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Zuma Corruption Trial Resumes After Deadly South Africa Unrest

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Zuma corruption trial resumes after deadly South Africa unrest

The long-running corruption trial of South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma, whose imprisonment on a separate charge sparked days of deadly unrests and looting across the country, has resumed.

Zuma appeared virtually in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday, where he faces 16 charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering related to the 1999 purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and military gear from five European arms firms when he was deputy president.

The 79-year-old is accused of taking bribes from one of the firms, French defence giant Thales, which has been charged with corruption and money laundering.

The trial began in May but has faced several postponements and delays as Zuma’s legal team sought to have charges dropped.

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On Monday, the former president’s legal team petitioned for the trial to again be delayed, arguing a defendant has a right to appear in court in person. Zuma had previously physically appeared in court during the opening of the trial to proclaim his innocence.

Armoured vehicles and heavily armed soldiers and police were stationed outside the court amid fears the resumption of the trial would spark further violent protests, which had eased over the weekend.

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Minister Says Nigeria’s Government Not Aware of $875m Ammunition Deal with US

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Minister Says Nigeria’s Government Not Aware of $875m Ammunition Deal with US

Nigeria’s Government says it is not aware of any $875 million ammunition deal with the US which is being purportedly blocked by some lawmakers in the United States.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, while speaking with reporters on Friday in Abuja, said “There is no contract of arms between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the United States of America today, apart from the 12 Super Tucano Attack Helicopters of which six had been delivered.

“We are quite satisfied with the progress and cooperation that we received from the government of the US on this issue. As a matter of fact, six of the Tucano helicopter will be launched on Aug. 3, this year”, he said.

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“We are not aware of the so called 875million USD arms contract or some helicopters which they said some lawmakers in the US are trying to persuade the president of the US not to honour. The relationship between Nigeria and the US is smooth and waxing stronger,’’ he said.
There had been reports that influential U.S. lawmakers were masterminding a hold on a proposed sale of ammunition and attack helicopters to Nigeria over allegations of human rights abuses and anti-democratic actions of the present administration.

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Nigerian Athletes Protest in Tokyo After Disqualification of 10 Among Them

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Turkey Battles Forest Fires for Third Day, Launches Investigation

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Turkey Battles Forest Fires for Third Day, Launches Investigation

Firefighters are battling blazes for a third day on Friday in Turkey’s southern coast, where dozens of villages and some hotels were evacuated.

Four people have now died in wildfires that erupted on Wednesday to the east of the tourist hotspot Antalya, across six provinces, while nearly 200 were injured.

Speaking to reporters in Istanbul, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said a total of 45 helicopters were being used in the effort against the remaining forest fires, while the number of planes have increased to six with the planes from Russia.

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“The battle against forest fires is still ongoing at 1,140 points,” he said, adding that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) were monitoring the situation in the region, whilst investigations into the cause of the fires had commenced.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh announced Iran’s solidarity with the government and people of Turkey, and Iran’s readiness to assist the Turkish government to contain the forest fires.

Read Also: Death Toll Passes 100 After Landslides and Flooding Sparked by India Monsoon

 

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EU Regulators Fine Amazon $887 Million Over Privacy Violations

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EU Regulators Fine Amazon $887 Million Over Privacy Violations

Amazon has been hit with a record $886.6 million European Union fine for processing personal data in violation of the bloc’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD) imposed the fine on Amazon in a July 16 decision, claiming that its processing of personal data did not comply with the European Union general data protection regulation, the company disclosed in a regulatory filing on Friday.

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According to the e-commerce giant in a response statement, “there has been no data breach, and no customer data has been exposed to any third party. These facts are undisputed. We strongly disagree with the CNPD’s ruling, and we plan to appeal”.

EU’s General Data Protection Regulation requires companies to seek people’s consent before using their personal data or face steep fines.
Amazon has come under scrutiny by the EU before. In November regulators filed anti-trust charges against the company, accusing Amazon of using its access to data from companies that sell products on its platform to gain an unfair advantage over them.

Read Also: WHO Warns Europe of New Covid-19 Wave by Autumn

 

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