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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 23/02/2021

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 23/02/2021

Politico – William Adkins / Italian ambassador to DR Congo killed in UN convoy attack

  • The Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo has been killed in an attack on a United Nations convoy. Luca Attanasio, 43, died in hospital on Monday, the Italian foreign ministry said.
  • The convoy was attacked near the town of Kanyamahoro, just north of the city of Goma, on the border with Rwanda, in what is believed to be an attempted kidnapping. The convoy reportedly belonged to the U.N.’s World Food Program.
  • A military police officer was also killed in the attack, Italy’s foreign ministry confirmed. A driver was also killed, according to Italian media. European Council President Charles Michel tweeted that he was “shocked and saddened” by the news.
  • Italian Foreign Secretary Luigi Di Maio said in a statement that they had been “violently torn from us while doing their duty,” and that “no effort will be spared to shed light on what happened.”
  • Euractiv – Benjamin Fox / Michel in ‘shock’ after Italy’s DR Congo ambassador is killed in attack

Financial Times – Michael Peel and Javier Espinoza / EU pushes ahead with new Russia sanctions

  • The EU will impose sanctions against Russian officials over the jailing of opposition activist Alexei Navalny in a sign of deteriorating relations with Moscow. 
  • Foreign ministers from the European bloc agreed in principle on Monday to impose travel bans and asset freezes on at least four individuals, diplomats said, in the first use of a new human rights sanctions regime agreed in December.
  • Antony Blinken, US secretary of state, welcomed the EU decision. Blinken held a separate meeting by teleconference with the European officials, in the latest move by the US to revive transatlantic relations frayed during Donald Trump’s presidency.
  • The measures are widely known as Magnitsky sanctions, named after Russian accountant Sergei Magnitsky, who died in official custody in 2009 after alleging a large-scale fraud by tax officials.
  • The Guardian – Daniel Boffey / EU to sanction Russians responsible for Alexei Navalny’s detention

The Economist / Manhattan’s prosecutor will see Donald Trump’s financial records

  • Eight years of the former president’s financial records filed at Mazars will now be boxed up and shipped to Mr Vance. The investigation began as a probe into alleged hush-money payoffs made in 2016 to an adult-film star and a former Playboy model, to prevent revelations of affairs that could have dented Mr Trump’s presidential hopes.
  • Whether Mr Trump or members of his family might face criminal indictments is still unclear; Mr Vance won’t know how strong a case he has until the documents arrive. But last week the district attorney enlisted the help of Mark Pomerantz, an experienced federal prosecutor specialising in organised and white-collar crime.
  • Potential charges, if evidence is found, could include scheming to defraud, falsification of business records, insurance fraud and criminal tax fraud. Some of these are felonies carrying penalties of up to 25 years.
  • Drawing on the testimony of Michael Cohen, Mr Trump’s former lawyer, to Congress, New York’s attorney-general, Letitia James, is investigating what she says may be fraudulent business practices in which the Trump Organisation allegedly inflated the value of its assets when applying for loans and deflated them to evade tax liability.
  • The Washington Post – Robert Barnes / Supreme Court ends Trump’s bid to shield his tax returns and effort to challenge election losses

Vox – Jen Kirby / Myanmar’s pro-democracy protest movement is strengthening

  • Myanmar saw its largest nationwide protests since the military coup earlier this month, with hundreds of thousands of people demonstrating in the streets and businesses shutting down across the country.
  • Monday’s protests are the latest in a nearly month-long civil disobedience campaign that erupted in response to the February 1 takeover by Myanmar’s military that saw the country’s civilian leaders detained and ended the country’s decade-long experiment with quasi-democratic governance.
  • Since then, mass demonstrations have taken place across the country and citizens have engaged in acts of resistance, from lying across train tracks at a station in Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-largest city, to work stoppages that now threaten Myanmar’s economy.
  • Monday’s demonstrations — which some are calling the five twos, or the “22222 uprising” — saw hundreds of thousands of protesters take to the streets of Myanmar’s cities; stores, banks, and fast food chains shut down in solidarity.
  • Al Jazeera / US sanctions two more Myanmar generals after protest crackdown

Today’s video:

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and EsadeGeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.

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