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US trial of gold trader Reza Zarrab sparks concern, anger in Turkey



Gold mogul Reza Zarrab and a top Turkish banker are charged with violating US sanctions on Iran

A court case in the United
States against a leading gold trader and a top Turkish banking executive
has sparked anger and anxiety in Ankara, with both US-Turkey ties and
the economy at risk of damage. Turkish officials have condemned as a “plot” the charges against Turkish-Iranian gold mogul Reza Zarrab and Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the deputy chief executive of Turkish lender Halkbank, of violating US sanctions against Iran.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has raised the issue repeatedly in official talks, according to a former American official, and called for their release.
media reports have suggested in recent days that Zarrab may be seeking a
plea bargain in the case and shown willingness to testify against
Turkish officials are now denouncing the case as a another conspiracy by the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, the alleged mastermind of the 2016 failed coup targeting Erdogan.
According to Atilla Yesilada, Turkey specialist at Global Source Partners, the Erdogan-led ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is “extremely worried”.
That explains the pro-AKP media campaign to portray the case as “orchestrated by the American Deep State and Gulenists,” he added.

Embarrassing revelations?

was one of the main figures of a 2013 corruption scandal in Turkey that
Erdogan also sees as a bid by Gulen to bring him down.
up in the scandal too were four ministers accused of accepting bribes
from Zarrab, 34, to facilitate sanctions-busting trade and other deals.
One allegation at the time was that ex-economy minister Mehmet Zafer Caglayan received a $300,000 (255,000 euro) watch as a bribe. He is also charged in this case in absentia.
who has dismissed the claims as a fabrication, has raised Zarrab’s case
“multiple times” at the highest level under former president Barack Obama and his successor Donald Trump, former US State Department official Amanda Sloat said.
he (Erdogan) is not charged with any crime, corruption revelations
would be embarrassing to him, his family and his inner circle,”
Sloat, now a senior fellow at the US-based Brookings Institution, told AFP.
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is part of Zarrab’s legal team, met Erdogan in Turkey in April, joined by Michael Mukasey, a former attorney general during president George W. Bush’s administration.

‘Defendants held like hostages’

The trial is now set to kick off on December 4.

Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan has raised the case repeatedly in official talks with the US

Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan has raised the case repeatedly in official talks with the US

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said this week that the defendants were being “held like hostages” and subjected to pressure.
Meanwhile, Turkish prosecutors even opened a criminal case against their US counterparts on charges of fabricating the case.
analysts warned that the sheer intensity of Turkey’s reaction risked
further damaging already brittle relations with the US, a key NATO ally.
reaction to the trial — especially accusations it is an American
conspiracy to bring down the government – could be toxic to Washington’s
perception of Ankara,”
Sloat said.
Heather Nauert, State
Department spokeswoman, dismissed the accusations that the case was an
American conspiracy, saying Washington had heard “that old same song and
dance from Turkey before”.

Negative impact on economy

There are fears of possible fines on Turkey's Halkbank

There are fears of possible fines on Turkey’s Halkbank

There are also fears over possible fines on Halkbank — and possibly other Turkish banks — in the event of a guilty verdict.
Turkish lira has hit record lows against the US dollar in the last
days, partly due to the uncertainty generated by the case.
William Jackson, senior
emerging markets economist at Capital Economics in London, said that if
fines were issued, there could be an effect on credit conditions and
“The size of the fine that reports suggest Halkbank could face is large and could prompt it to tighten credit conditions.
were one bank to be fined, other banks might tighten lending conditions
out of concerns that they could face fines too. That, in turn, is
likely to cause GDP growth to slow,”
he told AFP.

Why did Zarrab go to US?

Zarrab was arrested in March last year after bringing his Turkish pop star wife Ebru Gundes and their daughter to visit Disney World in Miami.
But as the trial is shadowed by a host of questions.
did Zarrab, after facing legal troubles over accusations of busting
sanctions on Iran, choose, of all places, the United States for a family
Why has Zarrab, after over one and a half years behind bars, not appeared in pre-trial hearings?
Those questions could finally start being answered on December 4.
Zarrab case has the potential to trigger a severe crisis between Ankara
and Washington which could accelerate the erosion of bilateral
said Anthony Skinner of Verisk Maplecroft, a risk consultancy.

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Ike Ani is a Freelance writer whose quest constantly is to relate happenings around the world to human daily living. He's also a song writer and singer, Acoustic Guitarist, and Teacher.

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L. A Prisoners Infect Themselves With Coronavirus To Get Early Release (VIDEO)




A group of silly L.A area prison inmates were very eager to contract the dreaded coronavirus .

They attempted this because they believed that would trigger their ticket out of prison.

According to the L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva who made the startling revelation Monday, said about twenty-four (24) inmates at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic attempted (and somewhat succeeded, apparently) to infect themselves way back in mid-April 2020.

The Sheriff revealed that their department saw an increase in spike in confirmed cases out of nowhere.

He said that when they investigated, they found a high number of inmates living in one block of the prison appeared to be deliberately trying to infect each other with COVID-19 any way they could from behind bars.

When Alex Villanueva played the surveillance footages he and his team combed through carefully , and it showed several inmates hanging out in a common area and passing around what Alex described as a hot cup of water, as well as one face mask they’d each put on all in hopes of getting sympathy from a judge to spring them from the facility and let them go home.

But it turns out, their little ploy worked but, only halfway.

Villanueva reported that 21 of the inmates (out of 50 in the block) caught the ‘Coronavirus.

“What they won’t catch is a break” said the Sheriff.

Watch the Video HERE

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COVID-19 LOCKDOWN: 12 Year Old Albino Girl Suffers Eye Problems After Hawking Veggies In Abuja (PHOTOS)




A very sad Facebook post greeted Nigerians from Abuja showing a 12 year old Albino Girl Grace, who started developing sight problems after Hawking Veggies under the scorching sun in Abuja.

The Facebook post stated that the little girl was asked to hawk the veggies by her aunt whom she lives with.

Below are the Screenshots of the Facebook post:

This sad news has sparked an outrage by well meaning individuals who spoke against such cruelty and insensitivity of the said girl’s aunt.

what do you think of this? Drop your comments below.

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“Buhari is Made In London” – Reno Omokri Blasts Presidency On Nigerian Made Products

The Buhari administration has been known for enforcing the Nigerian people to patronize Nigerian made goods though without much strategy to make life easier while this transition to economic growth is enforced.




Reno Omokri Nuggets

The Buhari administration has been known for enforcing the Nigerian people to patronize Nigerian made goods though without much strategy to make life easier while this transition to economic growth is enforced. Many Nigerians have tagged it a harsh move that is insensitive and inhumane but moreso, Reno Omokri has singled out signals of hypocrisy in the President of Nigeria by outlining certain traits of family moves of the President that shows that he(Buhari) as the No.1 citizen has no regards for anything made in Nigeria but yet wants other Nigerians to embrace Nigerian made goods.

Reno Omokri ‘s tweet reads:

His kids schooled in England. His wife just returned from a 3 month UK stay. His daughter gave birth to his grandchild in Spain (made in Spain), yet
, who is London, wants us to patronise made in Nigeria!

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