UAE says Princess Latifa ‘improving’ and to return to public life ‘at the appropriate time’
The United Arab Emirates has said that Princess Latifa, who this week claimed in a video to have been imprisoned in a compound by her powerful father, is alive and that it hopes she will return to public life “at the appropriate time”. “In response to media reports regarding Sheikha Latifa, we want to thank those who have expressed concern for her wellbeing, despite the coverage which certainly is not reflective of the actual position,” the Emirati royal family said in a statement to the Telegraph. “Her family has confirmed that Her Highness is being cared for at home, supported by her family and medical professionals. She continues to improve and we are hopeful she will return to public life at the appropriate time.” It comes in response to the United Nations and Dominic Raab, Britain’s foreign secretary, asking for proof from the UAE that Princess Latifa was still alive following an extraordinary video clip published by the BBC where she claims she is being held against her will without medical or legal access. The Geneva-based Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said the case of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum was raised with the UAE’s mission to the UN on Thursday. “We raised our concerns about the situation in light of the disturbing video evidence that emerged this week,” Elizabeth Throssell, a spokeswoman for the UN rights office said. “We requested more information and clarification about Sheikha Latifa’s current situation.” “We did ask for proof of life,” she added.
Australian woman to lodge police complaint over alleged rape in parliament: media
A woman who says she was raped by a colleague in Australia’s parliament two years ago said in a statement given to Australian media on Friday that she would lodge a formal complaint with police to open an investigation into the incident. “Firstly, I want a comprehensive police investigation into what happened to me … and for my perpetrator to face the full force of the law,” Brittany Higgins said in the statement, reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corp. Police in the capital Canberra confirmed they had spoken to a woman in April 2019 over the alleged incident though she chose not to make a formal complaint at that time.
IBM Is Said to Consider Sale of Watson Health Amid Cloud Focus
(Bloomberg) — International Business Machines Corp. is considering a sale of its IBM Watson Health business, a person with knowledge of the matter said, a move that would help newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Arvind Krishna focus on faster-growing cloud computing operations.Deliberations are at a very early stage and the company may opt not to pursue a deal, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private talks. IBM is exploring a range of alternatives, from a sale to a private equity firm or a merger with a blank-check company, according to the Wall Street Journal, which earlier Thursday reported the possibility of a deal.IBM has been trying to boost its share of revenue from hybrid-cloud software and services, which lets customers store data in private servers and on multiple public clouds, including those of rivals Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. IBM bought RedHat for $34 billion in 2018 to boost this effort.As a testament to the company’s bet on the cloud, Krishna said in October that he would spin off IBM’s managed infrastructure services unit into a separate publicly traded company. The division, currently part of the Global Technology Services division, handles day-to-day infrastructure service operations, like managing client data centers and traditional information-technology support for installing, repairing and operating equipment. While the unit accounts for about a quarter of IBM’s sales and staff, it has seen business shrink as customers embraced the shift to the cloud, and many clients delayed infrastructure upgrades during the pandemic. The spinoff is scheduled to be completed by end of 2021.Offloading IBM Watson Health, which helps health care providers manage data, would further Krishna’s efforts to streamline the company. The unit generates about $1 billion of annual revenue and isn’t profitable, according to the Journal, which cited people it didn’t identify. An IBM representative declined to comment.IBM embarked on Watson with lofty goals, such as revolutionizing health care for cancer patients, but many of its ambitions haven’t panned out and some customers have complained that the products didn’t match the company’s hype. IBM has scaled back its Watson ambitions, including through job cuts last year.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Texas weather crisis deepens Chinese belief they’re ‘on right path’, says foreign ministry
China’s foreign ministry said on Friday that seeing the plight of Americans suffering in a severe winter storm that hit the state of Texas this week reinforced a belief among Chinese citizens that their country is “on the right path”. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the comments in response to a question from a state media journalist on calls by western countries for an investigation into alleged human rights abuses in its western Xinjiang region.
Australian woman to lodge police complaint over alleged rape in parliament
A woman who says she was raped by a colleague in Australia’s parliament two years ago said in a statement given to Australian media on Friday that she would lodge a formal complaint with police to open an investigation into the incident. “Firstly, I want a comprehensive police investigation into what happened to me … and for my perpetrator to face the full force of the law,” Brittany Higgins said in the statement, reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corp. Reuters has been unable to contact her. Police in the capital Canberra confirmed they had spoken to a woman in April 2019 over the alleged incident though she chose not to make a formal complaint at that time. Ms Higgins, who worked as a media advisor to then Defence Industry Minister Linda Reynolds, says she had not been encouraged to make a police complaint. Ms Reynolds, who is now defence minister, denies Ms Higgins was pressured against making an official complaint. “The prime minister has repeatedly told the parliament that I should be given ‘agency’ going forward,” Ms Higgins said in her statement. “I don’t believe that agency was provided to me over the past two years but I seize it now.”
Turkey hires U.S. lobbying firm to return to F-35 jet programme
Turkey has hired a Washington-based law firm to lobby for its readmission to the U.S. F-35 fighter jet programme after it was suspended over its purchase of Russian air defences, a contract filed with the U.S. Department of Justice showed. Ankara had ordered more than 100 stealth fighters and has been making parts for their production, but was removed from the programme in 2019 after it bought the Russian S-400 missile defence systems, which Washington says threaten the F-35s. It has now hired law firm Arnold & Porter for “strategic advice and outreach” to U.S. authorities, in a six-month contract worth $750,000 which started this month.
Trump reportedly turned down Nikki Haley’s request for a Mar-a-Lago meeting
Was it something she said? Yes, almost certainly. Nikki Haley, America’s United Nations ambassador under former President Donald Trump, reached out to Trump on Wednesday to request a face-to-face meeting at Mar-a-Lago — and he said no, Politico and The Hill reported Thursday evening. The presumptive predicate to Trump’s snub was Tim Alberta’s long profile of Haley in Politico Magazine, in which Haley said, among positive things, that Trump “let us down” and has “lost any sort of political viability he was going to have” so isn’t “going to be in the picture” political because “he’s fallen so far.” Up until the Jan. 6 Capitol siege, Haley had largely declined to criticize Trump since leaving his administration in 2018, and there’s widespread speculation she plans to run for president in 2024. “Haley tried to recover” from her criticism of Trump with a “damage-control op-ed” Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal, Politico notes, “but Trump, apparently, isn’t having it.” Of course he isn’t — “there is no halfway with Trump,” CNN’s Chris Cillizza argues. Haley’s key quote about Trump to Alberta, he said, encapsulates her 2024 campaign theme: “I think what we need to do is take the good that he built, leave the bad that he did, and get back to a place where we can be a good, valuable, effective party.” In other words, Cillizza paraphrases: “I’m the parts of Donald Trump you liked without any of the parts you didn’t like!” Trump wants you all-in or you’re out, he said, so unless Haley drops any criticism, she’s out with him and, presumably, the GOP base he controls. More stories from theweek.com5 scathingly funny cartoons about Mitch McConnell’s impeachment dodgeThe Texas blizzard nightmare is Republican governance in a nutshellRudy Giuliani’s ‘funny story’ about Rush Limbaugh, golf, and ‘panties’ was so bad, Steve Bannon cringed
Iran reacts coolly to U.S. talk offer, demands lifting of sanctions
Iran will “immediately reverse” actions in its nuclear programme once U.S. sanctions are lifted, its foreign minister said on Friday, reacting coolly to Washington’s initial offer to revive talks with Tehran aimed at restoring the 2015 nuclear deal. President Joe Biden’s administration said on Thursday it was ready to talk to Iran about both nations returning to the accord, which aimed to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons while lifting most international sanctions. Former President Donald Trump left the accord in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran.
Trevor Noah and Jimmy Kimmel spin Ted Cruz’s Cancun misadventure into jokes, mortification, travel ads
Half a million Texas households still had no power Thursday and “Texans have been lining up for clean water from public spigots, boiling their own, or even trying to melt snow,” Trevor Noah said on Thursday’s Daily Show. “But the saddest part is that these people are the lucky ones. Because it turns out one poor Texan had to travel 800 miles just to get heat, water, and electricity.” Noah’s first question about Sen. Ted Cruz’s ill-advised, very short vacation in Cancun is how he could be so stupid. “Look, I get that Ted Cruz is tired — the man deserves a break after trying so hard to overthrow the government — but now is not the time,” he said. “What’s even worse is that when he got caught, instead of owning up to it and apologizing, he acted like a total Ted Cruz,” Noah added. “Seriously, Ted Cruz blaming his daughters for this is just gross. Being a good father means putting them on a bus, not throwing them under one. Although to be fair, maybe Ted Cruz just doesn’t know what a good dad is — I mean, his dad killed JFK.” The Daily Show did turn Cruz’s Cancun misadventure into a fun travel ad. So did Jimmy Kimmel Live, with a “Ted Cruise” vacation package. But first, Kimmel recapped Cruz’s “Flyin’ Ted” scandal in all its inglorious detail. First, Cruz “loads his family onto a plane to get the hell out of town,” and because he’s been on TV so much, “everyone recognizes him even with his mask on, they post all these pictures of him, there’s so much backlash he has no choice but to immediately book a flight home,” he said. Since almost nobody bought Cruz’s first excuse for his early return, “Ted decided to kinda come clean,” saying he had second thoughts the moment he sat down on the plane. “Yes, yes, as soon as people started posting pictures of him on the plane, he looked up and knew he shouldn’t be on the plane, Kimmel said. “How did he think he was going to get away with this? You know your judgment is terrible when this haircut is only the third-worst decision you’ve made this month.” Kimmel interviewed a Ted Cruz blobfish puppet, showed a fake United Airlines ad, and ended up finding a kind of silver lining: “At least his vacation was ruined.” More stories from theweek.com5 scathingly funny cartoons about Mitch McConnell’s impeachment dodgeThe Texas blizzard nightmare is Republican governance in a nutshellRudy Giuliani’s ‘funny story’ about Rush Limbaugh, golf, and ‘panties’ was so bad, Steve Bannon cringed
Palmieri scores twice, Devils beat Bruins 3-2
Kyle Palmieri scored his first two goals of the season, one of them short-handed, to lead the Devils to a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night — New Jersey’s second straight victory since returning from a two-week COVID-19 pause. Pavel Zacha scored for the second consecutive game for the Devils, who had their first seven games in February postponed, with a total of 19 players added to the NHL’s COVID-19 list. Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 25 shots for New Jersey.