Federal prosecutors opened an investigation into the life of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for increasing lobby powers for a Brazilian construction giant. Officials are trying to determine if the popular president had used his influence to help convince international leaders to award contracts to Odebrecht SA and the financing from BNDES, Brazil’s development bank.
Lula’s acts are considered criminal influences as influence peddling is punishable up to five years imprisonment. Lula, who used his influence post-presidency in 2011 to 2014, involved Odebrecth winning numerous big infrastructure deals for nations including Ghana, Angola, the Dominican Republic and Cuba.
Lula da Silva denied all allegations by local newspaper Epoca, which highlighted the case. Instituto Lula, da Silva’s private foundation, intends to prove that Lula da Silva is innocent from all allegations.
Odebrecht had also denied any wrongdoing and said that it only has an institutional relationship with the ex-president.
It is the first time da Silva’s name had been involved in a criminal investigation. The Workers’ Party, which is the ruling party of Brazil, is further shaken after probes earlier and continue to investigate a corruption scandal involving state-owned oil company Patróleo Brasilieiro SA, which is known as Petrobas.
In light of the scandals, many opposition politicians had called for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, da Silva’s political protégé.
The Kurdish Peshmerga Forces, the probably champions against the Islamic State as seen by most Middle East forces, cannot receive aid from the latter. One of the most direct ways to win the war, the US has blocked aid. The US has refused to allow supplying heavy weapons directly to the Kurdish YPG Militia.
The US-allied Middle East countries had criticised Obama and Cameron for providing a clear strategy and basically a reason to help them beat the IS, who had clearly outgunned and outclassed the Iraqi government.
A Senior Arab official said to a local newspaper that Arab nations may need to find a new way to deal with the threat if the United States is unwilling to make a move.
In the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron is pushing to win votes to have the RAF participate in bombing runs in Syria to defeat the Islamic State. This comes after Defence Secretary Michael Fallon suggested that IS militants in Syria planned the Tunisian massacre of 29 British tourists.
The United States, Canada and Arab Allies had led bombing runs in Iraq and Syria over the past year, destroying crucial IS headquarters in different territories.
According to research spearheaded by the Hospital Universitari Quiron-Dexeus in Barcelona, the chances of women over 44-years-old to have an IVF baby was only 1.3%. This was a drastic drop from the 24% for those aged 38 to 39.
Research lead Dr. Marta Devesa said the decline was hormonal and biological. She advises that women over 44 who wish to have children should freeze their eggs by the time they’ve reached 35. They may also use donor eggs.
The research came from a 12-year study of live birth rates which involved 4,000 women in the Barcelona hospital.
For 40 to 41 year olds, the success rate of bearing a child was 15.6%. For those aged 42 to 43, the decline was steep with 6.6%.
The research debunks myths regarding bearing children over the age of 40.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority had published very similar success rates using information collected from its UK clinics. The HFEA’s research indicates that women who want to have children through IVF stand at 32% at the age of 35 and it falls to 1.9% once she is over 45%
Chinese President Xi Jinping called all to “not spare anything” for the rescue of the passengers of an Eastern Star liner carrying 500 people with 458 passengers aged 60-80 years old.
Rescuers have found 14 to be alive and seven dead. About 27 individuals were able to swim to shore post-sinking of the carrier.
Authorities claim it to be China’s worst maritime disaster in decades.
Footage showed rescue workers tapping the inverted hull of the ship for signs of life before they cut a hole to rescue those who are inside. Divers pulled out a 65-year-old woman from fast-flowing currents around the sunken ship.
Chinese Premier Li Kequiang flew to the site and marshalled a response team of 4000 personally to the site.
Most of the survivors saved themselves. The Tour-Guide leader Zhang Hui grabbed life jackets before they climbed out a window. Zhang floated away as people screamed for help. He remained in water invisible to ships and reached the shore during the morning.
The Eastern Star was to go to Chongqing. After 177-km winds toppled the ship during the heavy storm it encountered, the entire boat capsized.
No foreigners were listed aboard the ship.
Beijing is still playing its charm offensive on South America despite the controversies on the Amazonian Railroad deal that would reduce costs in transporting essential material out of Brazil’s inaccessible agricultural and mining regions.
The railway faces fierce opposition from South American Environmentalists and indigenous activists who had utterly faced defeat after the construction of the world’s third largest hydroelectric dam near Altamira, the amazon city.
The dam is claimed to have robbed indigenous communities their lands and has fuelled violence and prostitution in the area.
Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff intends to sign 30 agreements with China to help develop its infrastructure and logistics for her country embattled with economic troubles.
The new deals will help avert the £14.8 billion equivalent of a budget cut in Brazil, which would be finalised this week.
According to an opinion section from newspaper China Daily, Brazil is in a precarious situation where it wants to be taken out of its troubles caused by environmental, political and economic crises and that China’s wants into Brazil is timely for both countries.
Xinhua, China’s Official News Agency, said that it is “natural for China and Latin America” to partner up. It also highlighted that the US heightened alert with Beijing’s presence in South America shouldn’t be seen as so because the partnership is not directed against any third party.
For slapping a journalist, Saudi Arabian King Salman had sacked one senior aide who had followed right behind him.
The incident, caught on camera as King Salman greeted Morocco’s King Mohammed at Riyadh airport, Senior Aide Mohammed al-Tobayshi, who is the head of the Royal Protocol, turned to a photographer and slapped him.
Tobayshi was immediately removed as senior aide and was replaced by Khalid al-Abad, a 56-year-old official. However, Saudi Arabian journalists, including prominent journalist Abdullah al-Bergawi said that it was “a great day for journalists and the media.”
Al-Bergawi said that King Salman is showing that no-one, not even those closest to him is above the law. His actions also show that people, including officials, will hold their actions as their responsibilities and will pay for not respecting a person’s right to dignity.
One past incident had the King sanction a senior member of the Saudi Royal Family Prince Mamdouh bin Abdul Rahman after making racist comments in an Arabian TV Show.
Daily Trojan Writer Athanasius Georgy believes that the entire Middle East and the rest of the world had been blind to Yemen’s true state. Georgy states that Yemen is a failed state after Former President Ali Abdullah Saleh had been ousted.
Saleh was ousted during the 2011 Arab Spring as protests in different Middle Eastern countries began to oust their long-time dictators. It was believed that Yemen would turn into a democratic country.
However, Saleh’s Vice President and first Voted President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi were seen as a corrupt government. As militant Houthis moved against the government, Iran’s Shiite ties with the Houthis ensured support for the militants.
Meanwhile, Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia had been displeased with Iran’s actions.
Georgy does not blame the Arab Spring nor the Hadi Government for starting another conflict in the country. He said that upon Saleh’s ousting, a vacuum appeared and deeply-rooted problems as people adjusted politically into a new spectrum of ideals had re-surfaced.
With the lack of genuine leadership, Yemen’s infrastructures and systems were dilapidated. All these crumbled slowly as days passed, according to Georgy.
Yemen’s ill-adjusted people had become oppressive as extreme water and food shortages cause grave incidents in different areas. Women are still mistreated.
Georgy said that negotiations would be the only way to guarantee peace and productivity in Yemen once again.
According to the medical community focused on finding a cure for cancer, making tailor-made cancer vaccines that target genetic errors in a patient’s tumor is quite exciting.
Their tests on three humans showed that the vaccine had been traiend to fight skin cancers. According to the American team, this marks the first “significant step” towards developing cancer vaccines. Cancer Research UK said the tests were “exciting despite being early-stage trials.”
Tumors are genetic messes where the DNA had been altered and is sending a different message to cell production, leading to mutations that could cause death.
Because the proteins of the DNA is altered, the St. Louis and Oklahoma City Research Teams have used different methods to predict the flags that would indicate cancer has already spread in the body.
Using a computer algorithm, they analysed the Neo-Antigens, which indicate the best targets for vaccinations.
The tests showed convincing results as one test subject had stayed cancer-free. The other has stable tumors. The last patient’s tumor had shrank in the months after the vaccine and had remained stable thereafter.
The team was successful in its objective to test the safety of the vaccine and if it provokes any form of immune response.
However, analysts and experts say that proper clinical trials are the only proof that the research is a success. Time, production and costs are another thing to talk about.
Tiny metal fragments have found its way into Kraft’s Mac and Cheese items. According to reports, more than 6.5 million boxes contain small pieces of metal inside. Customer support received a call about eight customers about the situation.
“Consumers who purchased this product should not eat it. They should return it to the store where purchased for an exchange or full refund.”
Around 242,000 cases of macaroni and cheese products will bring about a disastrous fiscal month for Kraft already struggling with a management shake-up and slow sales the previous months.
Miracle Whip and Oscar Mayer had split from Mondelez International Inc. 2012.
Kraft said that they deeply regret the situation and have issued apologies to many disappointed customers.
On Tuesday, Chile’s Villarica volcano started spewing lava and smoke, prompting officials to evacuate thousands of people in the surrounding area. Erupting around 3AM, evacuations began earlier and during the time the volcano was completely active.
Villarica is one of South America’s most active volcanoes. Standing at 9,000 feet in the central valley of Chile, Tourists hike around the volcano and camp outside.
Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet said that she would visit the area. She also advised evacuees to remain calm.
Chile had issued an orange alert on Monday with the increased volcano activity. Around 3,500 people had been evacuated, including tourists.