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Spain’s king distances himself from his father amid allegations of $100M transfer from ex-Saudi monarch

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“It disturbs all of us, and me, too,” Sanchez said on national TV this month.

Spanish media now report almost daily on the alleged financial dealings of former King Juan Carlos I, even before he abdicated in 2014, and on the efforts of his son, King Felipe VI, Spain’s current head of state, to distance himself from his father.

“The judicial system is at work,” Sanchez said. “And the Royal Household is keeping a distance in the face of these disturbing reports.”

In March, just as Spain went into lockdown, King Felipe renounced any personal inheritance from his father and stopped the annual public stipend paid to the former king.

The royal household, in a statement, said its move was prompted by various news reports at the time. These news reports claimed King Felipe might inherit large sums from two offshore foundations allegedly linked to his father.

Analysts told CNN there’s now unprecedented pressure on Spain’s monarchy, which King Felipe vowed to make more transparent when he took over six years ago.

Felipe and Juan Carlos attend a ceremony at Zarzuela Palace prior to Felipe's official coronation ceremony on June 19, 2014. Juan Carlos abdicated on June 2 after a 39-year reign.

“The monarchy is being questioned. It’s not the former king. That’s the deeper problem,” Javier Perez Royo, an emeritus professor of constitutional law at the University of Seville, told CNN.

Royo said he expects further efforts “to put a firewall between King Felipe VI and his father.”

Juan Carlos abdicated under a cloud of financial scandal and his much-criticized elephant-hunting trip to Botswana during Spain’s financial crisis in 2012.

But his abdication didn’t stop investigations.

Swiss prosecutors are examining documents that allege Juan Carlos may have received $100 million from Saudi Arabia’s king in 2008, a senior Spanish official with knowledge of the proceedings told CNN.

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The prosecutors are focusing on people purportedly linked to Juan Carlos who may have acted as proxies for bank accounts, the Spanish official said.

The official said the hypothesis is that the money may have been related to a contract for a Spanish consortium’s construction of a high-speed train between Medina and Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

In 2012, according to allegations in the documents in Switzerland, King Juan Carlos gave €65 million to his then companion, Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, the Spanish official said.

Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein has testified twice before Swiss prosecutors and “no formal charges have been brought against her,” her lawyer, Robin Rathmell told CNN.

“She’s been the victim of a campaign of harassment headed by the King Emeritus [Juan Carlos] for eight years,” Rathmell said, adding it has hurt her reputation and business. She plans to sue in English courts to stop it, he said.

From left to right: then-Crown Prince Felipe, Spain's then-Queen Sofia, Saudi Arabia's then-King Abdullah, then-King Juan Carlos and then-Princess Letizia pose before a dinner in Madrid in July 2008.From left to right: then-Crown Prince Felipe, Spain's then-Queen Sofia, Saudi Arabia's then-King Abdullah, then-King Juan Carlos and then-Princess Letizia pose before a dinner in Madrid in July 2008.

The attorney general’s office for the canton of Geneva declined to comment on the Swiss investigation, but the Spanish official told CNN that prosecutors at Spain’s Supreme Court had received information from Switzerland.

The attorney general’s office in Spain said in a statement on June 8 that the Supreme Court investigation was indeed focused on the high-speed rail project in Saudi Arabia — and that Juan Carlos’ name had come up in the case.

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Prosecutors “will try to define or discard the criminal relevance of events that occurred after June 2014,” when Juan Carlos abdicated, the statement said. Juan Carlos had constitutional immunity from prosecution while king.

The former king’s lawyer, Javier Sanchez-Junco, told CNN, “There are no formal charges against King Juan Carlos in Spanish or in foreign courts at this time.” He declined further comment.

CNN contacted the embassies of Saudi Arabia in London and Madrid regarding the alleged 2008 transfer from the Saudi king to Juan Carlos, but received no immediate reply.

Juan Carlos, who is now 82, is widely credited with helping to guide Spain to democracy after the long dictatorship of Francisco Franco. But in recent years, his image has suffered. Last year, on the fifth anniversary of his abdication, he announced he was stepping down from public life.

Spanish media have reported that King Felipe may be planning to put further distance between himself and his father — by asking him to leave his residence at the Zarzuela Palace grounds west of Madrid.

The facade of Zarzuela Palace, seen in February 2019.The facade of Zarzuela Palace, seen in February 2019.
Reuters quoted an unnamed government source who said the matter of distance must be decided by the royal household, adding that Juan Carlos leaving Zarzuela Palace “may be an option.”

“The King [Felipe], if he has to make another decision, he will,” a palace spokesman told CNN. “The rest is speculation.”

There’s also been talk of a constitutional reform to strip immunity from the king. Yet that’s unlikely, three analysts told CNN, because Spain’s political parties are deeply divided.

King Felipe, 52, appears to be working hard to carve out his own image among Spaniards. He and Queen Letizia are nearly finished with a tour of all 17 of Spain’s regions, to thank people for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Delhi government will prepare 5,000 health assistants in view of the third wave of corona

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “In the first and second wave of corona we have seen shortage of medical and paramedical staff.

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Arvind Kejriwal speaking with media in his office in Delhi

In an important announcement today, the Delhi government said that it will prepare 5,000 health assistants as a precaution in the wake of the third wave of corona. Under this ambitious project of Delhi Government, Indraprastha University will start training the youth gradually.

Talking about this project, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “In the first and second wave of corona we have seen a shortage of medical and paramedical staff. So the government has an ambitious plan, under which 5000 health assistants will be prepared.”

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Describing the outline of the project, Arvind Kejriwal said, “Indraprastha (IP) University will train 5000 youth sequentially for every 2 weeks. After that they will be given basic training in 9 premier medical institutes of Delhi.

Clearing doubts about the usefulness of health assistants prepared after just two weeks of training and training, Kejriwal said that these health assistants will work as assistants to doctor-nurse. They will be given basic training in nursing, paramedics, life saving, first aid and home care. Online applications for this can be filled from tomorrow, Thursday, June 17. The training will start from June 28. For this the qualification is 12th pass and age limit is more than 18 years.

This plan of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is prima facie looking very futuristic, but the reality will be known only after its implementation. It is to be known that with this announcement of Kejriwal, his critics have started to satire on this plan.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency news helpline feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor

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Notorious Chadar gang arrested in more than 100 incidents

This gang of Ghodasahan village of East Champaranya in Bihar state is infamous all over the country. In the dark of night, the gang comes in large numbers and lays blankets in front of the shop.

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Notorious Chadar gang arrested in more than 100 incidents

The Crime Branch of Meera Bhaidar Vasai Virar Police has arrested a gang of ‘Ghodasahans’ alias Chadar who have been dodging the police in different states of the country for the past several years. The gang used to be able to break the shutters of the shop with the sheets horizontally, the gang has more than a hundred crime cases registered in different states.

This gang of Ghodasahan village of East Champaranya in Bihar state is infamous all over the country. In the dark of night, the gang comes in large numbers and lays blankets in front of the shop. Other members break the shutters of the shop and burn the goods inside within a few minutes. They mainly stole watches, mobiles, and electronic items. They used to leave after stealing in the night. They used to sell stolen goods in Nepal. The gang had no means of communication, which made it difficult for the police to nab them. Meera Bhaidar Vasai Virar Police Commissionerate Crime Branch had received information about the gang. The police had received information that some gang members would come to rob the petrol pump. Under this, the police have arrested 10 members of the gang by laying a trap. Various weapons brought for loot and goods worth 1.5 lakh were seized from them.

Also Read: China launches crewed spacecraft Shenzhou-12 in the historic mission

Big success for MBVV Police:

With the help of Crime Branch Unit 2 officers and a team of police personnel, the Unit 3 team disguised as the petrol pump and laid a trap on Tuesday morning. Seven accused, who came to carry out the robbery, were caught by the gang, while three accused were caught running towards the Tulinj police station area in shorts and vests. One accused is still absconding in this case. Police arrested 10 accused 1) Naeem Hadith Devan 48 years old, 2) Vikram Kumar Premchand Prasad 25 years old, 3) Naeem Munna Dewan 25 years old, Suheb Ahmed 45 years old, Vijaykumar Mahato 25 years old, Aslam Sai 27 years old, Dharmendra Shahani 29 years old, Vikeshkumar Paswan 19-year-old, Rohikumar Paswan 19-year-old, Omnath Kumar Saha 24-year-old have recovered Rs 70,000 in cash and two knives. The 10 accused have been sent to 11-day police custody after being produced in the Vasai Court under police protection.

Recovered from:

After disclosing the case of Virar, Nalasopara, Dindoshi 3 police stations, mobile phone and cash amount of Rs 1 lakh 64 thousand 810 recovered. The gang had registered more than 100 cases of robbery and theft in various states of the country including Vasai Virar. He used to rake theft in the dark of night, and after some time he used to steal away. Crime Branch Police Inspector Pramod Badakh told that he used to sell stolen goods in Nepal as well. Arresting this gang was a big challenge. However, after a thorough investigation by our police, the gang has been caught red-handed, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Mahesh Patil said.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency news helpline feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor

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International

China launches crewed spacecraft Shenzhou-12 in the historic mission

Shenzhou-12 is the third of 11 missions – four of which will be crewed – needed to complete China’s first full-fledged space station. Construction began in April with the launch of Tianhe, the first and largest of three modules.

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China

China launched a spacecraft on Thursday carrying three astronauts to part of a space station still under construction for the longest stay in low Earth orbit by any Chinese national.

A Long March 2F rocket transporting the Shenzhou-12, or “Divine Vessel”, bound for the space station module Tianhe blasted off at 9:22 a.m. Beijing time (0122 GMT) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Gansu province.

Shenzhou-12 is the third of 11 missions – four of which will be crewed – needed to complete China’s first full-fledged space station. Construction began in April with the launch of Tianhe, the first and largest of three modules.

The astronauts Nie Haisheng, 56, Liu Boming, 54, and Tang Hongbo, 45, are to work and stay on Tianhe, the living quarters of the future space station, for three months. The men will also be monitored for how they fare in space physically and psychologically for an extended period of time. An upcoming mission to the space station will last six months.

“This will be the first crewed flight in the space station (construction) phase, and I’m lucky to be able to have the ‘first baton’,” Nie told reporters in Jiuquan a day before the launch.

The Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and three astronauts, takes off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China’s first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
The Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and three astronauts, takes off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China’s first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Chinese astronauts Tang Hongbo, Nie Haisheng and Liu Boming speak before the launch of the Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and the three astronauts, from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China’s first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

The veteran astronaut has been hailed by his team as a bastion of stability and a teacher figure who constantly challenges others with tough questions. “As long as we have him in our hearts, we have nothing to fear,” fellow astronaut Wang Yaping, who is part of the Shenzhou-12 backup team, told state media previously.

“In our crew, elder brother Nie is like the needle that stills the sea,” she said.

Liu Boming, like Nie, was from the first batch of astronauts selected in the 1990s for China’s space programme. Known for his intellect, Liu is often addressed by his colleagues as “Little Zhuge”, the renowned military strategist who lived in China two millennia ago.

On the Shenzhou-7 mission in 2008, Liu famously used a crowbar to pry open the hatch after it refused to open.

Former air force pilot Tang Hongbo, 45, was from a later batch of astronauts, and trained for more than a decade before being selected for his first spaceflight on Shenzhou-12.

“I’ve waited for 11 years, and finally I’m ready, and I can contribute my strength,” Tang told reporters on Wednesday.

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