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Chinese billionaire convicted in UN bribery case

In this Oct. 26, 2015 photo, Chinese billionaire Ng Lap Seng waves to the media as he leaves federal court. AP NEW YORK — A Chinese billionaire who wanted to build a United Nations center in Macau and was accused of illegally paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to U.N. ambassadors to make it happen was convicted at his bribery trial on Thursday. The verdict was returned in Manhattan federal court against Ng Lap Seng, one of China’s richest men. Ng was convicted of bribery, conspiracy and money laundering charges. Acting…

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Asia and Australia Edition: U.S. Senate, Jerusalem, Jeff Bezos: Your Friday Briefing

The context, experts emphasized, was the American principle of civilian control over the military, but the effect was chilling, particularly at a time when North Korea’s nuclear threat is increasing and trust that mutually assured destruction would forestall any nuclear attack appears to be decreasing. Continue reading the main story _____ Photo Credit Kimimasa Mayama/European Pressphoto Agency • The Japanese Ministry of Defense delivers its conclusions today about whether Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government deliberately withheld information about the safety of Japanese troops at a U.N. compound in South Sudan….

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SpaceX Is Now One of the World’s Most Valuable Privately Held Companies

Still, investors have long believed that a handful of companies have the potential to become globally dominant businesses. Five companies based in the United States that are valued at more than $20 billion — including Uber, Airbnb and WeWork — have upended established industries like transportation and real estate. Palantir, the analytics company that is in the $20 billion-plus valuation club, is vying to become a major government contractor, as is SpaceX. Photo Elon Musk, the founder, chief executive and lead designer at SpaceX and a co-founder of Tesla, speaks…

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Robert Pattinson says he’s “kind of” engaged to FKA Twigs

71 Photos FKA Twigs and Robert Pattinson attend the “Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology” Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City.  Larry Busacca/Getty Images Robert Pattinson says he and FKA Twigs are still “kind of” engaged. The actor, who is notoriously private, spoke about his relationship with the British singer on “The Howard Stern Show.” They have been rumored to be engaged since 2015. Host Howard Stern was direct: “You’re engaged, right?” he asked. Pattinson responded, “Yeah,…

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Books of The Times: ‘Dying: A Memoir’ Is a Bracing Illumination of Terminal Illness

Those who have the wherewithal to write about these questions usually have the wherewithal to think clearly about them. Taylor, who died in July of last year at the age of 61, is a firm believer in taking custody of her own death. She announces in her first sentence that she’s purchased a euthanasia drug over the internet from China. She soon adds that she’s joined the local chapter of Exit International in her home of Brisbane, Australia. “It might be any meeting of any common interest group, a bowls…

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In U.S. first, scientists edit genes of human embryos

For the first time in the United States, scientists have edited the genes of human embryos, a controversial step toward someday helping babies avoid inherited diseases.    According to MIT Technology Review, which first reported the news on Wednesday, the experiment was just an exercise in science — the embryos were not allowed to develop for more than a few days and were never intended to be implanted into a womb.     Officials at Oregon Health & Science University confirmed that the work took place there and said results would be published…

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What if Trump Ordered a Nuclear Strike on China? I’d Comply, Says Admiral

Rory Medcalf, the head of the National Security College and host of the talk, said the question had been posed to Admiral Swift without much context and had put him on the spot. “Admiral Swift answered the question the only way a serving military officer could,” Mr. Medcalf said. “It would have been a lot more controversial if he had said, no, he would not obey the commander in chief.” Admiral Swift’s remarks in Canberra focused on the role of the armed forces in ensuring stability and a rules-based system…

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How Mustang powered to world’s No. 1 sports car

DETROIT – On any given day this summer, you might find 97-year-old Lennart Ribring driving his 2016 Ford Mustang GT on a winding road near his home in Sweden. Or you might see Chris Fitzpatrick polishing his 1967 Mustang convertible in Auckland, New Zealand. Guo Xin might be working on a Mustang in his car repair shop in Beijing. While in England, a happy bride and groom drive off in a Mustang GT California Special. More than 50 years after it was introduced, the world remains captivated by the Mustang….

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Wider U.S. Sanctions on Venezuela Risk Biting Both Countries

Despite nearly two decades of sour relations with Venezuela, the United States has enormous leverage as one of its most important customers. The United States is one the few countries in the world with refineries capable of processing Venezuela’s poor quality heavy crude. The Maduro regime is already tottering, struggling to meet its financial obligations, feed its people and pay its oil workers, soldiers and police officers. Additional American sanctions could be a devastating economic blow, prompting a further move toward dictatorship in the country and an even closer embrace…

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