Jeff Bezos with wife MacKenzie
Jeff Bezos with wife MacKenzie | Peter Foley/Bloomberg
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Opposition candidate set to win Congo presidential poll, and yet another Brexit blow for Britain’s Theresa May.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and wife MacKenzie announce divorce

Amazon’s founder-CEO Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie, his wife of 25 years, are getting divorced. The announcement came days before Bezos, the world’s wealthiest man, celebrates his 55th birthday on 12 January.

In a joint statement posted on Bezos’ Twitter account Wednesday, the couple said that “after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends”.

The couple met when they worked at a New York-based hedge fund, D.E. Shaw. They got married in 1993 and a year later shifted to Seattle, where Bezos started Amazon from a garage. The couple has four children.

According to a report in Bloomberg, while Wall Street, where the New York Stock Exchange is located, “took the announcement in stride, investors will be watching to see if the divorce settlement affects Bezos’ control of Amazon”. The report said that Bezos, whose net worth is estimated at $137 billion, will retain the confidence of investors as long as the company is growing and returning profits.

The divorce, however, could alter the global wealth ranking. If the couple split their wealth equally, MacKenzie could become the world’s richest woman with a fortune of $69 billion. If this happens, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, currently the second richest man, will regain the title he held for years before being unseated by Bezos.

Congo set to get new leader after 18 years

The Democratic Republic of Congo looks set to see a new leader take charge of the government after 18 years, with the country’s election commission declaring opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi the winner of a controversial poll marred by rigging allegations.

“Having gained… 38.57 per cent of the vote, Felix Tshisekedi is provisionally declared the elected president of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” the head of the Congo’s Independent National Election Commission (CENI), Corneille Nangaa, was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera .

The central African country, which got independence from Belgium in 1960, has been led by President Joseph Kabila for nearly two decades. Before the 30 December 2018 poll, the BBC reported, Kabila had promised this poll would usher in the country’s first orderly transfer of power since independence. Kabila, the report added, took over the chair after his father was assassinated. Previous leaders of the country were also either ousted or overthrown.

‘Fast radio bursts’ a sign of aliens?

Was it a message from aliens? Scientists have reported, only for the second time ever, observing repeated energy bursts from the same spot in deep space, some 1.5 billion light years from Earth.

According to a study, one of the bursts repeated six times, with 12 other “singular” ones observed alongside.

The first repeating bursts were recorded in 2015 by the Arecibo radio. According to a report in Fox News, “This new repeating fast radio burst is called FRB 180814.J0422+73 and was recorded six times coming from the same location, 1.5 billion light years away.”

This is the first detection made by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), which is located in British Columbia, Canada.

One hypothesis suggests that these bursts were triggered by powerful astrophysical phenomena, like, two neutron stars merging together. However, some have hinted at a possible extraterrestrial origin, the BBC reported.

Another Brexit defeat for Theresa May

Rebel Conservative MPs in the UK again joined hands with their Labour colleagues to inflict another parliamentary blow — the second within 24 hours — to the Theresa May government.

On Wednesday, the House of Commons backed a motion that gives May three days to come up with a Plan B if her controversial Brexit deal fails the parliamentary test next week.

The BBC reported that out of the 308 parliamentarians who voted against May were 17 Conservatives, which included former ministers who want a second referendum on whether the UK must leave EU or not.

report in Al Jazeera added, “MPs will have the right to amend any second plan brought forward by May, potentially opening the way for several different outcomes, ranging from a so-called ‘managed no-deal’ exit to another referendum.”

The UK is scheduled to exit the EU this March.

Read Global Pulse for a sampler of the big international stories, and why they matter.


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