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Former vice Minister gets death sentence for taking $92.39m bribe

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Sun Lijun, former vice minister of public security, was on Friday sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for taking bribes, manipulating the stock market and illegally possessing firearms.

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Sun was also deprived of his political rights for life, and all his personal assets were confiscated, said the Intermediate People’s Court of Changchun in northeast China’s Jilin Province.

The court established that Sun received money and valuables totaling more than 646 million yuan (92.39 million U.S. dollars) by taking advantage of various positions he held between 2001 and April 2020.

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The court also found that Sun manipulated stock trading in the first half of 2018, helping some other people avoid a loss of 145 million yuan.

Sun also illegally possessed two guns, the court added.

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The sum of bribes Sun had taken was specially huge, and his crimes caused a specially heavy loss to the interests of the state and people, said the court.

It added that the circumstance of his crime in manipulating the stock market was particularly serious, and that in illegally possessing firearms was serious.

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The court said that Sun was granted a lenient sentence, considering that he had provided investigators with clues to other major cases, contributing to a major meritorious service for the investigation.

It said he had also confessed to all of his crimes, including some acts of bribe-taking that investigators were not initially aware of.

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It added that he had shown repentance and had been cooperative in returning his illegal gains.

After the two-year reprieve for his death sentence, Sun’s sentence can be commuted to life in prison in accordance with the law, but no further reduction or parole shall be given to him, the court said. (Xinhua/NAN)

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Foreign

Traore officially appointed Burkina Faso President

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Captain Ibrahim Traore was appointed as the president of Burkina Faso on Wednesday, according to an official statement, after the country’s second coup in less than nine months.

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Traore has been appointed as “Head of State, Supreme Head of the Armed Forces”, according to the official statement read out on national television by spokesman Captain Kiswendsida Farouk Azaria Sorgho.

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[Breaking] Seoul: North Korea fires another missile toward sea

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South Korea says North Korea has launched a ballistic missile toward its eastern waters.

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South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the launch was made Thursday morning but gave no further details like how far the weapon flew.

The launch came two days after North Korea fired an intermediate-range missile over Japan for the first time in five years in an apparent response to U.S. military drills with South Korea and Japan.

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Barack, Michelle Obama celebrate 30 years of marriage

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Ex-President Barack Obama and wife Michelle Obama are celebrating 30 years of marriage in the sweetest way.

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The former president and first lady each shared Instagram posts about their special day and paid tribute to each other.

In his Instagram post, President Obama shared a carousel of photos of the two on the beach as well as a throwback image of the couple on their wedding day.

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“Miche, after 30 years, I’m not sure why you look exactly the same and I don’t,” he wrote. “I do know that I won the lottery that day — that I couldn’t have asked for a better life partner. Happy anniversary, sweetheart!”

Michelle Obama shared a similar series of images on Instagram as well.

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“Happy anniversary to the man I love!” she wrote in the caption. “These last 30 years have been an adventure, and I’m grateful to have you by my side. Here’s to a lifetime together. I love you, Barack Obama!”

In her memoir “Becoming,” the former first lady wrote that she first met her future husband when she was assigned as his mentor at the law firm Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago.

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She said that she was initially too focused on her law career and wasn’t interested in dating, but that his insistence changed her mind.
She wrote that he first kissed her at a Chicago ice cream shop.

“When we stopped for ice cream and he got the sense that I was starting to open up, he played it real smooth,” she told “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts in 2018.

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“He just leaned in for a kiss. And that really was it. You know, from that kiss on… it was love. And he was my man.”

The two became engaged in 1991 and eventually married on Oct. 3, 1992, in Chicago. They have two children together, Sasha and Malia Obama.

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