While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Fri 10 Nov edition

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attending the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh on Oct 24, 2017.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attending the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh on Oct 24, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

Saudi says US$100 billion embezzled, more than 200 people questioned in graft probe

Saudi authorities have questioned 208 people in an anti-corruption investigation and estimate at least US$100 billion (S$136 billion) has been stolen through graft, a top official said on Thursday (Nov 9) as the inquiry expanded beyond the kingdom's borders.

"Based on our investigations over the past three years, we estimate that at least US$100 billion has been misused through systematic corruption and embezzlement over several decades,"Attorney-General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb said in a statement.

Of the 208 people called in for questioning so far, seven have been released without charge, Sheikh Saud said, without naming them.


Vladimir Putin says US plotted doping scandal to swing Russian vote

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday (Nov 9) accused the United States of inventing doping allegations against Russian athletes to influence next year’s presidential election, which he is widely expected to contest and win. 

“In response to our alleged interference in their election, they want to create problems for the election of the president of Russia,” Putin said in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk. 

Putin has not said whether he will contest the March election but few analysts say they believe he will pass up the chance to extend his Kremlin term to 2024. 


At least three dead as nine-storey building collapses in Russia

At least three people were killed and three others injured when a corner section of a nine-storey residential building collapsed in the provincial city of Izhevsk, Russian authorities said Thursday (Nov 9). 

“At 7.00 pm (midnight Singapore time) Moscow time, there were three dead and three injured,” emergencies ministry representative Pyotr Fomin said in televised remarks.  “One child is among the dead,” added Alexander Brechalov, the head of the Udmurtia region of which Izhevsk is the capital. 

According to the local health ministry, a member of the rescue team was also injured. 


US Senate plan would delay corporate tax rate cut until 2019

The US Senate Republican tax cut plan being unveiled on Thursday (Nov 9) would delay until 2019 a reduction in the corporate tax rate and fully repeal the federal income tax deduction for state and local taxes, two key differences with a House tax plan.

President Donald Trump and fellow Republicans who control Congress have promised deep tax cuts that they say would energise the economy, but emerging differences in the Senate and House of Representatives proposals could complicate congressional passage.

As the House tax-writing committee put the finishing touches on its bill to provide the biggest US tax-code overhaul in decades, Senate Republicans were set to announce their separate plan later on Thursday.


Formula One: Felipe Massa laments Brazil racing decline 

Felipe Massa insisted on Thursday (Nov 9) that his impending retirement from Formula One is for good, but he is dejected by Brazil's declining significance in the sport.

Talking to reporters ahead of this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix, Massa reflected on his career, his 11 wins with Ferrari, his narrow miss in the 2008 world championship and the plight of his beloved Brazil, suffering severe economic challenges.

Next year, without Massa on the grid, Brazil is likely to be without a driver in Formula One for the first time in five decades stretching back to 1969.