Welcome to The Free Press Report’s Monday Digest. This week a lot has happened – the invasion of Ukraine continued unchecked, COVID surged in Asia, and the Pelosi family were caught gambling on Tesla shares again. Read on to find out some of the stories you might have missed
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Congressman Fortenberry lied to FBI about Funds (Reuters)
A Los Angeles Federal court found the Republican guilty of scheming to falsify and conceal material facts and making false statements to federal investigators
In 2016, Fortenberry received $30,000 in donations from a Nigerian billionaire
But federal election campaigns cannot receive funding from foreign nationals, and in 2019, the FBI investigated
That’s when Fortenberry misled investigators, after using a system of intermediaries to disguise hide the true source of the money
He now faces a maximum of 15 years in prison, and will be sentenced on 28th June
“Dictator” Putin Must Go – but NATO Refuses to Close Ukrainian Airspace (BBG)
In a bungled speech in Poland, President Biden remarked “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power”
White House officials later corrected the president, clarifying that he meant that Putin could not be allowed to bully smaller neighboring countries
A mere hour the other side of the border, Russian forces put the city of Lviv under siege
The U.S. will accept 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. But despite the pleas of the Ukrainian military to declare a no-fly zone, NATO continues to allow Russian aircraft to exploit Ukrainian airspace
Pelosi Family Trading Tesla Stock Again (NYP)
Last week, we reported that speaker Nancy Pelosi had made a tidy $1.1mm trading Tesla options
Now her husband, venture capitalist Paul Pelosi, has bought $2.2mm in Tesla shares, earning a windfall of hundreds of thousands of dollars in mere days since he placed his bet
The Pelosi family have earned something close to $30mm from bets in big tech firms including Tesla, Alphabet and Salesforce
Airline CEOs call for end to COVID precautions including masks and testing. CEOs of Delta, American, United and seven other airlines lobbied politicians, to “sunset federal transportation travel restrictions … that are no longer aligned with the realities of the current epidemiological environment," (WSJ)
Hong Kong will offer “No Concessions” on Flights Ban as 10,000 new COVID cases recorded. After failing to vaccinate the elderly, the country’s “zero covid” policy left its population vulnerable without natural resistance to the virus. (BBG)
China to begin Show Trial of Australian TV Anchor in a move designed to escalate tensions between the two countries. Cheng Lei faces life in jail on states secret charges. Australian diplomats, who have been bared access to the trial, expressed concerns over “basic standards of justice, procedural fairness and humane treatment.” (BBG)
SEC Unveils New “Green” Red Tape on environmental issues. The Securities and Exchange Commission voted 3:1 to require companies to declare their type 1, 2 and 3 emissions, plans to respond to environmental risks, and a host of other disclosures (SEC)
California Gov. Newsom wants to give out $400 debit cards and relieve sales tax on diesel as oil prices surge. But the $11bn package may take months to negotiate, according to Assembly Republicans. (BBG)
More Biden Cronyism as top donor Joe Kiani awarded seat on Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Kiani and his Masimo Foundation donated at least $1.5mm to Biden’s organization in 2017. But since Biden took office, Kiani has reaped almost $3mm in federal contracts. (WFB)
Child Porn Arrest for Environmental Lawyer. Eliot Cutler, who used his personal millions to finance two gubernatorial contests, was charged with four counts of possession of sexually explicit material of a child under 12. (Washington Times)
Amazon Union Votes In New York and Alabama could see two of the e-commerce giant’s U.S. warehouses unionize for the first time. A previous vote in Bessemer, Alabama saw workers vote 1,798 to 738 against unionization, but the US National Labor Relations Board forced the company to rerun the contest. (WSJ)
Russian Hackers Caught, Accused of attacks on the U.S. energy sector between 2012 and 2018. (BBG)
60% of investors expect increase their crypto holdings according to a Goldman Sachs survey. The bank reported 51% of their clients are exposed to crypto, significantly up from previous years (The Block)
The University of Southern California is ditching graduate school rankings after it complained of “a history of inaccuracies” (WSJ)
Actor Keanu Reeves has fallen foul of the Chinese authorities. His films, which include “John Wick” and “The Matrix”, have been removed by Chinese streaming services. (LA Times)
Marijuana Legalization Bill will pass through the House of Representatives for the second time, after being cleared by the Judiciary Committee. (Marijuana Moment)
Warren Buffett buys Insurance Company for $11.6bn. It’s the billionaire largest addition to his conglomerate of holdings since 2016. (CNBC)
Sanders Demands 95% Corporation Tax as he uses the Ukraine war to push his socialist agenda. (WSJ)
Colorado State Pension divests from Unilever after Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, owned by the Unilever conglomerate, “made comments that are politically motivated, for leaving Israel.” (JNS)
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