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VOA news for Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

VOA news for Tuesday, January 29th, 2019
Thanks to http://gandalf.ddo.jp
VOA news. I’m Christopher Cruise reporting.
Federal prosecutors have unsealed two separate indictments against China’s Huawei Technologies, its chief financial officer and several affiliates for financial fraud and theft of American intellectual property.
This is FBI Director Christopher Wray: “The charges unsealed today are the result of years of investigative work by the FBI and our law enforcement partners. Both sets of charges expose Huawei’s brazen and persistent actions to exploit American companies and financial institutions, and to threaten the free and fair global marketplace.
As you can tell from the number and magnitude of the charges, Huawei and its senior executives repeatedly refused to respect U.S. law and standard international business practices.”
The announcement comes amid trade tensions between the United States and China and stepped up U.S. scrutiny of Chinese economic espionage.
The Trump administration is imposing sanctions on Venezuela’s state-run oil company. It says it wants to preserve the assets for the Venezuelan people.
National Security Advisor John Bolton said at the White House on Monday Venezuelans have had enough of oppression and economic hardship caused by President Nicholás Maduro and his regime.
Canada will host an “urgent” meeting of the Lima Group to talk about the political crisis in Venezuela.
The group includes Canada and 13 Latin American countries. It will convene on February 4 in Ottawa to discuss how to support opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who declared himself interim leader of Venezuela despite disputed President Nicholás Maduro’s victory in 2018 elections.
This is VOA news.
The EU will soon launch an alternative channel to send money to Iran that would sidestep U.S. sanctions against the Islamic republic.
Associated Press correspondent Charles De Ledesma reports.
The channel, the “special purpose vehicle,” or SPV, is part of EU efforts to keep alive an international agreement aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The future of the U.N. pact with Iran was thrown into doubt when President Donald Trump pulled out last year slamming it as a “horrible, one-sided deal.”
Now German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says the EU’s aim with the SPV is to ensure that “business not sanctioned by the U.S. can be upheld, and that there is a suitable instrument for international payments.”
The U.S. special representative for Afghan reconciliation is urging direct talks between the Taliban and the Kabul government.
Zalmay Khalilzad told The New York Times that he was confirming details in a draft peace deal aimed at ending the 17-year-long conflict in the country.
He said in Kabul that the deal framework would have to be “fleshed out before it becomes an agreement,” but he stressed the Taliban “have committed to do what is necessary that would prevent Afghanistan from ever becoming a platform for international terrorist groups or individuals.”
Turkey’s foreign minister on Monday met with the U.N. judicial expert investigating the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi The investigator will be in Turkey until Saturday for a series of meetings, including one with Istanbul’s chief prosecutor.
Hundreds of thousands of American government workers returned to work on Monday after almost five weeks of being home. But some of them fear another shutdown could happen.
Associated Press correspondent Ben Thomas reports.
President Trump puts the odds of congressional negotiators crafting a deal to end the standoff over a border wall at “less than 50-50.”
Trump tells The Wall Street Journal he really doesn’t think they’ll strike a deal he’d accept. And he is pledging to build a wall either way using executive powers to declare a national emergency if necessary.
Asked whether he thought the president was willing to go through a second shutdown, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told CBS’s “Face the Nation” “Yeah, I think he actually is.”
The spending bill Trump signed Friday funds the shuttered agencies only until February 15.
Facebook says it’s tightening up requirements for political adds in the European Union ahead of bloc-wide elections scheduled for the spring.
It’s the latest effort by the company to fight misinformation on its platforms.
The rules it imposed are similar to those the company put in place last year in the United States, Britain and Brazil.
You can find more on these and other late breaking and developing stories, from around the world, around the clock, at voanews.com and on the VOA news mobile app. I’m Christopher Cruise, VOA news.


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