Brexit campaigner Banks says story on Russian ties 'absolute garbage'

Brexit campaigner Banks says story on Russian ties 'absolute garbage'By Guy Faulconbridge and Paul Sandle LONDON (Reuters) – Arron Banks, a British businessman who bankrolled one of the main campaigns for Brexit, hit back on Sunday after a report said his links with Russia went further and deeper than he had previously disclosed, saying he was a victim of a “witch hunt”. Britain has said it had not seen evidence of Russian interference in its votes, but lawmakers are investigating whether the country tried to influence public opinion before the EU referendum as part of a broader inquiry into “fake news”. Banks said he would tell a committee of lawmakers on Tuesday about his connections with multiple countries during the referendum campaign.


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British campaigner Andy Tsege released from prison after four years on death row in Ethiopia

British campaigner Andy Tsege released from prison after four years on death row in EthiopiaA Briton who spent four years on death row in Ethiopia walked out of prison on Tuesday, freed by the regime that once labelled him a “terrorist�. Andargachew Tsege, who fled to Britain in 1974, was greeted by hundreds of supporters who gathered outside his family’s home in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, to celebrate the release of one of the government’s most outspoken critics. Such scenes in one of Africa’s most repressive regimes would have been unthinkable just a few months ago. Mr Andargachew, perhaps unable to grasp the scale of Ethiopia’s rapid political thaw, seemed stunned by the reception. “I did not expect this much turn out,� he said, suggesting he did not deserve  it since “four years in prison is not that much of a sacrifice.� Other dissidents had indeed been incarcerated for longer, though few were captured in such dramatic circumstances. While waiting to catch a connecting flight to Eritrea in 2014, Mr Andargachew was seized by armed men in a transit lounge at an airport in Yemen. He was immediately bundled onto a flight to Addis Ababa, with Ethiopia claiming it had merely extradited one of their most wanted men. Britain protested, but Ethiopia stood firm: as one of the leaders of Ginbot 7, a group of Ethiopian exiles who had based themselves in neighbouring Eritrea, Mr Andargachew was a “traitor� and “coup plotter�. In the past year, however, Ethiopia’s ruling coalition has been forced to yield to domestic pressure after an ethnic and political crisis threatened to tear apart the old political order. In the past three months, the Ethiopian government has pardoned more than 10,000 political prisoners. Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, hailed Mr Andargachew’s release and the broader political significance it portended. “Recent moves by the Ethiopian Government send a positive signal that they remain serious about following through with promised reforms to increase political space,� Mr Johnson said. The Foreign Secretary also insisted that Mr Andargachew’s case had been “a priority� for his department, a claim that will be questioned by those who campaigned for the dissident’s release, particularly his UK-based partner, Yemisrach Hailemariam. Mr Johnson was criticised for not raising Mr Andargachew’s plight publicly — although he said he did in private — when he visited Addis Ababa last year, a trip in which the Foreign Secretary largely skirted over Ethiopia’s human rights record. Mrs Yemisrach extended thanks to Jeremy Corbyn, who is Mr Andargachew’s MP, and to Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, for their efforts to win his freedom. But she pointedly excluded Mr Johnson.


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Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Antiapartheid Campaigner and Former Wife of Nelson Mandela, Dies at 81

  1. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Antiapartheid Campaigner and Former Wife of Nelson Mandela, Dies at 81  Wall Street Journal
  2. South African anti-apartheid stalwart Winnie Mandela dies at 81  NBCNews.com
  3. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, anti-apartheid campaigner and Nelson Mandela’s widow, dies  ABC News
  4. #WinnieMandela: Controversial Mother of the Nation  Independent Online
  5. Full coverage


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