The world opened its wallet for former US president Bill Clinton.
Governments, corporations and billionaires with their own interests in US foreign policy gave the former president’s charity millions of dollars, the records he released on Thursday show.
The records were released to lay bare any financial entanglements that could affect Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, as the next secretary of state.
Saudi Arabia, Norway and other foreign governments gave at least US$46 million, and donors with ties to India delivered millions more.
Corporate donors included the Blackwater security firm, at risk of losing its lucrative government contract to protect US diplomats in Iraq, and Yahoo, involved in disputes over surrendering Internet information to Chinese authorities that led to the imprisonment of dissidents there.
Other high-profile donors include celebrities Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg, Paul Newman, Carly Simon and Chevy Chase, while sports figures included New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and Formula One driver Michael Schumacher.
The records account for at least US$492 million in contributions to the William J. Clinton Foundation, a nonprofit created by the former president to finance his library in Little Rock, Arkansas, and charitable efforts in dozens of countries to reduce poverty and treat AIDS.
President-elect Barack Obama made Hillary Clinton’s nomination as secretary of state contingent on her husband revealing the foundation’s contributors, to address questions about potential conflicts of interest.
The foundation disclosed the names of its 205,000 donors on its Web site on Thursday, ending a decade of resistance to identifying them. It released only the names of donors and the range of their contributions. It did not identify each contributor’s occupation, employer or nationality or provide any other details. The foundation said separately on Thursday that fewer than 3,000 of its donors were foreigners but did not identify which ones.
It was not immediately clear whether the disclosures will raise any serious challenge to Hillary Clinton’s nomination to be secretary of state.
Shortly after the documents were released, Hillary Clinton made another appearance at the State Department for meetings with transition aides, officials said. It was the latest of several trips to the building for the former first lady since she was nominated by Obama.
After negotiations with Obama’s transition team, Bill Clinton promised to reveal the contributors, submit future foundation activities and paid speeches to an ethics review, step away from the day-to-day operation of his annual charitable conference and inform the State Department about new sources of income and speeches.
Saudi Arabia gave US$10 million to US$25 million to the foundation. AUSAID, the Australian government’s overseas aid program, and COPRESIDA-Secretariado Tecnico, a Dominican Republic government agency formed to fight AIDS, each gave US$10 million to US$25 million.
Norway gave US$5 million to US$10 million. Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei and Oman each gave US$1 million to US$5 million. Jamaica and Italy’s Ministry for Environment and Territory gave US$50,000 to US$100,000 each. Tenerife donated US$25,000 to US$50,000. The Dutch national lottery gave US$5 million to US$10 million.
‘OBVIOUS DIFFERENCE’: The Wuhan Institute of Virology has been researching bat coronaviruses to trace the SARS pathogen, which is 80 percent similar to SARS-CoV-2 The Chinese virology institute in the city where COVID-19 first emerged has three live strains of bat coronavirus on-site, but none match the new contagion wreaking havoc around the world, its director has said. Scientists think COVID-19 — which first emerged in Wuhan and has killed more than 340,000 people worldwide — originated in bats and could have been transmitted to people via another mammal. However, the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology told state broadcaster China Global Television Network that claims made by US President Donald Trump and others that the novel coronavirus could have escaped from the facility were
SPACE RACE: The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp mission aims to land a robotic rover and put a probe into orbit around the planet China is targeting a July launch for its ambitious Mars mission, which includes landing a remote-controlled robot on the surface of the Red Planet, the company in charge of the project has said. Beijing has invested billions of dollars in its space program in an effort to catch up with its rival, the US, and affirm its status as a major world power. The Mars mission is among a number of new space projects China is pursuing, including putting Chinese astronauts on the moon and having a space station by 2022. Beijing had been planning the Mars mission for some time this year,
India has moved additional troops along its northern border as it prepares for an extended conflict with China, after several rounds of talks failed to ease tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals. China has already placed about 5,000 soldiers and armored vehicles within its side of the disputed border in the Ladakh region, an Indian government official said, asking not to be identified, citing rules. India is adding a similar number of troops as well as artillery guns along the border to fend off the continuing incursions by the Chinese army, the official said. The standoff began on May 5, when troops clashed
China is poised to enshrine individuals’ rights to privacy and personal data for the first time, a symbolic first step as more of the country of 1.4 billion people becomes digitized — and more vulnerable to leaks and hacks. The legislation is part of China’s first civil code, a sweeping package of laws that is being deliberated during the annual meeting of China’s National People’s Congress, which began on Friday after a delay of more than two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent draft, an individual has a right to privacy and to have their personal information protected. Data