Global Beat: Brazil Corruption Case, North Korea, and More
September 8, 2017

Global Beat is your weekly stop for news from around the world. Join us every Friday morning for important stories you should know about.

This week, two former Brazilian presidents are charged with accepting bribes; China’s air force practices shooting down missiles as North Korea conducts its sixth and largest nuclear test; U.S. federal prosecutors charge four Turks with conspiracy to violate U.S. sanctions against Iran; and more.

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Americas

Brazilian Attorney General Rodrigo Janot filed charges against former Presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff Tuesday, accusing them of accepting bribes in connection with the Petrobras scandal. The crimes include cartel formation, corruption, and money laundering. Janot’s filing with Brazil’s Supreme Court accuses Lula, who remains Brazil’s most popular politician, of heading the criminal organization. Janot is also pursuing corruption charges against Brazil’s current president, Michel Temer, who took office after Rousseff was impeached last year.

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Central & South Asia

Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat said Wednesday that India must prepare itself for simultaneous war with China and Pakistan. A 10-week military standoff on the Chinese-Indian border ended last week, but Rawat warned the situation could escalate into a larger conflict of which Pakistan would take advantage. India, China, and Pakistan are nuclear powers. "Nuclear weapons are weapons of deterrence, but to say that they can deter war or they will not allow nations to go to war, in our context that may also not be true," said Rawat. "Warfare lies within the realm of reality."

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China & East Asia

China’s air force practiced shooting down missiles this week as North Korea conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test and South Korea deployed the final components of the controversial antimissile system known as THAAD. Meanwhile, Asia security analysts say the Trump administration is veering toward military options. South Korea said it expects North Korea to launch another intercontinental ballistic missile on Saturday. "The situation is very grave," said South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon. "It doesn’t seem much time is left before North Korea achieves its complete nuclear armament."

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Europe & Russia

Facebook told U.S. congressional investigators this week that it sold about $100,000 in political ads in the 2016 presidential election season to fake accounts likely tied to Russia. Many of the ads were traced back to a Russian "troll farm" called the Internet Research Agency that promoted pro-Kremlin propaganda and targeted American voters with misleading or divisive information on social and political issues. The Internet Research Agency is a Russian military intelligence project. Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence agency, said Facebook’s disclosure is just "the tip of the iceberg" of election interference on social media.

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Middle East & North Africa

U.S. federal prosecutors charged four Turks—including a former Turkish economy minister—with conspiracy to violate U.S. sanctions against Iran. The former economy minister, Mehmet Zafer Caglayan, was charged with accepting tens of millions of dollars’ worth of bribes in connection with the multi-year scheme to evade sanctions and launder money for Iran. The case has raised tensions between the United States and Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said U.S. officials have "ulterior motives" in pursuing the case.

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Southeast Asia & Oceania

The son and son-in-law of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Paolo Duterte and Manases Carpio, respectively, have been accused of links to a seized shipment of $125 million worth of methamphetamine from China. They denied the allegations to a Senate investigation this week. Paolo Duterte is also the vice mayor of Davao, and critics say he eased the entry of the shipment in Manila. President Duterte launched a brutal campaign against drug users and dealers after assuming power last year. That campaign has left thousands of people dead.

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Sub-Saharan Africa

The U.S. Treasury Department issued sanctions this week on three current and former South Sudanese officials over corruption. Meanwhile, the United States is considering lifting sanctions on Sudan, but the issue of weapons along the border has become a sensitive one. South Sudan accuses Sudan of arming rebels that are fighting in South Sudan’s civil war. Sudan denies that allegation.

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