Whether it is dodging the issue of weapons of mass destruction or evading the imbroglio over the recount in Florida, the two most prominent scions of the Bush dynasty have a knack for braving doubts about their credibility. \nBut while US president George Bush and his brother Jeb, the Florida governor, have made it through some tough questioning, the president's younger brother, Neil, may not be so lucky. \nIn a court deposition, taken in March and released this week, Neil claims that attractive women came to his hotel door looking for sex while he was on business trips in Hong Kong and Thailand. And as a big-hearted Texan, Neil, the third of five Bush children, merely did as he was asked. \n"You have to admit it's pretty remarkable for a man to go to a hotel room door and open it and have sex with her," said his ex-wife's lawyer, Marshall Davis Brown. \n"It was very unusual," Bush replied. He insists he didn't know them, did not see them afterwards and didn't pay them. \n"Were they prostitutes?" he was asked. \n"I don't know," he said. \nBush, 48, divorced his wife, Sharon, in April after 23 years of marriage. The split came after a bitter dispute with another couple, Maria and Robert Andrews, whom they met several years earlier. \nSharon, who is the subject of a US$850,000 defamation suit after she alleged that Bush was the father of the Andrews' two-year-old son, has called on Neil Bush and Andrews to take paternity tests. Bush and Maria Andrews are now a couple. \nOn Friday last week a Texas judge ordered Sharon Bush to allow one of their daughters, Ashley, 14, to accompany Neil and Maria to France for Thanksgiving. \n"They don't even celebrate Thanksgiving in France," said a friend of Sharon's. \nThe deposition also shed light on Bush's business dealings and ability to land fat contracts with little expertise. \nThe hotel trysts took place while Bush was working as a consultant for Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp, which is backed by the son of former Chinese leader, Jiang Zemin, for which he was paid US$2 million in stock options over five years. \nIt is not the first time that he has been involved in corporate controversy. In the late 1980s he was director of Denver-based Silverado Savings & Loan, which collapsed at a cost to taxpayers of US$1 billion. At the time he denied any wrongdoing but was sanctioned by the federal government for his part in the failure. \nDuring the deposition Brown asked: "Now, you have absolutely no education background in semiconductors, do you Mr Bush?" \n"That's correct," Bush said. \nBrown also questioned him about work for Crest Investment Corp, where he was paid US$5,000 a month for work that totalled no more than four hours a week. Bush said he provided Crest with "miscellaneous consulting services." \n"Such as?" asked Brown. \n"Answering phone calls when the other co-chairman called and asked for advice," Bush said.
‘SPIKES’: Rudy Giuliani at a hearing asked about voting data in Pennsylvania, with a witness saying that 570,000 votes they selected were for Biden and 3,200 for Trump US president-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday said that Americans “won’t stand” for attempts to derail the US election outcome, as US President Donald Trump called for results to be overturned. Biden said in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, that Americans “have full and fair and free elections, and then we honor the results.” “The people of this nation and the laws of the land won’t stand for anything else,” he said. However, Trump is challenging the results, with lawsuits under way in several states. “We have to turn the election over,” he told a hearing in Pennsylvania. “This election was rigged.” “All we need is
Hundreds of flights at one of China’s busiest airports were canceled yesterday as Shanghai raced to bring a local COVID-19 outbreak under control. Health officials have tested thousands of staff at Pudong International Airport since a small cluster of COVID-19 cases in the city was linked to several cargo handlers. China — where the virus first emerged late last year — has largely brought the COVID-19 pandemic under control through travel restrictions and lockdowns, but it is now battling a number of domestic outbreaks in different cities. Shanghai has reported seven local infections linked to the airport this month, with most cases found
‘OCEAN OF STORMS’: The Chang’e 5 seeks to collect about 5kg of samples from a previously unvisited area in a massive lava plain, known as Oceanus Procellarum China plans to launch an uncrewed spacecraft to the moon this week to bring back lunar rocks in the first attempt by any nation to retrieve samples from Earth’s natural satellite since the 1970s. The Chang’e 5 probe, named after the ancient Chinese goddess of the moon, would seek to collect material that could help scientists understand the moon’s origins and formation. The mission would test China’s ability to remotely acquire samples from space, ahead of more complex missions. If successful, the mission will make China only the third country to have retrieved lunar samples, following the US and the Soviet Union decades
Sudan on Saturday boycotted talks between Nile Valley countries over Ethiopia’s controversial mega-dam, calling on the African Union to play a greater role in pushing forward negotiations that have stalled for years. It was the first time that Sudan refused to attend talks with Ethiopia and its northern neighbor Egypt, which has expressed for years its fears that the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile will dramatically threaten water supplies downstream. Sudanese Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Yasser Abbas said in a statement that the current approach to reaching a tripartite agreement on the filling and operation of Ethiopia’s dam