SEARCH

Wednesday
Feb142018

Iraq needs $88.2 billion to rebuild in wake of war against ISIS, minister says

iStock/Thinkstock(KUWAIT CITY) -- It will take a staggering $88.2 billion to rebuild parts of Iraq devastated by the war against ISIS, according to the country's minister of planning.

During an international donors conference in Kuwait regarding Iraq reconstruction, Salman Al-Jameeli said in a statement Tuesday that "$22.9 billion [is] needed for Iraq in the short term, [and] $65.4 billion over the medium term."

The funds would go to the vast swaths of Iraqi territories seized by ISIS during the jihadist group's brutal conquest that started in June 2014, the minister said.

Seven governorates across Iraq -- including Ninawa, which encompasses the county's second-largest city of Mosul -- suffered about $46 billion in total damages. In addition, Iraq's security sector sustained $14 billion in total damages, while Iraqi banks lost $10 billion in cash assets, according to the minister.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who attended the donors conference, did not offer any new direct aid pledges to Iraq. But, he announced a $3 billion financial package from the Export–Import Bank of the United States, which includes loan guarantees and insurance to spur American investment in Iraq.

Tillerson also urged members of the international coalition battling ISIS to help rebuild Iraq.

"As we celebrate these victories over extremism and hatred, we know they were hard-won, and they came at a very high price. Much work remains to rebuild Iraq and modernize its economy," Tillerson said in remarks made at the conference Tuesday. "Everyone in this room has an opportunity to help set Iraq on a new course and contribute to its long-term development success."

An official with the U.S. Department of State told ABC News the conference was "never intended to be a pledging conference, but rather the initial roll-out on behalf of the Iraqi government."

In October 2016, Iraqi forces as well as Kurdish forces, known as peshmerga, launched a massive operation to liberate Mosul from ISIS control. The fight affected densely populated neighborhoods within the war-torn city and had displaced nearly 192,000 people by March 2017, according to the Geneva-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Center.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over ISIS in December 2017. By the end of the year, while 3.2 million people had returned to their homes, another 2.6 million remained displaced in Iraq, according to the United Nations migration agency.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

Vladimir Putin has a cold

Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has canceled some of his public appearances this week after coming down with a cold, a Kremlin spokesman said.

"The president has a cold," Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call Tuesday. “It’s winter.”

It was a rare acknowledgement of physical vulnerability from the Kremlin around Putin, whom it normally portrays as a fanatically fit workaholic possessed of almost super-human vitality. Putin, 65, has constructed an image built on physical strength, making regular appearances meant to emphasize it, from televised judo matches to shirtless horse-riding, to ice hockey games where the president is most often the runaway scorer.

Last month, he took a plunge in a hole cut in the ice of a frozen lake as part of Russian Orthodox Epihany traditions.

Putin will still continue working, Peskov said, but he won’t attend an event planned for Wednesday at Moscow’s VDNKh exhibition, instead hosting participants at the Kremlin or at his residence in Novo-Ogaryovo near the city.

The liberal station TV Rain reported that Putin will also skip a trip to Russia’s far east planned for Feb. 19-22, citing two people close to the visit’s organizers. Peskov denied that the trip, which wasn’t publicly announced, had been cancelled, according to the state news agency, RIA Novosti.

Putin has been following a busy schedule of appearances linked to Russia’s presidential election due to take place in March and in which Putin is expected to win a fourth term without difficulty.

Each week Putin has been appearing at choreographed events around the country, visiting factories, meeting with school children and hosting delegations. The appearances, however mundane, usually receive substantial coverage on Russian state media, where Putin is a daily fixture.

Any disappearance of Putin from the public's view quickly becomes the subject of popular speculation in Russia, giving birth to jokes and sometimes outlandish rumors.

In March 2015, when he hadn’t been seen for 10 days, rumors appeared he had gone to Switzerland for the birth of a child by a mistress or he had been imprisoned in a coup. On that occasion, interest around Putin’s absence became so intense that his reappearance at an otherwise routine meeting with Kyrgyzstan’s president became news in itself. When Putin canceled a string of meetings in 2016, the rumor mill spun again -- with people speculating that Putin was dead, or having plastic surgery.

That last theory of Putin’s absences being Botox-related likely had more credible grounds. Speculation that Putin has had work done began in 2010 after he appeared at a meeting with bruising around his eyes and has revived each time the president—whose face has become fuller and less wrinkled as he gets older -- drops out of view.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

South Africa's president clings to power as deadline to resign looms

Chesnot/Getty Images(CAPE TOWN, South Africa) -- South African President Jacob Zuma is refusing to resign after being recalled by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday amid allegations of fraud and misuse of taxpayer funds.

If parliament votes against him in a motion of "no confidence" set for Thursday, the embattled president said, "I will be out."

Zuma's comment in a live interview on state broadcaster SABC suggested that he will not obey the ruling party's order to leave office by the end of Wednesday.

The ANC said it will move to oust Zuma in the parliamentary vote of "no confidence" if he does not resign voluntarily.

Zuma told the SABC that he disagrees with his party’s efforts to remove him and claimed that he has been "victimized." He has said he is willing to resign, but wanted to stay in office for a few more months.

He said he plans to make a statement later.

The ANC recalled Zuma on Tuesday, but did not give him a firm deadline. On Wednesday, Paul Mashatile, the party’s treasurer general, clarified that he has to leave office or face a motion of "no confidence" in parliament on Thursday.

The ANC parliamentary caucus met earlier Wednesday and agreed to table a motion of "no confidence" against Zuma on Thursday. Mashatile addressed the group.

"I have now reported to the caucus that the [National Executive Committee of ANC] has decided to recall President Zuma and the deadline [for Zuma to resign] is today," Mashatile told journalists after addressing the caucus in Parliament.

"We have now asked the chief whip to proceed with the motion of 'no confidence' tomorrow," he continued, "so that President Zuma is then removed, so that we can then proceed to elect President [Cyril] Ramaphosa."

The ANC has applied for an amendment of an opposition party’s motion of "no confidence," which effectively means that the party will now "own" the motion.

The party's chief whip, Jackson Mthembu, added that the ANC hoped to elect party leader Cyril Ramaphosa as president of the country on Thursday after the "no confidence" vote or on Friday.

Zuma stands accused of more than 780 charges of fraud, money laundering and racketeering related to an arms-deal scandal. Although he has consistently denied these charges, prosecutors are gearing up to reinstate them. The beleaguered president was also found by the highest court in South Africa to have failed in his duty to uphold, defend and respect the country’s constitution after improvements to his private homestead were made with taxpayers’ money.

Mashatile said the issues did not come up during the caucus meeting.

According to the ANC, the State of the Nation Address (SONA), which was postponed indefinitely last week, could take place on Feb. 16, the debate on the SONA on Feb. 19 and the budget speech will go ahead as planned on Feb. 21.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

South Korea agrees to pay expenses for North Korea's Olympic delegation

iStock/Thinkstock(PYEONGCHANG, South Korea) -- South Korea approved $2.64 million from the government to foot the bill for North Korea’s participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Wednesday, according to the Unification Ministry.

The South and North Exchange and Cooperation Promotion Council approved the funds that will cover costs spent on tickets to the Olympic Games, accommodations, food and transportation.

Eligible beneficiaries include the 424 North Koreans comprising its cheering squad, taekwondo performers, orchestra and journalists.

The final number for the total payment will be released after the games.

For the two visits by North Korea’s site survey inspectors last month before the Olympics, an additional $27,000 had been approved and spent to cover the expenses.

Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said the North Korean delegation's participation “in various forms is serving as a pretty good opportunity” to achieve “Seoul's goal to hold an Olympics of peace and becoming an important chance for harmony that improves the inter-Korean relationship and opens up the door for peace on the Korean Peninsula.”

He also stressed that South Korea has kept United Nations sanctions and other international restrictions as it hosts the North Korean members.

The arrangement was part of the deal struck between North and South Korea to promote inter-Korean cooperation last month after South Korean President Moon Jae-in had invited the North to the Olympics in an attempt to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

The funds approved Wednesday do not include costs for hosting the high-level delegation, including North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s younger sister Kim Yo Jong and its ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong Nam. Still, those expenses will be paid by the South and North Talks funds, a different department within the same Unification Ministry.

The International Olympics Committee will bankroll expenses for the 22 North Korean athletes competing in Pyeongchang.

Additional expenses are expected to occur due to the 150-person North Korean delegation that will be sent to the Paralympic Winter Games next month. Those costs will be handled by the Unification Ministry in the near future.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

Seoul mayor calls joint Korean taekwondo performances a 'sensation'

Woohae Cho/Getty Images(PYEONGCHANG, South Korea) -- North Korea's taekwondo team finished its four-show tour in South Korea on Wednesday. In each display, performers from both nations jointly demonstrated skills that led Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon to call them a "sensation."

The team from North Korea performed before the Olympic opening ceremony in Pyeongchang, later at a career and education center also in Gangwon Province and then twice in Seoul. Each time, the North Koreans shared the stage with their South Korean counterparts for part of the hourlong show that otherwise let each team showcase its talents separately.

"The joint taekwondo performance is creating a sensation and sending a message of hope -- not only in the Korean peninsula, but also worldwide," Park Won-soon told local newspaper Segye Ilbo after watching a performance on Monday.

The North Korean taekwondo performers arrived Feb. 7 along with that nation's Olympic committee officials, cheerleaders, art troupes and media representatives. They stayed at a hotel in Inje, about 90 miles from Seoul. They are expected to return home on Thursday.

The elaborate martial arts performances, which at times received less media attention than those of the cheerleaders and artists, included smashing wood and impressive self-defense techniques, the final display of which concluded at Munwha Broadcasting Corp.'s concert hall.

Sharing performance time with neighbors with whom they share a border was widely considered a hint toward an improving relationship between the two nations.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

In Taiwan, pedestrian signal shakes off singlehood in time for Valentine's Day

Pingtung County(PINGTUNG COUNTY, Taiwan) -- Pingtung County Mayor Pan Men-an probably doesn't get 30,000 views on every video he posts to Facebook -- but he did for one featuring a newlywed couple celebrating a brand-new regional landmark.

On the eve of Valentine's Day, the stick figure normally seen on a pedestrian walking signal was joined by a female companion. This was "a first in Taiwan," the mayor said.

Pingtung County, a southern county with a population of about 840,000 and known for tourism, unveiled the new signal in time for the holiday, and there will be 25 installed before the Lunar New Year, the mayor told Taiwan News, a local English-language website.

For 18 years, the signals featured just a man, but now he walks with a woman and drops to a knee to propose as the light goes red.

On his Facebook page, the mayor wrote, "We hope everybody smiles, no longer bored, while waiting for the red lights."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Feb132018

Trial of Palestinian teenager who slapped Israeli officer closed to press

Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- Behind closed doors at the Israeli Ofer Military Base in the West Bank, Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenager who slapped an Israeli soldier, appeared in an Israeli military court Tuesday morning.

Minutes after Ahed was brought into the courtroom Tuesday, Military Judge Lt. Col. Menachem Lieberman told the crowd of journalists, diplomats and non-profit group representatives they could not stay. He made the trial private on the grounds that Ahed is a minor, though that status has been under debate.

"I don't see how it's in the minor's interest that a 100 people are here all the time,” he said. “Her family can stay. Everyone else must leave."

The curly-haired teenage girl, who is 17, has garnered harsh criticism and has bitterly divided public opinion. Human rights organizations, the European Union and United Nations have all voiced their concern.

Ahed's Israeli lawyer Gaby Lasky protested today's decision to remove observers from the court.

"My client's arrest was filmed by the army and police, despite being a minor," Lasky told the judge. "So I think the media should stay here now. It's for her protection."

Ahed's fight has become symbolic of the next generation of Palestinian resistance, many Palestinians hail Ahed as a brave young fighter.

Some pro-Israel blogs have dubbed her "Shirley Temper," and right-wing Israelis accuse her of using social media to distribute propaganda and discredit Israel. One Israeli deputy minister and former ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, even investigated whether the Tamimis were "a real family,” according to Haaretz.

Ahed is facing years in jail. She has been charged with twelve offenses, including assaulting security forces and incitement to violence.

She turned 17 two weeks ago in jail, appeared to be in good spirits today, according to journalists who were briefly in the courtroom. Her father, Bassem Tamimi, shouted: “Stay strong! Stay strong! You will win!”

"The military judge decided to have a closed session, justifying it because Ahed is a child," her father Bassem told ABC News Tuesday. "But he forgets that you do not put children in jails, so if she is a child she must be free and out of jail."

“The Israeli military occupation does not want diplomats, human right organizations and the press to see and witness the ugly face of the Israeli military occupation," he continued. "This is why he kicked all the international observers out of the military court today."

Representatives from the EU, Norway and Germany were all present Tuesday.

At her bail hearing in January, Human Rights Watch notes that Lasky argued that international human rights law permits the detention of children only as a last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time. But the Israeli military judge ruled that he “did not think the articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child should be viewed as absolute.”

On Monday, Human Rights Watch said "Tamimi’s pre-trial detention – 56 days and counting – is both a violation of international law and unnecessary. Her case raises concerns that Israel’s military justice system, which detains hundreds of Palestinian children every year, is incapable of respecting children’s rights."

Amnesty International has also called for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to free Ahed, and the other 300 other Palestinian minors in Israeli jail cells. The group said that while in detention, "she endured aggressive interrogations, sometimes at night, and threats made against her family."

Ahed is a well-known teenage activist, from a family of well-known activists in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh in the West Bank, which is occupied by Israel. The village has held weekly protests almost every Friday since 2009.

The incident for which she is on trial was captured in a now-viral video, shot and distributed by her family on December 14, 2017. An unarmed Ahed can be seen standing in her driveway facing two heavily armed Israeli soldiers. "Come on, get out," she yells at the soldiers. "Get out of here, don't stay here."

The soldiers don't budge, and she pushes one of the Israeli soldiers, then kicks him in the shins. She goes in again, this time with her right fist, hitting his shoulder. He deflects her. "Don't touch me," she screams in his face and reached up to slap him.

Just before the video was shot, her family says, Ahed had just learned that her 15-year-old cousin, Mohammed, was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier. He required intensive surgery that removed part of his skull in order to dislodge the rubber bullet.

Five days after the incident in her driveway, the Israeli military raided her house at 3 a.m. and released video of her arrest.

Lasky said Tuesday's session ended after prosecutors read the indictment. She told reporters that she did not respond to the charges, and that the next hearing was scheduled for March 11. Ahed's mother, Nariman Tamimi, is also being prosecuted alongside her daughter for the December 14th incident.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Feb132018

Tainted alcohol reports in Mexico have lawmakers calling for action from State Department

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Citing concerns of tainted alcohol being served in Mexico, Sen. Tammy Baldwin is calling on the State Department to reform the way it handles deaths and injuries to Americans vacationing in the country.

Baldwin's letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson -- obtained by ABC News -- points to reports of tourists fainting or blacking out after drinking only small amounts, and comes just weeks before many Americans travel to Mexico for spring break.

Some tourists have reported being victims of robbery or assault after they passed out, according to the letter. Baldwin, D-Wis., estimates approximately 140 Americans have been involved in possible tainted alcohol incidents, often while staying at Mexico's upscale, all-inclusive resorts in places like Cancun, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta.

The State Department warned American citizens traveling to Mexico last year to be conscious of "allegations that consumption of tainted or substandard alcohol has resulted in illness or blacking out."

Baldwin writes that the State Department is currently only providing "limited guidance" to American victims of tainted alcohol. She is calling on the State Department to reform the way it operates in Mexico so that consulate staffers can help Americans navigate Mexico's legal system, rather than letting "them fend for themselves."

"The State Department must do more to protect and assist our citizens when abroad," Baldwin writes.

"We are concerned about reported incidents that the consumption of substandard or unregulated alcohol in some tourist areas in Mexico has resulted in illness or blacking out," a State Department spokesperson told ABC News, noting that the State Department has only received 17 reports of Americans who are concerned they may have consumed tainted alcohol.

At the State Department briefing Tuesday, spokesperson Heather Nauert reminded reporters that the U.S. is limited in what they can do in these cases.

"We are not able to prosecute because it is not our country. That's up to the Mexican government to do," Nauert said.

"We would like to reiterate that if any U.S. citizen traveler becomes ill and suspects they consumed substandard alcohol in Mexico, they should seek immediate medical attention and contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate," the State Department spokesperson added.

Baldwin requested that all reports of tainted alcohol be shared with the State Department's Office of the Inspector General, which is currently conducting an inquiry into the department's response to incidents involving Americans and tainted alcohol in Mexico.

A spokesperson for the State Department's Office of the Inspector General told ABC News that inquiry is ongoing.

The State Department has designated the whole country of Mexico as "travel advisory Level 2," meaning tourists should "exercise increased caution."

Just last month, parts of Mexico were designated Level 3 or 4, but that advisory does not include many popular tourist destinations.

Mexico's secretary of tourism, Enrique de la Madrid Cordero, disputed reports of tainted alcohol in his country during an appearance on CNBC in December. "There is no evidence about tainted alcohol. The case that I've seen, where I have medical evidence, gives the evidence that the amount of alcohol that was drunk was excessive," Cordero said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Feb132018

South Pacific island nation of Tonga battered by Category 4 tropical cyclone

NOAA(NEW YORK) -- Two days after Tropical Cyclone Gita ravaged the small South Pacific island nation of Tonga, the cleanup continues.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency's Himawari-8 satellite captured the massive size of the Category 4 storm on thermal infrared imagery Monday. The storm had sustained winds of nearly 145 mph as it moved west past Tonga, bringing heavy rains with it.

Only one other Category 4 or stronger storm has ever passed within 200 miles of the island -- Cyclone Ian in 2014, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's historical database.

Acting Prime Minister Hon. Semisi Sika declared a state of emergency for Tonga, urging residents to stay where they were to prevent injury and avoid further damage to property or the environment.

Following that declaration, Tonga's Police Commissioner Stephen Caldwell ordered a curfew in the Central Business District area of Nuku'alofa, saying in a statement, "We are urging people to seek refuge from this severe cyclone that could be the most powerful in the country's history."

As of Tuesday night, over 3,000 people were staying in 41 different evacuation centers as crews were working to have the power up and running for the Vaiola Hospital. Tonga Power had seven teams out assessing the damage to see how early they could have the power up and running for the rest of the area.

Tongatapu, Tonga's main island, saw three major injuries and 30 minor injuries due to the cyclone, according to Sia Adams, Tonga police's media officer. A 72-year-old man from Fuaamotu died from a heart attack but it is still unclear if the cyclone contributed to his death.

Over 5,000 miles away in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the most famous face of Tonga is competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Cross-country skier and Tongan flag bearer Pita Taufatofua, 34, has been following the storm from South Korea as he tried to make contact with friends and family. This morning, Taufatofua announced on social media that his family was safe despite damage to their homes.

Red Cross teams, the Australian Defense Force and the U.S Peace Corps are all conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations to support Tonga. After a request from the Tongan government, Australia has deployed $350,000 in lifesaving equipment, including emergency shelter, kitchen and hygiene kits to assist.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Feb132018

Russia is threatening to block YouTube and Instagram over video of oligarch

Alexey Navalny/YouTube(MOSCOW) -- Russia has threatened to block access to YouTube and Instagram if the sites do not remove video and photographs that show a senior government official sailing on a yacht with a billionaire oligarch, who has links with the former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Russia’s state-controlled media watchdog, Roskomnadzor, on Saturday ordered that 14 Instagram posts and seven YouTube videos be deleted that show metals magnate Oleg Deripaska on a yacht with a Russian deputy prime minister, Sergey Prikhodko, and a woman who has described herself as an escort.

The watchdog listed the posts on its register of banned sites after Deripaska won an injunction from a court in his hometown Ust-Labinsk, which ruled they violated his privacy. Roskomnadzor said it had informed the sites that they must delete the images within three days.

The images are at the heart of the public battle between Deripaska and the anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny, who first drew attention to the posts in an investigative video piece he released last week. In the report, he accused the oligarch of bribing Prikhodko by hosting him on the yacht in August 2016.

Navalny has built an anti-Kremlin political movement around similar investigations into alleged official corruption and was recently barred by a court from running against Russian President Vladimir Putin in elections this year. In the 25-minute video, there are accusations of Deripaska flying Prikhodko to the yacht in Norway on his private plane and of allegedly paying for the services of six more escort girls aboard the boat.

Navalny’s video also attracted attention because of a speculative link he makes in it with the 2016 U.S. election. He alleges, without offering proof, that on the yacht Deripaska may have been passing information to Prikhodko that he acquired from Manafort.

Manafort is a former business partner of Deripaska and in 2016 he offered to give the billionaire private briefings on the election shortly after joining Trump’s campaign, according to the Washington Post. Manafort, who has been indicted on money laundering charges in the course of the special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, has denied any briefing ever took place.

Deripaska in a statement last week called Navalny's investigation "part of a planned campaign to damage my reputation" and warned media against disseminating "these mendacious accusations." Representatives for Deripaska have said the video illegally makes use of private images and makes false assertions.

Prikhodko responded to Navalny's video last week with a statement to the Russian news outlet, RBC, that “such stuff should be answered man-to-man, but we will leave in within the bounds of the legal field."

Roskomnadzor also ordered Navalny to delete the video and text versions of the investigation from his website.

On Tuesday, Oksana Baulina, a member of Navalny’s political organization said it had received messages from YouTube to take down the video, posting a screenshot of it on Twitter. Navalny has so far refused to do so and has filed suit against Roskomnadzor, arguing its block on the images is illegal. Over 4 million people have watched the video on YouTube, so far.

The video and photos highlighted by Navalny were first posted in 2016 by the woman onboard the yacht with Deripaska. The 21-year-old Belarussian goes by the name Nastya Rybka and has promoted herself as an expert in seduction in video blogs and a book.

In some of the videos on Rybka's Instagram, Deripaska can be seen with her and Priokhodko relaxing aboard the yacht. At one point, Deripaska and Prikhodko joke about the poor relations between Russia and the United States.

Rybka has also written a book in which she describes the encounter, using pseudonyms, and where she claims there were other women aboard the boat. The book presents itself as a manual for women on how to seduce an oligarch.

Rybka had previously attracted some public attention when she staged a nude demonstration with other women outside the U.S. embassy in Moscow in support of the disgraced movie producer, Harvey Weinstein. She has described herself in social media posts as a follower of a self-proclaimed sex-guru named Alex Lesli.

Navalny has said he found Rybka’s posts about Deripaska while looking into her Instagram feed after she and other women staged a protest while wearing few clothes at his organization’s office.

The lawsuit filed by Deripaska that prompted the watchdog's order to YouTube and Instagram accuses Rybka of illegally making use of private images and asked the court to forbid their dissemination. "The media has seized on Navalny's information attack and began to illegally republish private photographs," a representative for Deripaska told the business newspaper, Vedomosti.

Navalny has accused Deripaska and the government of exploiting the court in his hometown to try to bury his investigation.

“It turns out that that the oligarch Deripaska doesn’t just have a puppet court, he has a whole puppet town," Navalny said in a video posted on Monday. "It wasn’t me who sailed on the yacht. But the only and instant response of the state system is directed against me. That is, against those that uncovered the facts of the corruption."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.







ABC News Radio