Amazon chief Jeff Bezos gives $2 billion to charity
Last Thursday, Amazon chief executive and founder Jeff Bezos pledged to give $2 billion to the “Day One Fund,” a fund he is establishing. In a statement, Bezos said the fund would focus on “funding existing non-profits that help homeless families, and creating a network of new, non-profit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities.” Bezos, the richest man in the world, is worth more than $164 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Last year, he asked for recommendations on what philanthropic investments he could make. Earlier investments include $33 million to support educating undocumented students and $10 million to fund a bipartisan committee that supports veterans running for Congress. Critics say Bezos has dedicated a miniscule percentage of his wealth to society. The Giving Pledge, whose signers include Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, urges billionaires to give a majority of their wealth to charity. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg recently said he and his wife would donate more than 99 percent of their Facebook shares to philanthropy.
Global community condemns Myanmar verdict
Last Thursday, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi said two Reuters reporters’ imprisonment had “nothing to do with freedom of expression at all.” She said they were jailed for breaking “the Official Secrets Act” and that they may still appeal the judgement.
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley tweeted, “First, in denial about the abuse the Burmese military placed on the Rohingya, now justifying the imprisonment of the two Reuters reporters who reported on the ethnic cleansing,” adding, “Unbelievable.” Reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who have been imprisoned for nearly a year, were investigating the massacre of Rohingya muslims when they were sentenced for possession of police documents. In the trial, a police witness backed the reporters’ claims that they were set up. The crackdown on Rohingya muslims has driven over 700,000 Rohingya out of Myanmar, leading to international condemnation and calls for Myanmar’s military leaders to be tried for war crimes. Former activist Suu Kyi, once praised as a global voice for human rights issues, has since lost multiple honors.
Russian poisoning suspects deny allegations in state-sponsored interview
RT, a Russian state-sponsored news channel, interviewed the two suspects believed by United Kingdom authorities to be Russian agents responsible for last March’s poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. The men, who give their names as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, claim their lives have been “turned upside down.”
The men say they were in the area to see a famous “Salisbury cathedral, famous not only in Europe but in the whole world for its 123-metre spire and for its clock, one of the first created in the world.” Security footage sets them near Skripal’s house the day of the attack. Skripal and his daughter have moved to a safe location since their recovery. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said that “the lies and blatant fabrications in this interview given to a Russian state-sponsored TV station are an insult to the public’s intelligence.”