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Some of the 37 men killed by Saudi Arabia in its latest mass execution reportedly claimed they were forced to confess to crimes they didn’t commit

Saudi flagReuters/Murad Sezer

  • Some of the 37 men executed by Saudi Arabia on Tuesday claimed before they were killed that they had been forced to confess by their torturers, documents seen by CNN show.
  • During their trials in 2016, some of the men — who were killed for terrorist offences — said their confessions were written for them by officials.
  • They also claimed their fingerprints were taken and used as proof their confessions were genuine, CNN said.
  • According to CNN’s report, one of those executed, 27-year-old Munir al-Adam, told the judge at his trial: "I didn’t write a letter. This is defamation written by the interrogator with his own hand."
  • Saudi Arabia is on track to set a new record for the number of executions carried out in a single year in 2019. It has killed 90 people already this year, and looks set to exceed the 158 people executed in 2015.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

Large numbers of the 37 people executed by Saudi Arabia on Tuesday claimed before their deaths that they were forced to confess to crimes they had never committed during interrogations, a report claims from CNN claims.

Saudi Arabia’s Press Agency announced it was executing the men for terror charges including "adopting extremist terrorist ideologies." Rights groups say the executions are proof the Kingdom is cracking down on the Shi’a Muslim minority.

But several of the victims said that Saudi officials forged their confessions during interrogations, court documents relating to 25 of the victims and seen by CNN show.

Saudi beheadingYouTube/The Feed

Some of the victims told the judges presiding on their trials their thumbprints were forcibly taken and used to sign off on the false confessions, according to CNN.

"Those aren’t my words," 27-year-old Munir al-Adam told the judge at his trial, the documents showed. "I didn’t write a letter. This is defamation written by the interrogator with his own hand."

Justifying the executions, the Saudi Press Agency tweeted on Tuesday: "The death penalty was implemented on a number of criminals for adopting extremist terrorist ideologies and forming terrorist cells to corrupt and disrupt security as well as spreading chaos and provoking sectarian strife."

Saudi beheading graph BI GraphicShayanne Gal/Business Insider

Three of the 37 executed were under 18 when their crimes were committed. 

Amnesty International released a statement on Wednesday to say Saudi Arabia killed the men to crush dissenting voices from its minority Shi’a population.

"Today’s mass execution is a chilling demonstration of the Saudi Arabian authorities callous disregard for human life," said Lynn Maalouf, the group’s Middle East Research Director.

Read more: Saudi Arabia runs a huge, sinister online database of women that men use to track them and stop them from running away

The men executed were subjected to unfair mass trials, Amnesty said, or were convicted of violent offenses related to their participation in anti-government protests. 

Saudi Arabia is on course to set a new record for executing people in 2019, and has killed 90 people so far. In 2015, 158 were executed, the previous annual record.

Crimes which can warrant the death penalty — either by beheading or crucifixion — include murder, terrorism, rape, robbery, arson, burglary, drug trafficking or possession, adultery, renouncing Islam, treason, and espionage.

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10 things you need to know before the opening bell (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, INTC, TSLA, AMZN)

Table tennisReuters/Bernadett Szabo

Here is what you need to know.

  1. Uber files to go public. The ride-hailing company says it will aim to offer 180 million shares at a price between $44 and $50 a share, giving it a valuation of up to $90 billion.
  2. Elon Musk and the SEC asked for a delay in settlement talks. Tesla’s CEO and the Securities and Exchange Commission asked a federal judge to delay until April 30 the deadline for their dispute resolution over Musk’s tweets, Reuters reports.
  3. Tesla closes below a key level. Tesla fell 4.26% to $247.63 a share on Thursday, finishing below key technical support at $250.
  4. Amazon beats, but guidance disappoints. The e-commerce giant beat on earnings and revenue, but its second-quarter revenue guidance of $59.5 billion to $63.5 billion was a bit disappointing.
  5. Intel slashes its forecast. The chipmaker beat on both the top and bottom lines but said it expected to generate $69 billion of revenue for fiscal-year 2019 — below the Wall Street consensus of $71.05 billion.
  6. Warren Buffett isn’t sure Berkshire Hathaway can significantly beat the stock market. Buffett told the Financial Times that Berkshire was a safe investment but one that might have only "a tiny expectation" of better performance than the S&P 500.
  7. Bitcoin plunges after a major exchange was accused of using client money to hide $850 million of missing cash. The cryptocurrency fell as much as 9% late Thursday, to as low as $4,983 a coin, after New York’s attorney general accused the crypto exchange Bitfinex of using the $700 million of reserves that backed its digital currency Tether to cover up $850 million of missing funds.
  8. Stock markets around the world are mixed. China’s Shanghai Composite (-1.2%) paced the decline in Asia, and France’s CAC (+0.13%) is out front in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open little changed near 2,923.
  9. Earnings reports keep coming. American Airlines, Chevron, and Exxon Mobil report ahead of the opening bell.
  10. GDP is crossing the wires. The US economy is expected to have grown at an annualized rate of 2.3% in the first quarter, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The report will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET and will be followed by University of Michigan consumer confidence at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is down 1 basis point at 2.52%.

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PayPal is investing $500 million into Uber as part of its $90 billion IPO

Dara KhosrowshahiJerod Harris/Getty Images for Fortune

PayPal will invest $500 million in Uber, the ride-hailing company revealed in an updated IPO filing on Friday.

Uber is preparing to go public on the New York stock exchange, and set its share price at $44 to $50 per share in an amended S-1 filing to the SEC. At the high end, this price would peg Uber’s valuation at around $84 billion to $90 billion.

Read more: Uber driver says he feels vindicated as his fight for the minimum wage is listed as a risk factor in its $100 billion IPO

According to the filing, PayPal has agreed to invest in Uber through a private placement at the IPO price. 

In its filing, Uber wrote: "PayPal, Inc. has entered into an agreement with us pursuant to which it has agreed to purchase $500 million of our common stock in a private placement at a price per share equal to the initial public offering price. This transaction is contingent upon certain closing conditions, including the closing of this offering and certain regulatory approvals."

Uber’s enormous public offering marks a run of tech IPOs that includes rival Lyft and Pinterest. According to the Wall Street Journal, its IPO will be the second biggest in tech history, behind Alibaba.

The ride-hailing firm’s IPO is being closely watched for several reasons: the company has said it may never make a profit; it still faces multiple regulatory and legal battles around the world, and main US peer Lyft has seen its share price plummet during its single month as a public company.

"We are still barely scratching the surface when it comes to huge industries like food and logistics, and how the future of urban mobility will reshape cities for the better," wrote CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in the filing.

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A day after his 2020 launch, Trump is acting like Joe Biden is his real competition for the presidency

Trump BidenMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

  • Hours after Joe Biden formally launched his bid for the presidency on Thursday, Trump on Twitter described him as "sleepy", and questioned the former vice president’s intelligence. 
  • However the president’s attacks reportedly mask concern that Biden could defeat him in 2020.
  • Biden visited Pennsylvania on Thursday, a crucial swing state which Trump has to hold if he is to retain the presidency. 
  • A poll Wednesday found Biden with an 8-point lead over Trump in a head-to-head contest. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Hours after Joe Biden formally launched his bid for the presidency on Thursday, President Trump greeted the news in characteristic fashion — with a series of personal insults about the former vice president. 

"Welcome to the race Sleepy Joe. I only hope you have the intelligence, long in doubt, to wage a successful primary campaign," Trump tweeted.

"It will be nasty – you will be dealing with people who truly have some very sick & demented ideas. But if you make it, I will see you at the Starting Gate!"

In Biden’s video announcing his candidacy, he framed the prospect of four more years of a Trump presidency as a threat to US democracy, seizing on images of white nationalists marching in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, to whom Trump offered some support.

Biden 2020 vidJoe Biden

Trump resumed his attacks later in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, and said he had been urged to smear Biden with another word that rhymes with "sleepy" (an allusion to the "creepy Joe Biden" memes in which he is pictured allegedly touching women inappropriately).

Trump said he ultimately decided the strategy was "too nasty," continuing the unwelcome optics of seeming to sympathize with Biden over a scandal to do with the treatment of women.

The president’s attacks, though, reportedly mask an underlying fear that Biden is the Democrat best-placed to defeat him in 2020.

A Republican strategist said to have direct knowledge of events in the White House told Politico on Thursday that the president had been discussed the threat Biden posed for months.

"How are we gonna beat Biden?" the president would reportedly ask, and when reassured by aides that Biden wouldn’t defeat more progressive rivals in the Democratic primaries, Trump asked  "But what if he does?"

The source of Trump’s concern is the Democrat’s strong showing in the Rust Belt swing states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — which Trump took from the Democrats in 2016 after promising a renewal of blue collar manufacturing jobs.

A source of particular concern is Pennsylvania, which, despite his long stint as a US Senator for Delaware, is Biden’s home state.

A Republican who has attended meetings with Trump told CNN Thursday that Trump frequently asks about Biden’s strength there. 

Biden visited Pennsylvania on the first day of his presidential campaign, heading to a fundraiser held by David L. Cohen, executive senior vice president of Comcast. He will make his first major stump speech as a presidential candidate on Monday in Pittsburgh.

The president, in an apparent bid to shore up his support in the state, earlier retweeted a message by Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel highlighting the administration’s economic record.

McDaniel said: "Biden chose Pennsylvania to launch his campaign – a state where the unemployment rate just dropped to the lowest level *ever recorded.*"

And national polls bear out the president’s concern, with a Politico/Morning Consult poll released Wednesday showing Biden with an eight point lead over Trump in a head-to-head contest.

Analysts, though, are sceptical about whether 76-year-old Biden can command the support of the party’s young, progressive, and energized base, which he will likely need to win the Democratic nomination.

He continues to be face questions about whether he is out of step with the values of the party.

One damaging example was Anita Hill telling the New York Times on Thursday that she does not accept Biden’s apology for his handling of 1991 Senate hearings in which she accused Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. 

Biden on Thursday refused to be drawn into exchanging insults with the president Thursday, remarking to reporters in Delaware when told of Trump’s tweet, "everybody knows Donald Trump."

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Kim Jong Un’s ‘princess’ sister was mysteriously absent from his side at North Korea’s summit with Putin, further fueling rumors of her demotion

kim jong un kim yo jongEvan Vucci/AP; Jorge Silva/Reuters

  • Rumors have been swirling that Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader of Kim Jong Un and most powerful woman in the country, has fallen from favor.
  • She was excluded from high-level party talks earlier this month, and wasn’t seen at Kim Jong Un’s side at his first summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • She previously accompanied her brother to important international events, like his two summits with US President Donald Trump.
  • Kim Yo Jong isn’t the only high-level North Korean who seems to have fallen out of favor with her brother: Kim Yong Chol, the country’s point person for nuclear negotiations with the US, was excluded from the trip altogether.
  • The pair’s demotions come as Pyongyang takes a harder line against Washington after US-North Korea nuclear talks broke down in February.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Kim Jong Un’s sister, who is often referred to as the "princess" of North Korea, was mysteriously absent from her brother’s side at his first-ever summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week, further fueling rumors of a fall from favor.

Experts speculated earlier this month that Kim Yo Jong, who was considered the most powerful woman in North Korea, had been demoted for an unknown reason.

She was not listed as an alternate member of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party of Korea’s (WPK) politburo — the party’s top decision-making body — and did not appear at any high-profile events during an important party gathering earlier this month, NK News reported.

kim yo jongKyodo News via Getty Images

She was also notably absent from footage of her brother’s visit to the Russian city of Vladivostok this week for his meeting with President Vladimir Putin, where the pair focused on North Korea’s nuclear program.

Read more: Putin broke the habit of a lifetime and didn’t show up late for his first-ever meeting with Kim Jong Un

The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) did not mention whether Kim Yo Jong was going to Russia at all, Agence France-Presse reported.

And while it is possible that she went on the trip — South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo and the BBC’s Alastair Coleman reported that she left for Vladivostok a day earlier to prepare for the summit — the fact that she wasn’t by her brother’s side is significant.

Putin Kim Jong unAP/Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo

"Princess" Kim’s long history of traveling with her brother

Kim rose to fame in 2017 after she was promoted to the head role of the WPK’s propaganda department and became an alternate member of the WPK’s politburo.

She has since accompanied her brother to multiple high-level international events, including his first summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April 2018, and both his summits with US President Donald Trump in 2018 and 2019.

Kim Jong Un notably used his sister’s pen to sign a joint agreement on denuclearization at his first meeting with Trump in Singapore in June 2018.

When she attended the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February 2018, she also became the first member of North Korea’s ruling Kim family to visit the south since the Korean War in the 1950s.

Read more: Meet North Korea’s most powerful woman, Kim Yo Jong: Kim Jong Un’s sister who may have just been demoted

kim jong un kim yo jongKorea Summit Press Pool via Reuters

Other high-level demotions suggest a shift away from the US

Kim Yo Jong is not the only high-ranking North Korean who appears to have fallen out of favor with Kim Jong Un.

The North Korean leader’s point man for nuclear talks, Kim Yong Chol, was frozen out of the Russia summit altogether, Reuters reported. He is expected to hand over his portfolio in nuclear talks to other diplomats who previously held lower ranks.

Kim is a common Korean surname; the nuclear official does not appear to be related to North Korea’s ruling family.

kim yong chol pompeo handshakeState Department

Kim Yong Chol, a former military intelligence chief with a reputation as a tough negotiator, had been North Korea’s point person in nuclear negotiations with the US.

He has met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo multiple times, and even hand-delivered a letter from Kim Jong Un to Trump at the White House in June 2018.

But despite his long relationship with Washington, he never seemed willing to scale down North Korea’s nuclear program in exchange for concessions from the US.

trump kim yong chol letterShealah Craighead/White House

Mounting US-North Korea tensions

Kim Yong Chol’s apparent demotion suggests that Pyongyang is looking to stop relying on the US and turn to other countries to negotiate its nuclear development.

Pyongyang has taken a hard line against the US recently and has appeared to plow on with its nuclear development after nuclear talks between the two countries in February broke down.

Hours after North Korea claimed to have tested a new tactical guided weapon earlier this month, its foreign ministry issued a scathing statement against Pompeo, saying that he had been "letting loose reckless remarks and sophism of all kinds against us every day."

Read more: North Korea didn’t fire a ballistic missile — here’s what US intelligence believes it actually tested

During his meeting with Putin, Kim also said the US adopted "unilateral attitude in bad faith at the recent second DPRK-US summit talks," Agence France-Presse cited KCNA as reporting on Thursday.

On Thursday, Pyongyang also demanded $2 million from the US to pay the hospital bill of Otto Warmbier, an American college student who was sentenced to hard labor in North Korea in 2017 after he was accused of stealing a propaganda poster from his hotel during a visit to the country.

Warmbier was returned home in a coma and died shortly after his return to the US. It’s not clear if the US ever paid the North Korean bill.

kim jong un donald trumpSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

North Korea has long argued that the US’ policy of "maximum pressure" sanctions harmed mutual relations and has long tried to relax international sanctions against the regime.

Trump said Kim had demanded a full relaxation of international sanctions on his country in exchange for only a few nuclear site closures.

But North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, said Pyongyang had only asked for a partial lifting of sanctions, and that North Korea offered to dismantle some nuclear sites and testing, but the US demanded more.

Read more: Photos show how Trump’s 2nd nuclear summit with Kim Jong Un played out in Vietnam

It’s not clear if Kim asked Putin to help relax international sanctions on North Korea this week, but it likely would not have worked. Moscow has remained committed to keeping sanctions in place until North Korea dismantles its nuclear program.

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Uber is going public at a $90 billion valuation

UberCreative Lab / Shutterstock.com

  • Uber plans to raise more than $10.3 billion in its initial public offering, potentially giving it a market capitalization of $90 billion.
  • The ride-hailing giant will offer 180 million shares at a price between $44 and $50 per share.

Uber plans to raise upwards of $10.3 billion in one of the largest initial public offerings in history, according to a SEC filing published on Friday.

The ride-hailing giant will offer 180 million shares at a price between $44 and $50 per share, giving it a prospective market cap between $79 billion and $90 billion. It plans to list its shares under the symbol UBER.

PayPal has agreed to purchase $500 million in Uber stock in a private placement at the IPO price.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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Bitcoin plunged after a major crypto exchange was accused of using client money to hide $850 million of missing cash (BTC)

huell money breaking badAMC screencap

  • Bitcoin plunged after cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex drained at least $700 million from the reserves backing its digital coin, Tether, to cover up $850 million in missing funds, according to a lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General.
  • The attorney general’s office accused it of "ongoing fraud" and engaging in "undisclosed, conflicted transactions to cover Bitfinex’s losses by transferring money out of Tether reserve funds." 
  • Bitfinex said the claims were "written in bad faith and riddled with false assertions" and pledged to fight the order.
  • Watch Bitcoin trade live.

Bitcoin plunged as much as 5% after a major cryptocurrency was accused of pulling $700 million from the reserves backing its digital coin to cover up $850 million in missing funds. 

According to a lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General, Hong Kong-based iFinex, which operates the Bitfinex exchange and popular cryptocurrency Tether, has been mixing client funds.

The attorney general’s office alleges that iFinex combined client funds with its own capital to hide the fact that cash went missing last year, which was never publicly disclosed.

Crypto markets lost as much as $10 billion late Thursday, CoinDesk found

BitcoinMarkets Insider

The attorney general’s office is working to expose "ongoing fraud being carried out by Bitfinex and Tether," according to the lawsuit.

It accuses the pair of engaging in "undisclosed, conflicted transactions to cover Bitfinex’s losses by transferring money out of Tether reserve funds." 

Bitfinex transferred $850 million to Panama-based payment processor Crypto Capital to handle customer withdrawals last year, according to the lawsuit.

The company began having "extreme difficulty" fulfilling client withdrawal requests by the middle of 2018, as Crypto Capital refused to process requests and failed to return any funds to Bitfinex, the lawsuit states. To mask the shortfall, Bitfinex tapped Tether’s reserves to the tune of $700 million.

The attorney general’s office have obtained a court order instructing iFinex to cease transfers from Tether’s reserves to Bitfinex’s accounts, suspend dividends and other payouts to executives, and hand over documents, according to the lawsuit.

Bitfinex said the lawsuit’s claims were "written in bad faith and riddled with false assertions" and pledged to fight the order, in a statement on its website. "Both Bitfinex and Tether are financially strong – full stop," it added.

The company also said the $850 million wasn’t lost by Crypto Capital but had been "seized and safeguarded," and it was working to reclaim the funds.

"The New York Attorney General’s office should focus its efforts on trying to aid and support our recovery efforts," it added.

Tether’s market value has soared from $10 million at the start of 2017 to $2.8 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. About 80% of all bitcoin trading is done in Tether, according to data from CryptoCompare cited by the Journal.

The attorney general’s office made other notable claims in its lawsuit. It accused iFinex of failing to sign a contract or formal agreement with Crypto Capital, relying on payment processors owned by Bitfinex and Tether executives and other associates, and allowing several traders in New York and other states to continue using Bitfinex’s platform despite stating it would no longer serve US customers.

NOW WATCH: Astronomers just captured the first image of a black hole. Here are the horrifying things that would happen if you fell into one.

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SEE ALSO: ‘The platform is under extreme load:’ Cyber attack brings major cryptocurrency exchange to its knees

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Bitcoin plunged after a major crypto exchange was accused of using client money to hide $850 million of missing cash (BTC)

huell money breaking badAMC screencap

  • Bitcoin plunged after cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex drained at least $700 million from the reserves backing its digital coin, Tether, to cover up $850 million in missing funds, according to a lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General.
  • The attorney general’s office accused it of "ongoing fraud" and engaging in "undisclosed, conflicted transactions to cover Bitfinex’s losses by transferring money out of Tether reserve funds." 
  • Bitfinex said the claims were "written in bad faith and riddled with false assertions" and pledged to fight the order.
  • Watch Bitcoin trade live.

Bitcoin plunged as much as 5% after a major cryptocurrency was accused of pulling $700 million from the reserves backing its digital coin to cover up $850 million in missing funds. 

According to a lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General, Hong Kong-based iFinex, which operates the Bitfinex exchange and popular cryptocurrency Tether, has been mixing client funds.

The attorney general’s office alleges that iFinex combined client funds with its own capital to hide the fact that cash went missing last year, which was never publicly disclosed.

Crypto markets lost as much as $10 billion late Thursday, CoinDesk found

BitcoinMarkets Insider

The attorney general’s office is working to expose "ongoing fraud being carried out by Bitfinex and Tether," according to the lawsuit.

It accuses the pair of engaging in "undisclosed, conflicted transactions to cover Bitfinex’s losses by transferring money out of Tether reserve funds." 

Bitfinex transferred $850 million to Panama-based payment processor Crypto Capital to handle customer withdrawals last year, according to the lawsuit.

The company began having "extreme difficulty" fulfilling client withdrawal requests by the middle of 2018, as Crypto Capital refused to process requests and failed to return any funds to Bitfinex, the lawsuit states. To mask the shortfall, Bitfinex tapped Tether’s reserves to the tune of $700 million.

The attorney general’s office have obtained a court order instructing iFinex to cease transfers from Tether’s reserves to Bitfinex’s accounts, suspend dividends and other payouts to executives, and hand over documents, according to the lawsuit.

Bitfinex said the lawsuit’s claims were "written in bad faith and riddled with false assertions" and pledged to fight the order, in a statement on its website. "Both Bitfinex and Tether are financially strong – full stop," it added.

The company also said the $850 million wasn’t lost by Crypto Capital but had been "seized and safeguarded," and it was working to reclaim the funds.

"The New York Attorney General’s office should focus its efforts on trying to aid and support our recovery efforts," it added.

Tether’s market value has soared from $10 million at the start of 2017 to $2.8 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. About 80% of all bitcoin trading is done in Tether, according to data from CryptoCompare cited by the Journal.

The attorney general’s office made other notable claims in its lawsuit. It accused iFinex of failing to sign a contract or formal agreement with Crypto Capital, relying on payment processors owned by Bitfinex and Tether executives and other associates, and allowing several traders in New York and other states to continue using Bitfinex’s platform despite stating it would no longer serve US customers.

NOW WATCH: Here’s what ‘Game of Thrones’ stars look like in real life

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SEE ALSO: ‘The platform is under extreme load:’ Cyber attack brings major cryptocurrency exchange to its knees

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Brazil’s president says he doesn’t want the country to be a ‘gay tourism paradise’ because ‘we have families’

Jair Bolsonaro(Eraldo Peres/AP)

  • Brazil’s president told reporters that he doesn’t want his country to become "a gay tourism paradise."
  • Jair Bolsonaro added that Brazil can’t join the "gay world" because "we have families."
  • An LGBT campaigner said the latest comments are in keeping with Bolsonaro’s years-long attacks on minorities.
  • Bolsonaro has previously said that he is "homophobic and proud of it."
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said the South American country should not become "a gay tourism paradise," sparking outrage among the Brazilian LGBT community.

"Whoever wants to come here to have sex with a woman can go for it. But we can’t be known as a paradise for the gay world," he said, according to the Brazilian news site O Antagonista.

"Brazil can’t be a country of the gay world, of gay tourism. We have families," he continued, according to Exame magazine.

Rio Pride(Silvia Izquierdo/AP)

The far-right leader, who often makes headlines with homophobic, misogynist, and racist rhetoric, made the latest comments during a breakfast meeting with journalists on Thursday.

Read more: The ‘Brazilian Donald Trump,’ Jair Bolsonaro, is visiting the White House. He was elected president despite saying he couldn’t love a gay son and that a colleague was too ‘ugly’ to be raped

Renan Calheiros, an LGBT activist in São Paulo, told the Guardian that Bolsonaro’s remarks give "a green light to already alarming levels of violence against the LGBT community" by implying that only heterosexual families can be considered genuine.

Jean Wyllys, a LGBT campaigner who went into exile after receiving death threats, framed the comments as a continuation of Bolsonaro’s years-long rhetoric against minorities.

"With this unhappy declaration and this unhappy gesture against the LGBT community, Bolsonaro is just being Bolsonaro. Everyone knew this," he said in a Twitter video

Bolsonaro, who came into power with an anti-establishment campaign in January, has a history of offending the LGBT community specifically.

Ele nao(Silvia Izquierdo/AP)

He famously said that he is "homophobic and proud of it," and that he would rather have his son "die in an accident" than come home with a man. On many occasions, he said that gay children should be spanked.

During last year’s presidential campaign, the former army captain softened his stance. He argued that he was not homophobic, but simply opposed the so-called "gay kit," a pejorative term conservatives use to talk about anti-homophobia materials the previous government tried to introduce in schools.

In Thursday’s breakfast meeting, Bolsonaro acknowledged that even this stance has sparked international criticism, and that he is seen as homophobic abroad, Exame reported.

His inflammatory comments has become so well-known around the world that he has been shunned on certain occasions. Two New York venues, one of them the American Museum of Natural History, have already refused to host a gala in his honor.

"What happened was that there was pressure from local Democratic politicians, and I am Donald Trump’s ally," he said, according to Exame.

NOW WATCH: This video shows the moment Sarah Sanders lied to a room full of reporters about FBI agents telling her they were happy Trump fired Comey

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Warren Buffett isn’t sure Berkshire Hathaway can beat the S&P 500 (BRK.A)

warren buffettBill Pugliano/Getty

  • The legendary investor Warren Buffett predicts Berkshire Hathaway may only modestly outperform the S&P 500, if at all. 
  • The Berkshire CEO made the comment in a wide-ranging interview with the Financial Times.
  • Buffett also noted that Berkshire may buy back as much as $100 billion of its own stock if he cannot find better investment alternatives.
  • Watch Berkshire Hathaway trade live.

Warren Buffett shot down expectations that the conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway will significantly outperform the S&P 500 going forward.

The billionaire investor, dubbed the "Oracle of Omaha," told The Financial Times that Berkshire Hathaway, the company he has controlled since 1965, is a safe investment, but one that may only have "a tiny expectation of better [performance] than the S&P."

Buffett has a history of keeping expectations low, despite significant outperformance over his investment career. "The one thing that would ruin my life is people expecting more than I deliver," he told the FT. 

Despite this, Berkshire has had a surprisingly long run of underperformance relative to the benchmark S&P 500. According to The Financial Times’ calculations, Buffett’s posted double-digit outperformance from January 1979 to October 2008, but has since lagged the index, when taking into account reinvesting dividends.

A dollar invested in the S&P 500 10 years ago would be worth $3.20 versus $2.40 for Berkshire, the FT said. That stretch of underperformance has been the longest of Buffett’s career. That’s due to the outsized gains of large-cap tech companies, such as the FANG stocks, driving the S&P 500 forward.

Buffett famously shunned tech stocks for most of his investment career though his attitude changed in 2011 with an investment in IBM. Though Buffett later soured on IBM’s prospects, exiting the position entirely by 2018, he has continued to explore investments in technology. 

Apple is now Berkshire’s largest equity investment, with the famed investor saying he would purchase more shares if the stock became cheaper. Berkshire Hathaway holds a stake of roughly 5% of the company, currently worth nearly $52 billion.

While Buffett has struggled to find additional investments in an elevated market, he has begun to focus on using Berkshire’s enormous cash pile, now over $111 billion, to buy back the company’s shares. Buffett told the FT that buybacks of Berkshire could eventually reach $100 billion, though purchases to date have been limited.

Berkshire Hathaway recently abandoned its policy of restricting buybacks to times when the stock fell below 1.2 times book value per share. Buffett can now buy back stock when he and Munger believe shares are trading at a significant discount to intrinsic value.

Despite the recent underperformance, Buffett did not appear perturbed.

"If you played golf and you hit a hole in one on every hole, nobody would play golf, it’s no fun," he said. "You’ve got to hit a few in the rough and then get out of the rough . . . That makes it interesting." 

Berkshire Hathaway shares were up 4% this year through Thursday. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 was up 17%.

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