FBI warned Kushner on Murdoch ex-wife: Report

Senior adviser Jared Kushner attends an executive order signing event hosted by US President Donald Trump. (Reuters)
Updated 16 January 2018
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FBI warned Kushner on Murdoch ex-wife: Report

WASHINGTON: US counterintelligence officials warned President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner in early 2017 that Chinese-American businesswoman Wendi Deng Murdoch might be using their friendship to benefit Chinese government interests, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
Citing unidentified sources familiar with the matter, the Journal said US officials were also concerned that the ex-wife of media magnate Rupert Murdoch — who owns the newspaper — was lobbying to push a major Chinese-funded construction project in Washington.
The bid concerns a planned $100 million Chinese garden at the National Arboretum, located just steps from Congress and near the White House.
The Journal said intelligence officials consider it a national security risk because it features a 70-foot (21-meter) tower that could be used for surveillance.
Kushner received the warnings as part of regular briefings he receives due to his role as a senior adviser to Trump, who took office a year ago.
A spokesman said Wendi Deng Murdoch “has no knowledge of any FBI concerns or other intelligence agency concerns relating to her or her associations,” and denied she was aware of the garden project.
A Chinese-born citizen, she married in 1999 the Australian businessman, who filed for divorce in 2013. But she still uses her married name.


Gunmen kill 13 at Veracruz bar in one of worst Mexican slayings this year

Updated 26 min 26 sec ago
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Gunmen kill 13 at Veracruz bar in one of worst Mexican slayings this year

  • The unidentified assailants opened fire on Friday night after coming to look for a man at the bar
  • Seven men, five women and a child died in the shooting

MEXICO CITY: Gunmen shot dead 13 people at a bar in the city of Minatitlan in the Mexican Gulf coast state of Veracruz, authorities said on Friday, in one of the worst slayings to hit Mexico since President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office.
The unidentified assailants opened fire on Friday night after coming to look for a man at a bar in the southeast of Minatitlan, a spokesman for the government of Veracruz said.
Seven men, five women and a child died in the shooting, which occurred close to Minatitlan’s oil refinery, one of six run by state oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex). Four other people were injured, the state government said in a statement.
The motive for the killings was unclear, the spokesman said.
The man the gunmen were seeking was identified as the owner of a bar in the city, the state government said. The attack took place during a family celebration.
It was not immediately clear if the man owned the bar where the attack occurred, nor whether he was present at the time.
Hugo Gutierrez, the head of public security in the state, said on Twitter that an operation had been launched to capture the people responsible for the killings.
The oil-rich state of Veracruz has been convulsed by gang violence and political corruption scandals for several years.
Lopez Obrador took office in December vowing to reduce violence in Mexico, where more than 200,000 people have been killed since the end of 2006 in brutal turf wars between drug cartels and their clashes with security forces.
After reaching record levels in 2018, murder rates have stayed high, surpassing previous-year levels in the first three months of the new government, official government data shows.
The president was due to visit Veracruz on Sunday, according to an official schedule published before the attack took place.