A travel consultant who testified in the National Rifle Association bankruptcy case said chief executive Wayne LaPierre asked her to omit certain flight stopovers from invoices she sent to the human rights group. firearms for Mr. LaPierre’s private jet trip, a disclosure that NRA lawyers are disputing. keep out of court record. The travel counselor testified, in a video filing released in bankruptcy court Thursday, that some invoices she sent to the NRA omitted stopovers in Nebraska and the Bahamas, at Mr. LaPierre’s request. Some of Mr. LaPierre’s relatives who frequently traveled on private jets paid for by the NRA live in Nebraska. The NRA chief previously said he travels frequently to the Bahamas to stay for free on a 108-foot yacht in the Bahamas with family members, provided by an NRA vendor, for safety reasons. Testimony that Mr LaPierre sought to hide some private jet stops from the NRA’s own accountants could be evidence that he knew what he was doing was wrong and that he was deliberately hiding it, legal experts have said . “If this is true, it appears to be a clear and documented example of misusing NRA assets and covering up this abuse,” said Elizabeth Kingsley, a Washington nonprofit lawyer. .
SYDNEY – To reach indigenous clans in northern Australia, vaccinators must pass through monsoon rains which can make airplanes and waterways infested with crocodiles. Once they reach the community, they face another formidable challenge in convincing the group to take fire.
First Nations like the people of East Arnhem Land – more than 600 miles by road from the nearby city of Darwin and bastions of traditional Aboriginal culture – are next in line Australian vaccination program which started last month and focuses on prioritizing health and other workers on the front lines to keep Covid-19 out of the country.
In many ways, vaccination programs are a litmus test for countries with large indigenous groups who feel marginalized and distrust government policies. Nearly 150,000 indigenous Australians lived in remote areas in 2016, according to the latest available government data. In East Arnhem Land, the life expectancy is around 50 years and half of Aboriginal children experience severe hearing, lung or other health problems by age 4.
“What we hear now is probably 50-75% going to say no,” said Eddie Mulholland, chief executive of Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corp., an indigenous community controlled primary health service for about 8,000 people across East Arnhem Land.
Concern rose among indigenous Australians after it was reported rare cases of blood clots in people in Europe who have received the Covid-19 injection developed by AstraZeneca PLC and the University of Oxford, although regulators have found no link between blood clots and vaccines and recommend continued use.
Brazil’s central bank has stepped up its efforts over the years to crush the nation’s club banking industry, using the pandemic-driven shift to touchless payments to launch its own digital platform.
The payment system, dubbed Pix, was established and managed by a central bank and not by private payment players, unlike similar systems in other countries. Since launching in November, Pix has handled a larger share of digital payments than its private sector alternatives, advancing regulators’ goals to spur competition and get more Brazilians to use financial services.
In addition, Brazil’s central bank last month introduced so-called open banking, which mandates that institutions share key price data and credit history with rivals. That adds to recent efforts to boost fintech growth to provide consumers with more options and to attract unbanked Brazilians into the formal financial system.
The push is closely watched by investors, as financial startups use the Pix platform to gain market share in a sector where the top five banks held 93% of all assets in 2019, compared to 54% in neighboring Argentina or 41% in the US, according to BankFocus, Moody’s Analytics. The concentration of banking in Brazil is higher than in the other 16 developed and developing markets cited by the company.
“It’s all about breaking or challenging established banking brands,” said Chris Ward, researcher and digital banking consultant at the London-based unit of FBX Informa, about the Brazil experience. “Actually the central bank encourages that rather than the fact that they are not viable for society as a whole.”
Japan is holding the kickoff ceremony for the Summer Olympics by starting Olympic torch relay across the country. It was a symbolic message that the Olympics would go ahead despite public doubts and curbs on the impending pandemic blocking overseas audiences of attending.
The torches will be carried across Japan’s 47 prefectures or states by some 10,000 runners, skiers, swimmers and others, before being taken to the Olympic stadium in Tokyo on July 23 for the opening ceremony. The Olympics delayed by one year because coronavirus pandemic.
“Of course, the relay alone will not solve all the challenges we face, but I hope this successful event will make everyone believe in the steps we have taken to ensure we can host the Olympics despite the pandemic,” said the Chief Executive Officer. Tokyo 2020 Toshiro Muto.
The relay starts near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, where three reactors melted in 2011. Event organizers want the relay and the Olympics to be seen as a sign of recovery from massive earthquake, tsunami and nuclear destruction in northern Japan. Thousands of people remain unable to return to their homes near the power plant.
The relay is the main test on whether the Olympics can be held without exacerbating the pandemic in Japan, where new coronavirus cases are slowly starting to rise again following the third wave of infections. Relay organizers have asked the public to follow the show on television and live streaming, and said they would suspend if too many people gathered to watch it.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – More than 100 people packed the five-house auction here this month. The first under the hammer – a 60 year old house, last valued by the government at 840,000 New Zealand dollars in 2018 – sold for nearly NZ $ 1.6 million after 11 minutes of fierce bidding.
House prices have spiked to record levels during a pandemic, driven by low interest rates and a limited supply of properties for sale. Now belongs to New Zealand central banks are reluctant to experiment by keeping it under control.
Starting this month, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand will have to consider house prices when making decisions on monetary policy, alongside other factors such as inflation and unemployment.
It’s a job the central bank doesn’t want. As recently as December, officials warned that a change in its authority to enter property prices would have little impact because it would not affect housing supply. In some situations, such changes could lead to lower jobs and below-target inflation, the bank said.
However, the New Zealand government put those concerns aside and expanded the powers of the central bank’s monetary policy committee on February 25, worried that the economy would become vulnerable if house prices were left alone and feared its own popularity would suffer as home ownership became unaffordable. some. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has promised to crack down on speculators and increase housing affordability when he was first elected in 2017.