Jan 5, 2018

U.S. conviction of Turkish banker stirs tensions between nations

The front page of an Ankara newspaper showing Atilla in the courtroom. Photo: Altan Gocher / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a Turkish banker, has been found guilty of bank fraud and conspiracy due to his involvement in a plot to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions. Atilla's conviction in New York has spurred anger in Ankara, with Turkey's foreign ministry accusing the U.S, of "unprecedented intervention in Turkey's domestic affairs," per BBC News.

Why it matters: Atilla was convicted based on statements by Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, who spoke after admitting to taking part in the scheme himself, the BBC reports. And "Zarrab's schemes, which could have helped Iran pocket more than $100 billion, rank among the largest sanctions evasion episode in modern history," Jonathan Schanzer of FDD — a Washington-based national security research firm — wrote in the Atlantic.

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Situational awareness

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers
  2. Trump misrepresents 2020 Russia briefing as Democratic "misinformation"
  3. Bernie Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"
  4. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone
  5. Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders told CBS "60 Minutes" that he was surprised by Mike Bloomberg's lackluster performance at Wednesday's Democratic debate.

What he's saying: "If that's what happened in a Democratic debate, you know, I think it's quite likely that Trump will chew him up and spit him out."

Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lyft has acquired Halo Cars, a small startup that lets ride-hailing drivers earn money via ad displays mounted atop their cars. Lyft confirmed the deal but declined to share any details.

Why it matters: Ride-hailing companies are increasingly eyeing additional ways to generate revenue, and Lyft rival Uber has been quietly testing a partnership with New York-based Cargo that gives it a cut of the advertising revenue, as I previously reported.