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Verdict anticipated in trial of former IAAF head Lamine Diack

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A Paris courtroom will ship its verdict within the corruption trial of former worldwide monitor and subject federation president Lamine Diack

PARIS — A Paris courtroom will ship its verdict Wednesday within the corruption trial of Lamine Diack, a former president of the worldwide monitor and subject federation who oversaw the glory years of Usain Bolt and, in line with prosecutors, took tens of millions of {dollars} for himself, alongside along with his son.

At Diack’s trial in June, prosecutors requested a four-year jail time period and a high quality of 500,000 euros ($595,000). The 87-year-old former IAAF president was tried on corruption, cash laundering and breach of belief prices.

The decision can even cowl others who confronted prices on the six-day listening to, together with his son, Papa Massata Diack. The previous IAAF advertising and marketing advisor lives in Senegal and was tried in his absence, additionally on corruption, cash laundering and breach of belief prices.

Forward of the decision, Papa Massata Diack this week referred to as the fees “the largest lie within the historical past of world sport.” He mentioned he earned $10 million from his IAAF consultancy work however all legally. He mentioned he skipped the trial as a result of “to undergo French justice is to place myself on the disposal of my enemies.” Senegal refused to extradite him.

The trial in June accused Diack of turning monitor’s governing physique right into a hotbed of malfeasance. Diack led the federation from 1999-2015, a time that included the thrilling period of Bolt.

Prosecutors mentioned the Diacks siphoned off income for themselves and lined financial institution accounts with hush-money allegedly extorted from athletes who coughed up six-figure sums to keep away from being sanctioned for doping. The IAAF’s status as a frontrunner in preventing doping was trashed by the crooked system, dubbed “full safety,” of athletes paying to maintain competing.

With the 2012 London Olympics looming, Diack feared that punishing a big group of athletes collectively for doping may damage negotiations with a Russian sponsor, the courtroom was informed. Diack acknowledged he intervened to quietly decelerate the sanctioning course of, however denied data of payoffs. Prosecutors mentioned the Diacks squeezed athletes for 3.45 million euros ($four million).

Lamine Diack’s place and longevity made him an necessary determine in Olympic sports activities. He jetted around the globe and rubbed shoulders with VIPs. His affect additionally opened doorways for his son.

Papa Massata Diack had costly tastes: Investigators discovered that he purchased watches and different luxurious items price 1.7 million euros ($2 million) from a retailer off the Champs-Elysees in Paris. Prosecutors have sought a five-year jail sentence for the youthful Diack.

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Extra AP sports activities: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities



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Harm forces Madonna to cancel Paris live performance

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Pop singer Madonna has cancelled a Sunday evening live performance in Paris due to an harm, the live performance corridor the place she was resulting from carry out introduced.

“We remorse to tell you that tonight’s Madame X live performance on the Grand Rex is cancelled because of ongoing accidents,” mentioned a message on the venue’s web site.

The Paris every day Le Parisien reported that Madonna had suffered torn ligaments in a knee and had struggled throughout Thursday’s live performance earlier than bursting into tears.

Learn additionally: Do not cry for me Portugal: Injured Madonna cancels second present in Lisbon

The Grand Rex didn’t say whether or not the 61-year-old star would have the ability to carry out her different exhibits booked there.

Madonna arrived within the French capital on February 22 and was scheduled to carry out on the Grand Rex till March 11.

The tour began in New York in September, and after dates in america moved to Europe with dates in Lisbon and London. Paris is the final cease on the tour.

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Style icon Gaultier fingers his scissors to Sacai’s Abe

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Legendary French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier might have hung up his scissors, however his vogue home will reside on beneath an ever-changing carousel of visitor designers, he stated Wednesday.

The flamboyant creator — who bowed out final month after half a century on the prime of the style tree with a musical spectacular in Paris — stated a visitor designer might be given the keys to his high fashion studio each season.

“I’ve the pleasure to announce the brand new idea for my Haute Couture,” 67-year-old Gaultier tweeted.

“Every season, I’ll invite a designer to interpret the codes of the Home and I’m doubly happy that Chitose Abe of Sacai would be the first one.”

The 2 have been photographed collectively on the roof of Gaultier’s Paris headquarters within the well-known blue overalls he and his collaborators put on.

Abe, 48, is without doubt one of the most admired Japanese designers, counting Vogue supremo Anna Wintour and the doyenne of vogue critics, Suzi Menkes, amongst her followers.

She was additionally one of many very uncommon rivals that the late Karl Lagerfeld showered reward upon, calling her “some of the attention-grabbing designers working in the present day.”

Abe’s genius is in her distinctive minimize and in recutting and splicing clothes collectively, “making a sum that’s better than its components”.

She skilled with Rei Kawakubo at Comme des Garcons in Tokyo and labored with Junya Watanabe earlier than placing out on her personal 20 years in the past.

The Jean Paul Gaultier label exhibits a brand new assortment twice a yr throughout Paris high fashion week, the elite membership that’s considered the creme de la creme of vogue.

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Giambattista Valli celebrates Parisian perspective in catwalk present

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Giambattista Valli paid homage to the innate model and apparently easy stylish of the emblematic Parisian girl at his vogue present within the French capital on Monday, because the Italian designer celebrated his 15 years within the enterprise.

Valli, who lives within the metropolis, mentioned he was impressed by every single day seems to be round him. He additionally turned to references such because the black and white photos of 20th century photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson and the late French actress often called Arletty.

The gathering included little black attire, black and white fits, pink chiffon nightgown-style attire adorned with flowers and ostrich feathers – staples of “la Parisienne’s” wardrobe.

“I wished to share the imaginative and prescient of the woman that I’ve seen these final 20 years that I have been residing in Paris,” Valli informed Reuters after the present. “This boyish perspective, impartial, distinctive and on the similar time very seductive, very free.”

“La Parisienne can exit with out make-up, with out tights, sporting her boyfriend’s loafers – she’s very free,” Valli added saying each look within the present was meant to embody totally different Parisian personalities.

Italian mannequin Bianca Brandolini, American designer Rick Owens and François-Henri Pinault, head of the Kering conglomerate in addition to the Artemis group that owns the Valli model, have been among the many visitors on the Paris ornamental arts museum.

Learn additionally: Valentino goes again to black at Paris Style Week

French mannequin Ines de la Fressange, who lengthy walked the runway for Chanel and is named a reference for French model, mentioned slouchy night trousers, embroidered with flowers motifs and sequins, have been amongst her favourite seems to be.

“It is elegant, there is a hyperlink to the previous that I actually like,” she mentioned of the present.

Born in Rome 53 years in the past, Giambattista Valli labored for Ungaro from 1998 to 2004, then launched his personal label in 2005.

Final autumn, he grew to become one of many newest designers to create a group in collaboration with excessive road chain H&M, which featured takes on the puffy, tulle attire which have made him a pink carpet hit.

Paris Style Week, the final leg of the month-long catwalk season which started in New York earlier than shifting to London and Milan, ends on Tuesday.

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U.S. raises tariffs on European aircraft in ongoing dispute over subsidies

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government on Friday said it would increase tariffs on aircraft imported from the European Union to 15% from 10%, ratcheting up pressure on Brussels in a nearly 16-year transatlantic dispute over aircraft subsidies.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Airbus is pictured at the aircraft builder’s headquarters of Airbus in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office said it remained open to reaching a negotiated settlement with the EU on the issue, but could revise its actions if the EU imposed tariffs of its own in connection with a pair of disputes over the subsidies.

In a statement released late on Friday, USTR said it would make minor modifications to 25% tariffs imposed on cheese, wine and other non-aircraft products from the EU, including dropping prune juice from the list. It did not raise the tariff rates on those product, as it had suggested it might do in October.

The higher aircraft tariff will take effect March 18.

The U.S. action comes as U.S. President Donald Trump, emboldened by agreement on a Phase 1 trade deal with China, has trained his sights on restructuring the more than $1 trillion U.S.-EU trade relationship, raising the specter of another major trade war as the global economy slows.

EU officials have said they want to negotiate with Washington but will not be bullied into submission.

European planemaker Airbus (AIR.PA) said the U.S. move would hit U.S. airlines already facing a shortage of aircraft and complicate efforts to reach a negotiated settlement with the European Union in the longstanding dispute.

Airbus said it would continue discussions with U.S. customers to “mitigate effects of tariffs insofar as possible” and hoped USTR would change its position, particularly given the threat of EU tariffs on U.S. products in its own case before the World Trade Organization.

“USTR’s decision ignores the many submissions made by U.S. airlines, highlighting the fact that they – and the U.S. flying public – ultimately have to pay these tariffs,” the company said in a statement.

EU officials had no immediate comment on Friday’s news.

The USTR had announced in December that it could increase tariff rates up to 100% and subject additional EU products to tariffs, following a decision by the WTO that EU launch aid to Airbus continued to harm the U.S. aerospace industry.

The WTO in October had awarded Washington the right to impose tariffs on $7.5 billion of annual EU imports in its case against Airbus. Washington then slapped 10% tariffs on most European-made Airbus jets and 25% duties on products ranging from cheese to olives and single-malt whisky, from Oct. 18.

Boeing, in a statement, said it was working with U.S. federal and state officials to “promptly bring the United States into full compliance” with WTO rulings.

“The EU and Airbus could end these tariffs by finally complying with their legal obligations, ending these illegal subsidies, and addressing their ongoing harm. We hope they will,” the company said in a statement.

The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) said it remains strongly opposed to tariffs on European-origin wine and spirits, and urged U.S. and EU trade officials to negotiate an end to a trade dispute that was lowering revenues.

A study commissioned by the group estimated that the 25% tariffs implemented in October could result in the loss of nearly 36,000 jobs in the beverage alcohol industry.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States said tit-for-tat tariffs on alcoholic beverages were hurting companies and consumers on both sides of the Atlantic.

It said new U.S. government data showed the U.S. spirit industry’s exports to the EU, its largest export market, fell 27% in 2019 from a year earlier, and global exports of American whiskey declined 16% in the same period.

“We urge both sides to resolve these disputes so that consumers can enjoy #ToastsNotTariffs,” the group said.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Makini Brice; Editing by Daniel Wallis

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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AirAsia CEO Fernandes and chairman step aside as Airbus bribery allegations probed

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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – AirAsia Group (AIRA.KL) CEO Tony Fernandes and Chairman Kamarudin Meranun will step aside for at least two months while the airline and authorities investigate allegations Airbus paid a bribe of $50 million to win plane orders from the company.

FILE PHOTO: Founder of AirAsia X Tony Fernandes (R) listens to its chairman Kamarudin Meranun during the signing ceremony for the new Airbus A330-200s in Kuala Lumpur February 28, 2011. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad/File Photo

A committee comprising the non-executive members of AirAsia’s board will review the allegations and take any necessary action, Asia’s biggest budget airline said on Monday.

Fernandes, one of the aviation industry’s best known executives, and Kamarudin will remain advisers, however, “in view of the current difficult economic circumstances facing the airline industry”, the company added.

Senior company executive Tharumalingam Kanagalingam will be the acting CEO, with the changes effective immediately.

In a joint statement, Fernandes and Kamarudin denied any allegations of wrongdoing or misconduct as directors of AirAsia.

“We would not harm the very companies that we spent our entire lives building up to their present global status,” they said.

Shares of AirAsia and unit AirAsia X (AIRX.KL) fell on Monday after the allegations by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) came to light on Friday. AirAsia stock fell as much as 11% to 1.27 ringgit, their lowest since May 2016, while AirAsia X dropped 12% to an all-time low of 11.5 Malaysian sen.

Malaysia’s anti-graft agency is also investigating the allegations. AirAsia has said it never made any purchase decisions that were premised on Airbus (AIR.PA) sponsorship, and that it would fully cooperate with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Malaysia’s Securities Commission said on Sunday it would also examine whether AirAsia broke securities laws.

The allegations were revealed as part of a record $4 billion settlement Airbus agreed with France, Britain and the United States. Prosecutors said the company had bribed public officials and hidden payments as part of a pattern of worldwide corruption.

“This agreement and the contents were arrived at without any reference to us; neither were any explanations sought from us,” Fernandes and Kamarudin said in their statement.

“This is in clear violation of fundamental legal principles of fairness.”

Airbus said at the weekend it would not comment on the Malaysian investigations.

The SFO’s allegations concern a 2012 sponsorship agreement between the now-defunct Caterham Formula 1 racing team, founded by Fernandes, and Airbus’s then-parent, EADS.

The SFO said on Friday that between October 2013 and January 2015, EADS paid $50 million to sponsor a sports team which was jointly owned by two people described as AirAsia Executive 1 and Executive 2. It said Airbus employees offered an additional $55 million, though no payment was made.

Fernandes bought Caterham together with Kamarudin in 2011.

FILE PHOTO: Lotus (later Caterham) Formula One team principal Tony Fernandes poses with Air Asia flight attendants before the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix at Sepang circuit outside Kuala Lumpur April 10, 2011. REUTERS/Tim Chong/File Photo

The SFO said Executives 1 and 2 were “key decision makers in AirAsia and AirAsia X, and were rewarded in respect of the order of 180 aircraft from Airbus”.

Analysts said the accusation against AirAsia comes at a particularly bad time as airlines grapple with a slowdown in business because of the fast-spreading coronavirus epidemic that has killed more than 300 people in China and disrupted air travel.

TA Securities downgraded AirAsia Group stock to “sell” from “buy”.

Reporting by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Mark Potter

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Carlos Ghosn’s Japanese lawyers quit after former Nissan chief absconds

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese attorneys representing Carlos Ghosn, including lead lawyer Junichiro Hironaka, quit on Thursday following the former Nissan chief’s flight to Lebanon from Japan, where he had been fighting financial misconduct charges.

In an emailed statement, Hironaka said everyone involved in the case at his practice had resigned. A spokeswoman there declined to give a reason.

A second lawyer in Ghosn’s three-person legal team, Takashi Takano, also quit on Thursday, according to an official at his office.

A person who answered the telephone at the office of the third lawyer, Hiroshi Kawatsu, said she did not know if he still represented the former automotive executive.

Ghosn, who fled Tokyo last month, told Reuters in an interview in Beirut with his wife Carole that he was happy to stay in Lebanon for the rest of his life and claimed he was treated with “brutality” during his detention and bail in Japan.

Carole said she was “done with Japan”.

Japan has issued international wanted notices for the couple, which means the two will live in Lebanon as fugitives and could be arrested if they leave their country.

Hironaka, who earlier expressed disappointment at his client’s decision to abscond, had said he would quit once Ghosn had settled his account.

The case has cast a harsh light on Japan’s justice system, igniting a fierce publicity battle between the former businessman and Justice Minister Masako Mori, who has described Ghosn’s criticism as “absolutely intolerable.”

Ghosn spent more than 120 days in a Tokyo detention center and was interrogated on most days, often for more than seven hours without his lawyers, Takano has said.

Prosecutors questioned him for the first 43 days without a break, including Christmas and New Year’s Day.

On Thursday, Ghosn found an ally in another foreigner, Australian sports journalist Scott McIntyre, who was detained for 44 days for trespassing in a bid to get information on his missing children. He pleaded guilty to the charge and was freed on Wednesday with a six-month suspended sentence.

Slideshow (3 Images)

Speaking at a news conference, McIntyre, who was held at the same detention center as Ghosn in western Tokyo for part of his detention, described the conditions there as “torture”.

Japanese officials reject such criticism, saying the justice system is humane and protects human rights.

McIntyre said the lights were on 24 hours a day, making it impossible to sleep more than an hour at night, and that several of his fellow detainees told him they would confess to crimes they had not committed in order to shorten their time there.

Reporting by Sam Nussey, Tim Kelly and Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by David Dolan and Clarence Fernandez

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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