'Manafort and his lies' at heart of case, prosecution argues ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Paul Manafort lied to keep himself flush with cash for his luxurious lifestyle and lied some more to procure millions in bank loans when his income dropped off, prosecutors told jurors Wednesday in closing arguments at the former Trump campaign chairman's financial fraud trial. Jurors will begin deliberations Thursday.
China sacks top official over vaccine scandal, firm may de-list China has sacked a senior provincial official and is probing a former top drug regulator after a safety scandal at vaccine maker Changsheng Biotechnology Co Ltd, which again warned it could be delisted over the scandal. The company was accused in July of falsifying data for a rabies vaccine and manufacturing an ineffective vaccine for babies, sparking widespread consumer anger. While there were no known reports of people being harmed by the vaccines, regulators ordered Changsheng to halt their production and recall the rabies vaccine.
California high court rules for immigrant kids in visa fight SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The California Supreme Court on Thursday made it easier for some immigrant children who are abused or abandoned by a parent to seek a U.S. visa to avoid deportation in a ruling that advocates said would help thousands of children.
Pentagon says China's armed forces are 'likely training for strikes' on US targets China's military has expanded its bomber operations in recent years while "likely training for strikes" against the United States and its allies, according to a Pentagon report released on Thursday. The assessment, which comes at a time of heightened US-China tensions over trade, was contained in an annual report that highlighted China's efforts to increase its global influence, with defence spending that the Pentagon estimates exceeded $190 billion in 2017. "Over the last three years, the PLA has rapidly expanded its overwater bomber operating areas, gaining experience in critical maritime regions and likely training for strikes against US and allied targets," the report said, using an acronym for China's People's Liberation Army. The report comes as China and the United States plan to hold trade talks, offering hope they might resolve an escalating tariff conflict that threatens to degenerate into an all-out trade war. The report said that while the PLA had continued to extend operations, it was not clear what message Beijing was seeking to send by carrying out the flights "beyond a demonstration of improved capabilities". An Ilyushin Il-76 strategic aircraft of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Credit: Tass via Getty Images The Chinese embassy in Washington could not immediately be reached for comment. This year China’s air force landed bombers on islands and reefs in the South China Sea as part of a training exercise in the disputed region. In January the Pentagon put countering Beijing, along with Russia, at the center of a new national defense strategy. While Washington and Beijing maintain a military-to-military relationship aimed at containing tensions, this has been tested in recent months, notably in May when the Pentagon withdrew an invitation to China to join a multinational naval exercise. The Liaoning aircraft carrier is accompanied by navy frigates and submarines conducting an exercises in the South China Sea Credit: Xinhua via AP In June, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis became the first Pentagon chief to visit China since 2014. The Pentagon report said that despite a projected slowdown in economic growth, China's official defence budget would be more than $240 billion by 2028. The Pentagon report also said China's space program was progressing rapidly. "The PLA continues to strengthen its military space capabilities despite its public stance against the militarization of space," it said. This month, President Donald Trump’s administration announced an ambitious plan to usher in a new "Space Force" as the sixth branch of the military by 2020. One of the arguments in favour of developing such a force is that American rivals like China appear increasingly ready to strike US space-based capabilities in the event of a conflict.
Bayer presses on with Monsanto integration as stock suffers German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer said Thursday it would finally begin integrating US seeds and pesticides maker Monsanto into its business, after meeting competition authorities' final conditions for the merger. Two months after it bought the US firm, "the integration of Monsanto into the Bayer Group can begin," the Leverkusen-based company said. Thursday saw Bayer complete the sale of a final tranche of crop science businesses worth 5.9 billion euros ($6.7 billion) to rival BASF under concessions imposed by cartel watchdogs.
Plane skids off rainy Manila runway, rips off engine, wheel MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A plane from China veered off a runway at Manila's airport while landing in a downpour near midnight then got stuck in a muddy field with one engine and wheel ripped off before the 165 people on board scrambled out through an emergency slide, officials said Friday.
New Zealand curbs foreign property ownership to cool market New Zealand has passed legislation curbing foreigners' ability to buy residential property in a bid to rein in the South Pacific nation's booming housing prices. The law, which passed late Wednesday, meets a key campaign pledge from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who vowed to make housing more affordable before her election last year. The new restrictions mean an almost complete ban on non-nationals buying residential property in New Zealand, with only a couple of exemptions.