Tuesday, July 31 in the news.....
- Al Gore's son pleaded guilty Monday to possessing marijuana and other drugs, but a judge said the plea could be withdrawn and the charges dropped if he successfully completes a drug diversion program. Al Gore's son tried to argue that he needs drugs as his father is Al Gore, but the judge said Bush's daughters have never been caught with drugs because of who their father is, they just drink a lot.
- The billionaire chief executive of Russian oil major Russneft announced Monday that he was leaving the company and selling his stake following "unprecedented persecution" by the authorities. After Mikhail Gutseriyev's statement was printed in a local business daily, the holding company of a Kremlin-friendly billionaire confirmed it was seeking to finalize the acquisition of the oil company. President Putin brushed off the accusations of unfair treatment saying he is still alive.
- Russia unveiled new charges on Monday against fugitive billionaire and Kremlin critic Boris Berezovsky, accusing him of embezzling more than 13 million dollars to rent a villa on the French Riviera. Berezovsky, a former Kremlin insider who has become a harsh critic of President Vladimir Putin, is wanted in Russia on various charges of fraud and currently lives in London. The billionaire has been granted political asylum in Britain, which has declined requests for his extradition to Russia. In several recent interviews, he has called for the overthrow of Putin's government. Berezovsky has denied he is a troublemaker or a corrupt businessman and that his views on the current Russian government are more those of a suicidal maniac.
- With 33,000 millionaires, Ireland is the second-wealthiest country in a survey of eight of the largest OECD nations, according to a report Monday from the private banking arm of one of the country's biggest commercial banks. The figures place Ireland in second place, behind Japan, and ahead of Italy, Britain, France, the US, Germany and Canada. When told of the achievement, Ireland said it was another great reason to hit the drink.