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Not Happening: Twitter CEO debunks stories of Elon Musk joining company board

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Stories of billionaire Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk being on the board of Twitter after purchasing 73.5 million shares or 9.2 percent of the company’s common stock to become its largest shareholder, has been debunked by the social media company CEO Parag Agrawal.

In a statement on Sunday, Agrawal said though Musk is the firm’s biggest shareholder, he has decided not to join its board.

“Elon has decided not to join our board. Elon’s appointment to the board was to become officially effective 4/9, but Elon shared that same morning he will no longer be joining the board. I believe this is for the best.

“Elon is our biggest shareholder and we will remain open to his input,” Agrawal said.

The statement was a reversal of a previous statement barely a week ago, by the Twitter CEO who had announced that the billionaire tech entrepreneur had been appointed to join the Twitter board.

Agrawal had announced on Tuesday that Musk would be joining the board, describing him as “a passionate believer and intense critic of the service which is exactly what we need”.

Musk himself had tweeted that he was “Looking forward to working with Parag & Twitter board to make significant improvements to Twitter in coming months!”

But that is no longer happening as Musk has pulled out of joining the board without preferring any reason.

In less than two weeks since his purchase of the Twitter shares, Musk who is known for his outspoken nature, has polarised opinions, with the earlier announcement that he was joining the board sparking misgiving among some Twitter employees.

The SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO’s decision not to join the Twitter board came after he tweeted on Saturday asking whether the social media network was “dying” and to call out users such as singer Justin Bieber, who are highly followed but rarely post in the platform.

“Most of these ‘top’ accounts tweet rarely and post very little content. Is Twitter dying?” Musk wrote, captioning a list of the 10 profiles with the most followers which includes himself at number eight, with 81 million followers.

Musings From Abroad

US sanctions companies financing warring parties in Sudan

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The United States has announced sanctions on companies identified to be contributing to the ongoing armed clashes in Sudan.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated that “through sanctions, we are cutting off key financial flows to both the Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese Armed Forces, depriving them of resources needed to pay soldiers, rearm, resupply, and wage war in Sudan.”

The move is believed to be an attempt to step up pressure on the army and a rival paramilitary force to bring an end to the fighting as ceasefire talks have mostly failed translate to an actual ceasefire.

The conflict in the country has been between the army under General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of Sudan’s transitional government’s Sovereign Council, and army troops loyal to General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the council’s deputy leader who controls the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

In a statement, the United States Treasury Department said two companies had been identified to be affiliated with Sudan’s army and two companies affiliated with the rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), accusing them of generating revenue from the conflict and contributing to the fighting.

Some of the targeted companies are Algunade, which has in the past bypassed central bank controls to export tens of millions of dollars of gold to Dubai and is said to be a Sudanese holding company controlled by RSF Commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo and his brother; Tradive General Trading L.L.C., a front company owned by RSF Major Algoney Hamdan Dagalo, another brother; Sudan’s largest defense enterprise, Defense Industries System; and arms company, Sudan Master Technology.

Over 1,000 civilians have been killed in the war, which began on April 15, and more than 1.4 million people have been internally displaced, with approximately 350,000 fleeing into neighbouring countries.

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Musings From Abroad

BRICS Foreign Ministers call for ‘rebalancing’ of global order 

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Foreign ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa currently meeting in Cape Town ahead of the BRICS Summit have called for a “rebalancing” of the global order.

India’s Foreign Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said during opening remarks, “Our gathering must send out a strong message that the world is multipolar, that it is rebalancing and that old ways cannot address new situations.”

A video of Russian Foreign Affairs Minister, Sergey Lavrov at the conference also surfaced yesterday, while speaking about the changes in the international system which makes the pursuit of national interest attainable for all in the system.

“A more just, polycentric international order is taking shape,” Lavrov said.

The host, South Africa, has been under pressure to arrest Russian President, Vladimir Putin during an expected visit to the summit in August following a ruling by the International Criminal Court for his arrest.

United States ambassador, Reuben Brigety last month also accused South Africa of supplying Russia with arms in December in the ongoing Russia/Ukraine war.

Meanwhile, Pretoria has maintained that it is neutral over the war, but is accused by critics of tilting towards the Kremlin, and has long advocated for BRICS to act as a counterbalance to a Western-dominated international order.

“Our vision of BRICS is for our partnership to provide global leadership in a world fractured by competition, geopolitical tension, inequality, and deteriorating global security,” South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor told the meeting.

“Our discussions today will therefore focus on opportunities… strengthening and transforming global governance systems”.

Meanwhile, South African opposition parties are divided over the country’s continued relations with Russia and the supposed welcoming gesture ahead of Putin’s visit. While Democratic Alliance (DA) disagrees with the stance and has initiated a suit against it, the EFF movement has insisted that “Putin is welcomed.

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