World This Week

Thursday, November 9th, 2017


An enormous new leak of tax-haven financial records is laying bare some of the financial secrets of the world’s elite, from the Queen of the UK to US president’s commerce secretary, along with more than 120 politicians across the globe. The records expose the assets and sometimes murky dealings of a host of characters, as well as the ways corporate giants like Apple, Nike and Uber avoid taxes legally through increasingly creative bookkeeping.  The leak — rivalling the Panama Papers in size and scope — was obtained by German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and a network of more than 380 journalists in 67 countries.


An anti-corruption probe that has purged Saudi Arabian royals, ministers and businessmen appeared to be widening since November 5 after the founder of one of the kingdom’s biggest travel companies was reportedly detained. In an investigation by a new anti-corruption body headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, dozens of people have been detained in the crackdown, which has consolidated Prince Mohammed’s power while alarming much of the traditional business establishment. Billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Saudi Arabia’s best-known international investor, is also being held, officials said this past week.


At least 20 people were killed in a shooting at a Texas church on November 5, US media reported. The shooting took place at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, a small community about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of San Antonio. The shooter was killed after a brief chase, reports CNN quoting the sheriff of the county. Officials say the suspect fled the scene of the shooting in Wilson County and was killed after a brief chase north into neighbouring Guadalupe County. However, it’s not clear if the shooter was killed by police or took his own life, according Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Robert Murphy.


Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation on November 4, citing Iran’s “grip” on the country and threats to his life. “I announce my resignation from the post of prime minister,” he said in a speech broadcast from Saudi Arabia by the Al-Arabiya news network. “I felt what was being covertly plotted to target my life,” Hariri said. The two-time prime minister, whose father Rafik was assassinated when he held the same position in 2005, accused Iran and its powerful Lebanese Shiite ally Hezbollah of seeking hegemony in the region. The 47-year-old Sunni politician’s resignation comes less than a year after his government, to which Hezbollah’s political wing belongs, was formed.

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