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SoftBank CEO Son Not To Speak At Saudi Conference, Could Still Attend: WSJ

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SoftBank CEO Son Not To Speak At Saudi Conference, Could Still Attend: WSJ

SoftBank Group Corp Chief Executive Masayoshi Son has canceled a speaking engagement at this week’s Saudi Arabia investment conference but could still attend, the Wall Street Journal said on Tuesday, citing a conference representative.

The cancellation comes as pressure mounts on Riyadh over the disappearance and death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, with many high-profile company executives pulling out altogether.

Son’s absence from the stage would be in marked contrast to last year’s inaugural event, where the 61-year-old Japanese entrepreneur was a notable presence leading credence to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s efforts to bring foreign investment into the Gulf kingdom.

A SoftBank spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nearly half of the more than $93 billion raised last year to create SoftBank’s Vision Fund came from Saudi Arabia, giving Son the firepower to make big bets in late-stage startups such as Uber Technologies Inc and shared office space provider WeWork Cos.

SoftBank has repeatedly declined to comment on whether SoftBank management including Son would attend, even as executives from portfolio companies Uber and Improbable dropped out.

Son’s mix of visionary rhetoric and hard-headed business decisions has given him an oversized presence in the tech world.

However alarm over Saudi’s involvement in the disappearance of Khashoggi has underlined his investment juggernaut’s reliance on backers such as the kingdom at a time of rising political tensions.

Arm Holdings CEO Simon Segars has pulled out of the event, a source told Reuters on Monday. SoftBank acquired the chip designer in 2016.

Bloomberg reported on Monday that SoftBank Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure would also not attend.

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Nigerian News

Nigeria Remains Third Most Terrorized Country In The World

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Nigeria Remains Third Most Terrorized Country In The World

Nigeria still holds the unenviable position as the third most terrorized country in the world.

The 2018 global terrorism index, released on Wednesday, says  this is as a result of the spate of terrorism in Nigeria.  It also points to what it called the “increase in violence involving Fulani extremists”.  The report says this is happening as deaths committed by Boko Haram are falling..

Nigeria is ranked only below Iraq and Afghanistan, both in first and second positions.

This year alone, hundreds of Nigerians have been killed in attacks by suspected herdsmen as well as clashes between the herders and farmers/communities.

States worst hit in the attacks are Plateau, Benue, Zamfara, Taraba and others.

The report also noted that, compared to the peak of “terrorist deaths” in 2014, “the largest falls in the number of deaths occurred in Iraq, Nigeria, and Pakistan.

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World News

Migrants Breech U.S.-Mexico Border

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Migrants Breech U.S.-Mexico Border

Central American migrants stuck at the U.S.–Mexico border breached the border fence on Monday, even though they knew they could be detained by U.S. authorities. They hoped the illegal entry would allow them to apply for asylum.

Since mid-October, thousands of Central Americans, mostly from Honduras, have traveled north through Mexico in a caravan, some walking much of the long distance.

U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to stop the migrants, sending troops to reinforce the border and attempting a procedural change to require asylum-seekers to remain in mexico while their cases are heard. So far, the courts have denied those attempts.

Applying for asylum at a U.S. land border can take months, so if migrants enter illegally and present themselves to authorities,their cases could be heard more quickly.

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World News

Analyst Expects Unsuccessful Yemen Peace Meeting

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Analyst Expects Unsuccessful Yemen Peace Meeting

A political analyst says prospects for returning to a unified Yemen remain dim despite members from both warring parties meeting to discuss peace in Stockholm, Sweden.

Supported by the United Nations, representatives of the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels will meet for political consultations later this week, although no exact date has been announced for the start of the negotiations that would be the first peace talks since 2016.

Mokhtar Yafie, a political analyst in Aden says he does not expect much success from the Stockholm peace meeting.

Yafie added that the internal divisions within the Yemeni government and the Houthi would also complicate the negotiation.

Although some residents in Yemen hold little hopes for the peace talks, there are people having high expectations for them.

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