Read How Philippines’ President Sexually Assaulted a Maid and Jimmy Carter says US, China Should Partner in Africa. Continue reading for more…
1. Trump will Cut a Deal to Leave Office, Former Bush Aide Says
President Donald Trump will not be removed from office via an impeachment conviction, but he will make a deal to exit his presidency “before the end of 2019,” says a former advisor to President George W. Bush. Alan J. Steinberg
Trump will “use his presidency as a bargaining chip with federal and state authorities in 2019, agreeing to leave office in exchange for the relevant authorities not pursuing criminal charges against him, his children or the Trump Organization.”
The deal will include a pardon from a President Mike Pence, and will allow Trump to retain all his assets without any forfeiture despite possible criminal acts, Steinberg predicts.
2. Qatar Airways Buys 5% Stake in China Southern Airlines
Qatar Airways said on Wednesday that it had acquired a five percent stake in China Southern Airlines, as it seeks to establish itself in the Asian aviation market.
The state-owned airline said in a statement the deal was part of its “strategy to invest in the strongest airlines around the world”, but did not specify the cost of the transaction.
China Southern Airlines is one of China’s “big three” carriers.
Qatar Airways also owns a 20 percent stake in International Airlines Group — which holds British Airways under its umbrella — as well as shares in LATAM Airlines Group, Italy’s Meridiana and Hong Kong based Cathay Pacific.
3. US Newspapers Hit By Cyber Attack
Several US newspapers were hit by major printing and delivery disruptions caused by a cyber attack over the weekend.
Cyber attacks hit included the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun, as well as various others published by Tribune Publishing, which said it first detected the malware on Friday (28 December).
The Los Angeles Times said the cyber attack appeared to come from outside the US.
“We believe the intention of the attack was to disable infrastructure, more specifically servers, as opposed to looking to steal information,” an anonymous source with knowledge of the attack told the newspaper.
The attack led to delays in the distribution of the Saturday editions of some newspapers in the US.
4. How I Sexually Assaulted Our Maid, Philippine President Confesses
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has confessed to sexually abusing a maid while he was a teenager, according to a report.
In a speech on December 29, Duterte said that he had confessed to a priest going into a maid’s room while she slept and placing his fingers on her genitals.
According to thePresident, “I lifted the blanket… I tried to touch what was inside the panty,” he said,. “I was touching. She woke up so I left the room.”
He also said he later came back into the maid’s room and fondled her genitals again..
Duterte said that after hearing the confession, the priest said, “Say five Our Fathers, five Hail Marys, because you will go to hell.”
The remarks were not unusual for Duterte, who has frequently come under fire for making statements that demean and encourage violence against women.
5. DR Congo Blocks Radio Station’s Broadcasts, Cancels Press Accreditation
DRC’s Government spokesman Lambert Mende has accused a popular radio station, RFI in the country of discussing results and trends ahead of the official release.
According to him, “We will not allow a station to add fuel on the fire at a time when we are waiting for provisional results”
RFI, a French public-service broadcaster, has a very large audience in the Democratic Republic of Cong, a French-speaking country of around 80 million people.
The much anticipated results, which are due to be announced next Sunday, will elect a replacement for the outgoing president, Joseph Kabila, who has ruled the Democratic Republic of Congo since 2001.
6. Zimbabwe President Cuts Short Holiday over Doctors’ Strike
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa cut short his annual vacation on Wednesday to try to resolve an impasse with doctors who have been on strike for a month, a government spokesperson said.
Hundreds of junior doctors in public hospitals across Zimbabwe withdrew their services in November demanding salaries in US dollars, an increase in on-call allowances and an improvement in drug supplies and provision of functional equipment.
Last week Zimbabwe government said it had suspended 530 striking doctors but later made an about-turn to pave the way for fresh negotiations.
“The president has had to cut short his annual leave in order to play an oversight role in the negotiations,” the information ministry permanent secretary Nick Mangwana revealed.
7. Jimmy Carter says US, China Should Partner in Africa
Former US president Jimmy Carter warned Monday of the risks of the US sliding into a Cold War with China and called on the powers to find common cause on African development.
Carter, who has devoted his post-presidential career to eradicating poverty, said that the “easiest route” to cooperation between the United States and China was in Africa.
He had said that Africans like billions of other people around the world do not want to be forced to choose a side but by working together with Africans, the United States and China would also be helping themselves overcome distrust and rebuild their vital relationship.
The United States had warned developing countries to be wary about Chinese assistance, accusing Beijing of wooing countries with projects that become debt traps.
8. Two Indian women Defy Ban on Menstruating Females by Entering Hindu Temple
Two women has defied a century-old ban on entering a Hindu temple in the Indian state of Kerala on Wednesday, sparking protests and calls for a strike by conservative Hindu groups outraged by their visit.
India’s Supreme Court in September ordered the lifting of the ban on women or girls of menstruating age from entering the Sabarimala temple, which draws millions of worshippers a year.
But the temple refused to abide by the ruling and subsequent attempts by women to visit it had been blocked by thousands of devotees.
9. Airline to Honour $16,000 Thickets Sold for $675 in Error
Cathay Pacific has said it will honour first-class and business-class tickets that it sold to some lucky passengers for a fraction of the usual price.
The Hong Kong-based airline mistakenly sold business-class seats on August flights from Vietnam to New York for about $675 return.
Prices on the same route in July and September cost $16,000.
The airline admitted that it “made a mistake”, but said it would honour the tickets.
10. Xi Jinping says Taiwan ‘Must and Will Be’ Reunited With China
Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the people of Taiwan to accept it “must and will be” reunited with China.
In a speech marking 40 years since the start of improving ties, he reiterated Beijing’s call for peaceful unification on a one-country-two-systems basis.
However, he also warned that China reserved the right to use force.
While Taiwan is self-governed and de facto independent, it has never formally declared independence from the mainland.
China considers the Island to be a breakaway province.
But on Wednesday, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said the island would never accept reunification with China under the terms offered by Beijing.