Graham Dunbar Associated Press Published 1:18 p.m. UTC Jun 12, 2018 Moscow — In a FIFA election where money could be key, Morocco tried to heap doubt on North American promises of multi-billion dollar 2026 World Cup profits on Monday. Moroccan jibes at projections from the United States-Canada-Mexico bid came when leaders of the rival campaigns met voters from five of FIFA’s six continental groups. “There is lots of uncertainty,” Morocco Football Federation president Fouzi Lekjaa said of the detail in North American pledges of $14.3 billion revenue for FIFA. “That doesn’t correspond either to historical facts or future extrapolation, it’s an exercise that goes beyond that,” Lekjaa said in French. Money will not be the only factor on the minds of up to 206 expected FIFA member federations who can vote on Wednesday in Moscow. Still, a FIFA-appointed panel assessing the two candidates already noted the “significantly … [Read more...] about Rival jibes at North American 2026 World Cup bid
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On May 13, 2012, Afsaneh Azadeh, an Iranian-American living in Dubai, touched down at Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran. Azadeh, who had returned to Iran to help her elderly mother convalesce from cataract surgery, tried to visit Tehran frequently, despite a punishing work schedule. At the time, she was employed as general manager of HeavyLift International, a private, United Arab Emirates-based cargo airline run by Farhad Azima, a politically connected Iranian-born American aviation magnate based in Kansas City, Missouri. Smart, loyal and ambitious, she had established herself as one of Azima’s key employees. Azadeh deplaned, exited customs and collected her bags. Suddenly, according to Azadeh, she was encircled by five agents of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), who informed her of her arrest on national security grounds. Her belongings were confiscated. She was handcuffed, blindfolded and pushed into the back seat of a car, where a female IRGC agent forced … [Read more...] about The Mysterious Tale of a Powerful American Businessman, Three Sanctioned Iranians and an Imprisonment in Tehran
Most likely, you have been to a UNESCO World Heritage site in the United States without knowing it. Remember that Griswoldian summer vacation to the Grand Canyon? The high school field trip to Independence Hall in Philadelphia? The college tour of the University of Virginia? Congratulations! That's three in your pocket. But don't stop now. You can collect all 23, intentionally or accidentally.For more than 40 years, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and its nearly 200 member states have been preserving, protecting and promoting the most valuable heritage places in the world. At last count, the organization has crowned 1,073 sites in more than 170 countries. Of those, 832 are cultural, 206 are natural and 35 are a mix of both categories. The chosen ones vary tremendously: The Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino in Mexico; the Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania; and the Engelsberg Ironworks in Sweden were all part of the class of 1993, for … [Read more...] about World-class heritage: 23 globally recognized sites are right here in the U.S.
By Francesco Guarascio and Stephen Grey VALLETTA, Malta (Reuters) – Last April, a Maltese journalist published stories saying a private bank on her island was serving high-ranking customers in Azerbaijan, and alleging it was processing corrupt payments. Six months later the journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, was murdered. Many of her claims, including the one about corrupt payments, remain unproven. There is also nothing to link her death to the reports she wrote about the bank or its staff. But one of her key findings has held up: The bank, called Pilatus Bank, did depend for much of its business on the Azeri elite. Two sources briefed in detail on the bank’s transactions told Reuters that by 2016 more than 50 accounts at Pilatus, holding the majority of the bank’s more than 250 million euros (£218 million) of deposits, were operated for the ultimate benefit of Azeris with close ties to Azerbaijan’s leadership. The biggest clients were companies … [Read more...] about Malta had concerns about bank with Azeri clients, kept it open