17.03.18 South Africa Jacob Zuma To Face 16 Charges Of Corruption
South Africa's former President, Jacob Zuma, is to face prosecution for 16 charges of corruption, Chief Prosecutor Shaun Abrahams has confirmed.
Mr Abrahams said he believed there were "reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution".
The charges - which Mr Zuma denies - include counts of fraud, racketeering and money laundering.
Mr Zuma, 75, was forced to resign as president last month by his party, the ruling African National Congress (ANC).
He was facing his ninth no-confidence vote in parliament before he left office.
The charges relate to a 30bn rand ($2.5bn; £1.7bn) government arms deal in the late 1990s, before he became president.
French arms supplier Thales will also face charges, a prosecutor said. Thales declined to comment, reports the AFP news agency.
Mr Zuma is alleged to have sought bribes from Thales to support an extravagant lifestyle. His financial adviser at the time was found guilty of soliciting those bribes in 2005 and Mr Zuma was later sacked as deputy president.
He now faces one charge of racketeering, two charges of corruption, one charge of money laundering and 12 of fraud.
16.03.18 United Kingdom Cold Snap Leaves Country At Mercy Of Russian Gas Supliers
A cold snap next week could leave the country at the mercy of Russian gas suppliers, experts have warned.
Plunging temperatures on Sunday and Monday are likely to send demand for gas soaring across the UK and Europe to heat and light homes.
A report from the analysts S&P Platts warns that relying on Russia may be the only option for European nations if they suddenly need more as other suppliers are already running at or near capacity.
Gas reserves across the continent are at record lows after cold spells and the closure of British storage facilities.
Campaigners fear the growing reliance on imports leaves the UK vulnerable at a time of heightened political tension with Russia and Vladimir Putin (pictured) in the wake of the row over the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury
But the report said: ‘Gas demand is set to rise again from the end of the week across north-western Europe, bringing potential large-scale gas withdrawals back into play and prompting a likely increase in nominations for Russian gas imports.
‘Given the surge in demand, Russian gas supplies are considered the only swing source of gas under current conditions. Domestic production and other import sources are effectively maxed out.’
Campaigners fear the growing reliance on imports leaves the UK vulnerable at a time of heightened political tension with Russia in the wake of the row over the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury.
Official figures suggest only a small proportion of Britain’s gas comes from Russia directly. But many major pipelines across Europe start in Russia. This allows state-backed giants such as Gazprom effective control of European gas supplies.
Gazprom claims it sold just over 16billion cubic metres of gas to the UK last year – around 20 per cent of the country’s total demand. Russia’s gas exports to Europe rose to a record 194billion cubic metres last year
The UK imports around 44 per cent of its gas from Europe and Norway. In turn, Europe imports around 35 per cent of its gas from Russia.
Experts say the UK would struggle to balance its own supplies if there were not enough available on the continent. And they warn that the only nation capable of increasing supplies in times of high demand is Russia.
Gazprom claims it sold just over 16billion cubic metres of gas to the UK last year – around 20 per cent of the country’s total demand. Russia’s gas exports to Europe rose to a record 194billion cubic metres last year.
Britain also bought a shipment of liquefied natural gas from Russia to cope with demand during the Beast from the East weather front at the end of February.
Tory MP Stephen Crabb said: ‘We know Russia deliberately uses its energy resources to create relationships of dependency across Europe and I don’t think we should be putting ourselves in that position. There are lots of options.’
The Prime Minister told the Commons yesterday Britain is looking to other countries to supply gas as it ramps up measures against Russia in response to the Skripal affair.
The UK has become far more reliant on imports in recent years due to the dwindling supply of gas from the North Sea and the closure last year of the Rough storage facility, which at its peak accounted for 70 per cent of the UK’s gas storage.
TOKYO -- Honda Motor has begun accepting orders for its popular small business jet in India, eyeing the growing ranks of the affluent in a push to boost Asia-Pacific sales.
Group member Honda Aircraft already offers the HondaJet in China and Southeast Asia, in addition to the Americas and Europe.
Arrow Aircraft Sales and Charters, based in New Delhi, has been designated country sales representative under arrangements announced Friday. It is also handling maintenance. Honda foresees a certain level of demand as India's wealthy demographic expands with the economy.
The HondaJet's unique design includes over-the-wing engines that allow for a larger cabin. It is billed as the fastest and most fuel-efficient jet in its class.
A cumulative 68 HondaJets had been delivered by the end of 2017. Forty-three were delivered last year -- 20 more than in 2016 and enough to surpass the Cessna Citation M2 as the year's top-selling small business jet.
A total of 676 business jets of all models were delivered worldwide in 2017, according to the U.S.-based General Aviation Manufacturers Association. North America received 63.8%, against just 9.9% in the Asia-Pacific region. But the Asia-Pacific share was up 2.2 percentage points on the year and speaks to the growing aircraft demand in the area.
Honda Aircraft has not yet decided whether to market the HondaJet in Japan.