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Migrant Youths Face Perils, Uncertainty at US Border

Jose Luis Boyeduana waited 13 years to reunite with his parents. The 16-year-old Ecuadorian national made the decision at the end of 2020 to travel to the U.S., undertaking a 3,000-kilometer journey to America’s southern border.“I entered on January 26, through a border crossing at Miguel Aleman [a municipality in Tamaulipas, Mexico],” Boyeduana told VOA, adding that he was held for two months at a federal facility in Roma, Texas.Tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors have been intercepted at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months, forcing the Biden administration to scramble to identify additional facilities — some makeshift — to house them.Sorry, but your browser cannot support embedded video of this type, you can
Young unaccompanied migrants, ages 3-9 sit inside a playpen at the Donna Department of Homeland Security holding facility, the main detention center for unaccompanied children in Donna, Texas, March 30, 2021.It is a process Boyeduana knows firsthand. Last month, U.S. authorities reunited him with his mother and father, both of whom reside in the United States, after verifying that they were his legal guardians.”This happiness is forever, being with my son,” Carlos Lozada, Boyeduana’s father, told VOA.Boyeduana had been living with his grandparents in Ecuador since he was 3.He was allowed to stay in the United States under the Biden administration’s policy exempting minors and some families with small children from a blanket ban on accepting unauthorized border crossers. The ban was enacted under the former Trump administration as an emergency measure necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.The Biden administration has retained the policy in an amended form, expelling adult migrants as well as families with older children.As of April 22, more than 23,000 migrant children remained in U.S. custody.White House weighs inThe White House has made it clear that asking for asylum does not guarantee permanent residency in the U.S.“What I want to emphasize is that many people are not going to get their asylum claims in the United States and it is possible that they will return to their country of origin at the end of that process,” Roberta Jacobson, Biden’s coordinator on the southern border who is leaving the position at the end of April, told VOA. “So really the message is to wait because there will be more options — more secure, less expensive and in a safe way, to perhaps have the possibility of reaching the United States in the future.”To seek FILE – In this March 30, 2021, young migrants wait to be tested for COVID-19 at the Donna Department of Homeland Security holding facility, the main detention center for unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley, in Donna, Texas.Why they leaveMigrants’ motivations for coming to the United States may or may not meet the standards set forth for asylum relief.Many unauthorized border crossers say they seek to escape violence, poverty and, in many cases, the effects of natural disasters. Large swaths of Central America were devastated by hurricanes coinciding with the coronavirus pandemic that has stunted recovery efforts.Trump’s Unfinished Border Wall Continues to Stir Passions Some residents along Mexico-US divide would like to see the work completedHuman Trafficking a Profitable Business at Migrants’ ExpenseMany escaping violence, poverty in their home countries pay huge sums to smugglers and endanger themselves to cross US borderHonduran Eda Cristelia Melendez, who is in her 70s, is currently living with her young granddaughter in a shelter in Mexico, just across the border from El Paso, Texas.She says U.S. authorities sent the pair back to Mexico after they tried to cross the border.The grandmother says she made the trip after refusing a request by the girl’s mother, who lives in Chicago, to send the child across the border by herself.“‘Have you thought [of what could happen] if the girl goes alone?’” Melendez recalled asking.U.S. officials echo the grandmother’s concerns.”We’re working with partners throughout the region to deter the dangerous travel of those unaccompanied children from the region,” said Emily Mendrala, State Department Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers blame the Biden administration for sharp increases in border arrivals, saying it signaled a departure from former President Donald Trump’s restrictive policies, causing migrants to believe the United States would take them in.Representative John Katko, a Republican from New York and ranking member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, says he cautioned the Biden administration against sudden immigration policy shifts.“Homeland Security Republicans warned of this impending crisis months ago and we are committed to prioritizing the safety of Americans and the security of our homeland,” Katko wrote.Amid the political cacophony in Washington, José Luis Boyeduana is celebrating a goal reached.“Happiness can only be found with your parents,” he said.Click here for full VOA Spanish branch coverage.

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Офіс генпрокурора встановив близько 260 іноземців, які воювали в Криму і на Донбасі – Мамедов

Мамедов: ми не виключаємо той факт, що багато хто з цих людей брав активну участь в бойових діях і міг бути причетний до воєнних злочинів

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Masks Off Outdoors Approved for Millions of Vaccinated Americans

Millions of vaccinated Americans on Tuesday were freed from government recommendations on outdoor mask-wearing.  U.S. President Joe Biden pulls off his face mask as he arrives to speak about loosening coronavirus mask guidelines, outside the White House in Washington, April 27, 2021.Biden used the occasion to renew a plea to the unvaccinated, saying the relaxed mask guidance “is another great reason to go get vaccinated.”  As of Tuesday, according to the CDC, nearly 30 percent of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated with 42 percent having received at least one shot.  “As we gather more and more data on the real-world efficacy of vaccines, we know that masked fully vaccinated people can safely attend worship services inside, go to an indoor restaurant or bar, and even participate in an indoor exercise class,” CDC Director Dr. Rachel Walensky told reporters prior to the president’s remarks.  Americans, however, need to remain more vigilant with others when indoors.  “There’s increasing data that suggests that most of transmission is happening indoors rather than outdoors — less than 10 percent of documented transmission in many studies has occurred outdoors,” explained Walensky. “We also know that there’s almost a 20-fold increased risk of transmission in the indoor setting than in the outdoor setting.”  Vaccine safetyOne challenge health authorities face is a hesitancy among some of the unvaccinated to get their shots. That is partly due to concerns about the vaccines causing rare but serious side effects. The CDC voted late last week to permit the resumption of the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine accompanied by a new warning about an increased risk of rare but life-threatening blood clots for adult women under 50. FILE – The Pfizer vaccine is given amid the coronavirus pandemic, in the Harlem section of Manhattan in New York City, New York, April 23, 2021.Walensky told reporters on Tuesday that the CDC has not seen a link between heart inflammation and the vaccines. “We have not seen a signal and we’ve actually looked intentionally for the signal in the over 200 million doses we’ve given,” she said when asked about the Defense Department’s investigation of 14 cases of heart inflammation among those vaccinated through the military’s health services. Israel’s Health Ministry is examining a small number of cases of heart inflammation in people, mostly those under the age of 30, who had received Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.  Meanwhile, the Canadian province of Quebec has reported its first death of a patient, a 54-year-old woman, from the AstraZeneca vaccine due to clotting. 
 

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Албанія: на парламентських виборах партія прем’єра набирає 49% голосів

Прем’єр Еді Рама оголосив, що його партія здобула «найбільш складну, але найсолодшу» перемогу

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Iran Nuclear Pact Talks Resume

World powers resumed talks Tuesday in Vienna about revitalizing the 2015 international pact to restrain Iran’s nuclear development program and bring the United States back into the accord that former U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from in 2018.Current U.S. President Joe Biden wants to rejoin the pact aimed at keeping Tehran from developing nuclear weapons, although Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.The U.S. does not have a seat at the table for the negotiations, but diplomats from the other countries in the agreement — Russia, China, Britain, Germany and France — are representing its interests at the talks.Trump, believing the agreement approved by former U.S. President Barack Obama was too weak to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, instead stiffened U.S. economic sanctions against Tehran in hopes it would agree to tougher restrictions on its nuclear program. But no new agreement was reached before Trump left office in January.Tehran, with the country’s economy reeling, instead has steadily increased the purity of uranium it enriches and its stockpiles in a so-far unsuccessful effort to get the other countries in the pact to provide economic relief.Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks on the second day of the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Feb. 15, 2020.The new talks are occurring days after comments surfaced from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif alleging that Russia at one point tried to undermine the pact, presumably in hopes that continued U.S.-Iranian hostility would deflect American pressure on Moscow.The Russian Foreign Ministry has yet to address Zarif’s comments, made in a seven-hour interview with a research group associated with the Iranian presidency.Before the talks began, Russian representative Mikhail Ulyanov said he had met with officials from Iran and China but did not say anything about Zarif’s comments.”We compared notes and exchanged views on the way ahead towards full restoration of the nuclear deal,” he tweeted. “It was a very fruitful meeting.”Ulyanov later said the main negotiations were “guided by the unity of purpose.”The focus of the new talks is on the extent to which the U.S. would ease its economic sanctions and how Iran would again comply with the terms of the 2015 deal. 

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У Раді розповіли, коли можуть звільнити Степанова

Верховна Рада, найімовірніше, не розглядатиме відставку міністра охорони здоров’я Максима Степанова цього пленарного тижня. Про це у коментарі Радіо Свобода заявив очільник парламентського комітету з питань здоров’я нації зі «Слуга народу» Михайло Радуцький, а також кілька співрозмовників із монобільшості, наближених до Офісу президента.

«На сьогоднішній день ні в комітет, ні в Апарат Верховної Ради не надходило подання прем’єр-міністра про звільнення Максима Степанова з посади міністра охорони здоров’я. Ми вважаємо, що безпосередній керівник має ініціювати таку історію. Навіть якщо таке подання з’явиться, то, я думаю, що це вже буде не цього тижня», – заявив Радуцький у коментарі Радіо Свобода.

Водночас, за словами кількох співрозмовників Радіо Свобода, наближених до Офісу президента, питання відставки міністра Степанова наразі є гострим через недоліки у роботі міністерства щодо боротьби з коронавірусом.

Одним із можливих претендентів на посаду наступного міністра охорони здоров’я співрозмовники Радіо Свобода називають головного санітарного лікаря Віктора Ляшка. На Банковій не коментували цих повідомлень.

Заступниця голови депутатської фракції «Слуга народу» Євгенія Кравчук заявила Громадському радіо, що ніяких зустрічей із можливими кандидатами фракція не проводила. «Думаю, у травні до питання відставки Степанова ще повернемося – тоді буде більше часу для зустрічей та обговорення, матимемо змогу подивитися звіти його роботи», – сказала Кравчук.

Вранці 27 квітня народний депутат від «Європейської солідарності» Олексій Гончаренко заявив, що у четвер, 29 квітня, Верховна Рада може відправити міністра Степанова у відставку.

Сам очільник МОЗ назвав цю інформацію «черговими інофрмаційними хвилями», які тривають вже пів року. Степанов також вважає, що робить все можливе в умовах виділених фінансових ресурсів, щоб протидіяти пандемії.

 

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Iran Wants Nationals Freed from US Jails Amid Nuclear Talks

Iran said Tuesday it was seeking the release of all Iranian prisoners held in the U.S. amid talks in Vienna meant to bring Tehran and Washington back into the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.Cabinet spokesman Ali Rabiei also hinted that another exchange of prisoners between Iran and America was possible, saying that “the idea of a swap of prisoners has always been on the agenda” and adding they should be released because of “humane concerns.”Rabiei did not offer details on how many Iranians are held in the U.S. and claimed that releasing their names could harm them. However, he said, “their number is bigger than that of American prisoners in Iran.”In 2019, a prisoner exchange saw Iran free a Chinese-American scholar from Princeton who had been held for three years on widely criticized espionage charges. At the time, Tehran said American authorities were holding about 20 Iranian nationals in jail.Iran has at times expressed readiness for prisoner swaps with the U.S. When they do take place, the exchanges are seen as rare diplomatic breakthroughs between Tehran and Washington.On Tuesday, Rabiei said Iranian judiciary has also voiced “readiness” for a swap. His remarks marked the second statement by Iranian officials on a possible prisoner release in less than two weeks.Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh last week made comments suggesting Tehran hopes to swing a major prisoner swap as part of ongoing negotiations in Vienna. A similar swap accompanied the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.Iranian media have in recent days identified seven Iranians in U.S. custody by name while the U.S. regularly asks Iran to release American prisoners, including Siamak and Baquer Namazi, who are serving 10-year prison sentences on spying charges.Siamak Namazi, a 46-year-old businessman who promoted closer ties between Iran and the West, was arrested in October 2015. His 81-year-old father Baquer, a former UNICEF representative who served as governor of Iran’s oil-rich Khuzestan province under the U.S.-backed shah, was arrested in February 2016, apparently drawn to Iran over fears about his incarcerated son.Also among Americans held in Iran is environmentalist Morad Tahbaz, an Iranian with U.S. and British citizenship also initially sentenced to 10 years in prison.There are other Western nationals in Iranian custody, including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman who after serving a five year prison sentence on spying charges has how been sentenced to a sixth year in prison or spreading “propaganda against the system” for participating in a protest in front of the Iranian Embassy in London in 2009.Iran does not recognize dual nationalities, meaning those detained cannot receive consular assistance. The two Namazis, like other dual nationals, faced secret charges in closed-door hearings in Iran’s Revolutionary Court, which handles cases involving alleged attempts to overthrow the government.As nuclear talks are about to get underway Tuesday in Vienna following a brief break, Tehran has been insisting that the U.S. lift all sanctions imposed under then-President Donald Trump after he pulled America out of the nuclear deal, including those not related to its nuclear program.Meanwhile, Washington has said Iran needs to comply with all restrictions imposed under the deal. In response to Trump’s withdrawal, Iran has gradually violated the terms of the accord, including limits on uranium enrichment.Washington has not been at the table for the Vienna talks, but an American delegation is in the Austrian capital and representatives of the other powers have been shuttling between it and the Iranian delegation. sabotage at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility.

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США надали Міноборони України допомогу на майже 8 млн доларів – посольство

Сполучені Штати Америки посилили підтримку України після анексії Росією Криму та початку збройного конфлікту на Донбасі у 2014 році