Astounding pre-departure move by frmr Treasury Sec Mnuchin in favor of Dan Gertler, after the Israeli billionaire sanctioned by the US for alleged corruption in Congo hired lobbyists & the same lawyer that represented Trump in his 1st impeachment trial…
The episode has echoes of Mr. Trump’s last-minute clemency to political & personal allies & people w connections to him, incl the involvement of Mr. Dershowitz. It also highlighted Mr. Gertler’s use of high-powered connections in Israel, incl people with ties to PM Netanyahu
The outcome was also distinguished by secrecy, cut out US diplomats directly responsible for dealing w Congo & fighting corruption in Africa & appeared to have been handled at the level of Mr. Mnuchin & Sec Pompeo. Decision became public only after Mr. Trump had left office.

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More from @MatinaStevis

9 Feb
After weeks of intensive debate on EU's vaccine standing compared to UK, USA, we try to show that in narrow speed terms Germany & maybe France have been slowed down by the EU collective effort, but the vast majority of EU countries are better off for it…
As @GuntramWolff tells us, politically & economically, Germany pulling ahead of other EU nations would have been catastrophic. A country that hugely depends on movement of labor, exports & shares borders w/ 9 others reaps large benefits from all being vaccinated at the same time.
What we saw play out in January was in part a standard game of Blame the Commission. Some failings in EU vaccine rollouts stem from local mistakes (phone appointments not working, shortages of disposables, etc) that we saw across EU, in Germany too.
Read 9 tweets
27 Jan
EU official confirms that the European Commission is seeking publication of its contracts with AstraZeneca to allow people to draw their own conclusions about whether AZ is in breach of its obligations.
The contract is protected by mutually agreed confidentiality. EU won't breach that agreement unilaterally, ergo needs to agree with the firm if they're going to release it.
EU officials make it plain that they are not particularly interested in legal fighting -though they don't exclude it- but rather getting those doses they were promised to their member states soonest. Litigation would take years, one official says, and we need the vaccines now.
Read 6 tweets
19 Sep 20
How the Hero of "Hotel Rwanda" Fell Into a Vengeful Strongman's Trap

Our @nytimes investigation is packed with drama fit for (another) film.…
@nytimes .@Lattif @declanwalsh @ruthmaclean & I worked for weeks across continents & timezones to fill in the gaps of what really happened between Paul Kagame and Paul Rusesabagina.

We found cloak-and-dagger tactics of opposition oppression in the dramatic showdown between the two men.
The indefatigable @Lattif traveled to Kigali, interviewed Rusesabagina in is cell, visited the village attacked by the organization he allegedly supported, and conducted one of the most memorable interviews with a spy chief ever printed.
Read 15 tweets
9 Aug 20
In early April, while in lockdown, I spoke to a friend who works at @MSF. She said "you won’t believe it but we’re sending teams into nursing homes, they’re completely overwhelmed."
That was the beginning of a reporting effort that lasted 3+ months #thread…
@MSF We gathered details from homes, families & the Belgian govt. 4 types of disasters combined to doom Belgian nursing home residents. All were present in other rich countries but nowhere did they coalesce to the degree they did in Belgium. Read on.
1/ Warnings: Belgian & other EU govts were for 10+ years warned that nursing homes were uniquely vulnerable. In Belgium, scientists made proposals. They were ignored.
*In Belgium failures were exacerbated by the extreme fragmentation of government & administration.
Read 19 tweets
24 Jun 20
EU states are in complex talks on which countries to reopen to July 1. #thread
What we know:
- Keen for scientific criteria: countries as good, better or possibly a little worse than EU average new cases per 100,000 pop (past 2 weeks). Magic number is 16.…
- Question is country of departure/origin, not passport
- List will be renewed regularly, current thinking: every 2 weeks.
- List cannot be mandatory but pressure is on for EU countries to eliminate loopholes for visitors from countries not on the list.…
- The US has currently about 107 new cases per 100,000 people & it is highly unlikely any political intervention can add it to the EU safe list for July 1
- Russia with 80/100,000 & Brazil with 190/100,000 also on same boat…
Read 11 tweets
1 Mar 20
Είναι τρομακτική, επικίνδυνη η παραπληροφόρηση που διακινείται σε Ελλάδα & Τουρκία σχετικά με την κατάσταση στα σύνορα. Είμαι στον Έβρο & ακούω/βλέπω πράγματα τρελά. Να κοιτάτε ποιος μεταδίδει τι, ποιες πηγές. Η κατάσταση είναι πολύ σοβαρή για να παίρνετε την ενημέρωσή σας ελαφρά
1. Υπάρχουν παιδιά κ οικογένειες στον Έβρο. Είναι αναληθές ότι είναι μόνο άνδρες. 'Ομως οι 500 συγκεκριμένα που έχουν κολλήσει στο πέρασμα των Καστανιών/Pazarkule είναι κυρίως άνδρες, οι γυναίκες εκεί είναι στα πλαϊνά και πιο πίσω
2. Δεν μπορούμε να εκτιμήσουμε με ακρίβεια πόσοι κινούνται προς τα σύνορα, ούτε να ελέγξουμε τις δηλώσεις της τουρκικής κυβέρνησης ότι 37,000+ "ερχονται." Ο ΟΗΕ λέει 13,000 κατευθύνονται προς Έβρο. Όσοι κ αν είναι, πολύ μικρό ποσοστό έχει περάσει επιτυχώς στην Ελλάδα.
Read 7 tweets

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