutsche Bank may have allowed companies to evade sanctions in Russia as well as Iran.

    Surgutneftegas is one of Russia's largest oil companies. It was sanctioned in the US in September 2014 for supporting Russia's war against Ukraine.

    The sanctions forbid providing any equipment or technical support to Russian oil firms, as well as transactions that enable this.

    As correspondent bank, Deutsche Bank TCA was involved in 47 transfers amounting to nearly $430 million (€363 million) to and from Surgutneftegas between the beginning of March and mid-May 2015 — well after the announcement of the sanctions.

    Deutsche Bank continued to complete transactions for Oleg Deripaska despite knowing he was under investigation by US and UK authorities

    ICIJ's analysis of the FinCEN Files indicates that Deutsche Bank also shuffled more than $11 billion in transactions between 2003 and 2017 for companies tied to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire and a longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin — despite being fully aware of ongoing investigations.

    Deutsche Bank itself filed a SAR in November 2016 stating, "Deripaska, is under investigation by US and UK authorities in connection with a $57.5 million wire transfer in 2007."

    The report noted that "in the past, authorities in the US have accused Mr. Deripaska of having links to organized crime."

    Deripaska was put on the US list of sanctioned individuals in 2018 for money laundering, extortion and links to organized crime groups. He himself denies laundering funds or committing financial crimes and is suing the US government in an effort to reverse the sanctions.

    Doing it for the money?

    Banks determine the flow of money

    Deutsche Bank has been penalized many times in the past for facilitating suspicious activities. So why would they continue even after the hefty penalty of $258 million in 2015?

    For Tim White, a consultant at AML Right Source, an anti-money laundering consulting firm, the answer is simple: Money.

    White says that "by going ahead with these suspicious transactions, banks are making more money than the possible cost of the violations."

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  6. #1036
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    Sep 2011

    Ôi đồng tiền là những niềm đau...

    Top Vatican official resigns amid multi-million-euro real estate scandal

    Cardinal Angelo Becciu has resigned as the head of the Vatican's saint-making body after he was reportedly linked indirectly to a London property deal that has been marred by allegations of corruption.

    A senior Vatican official resigned on Thursday over alleged links to a multi-million-euro real estate scandal.

    Cardinal Angelo Becciu has quit as the head of the Catholic Church's saint-making body and renounced his rights as a cardinal.

    No further details were provided for his resignation, which has been accepted by Pope Francis.

    Becciu, 72, has been accused of being indirectly implicated in the Vatican's purchase of a luxury residence in London. Vatican prosecutors are investigating the 2012 deal that saw the Holy See take a €150 million stake in a property in Chelsea, an upmarket neighborhood in the British capital.

    The Vatican bought out the other investors at the end of 2018 after Becciu's successor determined the mortgage was onerous. Becciu's previous role at the Secretariat of State, the Vatican's central bureaucracy, oversaw the deal.

    The Vatican later accused Italian middlemen, who were part of the fund, of allegedly fleecing the Holy See of millions of euros in fees.

    Officials did not put investigate Becciu, who has denied any wrongdoing.

    Vatican police in June arrested Gianluigi Torzi, the London-based financier believed to be one of the middlemen.

    He is accused of extortion, embezzlement, aggravated fraud, and money laundering — charges that he denies.

    Becciu's renunciation of his cardinal rights means he will no longer be able to vote in the conclave to pick the next pope.

    The last cardinal to lose his rights was American Theodore McCarrick in 2018 after a sexual abuse probe was launched.

    Pope Francis defrocked him last year after he was found to have sexually abused adults and minors.


  7. #1037
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    Germany far right: Intelligence chief forced out amid criticism

    The head of Germany's military intelligence agency is to be replaced as the government seeks to ramp up its efforts to combat the far right.

    Getty Images - Christof Gramm had been leading efforts to tackle links between the army and extremism

    Christof Gramm had begun reforms to tackle links between the far right and the army, but the defence ministry said "additional efforts" were now required.
    He has faced calls to take firmer action during his tenure.

    In January, military intelligence said there were hundreds of suspected far-right supporters in the army last year.

    They said the KSK (Special Forces Command) was seen as a particular problem, with 20 members of the elite force suspected of right-wing extremism.

    Mr Gramm, who has led the military counterintelligence agency (MAD) since 2015, is not suspected of having far-right links himself.

    He has been leading reforms and efforts to combat the problem, which included working to identify extremist tendencies in soldiers and uncovering possible far-right networks.

    But the MAD has come under fire in recent times for not doing enough to tackle extremism in the Bundeswehr [German army]. A series of high-profile incidents has also raised concerns over the influence of the far right.

    In a surprise statement on Thursday, the defence ministry praised Mr Gramm's work thus far but said he would be removed from his role. "He is to be put into temporary retirement," it said.

    "Further implementation of the reforms... will require additional effort and momentum," it added. "This new phase should also be made visible in terms of personnel."
    His successor has not yet been named.

    What's the background?

    The German military's problem with far-right supporters emerged in 2017.

    Inspections were ordered on all military barracks when Nazi-era memorabilia was found at two of them. Many of those suspected of far-right links are thought to be sympathetic to Germany's main opposition AfD party.

    EPA - Nazi memorabilia was found at two military barracks in 2017

    In May, police investigating links between the military and the far right seized weapons and explosives from the home of a special forces soldier. The 45-year-old sergeant major was in the elite KSK.

    Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer promised further investigation of possible extremist networks and said it was clear there was no place for anyone in the armed forces who acted "in a radical way".

    And just weeks later, she ordered the partial dissolution of the KSK force which had come under growing criticism over right-wing extremism in its ranks.

    The KSK had "become partially independent" from the chain of command, with a "toxic leadership culture", Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper at the time.

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  8. #1038
    I can't breathe. ốc's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
    Switz-Off or Switzexit?

    Swiss to vote on whether to end free movement deal with EU

    Switzerland will vote on Sunday whether to end its agreement with the EU on the free movement of people, in a referendum with echoes of the pro-Brexit campaign that led to Britain’s decision to leave the bloc.

    The largest party in the Swiss parliament, the rightwing, anti-immigration Swiss People’s party (SVP), has called for the vote, arguing that the country must be allowed to set its own limit on the number of foreigners coming in to work.

    However, polls forecast the SVP will not be successful, with one this week finding 63% of respondents opposed the party’s proposal – suggesting voters want stability at a time of economic uncertainty amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    Non-nationals account for roughly a quarter of Switzerland’s 8.6 million inhabitants and continuing immigration is forecast to swell the population to about 10 million over the next 30 years.

    “Migrants change our culture,” the SVP’s referendum campaign website says. “Public squares, trains and streets become less safe. In addition, practically half of all welfare recipients are foreigners.”
    MEGA: Make Europe Go Awry.

  9. #1039
    Biệt Thự Triển's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by ốc View Post
    Switz-Off or Switzexit?

    Swiss to vote on whether to end free movement deal with EU

    MEGA: Make Europe Go Awry.
    Dân Thuỵ Sĩ chớ dại như dân Anh. Bầu hôm trước hôm sau mới biết lý do thì mệt đó.
    Free movement là bilateral agreement (1999) chứ có phải một bên quyết định đâu. Chọn
    đóng cửa là đồng nghĩa với cắt đường làm ăn biên giới:

  10. #1040
    I can't breathe. ốc's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
    Thì cái tên Thụy Sĩ nghĩa là "người ngủ" mà.

    Lúc đầu bàn tính chuyện đi lại thả cửa người ta nghĩ là quanh quẩn cũng chỉ có dân da trắng Âu châu với nhau thôi nên ok ào ào. Chung quy cũng vì không thích người da không trắng.

    Sang năm chắc Liên Âu chỉ còn Pháp với Đức.



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