In a potentially damaging admission on the eve of his first visit to Russian Federation as a member of the Dutch government, Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra on Monday acknowledged lying about attending a meeting with President Vladimir Putin in 2006.
In the original retelling of the story, Zijlstra said he had been in a back room of a dacha (country house) when he heard Putin define "Great Russia" as "Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic states", adding that "Kazakhstan was nice to have". He admits it was a "stupid" thing to make up and that he regrets having done so. "To not further impact the position [of foreign minister], I see no other option than to submit my resignation".
Prime minister Mark Rutte said Mr Zijlstra had a made a "big mistake", but remained a credible member of the government.
In a written statement released Monday, Zijlstra admitted that he was, in fact, not present at the meeting, but had heard of the story from a third person who was in attendance.
"It was an error of judgement on my part", Mr Rutte said, asked why he had kept Zijlstra's deception secret after being told about it on January 29.
A Dutch foreign ministry official told AFP that the Moscow "meeting will not go ahead, for obvious reasons" and they would try to look "at a later date".
Zijlstra has now been urged to explain his conduct to the lower house of parliament before leaving for Russian Federation, with a parliamentary source telling AFP "it could be as early as tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon, but it depends on the format of the debate". This source appeared to be former Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer, who wrote in an email to de Volkskrant on Tuesday that Zijlstra misinterpreted his words on Putin.
The Russian embassy angrily waded into the scandal on Tuesday, accusing the Dutch of spreading "fake news".
Mr Zijlstra had been due to travel to Moscow for a previously scheduled meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov tomorrow. "Dutch officials are constantly making such unfounded statements", it said in a statement.
All of these are in development as the looming deal with Disney works its way through regulators before the sale is finalized. Interestingly enough, the news comes months after it was said Miller was developing a solo Kitty Pryde film for Fox.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan is on the second spot with 11 criminal cases, followed closely by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. Further, about 20 CMs have clean background, while 11 have criminal cases against them.
But he think Amazon is unlikely to offer the kind of support for commercial sales of the chip that other longtime chipmakers do. Alexa is more powerful than Siri in our testing (heck, Siri needs some help, like Apple Maps).
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The Employees Provident Fund's ( EPF ) building along Jalan Gasing in Petaling Jaya has caught fire today, malaysiakini reported. On Tuesday, an EPF spokesperson said that the fire did not cause any loss to "data integrity or members' savings in any manner" .
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A West Virginia officer who was sacked after refusing to shoot an armed, suicidal suspect has settled a lawsuit for $175,000. In several interviews with Pittsburgh-area news outlets in 2017, Mader said his termination was connected to the shooting.
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