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Клімкін: боюся, що Путін нам не дасть нормально відсвяткувати 30-річчя Незалежності

«Він буде діяти окремими кроками, він буде починати з провокацій, щоб звинувачувати нас»

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У Європі на день солідарності з опозицією Білорусі протестували проти репресій Лукашенка

Опозиція закликає до негайного припинення жорстоких репресій у Білорусі, звільнення всіх політичних в’язнів і проведення нових президентських виборів, вільних і чесних

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Росія готова надати владі Лукашенка 500 мільйонів доларів «найближчим часом»

Протягом усього часу після президентських виборів у Білорусі в серпні 2020 року Росія була головним союзником Лукашенка і його влади

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France Reports Drop in COVID Hospitalizations

France reported Saturday that the number of people in intensive care units with COVID-19 had fallen by 76 to 3,028, while the overall number of people in hospital with the disease had fallen by 425 to 16,847.Both numbers have been on a downward trend in recent weeks.While reporting 10,675 new cases, the health ministry also announced 68 new coronavirus deaths in hospitals and said there had been 487,309 COVID-19 vaccine injections over the past 24 hours.

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Young Adolescents in Europe to Get Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

Britain has confirmed yet another spike in new COVID-19 infections, with close to 4,200 cases identified across the country Friday, the highest daily number in two months. Seventy five percent of the new cases in Britain are believed to be infections with the so-called Indian variant, first detected in India, which is more transmissible than the previously dominant variant.Also Friday, Britain approved a single-shot COVID-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson. It is the fourth COVID-19 vaccine approved in the country, after inoculations made by Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Moderna.The European Commission has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in children as young as 12, widening the pool of those eligible to be inoculated, following similar approvals in the United States and Canada.Pfizer-BioNTech Pledges 2 Billion Doses to Poor Nations US, German partners to deliver half this year and half next year The commission made the announcement Friday after the European Union’s medical regulator, the European Medicines Agency, Friday recommended the use of the vaccine in children ages 12 to 15, saying that data show it is safe and effective.”Extending the protection of a safe and effective vaccine in this younger population is an important step forward in the fight against this pandemic,” said Marco Cavaleri, the EMA’s head of health threats and vaccines strategy.It is now up to EU states to decide whether and when to offer the vaccine to young adolescents.Germany and Italy have already said they are preparing to extend their vaccination campaign to youths ages 12-15.French President Emmanuel Macron pledged Friday to help provide South Africa and other African countries with vaccine doses. During a visit to Pretoria, Macron said France would donate more than 30 million doses this year to the United Nations-backed COVAX global vaccine initiative.According to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, South Africa has so far vaccinated roughly 700,000 people out of its population of 40 million.In Australia, Melbourne went back under lockdown on Friday, as health authorities said a cluster of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases had increased to 39.In other developments Friday, India reported 186,364 new coronavirus infections during the previous 24 hours, its lowest daily rise since April 14. Deaths rose from the previous day to 3,660.In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said children at summer camp who are not vaccinated do not have to wear masks outside unless they are in crowds or in sustained close contact with others. The new guidance comes as millions of children are set to resume summer camp this summer after the closure of many camps last year due to the virus.Americans are celebrating the start of the Memorial Day weekend by hitting the roads and skies as they seek to cast off more than a year of pandemic restrictions and try to resume a sense of normalcy.U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas urged Americans to be patient this weekend at busy airports.”People will see lines because there’s going to be a tremendous amount of people traveling this weekend,” he told ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday.

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Medics March to WHO Headquarters in Climate Campaign

Medics concerned about the effects on public health of environmental degradation marched Saturday on the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, demanding health authorities make climate change and biodiversity loss their top priorities.White-clad activists from the group Doctors for Extinction Rebellion marched from Geneva’s Place des Nations to WHO headquarters where they were met by Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus, and Maria Neira, director of environment, climate change and health.”The pandemic will end, but there is no vaccine for climate change,” Tedros said as he welcomed the activists outside the building. “We have to act now, in solidarity, to prevent and prepare before it is too late.”
 
Professor Valerie D’Acremont, an infectious disease specialist and co-founder of Doctors For Extinction Rebellion, called on the WHO “to be the driving force and guarantor of public policies that respect the health of all and preserve life.”
 
The activists handed Tedros a letter and a large hourglass, the symbol of Extinction Rebellion which wants to prompt a wider revolt to avert the worst scenarios of devastation outlined by scientists studying climate change.
 
Tedros later retweeted a message from the WHO stating both bodies were “standing in solidarity & urging global action” to end the climate crisis and protect health everywhere. “These are inextricably intertwined.”

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Talks Between Russian, Belarusian Leaders Continue Into Second Day: TASS

Talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in the southern Russian town of Sochi continued into a second day on Saturday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
 
Lukashenko flew into Russia on Friday for talks with Putin amid an uproar in Europe over the grounding of a passenger plane in Minsk and the arrest of a dissident blogger.
 
“Discussion between the two presidents continue today,” Peskov was quoted as saying by TASS news agency. 

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US Targets Belarus with Sanctions Amid Western Outcry Over Plane

The United States on Friday announced punitive measures against Belarus targeting the regime of strongman President Alexander Lukashenko, who met with Russian leader Vladimir Putin amid a global outcry over the forced diversion of a European plane.White House press secretary Jen Psaki called for “a credible international investigation into the events of May 23,” which she called “a direct affront to international norms.”Belarus scrambled a military jet to divert a Ryanair plane and arrested 26-year-old opposition blogger and activist Roman Protasevich who was onboard, triggering a global outcry.The White House announced it was working with the European Union on a list of targeted sanctions against key members of Lukashenko’s regime.Meanwhile, economic sanctions against nine Belarusian state-owned enterprises, reimposed by Washington in April following a crackdown on pro-democracy protests, will come into effect on June 3.Further U.S. moves on Belarus could target “those that support corruption, the abuse of human rights, and attacks on democracy,” Psaki said.The White House also issued a “Do Not Travel” warning for Belarus to U.S. citizens, and warned American passenger planes to “exercise extreme caution” if considering flying over Belarusian airspace.The European Union has also urged EU-based carriers to avoid Belarusian airspace.However, President Vladimir Putin celebrated Russia’s close ties with Belarus on Friday as he hosted Lukashenko in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.With observers closely watching the talks to see how far the Kremlin would go to support the regime, the Russian leader said he was “very glad” to see Lukashenko and agreed with him the Western reaction was an “outburst of emotion.”‘Rock the boat’Lukashenko complained the West was seeking to stir unrest in Belarus.”An attempt is underway to rock the boat to reach the level of last August,” he said, referring to anti-regime protests following a disputed election.”It’s clear what these Western friends want from us.”The Belarus strongman, who arrived with a briefcase, said he wanted to show Putin “some documents” related to the Ryanair incident and thanked him for his support in the latest standoff with the West.The talks lasted for more than five hours but their results were not announced.Over the past years Lukashenko has had a volatile relationship with Moscow, playing it off against the West and ruling out outright unification with Russia.But after the Ryanair plane incident his options appear to be limited.Putin and the Belarus leader have met regularly since August, when historic protests broke out against Lukashenko’s nearly three-decade rule.The 66-year-old waged a ruthless crackdown on his opponents and has leaned increasingly on the Russian president amid condemnation from the West.Several people died during the unrest in Belarus, thousands were detained, and hundreds reported torture in prison.Sunday’s plane diversion was a dramatic escalation, with EU leaders accusing Minsk of essentially hijacking a European flight to arrest Protasevich.Technical reasonsThe overflight ban has led to several cancellations of air journeys between Russia and Europe, after Russian authorities rejected planes that would have skipped Belarusian airspace.Russia insists the cancellations are purely “technical,” but they have raised concerns that Moscow could be systematically refusing to let European airlines land if they avoid Belarus.The Kremlin criticized the flight ban as politically motivated and dangerous, with foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova calling it “completely irresponsible.”EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the bloc was monitoring whether this was a broader policy from Russia, but Moscow insisted the disruptions were in no way political.Belarus authorities claimed to have received a bomb threat against the Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius carrying the dissident.Minsk said it demanded the flight land in the Belarus capital based on the message it said was sent from a ProtonMail address by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.Protasevich, who helped organize the demonstrations against Lukashenko’s rule last year, was arrested along with Russian girlfriend Sofia Sapega, 23, after the plane landed in the city.’Braver’Borrell has said proposals are “on the table” to target key sectors of the Belarusian economy including its oil products and potash sectors.Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya on Friday urged the EU to be “braver” and impose more sanctions against the Minsk regime.After meeting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in The Hague, Tikhanovskaya said measures being discussed by EU countries did not go far enough.EU chief Ursula von der Leyen on Friday warned Lukashenko that “it is time to change course.””No amount of repression, brutality or coercion will bring any legitimacy to your authoritarian regime,” she said.The European Commission president also wrote to the opposition offering a 3-billion-euro package to support “a democratic Belarus” if Lukashenko steps down.