While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 6

While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 6

World’s biggest oil traders paid bribes in Brazil scandal: Prosecutors

Leading global oil traders Vitol, Trafigura and Glencore paid more than US$30 million (S$41 million) in bribes to employees at state-owned Brazilian company Petrobras in a scheme that may still be going on, prosecutors said on Wednesday (Dec 5).

Top executives of the international companies had “total and unequivocal” knowledge of the graft involving Petroleo Brasileiro SA, known as Petrobras, investigators said at a news conference. The bribes took place between 2011 and 2014, investigators said.

The details being made public were just the “tip of the iceberg” investigators said, and the latest revelations were the strongest international links yet announced to the sweeping “Car Wash” probe centered on political corruption at Petrobras.


Bush hailed at funeral as US ‘soldier-statesman,’ master of civility

The late President George H.W. Bush was hailed at his state funeral on Wednesday (Dec 5) as a World War Two hero, Cold War veteran and architect of a US victory against Iraq who went on to represent a bygone era of civility in American politics. 

Amid an unusual bipartisan spirit at the service at the Washington National Cathedral, both Republican and Democratic politicians honoured a president who called for a “kinder, gentler” nation. 

Bush, the 41st US president, died last week in Texas aged 94.


Facebook accused of giving access to users’ data

A British parliamentary committee accused Facebook on Wednesday (Dec 5) of giving companies such as Netflix preferential access to users’ data even after it tightened its privacy rules in 2014 and 2015. 

The British parliament’s select media committee published more than 200 pages of internal Facebook e-mails it has acquired while probing how the giant was being used to manipulate major election results. 

The e-mails feature in a case being heard in a California court filed against the giant by the now-defunct US app developer Six4Three. 


Trump asks Opec not to cut production

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday (Dec 5) urged Opec members not to slash production at their upcoming meeting, saying global oil prices should remain low.

Trump’s comment came as members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil-producing nations prepared to meet Thursday and Friday in Vienna to discuss lowering their output.

“Hopefully Opec will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted. The World does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!” Trump said on Twitter.


US Gymnastics, reeling from abuse scandal, files for bankruptcy

USA Gymnastics, the sport’s governing body, filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday (Dec 5), the latest blow for an organisation that has struggled to recover from scandal after former national team doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused hundreds of gymnasts.

The organisation filed for protection from creditors in US Bankruptcy Court in Indianapolis, according to court records.

“Our organisation is a financially solid going concern but for the hundred lawsuits that we do have out there,” Kathryn Carson, the chairwoman of the USAG board, said on a conference call with reporters.



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