Global News July 24, 2017

  1. BBC
  2. Global News July 24, 2017

“Kushner confirms Russia meetings, says ‘I did not collude’”

Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law and senior adviser, said in a statement Monday to the Senate and House intelligence committees that he had no additional contacts with individuals who were or may have been Russian government representatives, beyond those that have already been publicly disclosed. In an 11-page statement released Monday ahead of his closed-door interview with Senate intelligence committee staff, Kushner offers his first public accounting of what he says are his four meetings with Russians during the 2016 campaign and transition, offering previously undisclosed details of those meetings. The statement comes as federal and congressional investigators are scrutinizing Kushner’s contacts with Russians as part of their probes into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
«I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government,» Kushner says in the statement. «I had no improper contacts. I have not relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector. I have tried to be fully transparent with regard to the filing of my SF-86 form, above and beyond what is required. Hopefully, this puts these matters to rest.»
The June 2016 meeting set up by Trump Jr., which was only publicly revealed for the first time this month, has become a target of scrutiny in those investigations after emails revealed that Trump Jr. believed he would obtain damaging information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.
Kushner also provided his first accounting of what he said were his only two meetings with Kislyak, the Russian ambassador at the time, during the campaign and transition, and says that neither encounter included a discussion of US-imposed sanctions. Kislyak completed his service as ambassador and returned to Russia over the weekend.
Now a senior adviser to the President, Kushner discloses that he received two gifts from Gorkov and said he asked his assistant to register them with the transition at the time: «One was a piece of art from Nvgorod, the village where my grandparents were from in Belarus, and the other was a bag of dirt from that same village.»


“Switzerland chainsaw attack: Police hunt Schaffhausen attacker”

Police are hunting for a man who attacked five people with a chainsaw in the Swiss town of Schaffhausen. The man launched his assault at an office shortly after 10:30 local time (08:30 GMT) on Monday. Emergency services were on the scene within minutes, but the attacker had already fled. Police, who said the incident was not terrorism related, have since released a picture of the man, but have not revealed his name or possible motive. They have warned that the alleged attacker, who is about 190cm (6.2ft) tall, with an unkempt appearance, is dangerous. Cental parts of the town on the German border were sealed off in the immediate aftermath of the attack, with local shops shut and people warned to stay away from the area.


The Guardian
“Poland’s president to veto controversial laws amid protests”

Andrzej Duda says he will block proposed legislation that would have put supreme court under control of ruling party.
Poland’s president has said he will veto controversial judicial reforms that have sparked days of nationwide street protests and prompted the EU to threaten unprecedented sanctions. “I have decided to send back to parliament – in which case to veto – the law on the supreme court, as well as the law on the National Council of the Judiciary,” Andrzej Duda said in a televised announcement.
“The law would not strengthen the sense of justice in society,” he added, explaining that his decision came after lengthy consultations with legal experts over the weekend. “These laws must be amended,” he said.
The reforms proposed by the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) would have increased political control over Poland’s judiciary. They triggered an angry response from critics, who accused PiS of trying to curtail the independence of the courts.
The Polish senate backed the reforms on Saturday, but they still required the president’s signature.
Days of protests across Poland had followed the proposals by PiS, which has been in power since 2015. Large numbers held a candlelit protest outside the supreme court in Warsaw on Sunday night, pleading with Duda to veto the reforms, which they claimed marked a shift towards authoritarian rule.


“AT&T in Early Talks with U.S. Officials for Time Warner Approval”

U.S. antitrust officials have started talking to representatives from AT&T Inc. and Time Warner Inc. about possible conditions that could secure approval of their $85.4 billion tie-up, according to people familiar with the matter. The early-stage discussions suggest that government lawyers have nearly finished their months-long look at how AT&T, the biggest pay-TV distributor, would reshape the media landscape with its bid for the owner of CNN and HBO — and shows that the sides have moved on to talking about how they can make the merger work without harming rivals. U.S. antitrust officials, who have blocked many tie-ups between direct competitors, rarely step in to stop vertical deals like this one. But the Justice Department is under pressure not to wave this merger through. Media and pay-TV competitors have told department lawyers they fear AT&T would favor the in-house programming that it would acquire, two people familiars with the matter said. Democratic lawmakers have said the deal could lead to higher prices and fewer choices. And President Donald Trump said during the campaign that the tie-up would concentrate media power.


Zero Hegde
“»Worse Then People Can Imagine» – Deutsche Bank to Shift $350 Billion of Assets from London to Frankfurt”

In a project dubbed ‘Bowline’, Bloomberg reports that Deutsche Bank may shift about 300 billion euros ($350 billion) from the balance sheet of its U.K. entity to Frankfurt as client trading and assets migrate to the continent following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. While not the first bank to threaten to move post-Brexit, the scale of asset movement is the largest yet.
Deutsche Bank’s plan notes that trade and balance sheet migration will begin in September 2018, with six months required for the move of the balance sheet, the person said. The bank plans to start informing clients from September 2017 that their contracts will be switched to Frankfurt. It wants to have built front-to-back technology and processes by June 2018, according to the person.
This report comes just days after Cryanb warned his staff that the bank «will assume a reasonable worst outcome» from the UK’s talks with the European Union, according to a Bloomberg News report.