Eraldo Peres / AP

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, 71, was convicted Wednesday of corruption charges and sentenced to 9.5 years in prison. A former union leader, Lula led Brazil from 2003-2011, and was one of the most popular and influential figures in modern South American politics — Barack Obama once called him "the most popular politician on earth."

  • He was found guilty of accepting a $1.2 million bribe from a Brazilian engineering firm in exchange for preferential treatment over contracts with a state oil company.
  • Lula remains free while he appeals the ruling, but faces four more corruption trials as prosecutors allege he oversaw a wider kickback scheme, per Reuters. He had said he wanted to run for president again, but won't be able to if the conviction holds.
  • His handpicked successor, Dilma Rousseff, was controversially impeached in September over alleged budgetary violations and replaced as president by Michel Temer, who himself faces corruption charges.

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Fund managers start to board the stock bandwagon

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Asset managers at major U.S. investment firms are starting to get bullish with their clients, encouraging stock buying and trying not to get left behind right as the metrics on tech stocks rise back to highs not seen since the dot-com crash of 2000.

What's happening: Appetite for stocks is starting to return, but slowly as institutional money managers were overwhelmingly sitting on the sidelines in cash during April and May.

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China bans Cruz and Rubio over Xinjiang criticism

Photos: Graeme Jennings/Pool/Getty Images; Al Drago/Pool/Getty Images

China said Monday that it will ban entry to Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) over their criticisms of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, the AP reports.

The big picture: The move seems to be retaliatory after the U.S. announced sanctions on four Chinese officials for human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in the region last week.

Roger Stone says he plans to campaign for Trump

Roger Stone appears yesterday outside his home in Fort Lauderdale. Photo: Johnny Louis/Getty Images

Roger Stone told Axios in a phone interview that he plans to write and speak for President Trump's re-election now that Stone "won't die in a squalid hellhole of corona-19 virus."

"I'm asthmatic," said Stone, 67. "Sending me to a prison where I could not be socially distanced ... would, I think, be a death sentence."