Brazilian President Michel Temer gave his blessing to an attempt to pay a potential witness to remain silent in the nation’s biggest-ever graft probe, according to plea bargain testimony by a powerful businessman, newspaper O Globo reported on Wednesday.
Temer’s office on Wednesday acknowledged that the president had met in March with the businessman, JBS SA chairman Joesley Batista, but denied any part in alleged efforts to keep jailed former House speaker Eduardo Cunha from testifying.
Leading lawmakers and a third of Temer’s Cabinet have already been caught up in an investigation of systematic bribery in return for political favors and contracts with state-run enterprises.
Scattered protests sprang up in front of the presidential palace and along Sao Paulo’s main avenue as opposition lawmakers and even a high-profile ally called for Temer to step down.
“Given the gravity of the situation and the responsibility to keep Brazil from plunging into the imponderable, the only option is for President Michel Temer to resign,” said Senator Ronaldo Caiado, leader of the government-allied Democratas party in the Senate.
Batista used a hidden device to record an alleged discussion with Temer about hush money the executive was paying to Cunha, the report said.
It did not say what Cunha was asked to keep quiet about.
When Batista told Temer he was paying Cunha to remain silent, the president was recorded saying: “You need to keep that up, OK?” according to the newspaper.
Dignitaries from 47 countries yesterday congratulated President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on the commencement of her second term and highlighted Taiwan’s achievements in democracy and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent his congratulations a day earlier. As of noon yesterday, 263 high-ranking officials from 47 countries and global organizations had congratulated Tsai via statements, letters, social media posts or recorded footage, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, while releasing a collection of footage sent by selected dignitaries. The governments of Taiwan’s 15 diplomatic allies sent their congratulations, as did the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy,
REASSURING NUMBERS: Taiwan’s test capacity ranks sixth or seventh among 91 nations, and is not low compared with other nations, Chen Shih-chung said The quarantine period for foreigners visiting Taiwan for business would vary based on the COVID-19 situation of the nation or territory that they are coming from, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported the 13th consecutive day of no new cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told reporters at the center’s daily briefing that modified rules covering foreign business visitors had been completed and were ready for him to sign. The complete details of the new rules would be released later this week, he said. Foreigners on long business trips would have
The Czech Republic’s Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution that supports a possible visit by the senate president to Taiwan. The resolution, initiated by Czech Senator Pavel Fischer, was passed with 50 votes in favor, one against and one abstention. The resolution blasts Beijing for having its Prague embassy send a letter to former Czech Senate president Jaroslav Kubera earlier this year threatening repercussions for Czech businesses if he visited Taiwan. The resolution shows the Senate’s support for a visit to Taiwan by Senate President Milos Vystrcil, accompanied by Czech business representatives, as the visit would be in the diplomatic long-term interests
The government and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday both spoke out against plans by the Chinese government to enact a national security law in Hong Kong. Chinese officials yesterday confirmed that the National People’s Congress would review a bill “on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.” The Presidential Office said that the announcement was evidence that the “one country, two systems” framework fundamentally clashes with democratic freedoms. The de-escalation of tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing relies on the Chinese government’s willingness to respond to Hong Kongers’ demands,