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Billionaire Donors Led by Soros, Simons Favor Clinton Over Trump

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Hillary gets the vote from America’s richest citizens. Or at least she’s getting their cash.

Former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has collected $21.1 million for her campaign and its supporting political action committees from 17 U.S. donors on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Republican Donald Trump has received $1.02 million from 12 members of the group.

While the role the wealthiest play in American politics has come under increased scrutiny with growing attention to income inequality fueling the rise of populist candidates, contributions from U.S. billionaires on the Bloomberg index amount to 3 percent of the $708 million raised by the two candidates, as of the latest Federal Election Commission filings.

Hedge fund billionaire George Soros is the biggest spender among donors on the index, giving almost $11.9 million to Clinton’s cause. A Hungarian immigrant to the U.S., Soros is the 17th-richest person in the country with $24.7 billion, according to the index. The co-founder of hedge fund Renaissance Technologies — and former NSA codebreaker — James Simons, is the second-biggest spender, giving $7 million to Clinton.

“I’m a lifelong Democrat and I think very highly of Hillary Clinton,” Simons said.

Trump is finding GOP-supporting billionaires to be far more frugal, at least to date. His top publicly disclosed donor, American Homes 4 Rent co-founder Bradley Wayne Hughes, Sr., has given $449,000. His billionaire daughter, Tamara Hughes Gustavson, the company’s largest individual shareholder, has given Trump $25,000.

“I think this election will determine the course of this country for a long time into the future,” said Thomas Peterffy, a Trump donor, Hungarian immigrant and multi-billionaire from founding electronic brokerage Interactive Brokers Group Inc. “If we are going to continue on our current progressive course by appointing liberal judges and piling on more regulations and not simplifying the tax code, it will be very difficult to reverse at a later date. We are on a slippery slope sliding towards socialism.”

Peterffy said his only political donation this cycle has been $100,000 to a Trump group. The billionaire added he is working on his own commercials in support of Republican candidates. New York financier John Paulson, the country’s 54th-richest person with $8.1 billion, gave $5,400 to support Trump. His spokesman Armel Leslie said he gave $250,000 in June, but that gift is not yet reported in filings. Because of varying FEC disclosure deadlines and possible agency delays in posting filings, contributions of some donors may be undercounted.

Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the 15th-richest American with $29.2 billion, and Home Depot Inc. co-founder Bernard Marcus, ranked 77th with $6.2 billion, each penned op-eds endorsing Trump in the spring. Marcus committed $3 million to Trump in May, according to a July story in Politico that cited an unidentified source, and Adelson is reportedly still considering putting $5 million behind Trump.

There are 40 billionaires on the index who gave to other Republican presidential contenders in the party’s primary and haven’t sent money to Trump. Longtime Republican donors David and Charles Koch, the fifth- and sixth-richest Americans on the index, have declined to support the New York real estate billionaire and are instead funding other conservative candidates. Both Bernie Sanders supporters on the index — David Geffen and James Cox Chambers — have also given to Clinton, according to the data.

All of the billionaire donors were contacted for comment and most didn’t respond or declined to comment. Representatives for Geffen, Soros and Dustin Moskovitz confirmed their donation amounts and declined to comment further.

“Mr. Hamm has given more” to Trump than FEC disclosures to date show, Kristin Thomas, a spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. She declined to specify Hamm’s contribution amount.

The survey looks at FEC disclosures through Sept. 20 and includes donations made to the candidates, joint fundraising committees and super-PACs since the start of 2015. The data exclude money given to national parties, PACs not specifically aligned with the candidates, and money given to other down-ticket candidates and causes. The FEC information doesn’t include donations made to the campaigns after the end of August. Some groups file disclosures quarterly, so information is included only through the end of June.

The analysis also excludes billionaire donors who are not on the Bloomberg index, which ranks the world’s 400 richest people. Thomas Barrack, Jay Pritzker and Haim Saban have given millions of dollars to the campaigns. Many of the billionaires included in the analysis could also be giving to nonprofit groups that have no obligation to disclose who funds them. Renaissance Technologies co-founder Robert Mercer has set up a pro-Trump group and seeded it with $2 million, while this month Joseph Ricketts revealed plans to support Trump primarily through similar vehicles.

Facebook billionaire Moskovitz and his wife, Cari Tuna, have pledged $20 million to Democratic groups, including the Hillary Victory Fund and progressive activist group MoveOn.org. New York grocery magnate John Catsimatidis has given to both Trump and Clinton.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

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African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

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China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

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China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.

The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.

Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.

Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.

Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.

Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.

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