The family smartphones? An assortment of Samsung Galaxies. The
flat-screen TV that illuminates the living room? A Samsung SUHD, with
the brand name sparkling on the nameplate. The maker of the digital
toilet seat? You guessed it: Samsung.
It's difficult for people outside South Korea to fully grasp what Samsung, a truly global brand, means inside its home country, where it is far more than just another big company. It is seen variously as both a talisman and a millstone, as national savior and greedy business behemoth. Those diverse views only intensified Thursday when a court rejected prosecutors' request to arrest Samsung heir and Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong in the corruption scandal surrounding impeached South Korean President Park Geun-hye.
A Seoul court on Thursday denied a request to arrest one of South
Korea's most powerful men, the heir to the Samsung Electronics
juggernaut, in a setback to prosecutors investigating an
influence-peddling scandal that toppled South Korea's president.
The Seoul Central District Court said that a judge concluded that there was not enough justification to detain the 48-year-old billionaire Samsung vice chairman, Lee Jae-yong, at this stage.
A suicide bomber in an explosives-laden vehicle penetrated a camp in
northern Mali on Wednesday, killing at least 60 people and wounding 115
soldiers and former fighters who are trying to stabilize the region. The
attack marked a significant setback for peace efforts.
Suspicion quickly fell on the Islamic extremist groups operating in the area which oppose the 2015 peace agreement that brought the parties together. A Mauritanian news agency that frequently receives communications from extremist groups, Alakhbar, said a group linked to al-Qaida's North Africa branch, al-Mourabitoun, had claimed responsibility.