Tuesday, Oct. 03, 2023 |
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Exiled Chinese Billionaire Charged in New York With Financial Conspiracy
Guo Wengui, a fugitive Chinese billionaire, was arrested Wednesday morning in New York on charges that he orchestrated a complex conspiracy to defraud thousands of his online followers out of at least $1 billion, authorities said. A federal indictment unsealed in Manhattan charged that Guo and a co-defendant took advantage of Guo’s “prolific online presence” to solicit investments in various entities and programs “by promising outsized financial returns and other benefits.” Guo was arrested by the FBI at his apartment in the Sherry-Netherland Hotel, a bureau spokesperson said. Guo was taken to a brief court appearance, and he entered a not guilty plea. He was ordered detained pending further proceedings.
Biden Looks to Bolster Support Among Seniors With a Focus on Health Care
One of President Joe Biden’s promises to America’s seniors when he first campaigned for the Oval Office was this: You will pay less for health care. So on Wednesday, with a possible reelection announcement getting closer every day, the president traveled to Las Vegas to boast that millions of older adults would save on their medications thanks to the health care legislation he championed last year. Because of the Inflation Reduction Act, he said, seniors will no longer have to make copayments for some recommended vaccines like shingles and tetanus, saving them an average of $70 each year in the future.
EPA Tells Dozens of States to Clean Up Their Smokestacks
The Biden administration on Wednesday finalized a rule forcing factories and power plants in 23 Western and Midwestern states to sharply cut smog-causing pollution that is released from their smokestacks and fouls the air in Eastern states. Known as the “good neighbor” rule, the new regulation strengthens and expands an earlier interstate air pollution standard that was enacted during the Obama administration. While that rule directed power plants to clean up their emissions, the revised rule enforces similar controls on mills, factories and other industrial facilities.
National Audubon Society Will Keep Its Name Despite Ties to Slavery
The National Audubon Society announced Wednesday that its board of directors had voted to retain the organization’s name despite pressure to end its association with John James Audubon, the 19th-century naturalist and illustrator who enslaved people, drawing backlash from fellow bird groups that have already changed their names. The group said its decision came after more than a yearlong process that included input from hundreds of its members, volunteers and donors. Despite Audubon’s history as an enslaver with racist views toward Black and Indigenous people, Elizabeth Gray, CEO of the National Audubon Society, said in a statement Wednesday that the board “decided that the organization transcends one person’s name.”
6 Bodies and Remains of 154 People Found in Suspended Crematorium’s Warehouse
California officials are working to find the families of more than 150 people whose remains were discovered in a warehouse used by Oceanview Cremations, a cremation company that had its license suspended, authorities said. Six bodies and the cremated remains of 154 other people were recovered March 1 at the warehouse in Hayward, California, in Alameda County, the county coroner’s bureau said. The discovery was made after the California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau received complaints that the company had stopped responding to customers, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said. The remains were dated between 2013 and 2021. It was not clear why the remains were in storage.
NASA Unveils a New Moon Suit for Artemis Astronauts
NASA officials on Wednesday lavished praise on what astronauts will be wearing when they step on the moon in the coming years. “We’re developing a spacesuit for a new generation,” Robert D. Cabana, NASA’s associate administrator, said during an event in Houston unveiling the new suit. The latest in lunar spacewear comes from Axiom Space in Houston. By turning to this private company, NASA is again relying on new commercial space enterprises to provide key components faster and cheaper than it could itself develop. The Axiom suits will be worn during the Artemis III mission, the program’s first moon landing, which is scheduled for 2025.
The Black Sea Is a Flashpoint Between Russia and the West
If you had to rank the spots where the militaries of the United States and Russia could physically run into each other, the Black Sea would probably be near the top. The sea on Europe’s southeastern flank has long been a theater of international competition between the United States and its European allies on one side and Russia and its sphere of influence on the other, a dynamic that has been supercharged by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Russian air force’s downing of an U.S. surveillance drone Tuesday was a stark reminder to the countries operating in and around the Black Sea of the region’s potential to become a flashpoint.
Israel Says It Killed a Bomber Who Probably Entered From Lebanon
Israeli security forces said Wednesday that they had shot dead a man they accused of planting a bomb in northern Israel after he had probably infiltrated the country from southern Lebanon, in one of the most unusual security incidents along the border in years. The military did not reveal details about the man killed but said it was investigating whether he had been connected to Hezbollah, an Islamist militia and political movement that has long fought Israel and has a stronghold in southern Lebanon. Israel fought a full-scale war with Hezbollah in 2006 and regularly strikes Hezbollah-linked targets in Syria, and occasionally in Lebanon.
Senate Confirms Garcetti as Ambassador to India, Capping a Two-Year Fight
The Senate on Wednesday confirmed former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to be the U.S. ambassador to India, ending a two-year saga that left a top diplomatic post vacant amid allegations that he mishandled workplace misconduct and sexual harassment. Garcetti was confirmed in a 52-42 vote, with a few Democratic senators who had reservations voting “no” but several more Republicans voting in favor of moving forward. It was a victory for President Joe Biden, who stuck by his political ally in the face of the allegations and the prolonged process that has left the United States without a permanent envoy in one of the world’s most populous and geopolitically important democracies.
Hungarian Town Seethes Over Giant Chinese Battery Plant
Residents in Mikepercs, a Fidesz stronghold in eastern Hungary, are seething over the arrival on nearby farmland of bulldozers and dump trucks preparing the way for a $7.8 billion Chinese battery factory project promoted by dissent-intolerant Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Many worry the project would create pollution, drain their water supply and bring an influx of Chinese and other foreign workers. Two public hearings on the venture, held in the nearby city of Debrecen in January, descended into chaos amid fistfights and shouts of “traitor” directed at officials by residents anxious about their future health and property values. The factory would be the biggest of its kind in Europe.
Ukraine’s Allies Promise Weapons for Spring Counteroffensive
The United States on Wednesday promised to “fully and quickly” give Ukraine the weapons required for a spring counteroffensive against Russia, addressing one of the most critical needs amid a global shortage of ammunition caused in part by the yearlong conflict. The battles in Ukraine have strained the production capacities of the West and Moscow. Both Russian and Ukrainian soldiers have complained that they do not have enough ammunition to keep up with the pace of fighting. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, speaking during a virtual meeting with defense officials from more than 50 countries supporting Kyiv, said the allies “must provide Ukraine with the full capabilities for the fight ahead.”
How to Get Kicked Out of Parliament: Livestream Instead of Legislating
Since he was elected to Japan’s parliament in July, Yoshikazu Higashitani has spread celebrity gossip on his YouTube channel, explored the sights of Dubai and handed out snacks to children displaced by an earthquake in Turkey. One thing he has not done is show up for work. On Wednesday, he was expelled from Japan’s upper house of parliament, the House of Councillors, making him the first elected lawmaker in the country to be removed from office in more than seven decades. Before his short-lived career as a lawmaker, Higashitani, 51, was well-known for his lengthy livestreams during which he dished out salacious celebrity gossip under the alias “GaaSyy.”
By wire sources
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