VOA NEWS

December 11, 2018

(VOA) news. I'm Christopher Cruise reporting.



An accused Russian spy held by the United States on charges of infiltrating Republican Party circles in order to provide information to Russia has reached a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty.

Her attorney said in a court filings that the case against her has now been resolved.

The U.S. Justice Department alleges Maria Butina was a covert Russian agent, who maintained connections with Russian spies in a mission aimed at penetrating "the U.S. national decision-making apparatus to advance the agenda of the Russian Federation."



The detained Huawei chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, says she should be released on bail in Canada over health concerns while waiting on a hearing for extradition to the United States.

Reuters correspondent Ryan Brooks reports.

Court documents showed U.S. authorities accuse her of misleading banks and putting those banks at risk of breaking U.S. sanctions on Iran. The allege she was trying to use those banks to move money out of Iran.

Court documents also showed that in the meantime, she wants to be released and not only on grounds she suffers from hypertension. She is also citing her longstanding ties with Canada and mentioned she owns two homes worth millions in Vancouver.

Meng is not only CFO. She is also the daughter of the founder of Huawei, one of China's key tech companies. It's the world's biggest supplier of networking hardware.

China has demanded Meng's immediate release.

Neither Canada nor the U.S. has provided China with any evidence that Meng has broken any law in those two countries.

Her arrest has put global markets on edge, with investors worried it could sabotage any chance of a trade deal between Washington and Beijing.



This is VOA news.



A Chinese court has ordered a ban in the country on several iPhone models because of a patent dispute between iPhone maker Apple and U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm.

An Intermediate People's Court granted Qualcomm's request for preliminary injunctions against four subsidiaries of Apple, ordering them to immediately stop selling the iPhone 6S through iPhone X that use older versions of Apple's iOS operating system.

Apple said in a statement Monday that its iPhones using newer operating systems remain on sale in China.

The court decision is the latest legal action in a long-running dispute between the two California tech giants.



Britain's already disorderly departure from the [Union] European Union turned even more chaotic Monday when British Prime Minister Theresa May postponed a House of Commons vote on her Brexit withdrawal deal. That agreement took months of negotiations with Brussels to conclude.

She spoke Monday to a packed and rowdy House of Commons. "As a result, if we went ahead and held the vote tomorrow, the deal would be rejected by a significant margin. We will therefore defer the vote scheduled for tomorrow and not proceed to divide the House at this time."



Saudi Arabia's foreign minister has rejected Turkey's request to extradite two former senior Saudi officials suspected of involvement in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October.

Reuters correspondent Emily Wither reports.

Turkish officials say they have "strong suspicion" that Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and General Ahmed al-Asiri, who served as deputy head of foreign intelligence, were among the planners in Khashoggi's death. The Saudi critic was killed in Istanbul's consulate on October 2nd.

Last month, the U.S. Treasury slapped sanctions on 17 Saudis for their role in the murder. It included Qahtani but not Asiri.

The Saudi public prosecutors said the order to repatriate Khashoggi came from Asiri.

A travel ban has also been imposed on Qahtani.

It's not clear, though, if the men are currently detained.

Western states are continuing to press the kingdom for a credible investigation.



French President Emmanuel Macron was both humble and resolute as he spoke publicly for the first time about the anti-government protests that have shaken the country.

He said in a nationwide broadcast Monday night, "I take my share of responsibility. I might have hurt people with my words."

He said he recognizes a proposed tax hike on pensions was "unjust."



You can find more on these and other late breaking and developing stories, from around the world, around the clock, at voanews.com and on the VOA news mobile app. I'm Christopher Cruise, VOA news.