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Musings From Abroad

$1m bounty placed on Putin but Facebook yanks off post. What we know about the instigator

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A Russian-American billionaire businessman has offered a $1 million bounty for Vladimir Putin’s arrest.

The $1 million bounty was put on the Russian leader over alleged war crimes.
The $1 million bounty – Wanted: Dead or alive – was said to be for operative(s) who can arrest the Russian President.
The businessman, Alex Konanykhin, said he wanted the Russian leader to go on trial.


The California-based businessman triggered headiness and no small controversy when he offered the money on social media, along with a picture of Mr Putin and a caption that read: “Wanted: Dead or alive. Vladimir Putin for mass murder.”


He added: “I promise to pay $1,000,000 to the officer(s) who, complying with their constitutional duty, arrest(s) Putin as a war criminal under Russian and international laws.”


Konanykhin said the county, as much as millions of people, including him, would celebrate the news of his death – but not for his assassination which according to him would be illegal.


Facebook later took down the post, but Konanykhin told The Independent he had not intended his words to encourage someone to go and kill Mr Putin. Rather, he insisted, he wanted the Russian leader to go on trial.


“I’d like to make it explicitly clear that my offer is for an officer, who is fulfilling his constitutional duties, can arrest him for war crimes committed under international laws.


“For years, Putin he could do whatever he wanted to do. Or faced sanctions that were frankly laughable,” he said.

Who is the Russian-American businessman?


Konanykhin, 55, moved to the US in 1992 with his family, a former banker, now heads several technology companies.
His company’s website claims he established Russia’s largest bank by the age of 25.


Reports said Russia accused Konanykhin, 55 of embezzling money, which he had denied and was eventually granted political asylum.

Musings From Abroad

Swiss firm, ABB, gets $4.3 million fine over bribery case in South Africa

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Judicial authority in Switzerland has fined engineering and technology group ABB, the sum of 4 million Swiss francs ($4.3 million) in connection with a bribery case in South Africa.

According to the country’s Attorney General, the fine on ABB is for “not having taken all necessary and reasonable organisational provisions in order to prevent bribery payments to foreign officials in South Africa”.

The group was found guilty of improper payments and other compliance issues at the Kusile power station after a wide-scale investigation into state corruption concluded in June 2022.

Earlier in the week, ABB and South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) agreed that the company will pay reparations for its involvement in state corruption.

According to a statement by the NPA, the company agreed to pay 2.5 billion rands ($144.51 million) in punitive reparations to South Africa within 60 days from the first day of December.

The reparation is in addition to 1.6 billion rand ($92.48 million)the company paid back to South African state power utility Eskom in 2020.

The Central Europe country has been fingered in lots of corruption cases involving African countries.

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Musings From Abroad

United States: Appeal court rejects President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan

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President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel student loan debt has suffered a new setback as a federal appeals court on Wednesday refused to support it.

A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit in Wednesday’s brief order declined to put Pittman’s ruling on hold while the administration appealed his decision, but the court directed that the appeal be heard on an expedited basis.

The court declined to put on hold a Texas judge’s ruling that said President Biden’s move was unlawful.

President Biden had requested to pause a judge’s Nov. 10 order vacating the $400 billion student debt relief program in a lawsuit pursued by a conservative advocacy group.

President Joe Biden announced plans earlier this year to cancel $10,000 of student loan debt for borrowers who qualify and extend the federal student loan payment pause until the end of the year.

As of the fourth quarter of 2021, the average federal student loan debt balance in the United States was $37,787 while the total average balance (including private loan debt) may be as high as $40,780.

The US Department of Education had already approved requests from 16 million to about 26 million Americans that applied for student loan forgiveness.

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