German far right party leader defends questioned donations


A leading German far-right politician defended herself Friday against suggestions she might have knowingly accepted illegal campaign donations.

“I resolutely reject the allegations,” Alice Weidel, co-head of the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany, said in a statement before a meeting of the party’s leadership in the eastern city of Magdeburg.

“They lack any basis and represent an attempt to discredit me personally and politically,” she said.

Prosecutors in the southern city of Konstanz have asked parliament to lift Weidel’s immunity so they can investigate donations totaling about 130,000 euros ($146,500) that her local party chapter received from Switzerland last year.

German law allows party donations from outside the European Union only if they are made by German or EU citizens. Switzerland isn’t a member of the 28-nation bloc.

Alternative for Germany said the money, marked “campaign donation Alice Weidel,” was used to pay bills — reported to include social media advertising and lawyer’s fees — but later refunded to the sender after doubts were raised about its legality.

German media reported that the donation had been funneled through a Swiss pharmaceutical company’s account to hide the true sender’s identity.

Weidel claimed Friday that reports on the case contained “significant errors,” without elaborating. She declined to comment on the legal investigation.

Separately, her party — known by its acronym AfD — has acknowledged receiving 150,000 euros from a Netherlands-based foundation called Stichting Identiteit Europa. The party said that donation, also sent to Weidel’s local chapter, was returned three months later because “neither the identity nor the motivation of the donor could be determined without doubt.”

AfD leaders said after their meeting with Weidel in Magdeburg that “the matter is being investigated very intensively at all levels of the party at the moment.”

It added that party leaders “see no fault” on the part of Weidel.

AfD came third in national elections last year.

___

David Rising contributed to this report.



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The Latest: Former Macedonian PM wrong to flee, party says


The Latest on the former prime minister who fled Macedonia (all times local):

5:40 p.m.

The fugitive Macedonian former prime minister’s conservative party says he should not have fled to Hungary, even though the party called him a victim of persecution.

The VMRO-DPMNE party claimed in a statement Wednesday that Nikola Gruevski had been subjected to “political persecution” by Macedonian authorities.

Party spokesman Naum Stoilkovski accused the left-led government of using Gruevski’s case to stage “cheap political theatre to cover its own weakness and lack of capability.”

Stoilovski added that Gruevski’s flight to Hungary could create problems for other VMRO officials who face similar charges. Earlier Wednesday, authorities temporarily jailed two other conservative former government officials facing corruption charges, citing the risk that they too might try to flee.

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4:15 p.m.

The Hungarian government says the former prime minister of Macedonia, who fled his country to avoid a two-year prison sentence for corruption, has requested asylum.

Nikola Gruevski is considered to be close to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose office said Tuesday it considers the asylum request “solely a legal issue” and sees Macedonia as “a strategic partner and an important ally.”

Hungarian opposition parties are demanding that the Orban government deny the asylum request and hand over Gruevski to Macedonian authorities.

Orban’s office says Gruevski intends to submit a request for refugee status in Hungary.

–This item has been corrected to show that the first name of the ex-prime minister is Nikola, not Nikolas.

___

12:35 p.m.

Macedonian authorities have temporarily jailed two former government officials on trial for corruption, after the former prime minister fled to Hungary to avoid serving a two-year prison term.

A criminal court on Wednesday ordered former transport minister Mile Janakieski and former government secretary-general Kiril Bozinovski to be held for 30 days. Prosecutors sought their detention amid fears they could also try to flee the country.

They are on trial on charges including corruption over public contracts and election fraud.

Interior minister Oliver Spasovski said late Tuesday that Macedonia will seek the extradition from Hungary of Nikola Gruevski, who was prime minister from 2006-2016.

Gruevski, currently a lawmaker for the main opposition party, was convicted of influencing officials to purchase a luxury car for government use.



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Top German security official keeping post, drops party job


Germany’s interior minister on Monday denied reports that he was planning on stepping down as the nation’s top security official but said he will relinquish his post as leader of the sister party to that of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Horst Seehofer told reporters at an event in the eastern city of Bautzen that rumors he was resigning as interior minister were incorrect.

“I am the federal interior minister and I continue to serve in that office,” the 69-year-old said.

Seehofer has clashed frequently with Merkel, primarily over her policies on migration. The friction between the two threatened to bring down the chancellor’s coalition government last year over his insistence that some categories of asylum-seekers should be turned away at the country’s borders.

More recently, Seehofer’s backing of domestic intelligence chief Hans-Georg Maassen over comments he made downplaying the extent of violence in anti-migrant protests in the eastern city of Chemnitz put him at odds again with Merkel as well as with other cabinet ministers.

Merkel’s junior coalition partner Social Democrats had demanded Maassen’s removal from the BfV spy agency in September after the comments.

Maassen was removed, and on Monday the ministry confirmed it was replacing him with longtime civil servant Thomas Haldenwang.

Despite staying on as interior minister, Seehofer confirmed that he had decided to step down from the Christian Social Union, which operates only in Bavaria as the partner of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.

“Change is a part of life,” he said, adding he’d announce specifics on timing later in the week.

Seehofer stepped down as Bavarian governor earlier this year in favor of a younger rival, Markus Soeder, but clung to the post of CSU leader until the party’s dismal result in September’s regional elections increased the pressure for him to leave.

_____

Frank Jordans contributed to this story.



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Top German security official keeping post, drops party job


Germany’s interior minister on Monday denied reports that he was planning on stepping down as the nation’s top security official but said he will relinquish his post as leader of the sister party to that of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Horst Seehofer told reporters at an event in the eastern city of Bautzen that rumors he was resigning as interior minister were incorrect.

“I am the federal interior minister and I continue to serve in that office,” the 69-year-old said.

Seehofer has clashed frequently with Merkel, primarily over her policies on migration. The friction between the two threatened to bring down the chancellor’s coalition government last year over his insistence that some categories of asylum-seekers should be turned away at the country’s borders.

More recently, Seehofer’s backing of domestic intelligence chief Hans-Georg Maassen over comments he made downplaying the extent of violence in anti-migrant protests in the eastern city of Chemnitz put him at odds again with Merkel as well as with other cabinet ministers.

Merkel’s junior coalition partner Social Democrats had demanded Maassen’s removal from the BfV spy agency in September after the comments.

Maassen was removed, and on Monday the ministry confirmed it was replacing him with longtime civil servant Thomas Haldenwang.

Despite staying on as interior minister, Seehofer confirmed that he had decided to step down from the Christian Social Union, which operates only in Bavaria as the partner of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.

“Change is a part of life,” he said, adding he’d announce specifics on timing later in the week.

Seehofer stepped down as Bavarian governor earlier this year in favor of a younger rival, Markus Soeder, but clung to the post of CSU leader until the party’s dismal result in September’s regional elections increased the pressure for him to leave.

_____

Frank Jordans contributed to this story.



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Priyanka Chopra fiance Nick Jonas’s Bachelor party pics


नई दिल्ली: एक्ट्रेस प्रियंका चोपड़ा और अमेरिकन पॉप सिंगर निक जोनास दिसंबर में शादी रचाने वाले हैं. दोनों ने प्री-वेडिंग सेलिब्रेशन भी शुरू कर दिया है. न्यूयॉर्क में हुई प्रियंका की ब्राइडल शॉवर की तस्वीरें वायरल हुईं तो उसके बाद उनकी बैचलर पार्टी की तस्वीरों ने इंटरनेट पर आग लगा दी. हाल ही में एक तरफ जहां प्रियंका ने अपनी फ्रेंड्स के साथ पजामा पार्टी सेलिब्रेट की तो अब निक जोनास भी बैचलर पार्टी के रंग में रंगे नजर आए. ऐसा लग रहा है कि प्रियंका-निक की प्री-वेडिंग पार्टीज का सिलसिला फिलहाल थमने वाला नहीं है.

प्रियंका के मंगेतर निक जोनास ने भी अपने इंस्टाग्राम अकाउंट पर बैचलर पार्टी की तस्वीरें शेयर की हैं. आप भी देखें…

http://zeenews.india.com/

http://zeenews.india.com/

प्र‍ियंका और निक जोनास जोधपुर के उम्‍मेद भवन में शादी करने जा रहे हैं. शादी की तैयारियां जोरों से चल रही हैं, दोनों परिवार के लोग जहां शॉपिंग में व्‍यस्‍त हैं वहीं प्र‍ियंका आए दिन अपनी सखियों और कजिन्स के साथ पार्टी करने में बिजी नजर आ रही हैं.

सबने पहना पिंक पजामा
पजामा पार्टी यानी बिना किसी फॉर्मल ड्रेस के नाइट ड्रेस में की जाने वाली पार्टी. इस मौके पर होने वाली दुल्हन प्रियंका की फ्रेंड्स ने यह धमाकेदार पार्टी की. पार्टी की खास बात यह रही कि यहां सभी ने पिंक पजामा पहना था.

गर्ल गैंग की पार्टी
ब्राइडल शॉवर के बाद अब 5 नवंबर को ही एम्स्टर्डम में भावी दुल्हन प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने अपनी गर्ल गैंग के साथ बैचलरेट पार्टी मनाई. उन्होंने इस पार्टी की कुछ तस्वीरें सोशल मीडिया पर शेयर की थी. प्रियंका की चचेरी बहन परिणीति चोपड़ा, बिजनेसमैन मुकेश अंबानी की बेटी ईशा अंबानी और ‘गेम ऑफ थ्रोन्स’ की एक्ट्रेस सोफी टर्नर सहित कई लोगों के साथ बैचलरेट पार्टी मनाई.

प्रियंका चोपड़ा की बैचलरेट पार्टी में जश्न, ईशा अंबानी और परिणीति समेत दिखे ये सेलेब्स
प्रियंका चोपड़ा के बैचलरेट पार्टी की फोटो. (साभार: instagram@priyankachopra)

इस पार्टी के बाद सोशल मीडिया पर प्रियंका ने कुछ तस्वीरें शेयर की थी जिनमें पहली पोस्ट में प्रियंका शॉर्ट सफेद ड्रेस में नजर आईं. इस तस्वीर के कैप्शन में लिखा, ‘फेदरवेट चैंपियन ऑफ द वर्ल्ड.’

http://zeenews.india.com/
फोटोे साभार: Instagram/Priyanka

दूसरी पोस्ट में उनकी सभी ब्राइड्समेड लाल रंग की पोशाक में नजर आईं. इस तस्वीर के कैप्शन में प्रियंका ने लिखा, ‘लाल, सफेद और दुल्हन.’ इसमें परिणीति चोपड़ा, सोफी टर्नर, नताशा पाल, ईशा अंबानी और सोफी टर्नर भी हैं.

http://zeenews.india.com/
फोटो साभार: Instagram/Priyanka

गौरतलब है कि इसके भी पहले अक्टूबर के अंत में भी प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने न्यूयॉर्क में अपने करीबियों के साथ जश्न मनाया था. उन्होंने न्यूयॉर्क सिटी में टिफनी के ब्लू बॉक्स कैफे में करीबी दोस्तों के साथ पार्टी की. यह पार्टी होने वाली दुल्हन की सहेलियों मुबिना रत्तनसे और अंजुला अचारिया ने दी थी. जश्न में निक जोनास का भाई केविन जोनास, उसकी पत्नी डेनियल जोनास और उनकी बेटी अलेना भी शामिल हुए. उनके अलावा प्रियंका की मां मधु चोपड़ा और सास डेनिस भी थिरकती हुई नजर आई थीं.

बॉलीवुड की और भी खबरें पढ़ें