Connect with us

Headlines

Drug trafficker tells of bribe to ex-president of Mexico

Editor

Published

on

[ad_1]

NEW YORK — A Colombian drug trafficker testified Tuesday that Mexican cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman boasted about paying a $100 million bribe to the former president of Mexico to call off a manhunt for the notorious kingpin.

Alex Cifuentes spoke about the alleged bribe to former President Enrique Pena Nieto while being cross-examined at Guzman’s murder and drug conspiracy trial in New York.

A spokesman for Pena Nieto, who left office last year, called the bribery claim “false and defamatory” when it first came up earlier in the trial. Pena Nieto was still president when Guzman was captured in 2016 and extradited to the U.S. in 2017.

Attempts to contact Pena Nieto and his representatives were unsuccessful Tuesday.

Cifuentes acknowledged that he first spoke with prosecutors about the bribery allegation when he began co-operating with U.S. authorities in 2016. After expressing confusion about the details, he acknowledged that he had told prosecutors that he was informed by Guzman that someone named “Comadre Maria” delivered money in Mexico City in October 2012, at a point when Pena Nieto had been elected president but before he took office.

Guzman’s lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, also confronted Cifuentes with his prior statements about another debriefing last year where Cifuentes questioned his own memory about the circumstance of the bribe.

“By 2018, suddenly the numbers became fuzzy?” Lichtman asked.

“Yes, sir,” the witness responded.

Guzman is on trial in New York on charges that could put him in a U.S. prison for the rest of his life. The trial has featured numerous allegations of bribes or attempts to bribe high-level officials in Mexico and Columbia, including police commanders and other officials in charge of fighting the drug cartels.

The defence strategy for eliciting testimony about Guzman making bribes wasn’t immediately clear. At the start of the trial, Lichtman indicated that jurors would hear testimony about bribes paid to both Pena Nieto and another former Mexican President, Felipe Calderon, and suggested Guzman was the victim of a conspiracy by government officials and his narco-rivals to railroad him. At the time, Calderon dismissed the allegations as “absolutely false and reckless.”

The judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan, admonished Lichtman after his opening statement to the jury, saying some of it included “inadmissible hearsay” about corruption.

“Your opening statement handed out a promissory note that your case is not going to cash,” the judge said at the time.

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Headlines

Federal Budget 2021: Ottawa adds $1B to broadband fund for rural, remote communities

Editor

Published

on

By

The federal government will add $1 billion to a fund for improving high-speed communications in rural and remote areas of Canada, bringing the total to $2.75 billion by 2026, the Liberals said Monday in their first full budget since the pandemic began last year.

The money is going to the Universal Broadband Fund, which is designed to support the installation of “backbone” infrastructure that connects underserved communities to high-speed internet.

It’s one of many government and private-sector initiatives that have gained urgency since the pandemic began, as Canadians became more dependent on internet service for applications ranging from e-learning to daily business operations.

Ottawa says the additional money will keep it on track to have high-speed broadband in 98 per cent of the country by 2026, and 100 per cent by 2030.

Money spent on high-speed communications will be good for a recovering economy, said Pedro Antunes, chief economist at the Conference Board of Canada, a non-partisan think-tank.

The latest data from Statistics Canada says there were about five million people working from home during the pandemic, up from about two million prior to that, Antunes said in an interview.

“That’s a quarter or so of the workforce,” he added. “And I think a fair number of those people are going to continue to work from home, at least in some part-time way.”

Improved connections to high-speed broadband and mobile communications will add to the productive capacity of the economy overall, especially as it reaches beyond Canada’s cities, Antunes said.

He said there’s been a “real issue” with economic growth outside major urban centres and the improved connectivity “is something that can help stimulate that.”

The Universal Broadband Fund was initially mentioned in the 2019 budget, though specifics were not available until last November’s fiscal update.

The $1-billion top-up to the broadband fund announced today is in addition to $1.75 billion promised to the fund by the federal government’s November fiscal update.

Continue Reading

Headlines

COVID-19: What you need to know for April 19

Editor

Published

on

By

Provincewide

  • Per today’s government report, there are 4,447 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 421,442 since the pandemic began; 2,202 people are in hospital, 755 of them in intensive care, and 516 on ventilators. To date, 7,735 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 40 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 36 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 127 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,755 confirmed resident deaths and 11 confirmed staff deaths.
  • Per the government’s report on Ontario’s vaccination program, as of 7 p.m. yesterday, Ontario has administered 66,897 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 3,904,778 since December 2020. 3,212,768 people have received only one dose, and 346,005 people have received both doses.

Continue Reading

Headlines

Federal budget 2021 highlights: Child care, recovery benefits, OAS increases – everything you need to know

Editor

Published

on

By

The federal government’s first budget in more than two years certainly looks the part: At 739 pages, it is a hefty document chock full of billions in new spending.

Those funds will be spread among a number of key groups – students, seniors, parents and small-business owners, to name a few – as Ottawa looks to bolster Canada’s recovery from COVID-19 but also plan for life beyond the pandemic.

To that end, the deficit is projected to hit $354.2-billion in the 2020-21 fiscal year, which just ended – better than expected about five months ago, given the economy’s resilience over the winter months. It is estimated to fall to $154.7-billion this fiscal year, before dropping further in the years to come as pandemic spending recedes from view.

Here are some of the highlights from Monday’s budget.

The budget outlines tens of billions of dollars in federal subsidies for a national child-care program, a promise the Liberal Party has made in some form since the early 1990s. Child-care supports became a point of national debate during pandemic lockdowns as parents with young children struggled to juggle work and family responsibilities.

In total, the government proposes spending as much as $30-billion over the next five years, and $8.3-billion each year after that, to bring child-care fees down to a $10-a-day average by 2026. The proposal, which requires negotiation with the provinces and territories, would split subsidies evenly with those governments and targets a 50-per-cent reduction in average child-care fees by the end of 2022.

The federal program is largely modelled on Quebec’s subsidized child-care system, implemented in the 1990s in an effort to increase women’s access to the labour market. Since then, labour participation rates for women aged 25 to 54 in the province have grown to exceed the national average by four percentage points.

Continue Reading

Chat

Trending