GLOBAL PULSE: Nepal gets a new PM, paying for fathers in Germany and a Russian hand suspected in Qatar’s crisis

RUSSIA AGAIN?

Is Russia behind Qatar’s isolation by Saudi Arabia and the UAE? CNN reports the US is aiding Qatar in the investigation of the fake news report that some believe is the cause for the rift in the region. The FBI has sent a team to aid the Qataris in their investigation and US security agencies claim to have information that it was Russian hackers behind the intrusion reported by the Qatari government a couple of weeks ago. US officials say the hacking might have been carried out to cause a rift between its two biggest allies in the region: Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

 

AN EXPERIENCED HAND RETURNS AS PM IN NEPAL

He’s been Prime Minister thrice before, and on two occasions he was unceremoniously ousted from power. But Nepali Congress head Sher Bahadur Deuba, who has been elected as Prime Minister,  will be hoping his fourth term will be a lot less eventful. The veteran politician was elected to the post by the nation’s lawmakers after the previous prime minister from the Communist Party of Nepal stepped down as part of a deal to allow Deuba to assume the post. Deuba will face multiple challenges in his fourth term. He needs to ensure local provincial elections take place despite opposition over the provinces that have been created. He also needs to ensure ties remain cordial with India and China, both of whom are important to Nepal for different reasons. Deuba made a strong start on that account by promising to not allow Nepal to be used against either India or China.

 

DEATH OF AN ARMS DEALER

Arms dealers don’t usually make headlines when they pass away. But Adnan Khashoggi wasn’t your typical arms dealer. The 82-year-old Saudi died in London surrounded by his family after having escaped allegations of illegal arms dealing, money laundering and smuggling during his lifetime. The son of a doctor to the King of Saudi Arabia, Khashoggi made his fortune by pushing through arms deals between the US and Saudi Arabia. He later pushed through a weapons-for-oil deal between Saudi Arabia and France, was accused of helping Phillipines president Ferdinand Marcos conceal money and was accused of smuggling paintings into Paris. But he was never convicted for any crime. Khashoggi was known for his wild parties, that in some cases lasted days, and even made it to the cover of Time magazine. But with controversy came its pitfalls and his influence waned as high-profile friends preferred to keep their distance. A man who once was one of the richest in the world saw his financial empire crumble during his lifetime, but it never stopped him from living it up.

 

BUYING INFLUENCE IN AUSTRALIA

Australian authorities are reportedly concerned about just how much influence China has in its politics. Australian intelligence agencies have warned political parties about donations received from Chinese businessmen, who may be buying influence on behalf of China’s Communist Party. China is already Australia’s largest trading partner but worries are that the funds going to political parties may be used to influence the nation’s foreign policy. It’s also feared it may be used to target Chinese dissidents living in Australia. But an equally big concern is how to ensure influence isn’t bought without seeming xenophobic to the Chinese-Australian community that constitutes around four per cent of the nation’s population and wants a say in the nation’s politics.

 

PAYING FOR PATERNITY

In one case a man sporting neo-Nazi symbols claimed to be the father of a Vietnamese child. In another, a man claimed to be the father of 10 children. It’s these cases and hundreds of others that are leading officials in Germany to believe there is a widespread racket in the country with pregnant migrants from poorer nations paying men to claim paternity of their children. The rise in asylum requests from pregnant women from Vietnam, Africa and Eastern Europe has raised doubts about the racket. Many pregnant women escaping poverty from these regions are suspected to have paid men up to 5,000 euros to get them to claim that hey are the fathers. This automatically makes the baby a German citizen and it allows the mother of the child to stay on.

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