Daily Digest 9/24 – How Int’l Banks Pushed Venezuela To The Brink Of Bankruptcy, J&J Coronavirus Vaccine To Begin Phase 3 Trials


How International Banks Pushed Venezuela To The Brink Of Bankruptcy (Michael S.)

A new cache of secret bank reports obtained by BuzzFeed News and shared with ICIJ documents these financial transgressions in excruciating detail. Known as the FinCEN Files, this leak “shows how boligarchs moved vast sums of dollars in public money out of Venezuela, including money intended for housing and other basic services, even as the country’s economy was collapsing” and “includes more than 2,100 suspicious activity reports filed by banks to a U.S. Treasury Department agency known as the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.”

Ex-Louisville police Officer Brett Hankison charged with wanton endangerment in Breonna Taylor case (TS)

Cosgrove fired the shot that killed Taylor, according to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, but the grand jury considered his action justifiable.

At a news conference Wednesday, Cameron acknowledged that there had been calls for all three officers to be charged, including from Taylor’s family, who had called for nothing less than manslaughter charges.

2 Louisville officers shot amid Breonna Taylor protests (TS)

The violence comes after prosecutors said two officers who fired their weapons at Taylor, a Black woman, were justified in using force to protect themselves after they faced gunfire from her boyfriend. The only charges were three counts of wanton endangerment against fired Officer Brett Hankison for shooting into a home next to Taylor’s with people inside.

China’s US dollar debt defaults climb as coronavirus, US tensions hit firms’ bottom lines (000)

But amid rapidly deteriorating US-China relations and US dollar bonds maturing next year, bond defaults could grow, said Zhang Guo, managing director at China Chengxin (Asia-Pacific) Credit Ratings.

Chinese companies hold US$101.8 billion worth of US dollar bonds that mature this year, a figure which will increase 10 per cent in 2021 and surge another 19 per cent in 2022, according to data from Refinitiv.

The Election That Could Break America (tmn)

But Trump’s supporters aren’t the only people who think extra­constitutional thoughts aloud. Trump has been asked directly, during both this campaign and the last, whether he will respect the election results. He left his options brazenly open. “What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense. Okay?” he told moderator Chris Wallace in the third presidential debate of 2016. Wallace took another crack at him in an interview for Fox News this past July. “I have to see,” Trump said. “Look, you—I have to see. No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no.”

Protesters clash with police in Belarus after Lukashenko sworn in again (TS)

Lukashenko held the ceremony without announcements or publicity earlier in the day, apparently to avoid it becoming a magnet for protesters. Opposition leaders and European politicians immediately denounced his inauguration as illegitimate.

“The day in which the president takes office, the day of the inauguration, is the day of our joint victory – a convincing and momentous victory,” Lukashenko told those gathered, in video footage published by his press service. Army generals, MPs and others were invited to the ceremony.

The FBI Has Arrested Two New York Antiquities Dealers for Falsifying Ownership Histories Using Dead Collectors’ Names (000)

Federal agents arrested Dere at his home in New York City, while Khan was arrested at his home in New Jersey. Both were scheduled to appear before US Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn this afternoon. A representative for the court did not respond to a request for comment on the hearing; Khan and Dere could not be reached for comment.

Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine is fourth to begin Phase 3 trials in the United States (TS)

Initial findings from the vaccine’s Phase 1/2 trials in the United States and Belgium suggest that a single dose of the vaccine provokes an immune response and is safe enough to move into large-scale trials. The Phase 3 trial is being conducted in collaboration with Operation Warp Speed, the federal government’s coronavirus vaccine effort.

Operation Warp Speed advisers held investments in COVID vaccine firms, records show (edelinski)

In a filing dated May 16 that the committee released Tuesday, Operation Warp Speed chief adviser and former head of GlaxoSmithKline vaccine development, Dr. Moncef Slaoui, reported to HHS that he held securities in GlaxoSmithKline and Moderna, Inc., which have contracts with the U.S. government for coronavirus vaccine work, and in the Lonza Group, which was contracted by Moderna to manufacture its vaccine candidate.

Covid-19: What it’s like getting a ‘weak positive’ test result for coronavirus (Downunder Bound)

RNZ reporter Tom Kitchin first got sick with the virus back in March during the first outbreak. By May, he was cleared.

But the former Christchurch-based reporter told Morning Report that recently he’d had a sore throat, felt unwell and tired – similar symptoms to what he experienced back in March – so he got tested for the virus and got a weak positive test result.

Global Climate Groups Issue Guidance To Finance Giants on Aligning with Paris Agreement Goals (Bill M.)

“The principles explain that to be taken seriously, financiers need both long term plans that zero out their climate pollution, as well as immediate steps to stop financing the expansion of fossil fuels and deforestation,” says Paddy McCully. “We need an immediate halt to lending, investing and insurance for new coal, oil and gas projects, and the companies that are building these projects. We also need an end to finance for the companies that are causing and encouraging the degradation of forests and other ecosystems.”

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