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China sends billionaire to 18 years in prison for bickering and causing trouble’

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Chinese Billionaire Sun Dawu Is Sentenced To 18 Years For ‘Provoking Trouble.

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Sun Dawu, shown here in 2005, was sentenced in a court in Hebei province on Wednesday. The billionaire pig farmer was found guilty of eight charges, including gathering crowds to attack state agencies, illegal fundraising and “provoking trouble.” Few onlookers were allowed access to the trial, despite earlier assurances that his relatives and employees could attend.

Sun Dawu, one of China’s best-known rural entrepreneurs, was handed an 18-year prison sentence on Tuesday, amid broader efforts by authorities in China to rein in powerful businessmen and limit the influence of private enterprise.

The billionaire pig farmer was found guilty of eight charges by the Gaobeidian District People’s Court in Hebei province. The charges included gathering crowds to attack state agencies, illegal fundraising and “provoking trouble.”

Nineteen of Sun’s relatives and employees were given shorter sentences, ranging from 15 months to 12 years. Sun’s Dawu Agricultural and Animal Husbandry Group conglomerate was fined $480,000.

Sun’s legal team declined to comment on the case, saying it was too politically sensitive. One lawyer said they feared losing their license to practice law if interviewed by NPR.

Sun’s case stemmed from a minor property dispute with a neighboring state farm that turned violent last summer. Dawu Group employees tried to petition local regulators for help in resolving the dispute. But last November, authorities detained more than two dozen of Sun’s relatives and employees, holding them in a type of secret house arrest for more than five months until they were formally charged.

They described brutal conditions. “There were no windows in the designated residential surveillance area and the lights were on 24 hours a day, making it impossible to distinguish between day and night,” said Jin Fengyu, Dawu Group’s deputy director, according to notes provided by Sun’s defense team. “A camera watched me and because of the lack of privacy, I never once could bathe.”

It has not been a good year for private businesses in China. The country’s valuable technology are facing a raft of new regulations severely restricting their scope of business. Meanwhile, thousands owners of small and mid-sized private businesses have been nabbed in a three-year anti- corruption campaign which legal experts say has ensnared many innocent firms.

Sun, a 67-year-old social justice advocate and staunch defender of rural development, had once enjoyed a kind political celebrity. Prestigious Chinese universities invited him to deliver lectures on rural land reform and entrepreneurship. Intellectuals and political activists frequently stopped by his company headquarters. Top political leaders sought his advice on raising rural incomes. Over the years, he also covered legal costs for prominent human rights lawyers.

The tycoon’s idealism spurred him to fund his own hospital and school system, providing heavily subsidized services to Dawu Group’s approximately 9,000 employees and their families.

Those social services became the basis for one of the charges against him, of illegal fundraising. Authorities said Dawu Group had borrowed $104 billion from employees and relatives on a fraudulent basis since 2003. Sun denied the charge.

Dawu Group did not have ready access to credit, highlighting the legal complexities facing rural entrepreneurs. China’s ruling Communist Party does not allow the sale of rural land or its use as collateral when obtaining bank loans, forcing rural firms to turn to shadow lending or private wealth.

Last year, the state took over Dawu Group’s operations, and most of the group’s executives are now in prison.

During Sun’s 12-day trial this month, police repeatedly blocked journalists from attending. Few onlookers were allowed access to the courtroom, despite prior assurances that relatives and employees could attend.

Locked out of the court, some employees quietly celebrated Sun’s birthday, which, according to the lunar calendar, fell on July 15 — the same day his trial began.

Source: (NPR)


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Breaking: Ganduje appoints new Emir of Gaya

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Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State has in the early hours of Sunday appointed Alhaji Aliyu Ibrahim-Gaya as the new emir of Gaya.

Ibrahim-Gaya succeeded his late father, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulkadir who died at the age of 91 years after protracted illness.

The Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Usman Alhaji announced the appointment on behalf of the Governor.

More to come…


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Tanks head for Kosovo-Serb border as Balkans tensions grow

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A Kosovo security unit trooper guards the border with Serbia as the Balkan nations trade accusations.
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Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti has accused neighbouring Serbia of “provoking a serious international conflict”, with tensions between the two countries at their highest for years.

In the latest flashpoint, two interior ministry offices in northern Kosovo were on Saturday attacked near border crossings blocked by local Serbs angered by a ban on cars with Serbian licence plates entering the country.

The car registration office in the town of Zubin Potok was set ablaze, and two hand grenades were thrown at the civil registration office in the nearby town of Zvecan, though they did not go off, police said.

There was no mention of any casualties.

Serbs from Kosovo’s north have blocked two main roads near the border since the government ban went into force on Monday.

Drivers from Serbia must now use temporary printed registration details that are valid for 60 days.

The Kosovo government says its move mirrors measures in force in Serbia against drivers from Kosovo since 2008, when Kosovo declared independence from their neighbour.

Serb fighter planes flew close to the border crossing of Jarinje where protesters cheered them. A day before, three helicopters also flew in the vicinity.

Media in Belgrade reported that tanks and other military equipment were heading towards the border, but the Serb army did not give any details.

NATO’s mission in Kosovo, where peacekeepers maintain a fragile peace, called for restraint.

Source: (NewDaily)


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Anthony Joshua breaks his silence after devastating defeat to Oleksandr Usyk

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Joshua was outclassed by Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
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Anthony Joshua is determined to stay positive after his devastating world title defeat to Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday.

Usyk turned in a boxing masterclass to take the IBF, WBO and WBA heavyweight titles, dethroning Joshua in his own back yard at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Joshua immediately left the ring after the Ukrainian’s unanimous decision win and was taken to hospital to be assessed after taking damage to his right eye during the contest.

But he wrote on Twitter: ‘Keep positive even if the world’s crumbling in front of you!

London I love you and thank you each and every time

A rematch clause will give Joshua the chance to reclaim his titles but promoter Eddie Hearn has warned big changes are needed if he is to avenge the loss.

The fighter in AJ is already talking about winning the rematch.

‘It was a tough defeat. I had it reasonably close in the eighth and then Usyk ran away with it. If that happens again, he will get beat again.

‘Usyk’s confidence will be sky high. He has to impose himself but when you get to the level of AJ, there are no 10-round comeback fights or warm ups.

‘You are straight into the fight. He will be an underdog in that rematch.

‘He chose to take on a pound for pound great tonight, and it didn’t work out. He deserves credit for that but this is sport.’

Source: (Metro News)


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